The Cold Hard Truth: On Sports

Boxing’s Best of 2016 (Part 2)

Boxing’s Best of 2016 (Part 2)

By James Bell


The second part of the year in boxing for 2016 concentrates on a “superfight” that could have happened but didn’t, some clarification in the super welterweight division, and two welterweights that had fights…at middleweight.


The middleweight division was kind of muddled because of one big fight that hasn’t happened and fighters not able to get chances at titles because of it. This revolves around two fighters: Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin. Canelo came into 2016 as the WBC and lineal middleweight champion because of his win over Miguel Cotto, and defended the belts in May against Amir Khan in Las Vegas and had one of the knockouts of the year on Khan to retain that title. However, instead of making the unification fight against Golovkin for most of the major titles at middleweight, he chose to vacate it and move back down to super welterweight to win the WBO belt there. Golovkin saw Canelo’s fight against the former welterweight in Khan and raised it with a fight of his own against another welterweight in Kell Brook, who holds the IBF belt at that division. He got a TKO stoppage win in England to retain his belts, and he goes into 2017 hoping to score that fight against Canelo.

Before that fight can happen, however, he has to get past the WBA “regular” champion Daniel Jacobs in March who has a good KO streak coming in this fight and that includes one this year against Sergio Mora. This is the biggest test for both fighters and should be a great fight. There is another title holder in the division in Billy Joe Saunders, but he was so disappointing to many in 2016 that he had an undesirable fight in the UK that many people would like to forget. Hopefully he’ll have a better 2017.

Super Welterweight

A lot of key fights happened in the 154 pound division in 2016. On one date, there were three belts on the line in the same card. Two fighters that went into that card are brothers: Jermell and Jermall Charlo. They both scored wins with Jermell beating John Jackson to win the vacant WBC belt and Jermall beating former champion Austin Trout. In addition to those two winning their fights, Erislandy Lara was able to defend the IBO and WBA “super” world super middleweight titles against Vanes Martirosyan by winning a unanimous decision. Going into 2017, Lara will defend those belts yet again in January against Yuri Foreman.

Jermell Charlo will wait until next year for his first defense against Charles Hatley. As for his brother, he defended his belt in December against Julian “J-Rock” Williams. Williams was one of the fighters that did not have a world title but was regarded as one of the top five in the division. Some fans were looking forward to this fight and I was one of them. It was a good fight as both went at it for five rounds until Jermall connected with a big counter uppercut to knock Williams down. He got up from that, but a blitz of punches caused another knockdown and Charlo scored a stoppage win. He may move up to middleweight after this fight as he already looks the part with his height and size. Someone who was at middleweight that came back down to this division to win a world title is Canelo, as he fought Liam “Beefy” Smith in Texas and won the WBO belt with a body shot in the 9th round. Now will he defend that belt in 2017? It doesn’t look like that will be the case as he intends on fighting Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr.


Part of this division had some clarification as one of the most anticipated fights after 2015’s Mayweather-Pacquiao matchup finally happened as WBA champion Keith “One Time” Thurman went toe to toe with Shawn “Showtime” Porter in June. It was scheduled for March but an injury by Thurman postponed it to summer. The wait was probably worth it to many, as it was action packed from start to finish. Thurman was able to get a close decision win to retain the WBA belt and stay among the top of the division. Manny Pacquiao was able to shake off the loss to Floyd Mayweather with two wins in 2016, as he beat Tim Bradley in the rubber match between the two, and a blowout decision win against Jessie Vargas to win back the WBO title that he lost in 2015. Vargas had won it in March after it had been vacant for months, only to lose it to Pac in his first defense.

While all of that was going on, Danny Garcia kept his professional record perfect as he won the WBC belt in January against Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero and then had a hometown fight against Samuel Vargas in November to set up a unification bout between him and Thurman in March of 2017. That is another one of the most anticipated fights in the first four months of the year. Kell Brook still serves as the IBF champion, and many fans are waiting for him to defend it against the #1 contender Errol “The Truth” Spence. It seems like he is taking his time to make that fight happen…he has already fought Gennady Golovkin at middleweight and now is considering making a fight with Amir Khan instead of fighting Spence.

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Boxing’s Best of 2016 (Part 2)
Copyright The Cold Hard Truth: On Sports

Boxing’s Best of 2016 (Part 2)

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