Following on from 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 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 what was the most lucrative fight of all time.
The veteran five-weight world champion had too much ring craft for his career nemesis on the night and proved a worthy winner to secure a legacy-defining achievement, along with a mammoth paycheck before hanging up his gloves.
Fight of the Year goes to the super featherweight contest Francisco Vargas v Takashi Miura. A fight that took place on the undercard of Canelo v 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 – a category for the under 23’s, went to Kosei Tanaka, who at just 20 years old won the world minimumweight title in just 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, whilst 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 back in May, whilst Comeback of 2015 went to Nonito Donaire for regaining his world title and a foothold back in the WBN P4P Top 10. Timothy Bradley made his own 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 right in contention for a recognised belt as early as the spring of 2016.
Full list of 2015 winners:
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