Welcome to The Queensberry Rules’ annual year-end boxing awards, continuing over the course of a week. Here’s how we do it around these parts:
The major categories are Knockout of the Year, Fight of the Year and Fighter of the Year. For each category, we give five finalists, with video and/or relevant info, as well as honorable mention candidates. On the second day after a category is introduced, we’ll give you the winner and explain why.
Now: Knockout of the Year nominees. On deck: Fight of the Year nominees and Knockout of the Year winner.
KNOCKOUT OF THE YEAR NOMINEES (IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER)
Oscar Valdez vs Miguel Berchelt
Compelling performance. Dramatic arc. Perfect finishing shot.
Gabriel Rosado vs Bektemir Melikuziev
It’s always cool when you can combine some “X of the Year” candidates in one, and this was both an Upset of the Year candidate and, obviously, KO of the Year candidate. That it came from a guy not known for his power adds something, too.
Tyson Fury vs Deontay Wilder 3
After 10 rounds of somehow still standing on his feet, it was going to take something special to end Wilder’s night early. That’s what Fury delivered.
Anthony Dirrell vs Marcos Hernandez
Few uppercuts in human history have landed as flushly as this. It was downright cartoonish.
Kiko Martinez vs Kid Galahad
It was a great year for thought-to-be-run-down-contenders-turned-punishment-soaking-gatekeepers to score shocking-upset-cum-Knockout-of-the-Year-candidates, wasn’t it?
KNOCKOUT OF THE YEAR HONORABLE MENTIONS (IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER)
Brandun Lee vs Samuel Teah
Efe Ajaba vs Brian Howard
Callum Smith vs Lenin Castillo
Canelo Alvaez vs Caleb Plant
Troy Williamson vs Ted Cheeseman
Ryan Garcia vs Luke Campbell
Connor Benn vs Chris Algieri
Mauricio Lara vs Josh Warrington
For a roundup of some other great KOs from 2021…