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WBN Awards 2015 – The Winners

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Following a landslide victory for Gennady Golovkin in the WBN Readers’ Fighter of the Year vote, World Boxing News can now announce the winners of the other annual award categories.

WBN Fighter of the Year

WBN Editor’s Fighter of the Year goes to retired pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr for his resounding triumph over Manny Pacquiao on May 2 in the most lucrative fight ever.

On the night, the veteran five-weight world champion had too much ring craft for his career nemesis. He proved a worthy winner to secure a legacy-defining achievement. Not to mention a mammoth paycheck before hanging up his gloves.

Fight of the Year goes to the super featherweight contest Francisco Vargas vs. Takashi Miura. The fight occurred on the undercard of Canelo vs. Cotto in November and was a see-saw affair lasting nine rounds. After picking himself up off the canvas in round four, tough Mexican Vargas ripped the WBC belt from Miura’s grasp with a dramatic stoppage at the Mandalay Bay.

Young Fighter of the Year

Young Fighter of the Year – a category for the under 23’s, went to Kosei Tanaka. At just 20 years old, he won the world minimumweight title in his fifth fight. The achievement saw Tanaka break the WBN Pound for Pound Top 50 due to his tender years claiming the crown, and it will be interesting to see how the young Japanese star builds on his instant success in 2016.

Pound for Pound Breakthrough, just like Trainer of the Year, was a hugely close call. Roman Gonzalez just saw off Tyson Fury to claim the former accolade. At the same time, Floyd Mayweather Sr. ousted Fury’s uncle Peter to take the latter.

Stoppage of 2015 was a pretty straightforward awarding and was given to Canelo Alvarez for his wiping out of James Kirkland in May. While Comeback of 2015 went to Nonito Donaire for regaining his world title and a foothold in the WBN P4P Top 10. Timothy Bradley made his case for that award, although Donaire was eventually given the nod.

Finally, to World Title Prospect of 2016. This award goes to any fighter who has never won a version of the world championship but is tipped to do so in the coming year. Ukrainian cruiserweight powerhouse Oleksandr Usyk is the recipient for 2015, as the 9-0 former Olympic champion should be in contention for a recognized belt as early as the spring of 2016.

WBA Awards winners – 2015

WBN Readers’ Fighter of the Year: Gennady Golovkin (94%)

Editor’s choice (Fighter of the Year): Floyd Mayweather Jr

WBN Fight of the Year: Francisco Vargas v Takashi Miura: WBC super featherweight title – Mandalay Bay Hotel, Las Vegas – November 21

WBN Young Fighter of the Year (23 under): Kosei Tanaka

Pound for pound breakthrough: Roman Gonzalez

Stoppage of 2015: Canelo Alvarez (v James Kirkland) – Texas – May 9

Trainer of the Year: Floyd Mayweather Sr.

Comeback of 2015: Nonito Donaire

World title prospect of 2016: Oleksandr Usyk