Boxing continues to roll on in 2021. After a rough 2020 that saw many stars either not compete or compete just once, the new year has seen a handful of fighters already seen ring time with big success.
Look no further than the pound for pound king himself, Canelo Alvarez. The Mexican superstar completed his takeover of the super middleweight division with a thudding knockout of Caleb Plant in November to become the first undisputed champion in that division’s history. A raucous 12-month run that saw him pick up four massive wins already has him as the consensus pick for Fighter of the Year once again.
And many in the boxing community were stunned when WBA welterweight champion Yordenis Ugas outpointed legend Manny Pacquiao to retain his title in August. Despite the fight being made last minute because of an injury to unified titleholder Errol Spence Jr., many expected Pacquiao, 42, to be able to take care of business against the Cuban. Pacquiao subsequently announced his retirement from boxing to focus on a presidential run in his native Philippines.
Plus, Oleksandr Usyk shocked many with his dazzling performance against Anthony Joshua to claim the unified heavyweight championships. Usyk took a decision over the champion in London and threw a wrench into any plans for a heavyweight unification bout after Joshua invoked his automatic rematch clause.
As the end of the year nears, boxing appears to be going out with a bang.
The lightweight division continues its red-hot run in the final weeks of the year. After Geroge Kambosos scored one of the biggest upsets of the year in outpointing Teofimo Lopez to claim the unified titles at 135, both Devin Haney and Gervonta Davis made their case to be next in line to face the Aussie with strong performances. Now, the former undisputed champ, Vasiliy Lomachenko, gets his chance in the spotlight when he takes on former titleholder Richard Commey on Dec. 11. Plus, WBC bantamweight champ Nonito Donaire is back on the same night when he takes on Reymart Gaballo.