European Boxing Union has presented the annual EBU Awards, and Finnish lightweight Edis Tatli was declared as the Fighter of the Year 2016.
The awards were presented at the EBU General Assembly, held in Brussels on 3rd June.
Tatli also received the Special Award for defending his title three times in one year. Tatli was challenged by Massimiliano Ballisai in March 2016, Cristian Morales in August and Manuel Lancia in December, but each one had to return home empty-handed.
“I’m glad EBU has noticed my accomplishments. The year 2016 was a busy one and gave me a lot of good experience, which I’m planning to use against whoever I’m fighting next,” said Tatli.
“Of course I look forward to winning the title back as soon as possible.”
Tatli lost his EBU lightweight championship to Francesco Patera via controversial split decision in May. The result was widely criticised by sports journalists, and Tatli’s manager Pekka Mäki filed a formal claim demanding an immediate rematch.
The claim was rejected, but EBU named Tatli as the mandatory challeger for the winner of the upcoming Francesco Patera vs. Yvan Mendy fight. Therefore Tatli may get another shot for the title later this year.
As for the other EBU Awards, MK Events was nominated as the Promoter of the Year and Cedric Vitu vs. Ruben Varon super welterweight clash (held on March 2016) was declared as the Fight of the Year.