Fighter Of The Year? Canelo Alvarez Sounds Right Again
So today, the great folks at The Ring Magazine put out their yearly “Fighter of The Year” with co-winners featuring Tyson Fury and Teofemo Lopez. I think they went this route due to calendar and print restraints, but I can’t be the only one thinking that the 2020 Fighter of the Year is honestly the same person who won it last year in Canelo Alvarez?
Like, I don’t even think this is even a debate on this subject, but here are some points to back this up.
Fury, by all accounts, would’ve probably had this all by his lonesome the second that he was announced the winner over Deontay Wilder last February to end his five-plus year-long title reign. Blame the pandemic, blame whoever but February this year seems to me like 12 years ago instead of just a mere ten months ago.
Let’s not forget that while his win changes the landscape at heavyweight as he is number one with a bullet when you run down the pound for pound lists, one man seems to stay above him.
???For only the fifth time in 92 years and for the first time in 35 years, we have shared honors for Ring Magazine Fighter of the Year: @Tyson_Fury and @TeofimoLopez. MASSIVE CONGRATULATIONS to both champions! #boxing #TysonFury #TeofimoLopez ????? pic.twitter.com/Y5fMkaM8u8
— Bible of Boxing (@ringmagazine) December 21, 2020
There is a saying by a famous wrestler Ric Flair that goes, “To be the man, you have to beat the man.” Lopez won co-honors by doing just that by defeating Vasiliy Lomachenko in a contest he was supposed to lose. Lopez came into the fight a 3 to 1 underdog to Lomachenko with the prevailing thought was that he was too young and Lomachenko was going to outbox him.
Scores of 116-112, 117-111, and a horrendous scorecard of 119-109 later, Lopez is now the undisputed king at 135 pounds.
“I don’t believe anyone else did,” Lopez said, speaking The Ring in early December about winning. “There were a few that may have, but no one could understand what me and my father were talking about, absolutely not. I think everyone thought that we were just crazy – especially my father. But that’s the thing about life: Sometimes you’ve got to be crazy.
Sometimes you’ve got to dream big and think big to make those dreams come true and turn them into reality.”
While what Lopez did in the ring against Lomachenko is great in just his 16th fight, it comes back to the man he saw in action this past Saturday night at the Alamodome.
Alvarez won this award unanimously, and after the lopsided win over Callum Smith Saturday night, that makes the incumbent winner the repeat champion in my book. Did it take a lawsuit with his former promotional outlet and broadcaster to go back to close out the year fighting on the said broadcaster for it to happen? It’s a soap opera that is as boxing as it gets, but the answer is yes.
Despite the drama outside of the ring, Alvarez is his own man and last Saturday night is the start of him being able to fight freely with whoever he chooses.
David Payne wrote about the performance because it was a masterful one, and since the prior two co-winners only had one fight this year, what makes his victory to become a four-division champion less important? If the award were based on activity, then Clay Collard, who was mentioned in parts of the pandemic, would need a seat at the table.
His performance against Smith was, as I say in these stories here, one-way traffic, and regardless of the injury Smith got early in the fight, Alvarez left little doubt that the fight wasn’t going to play out any other way Saturday night.
As I started the top, these Ring publications take time, and Alvarez just fought less than seventy-two hours ago. With that turnaround and not knowing if Alvarez would fight at all, I understand why they had to release these, and you can your copy with Lopez and Fury just in time for Christmas.
Don’t try to tell me that if they knew about this past weekend, that Alvarez, who is still arguably the pound for pound best in the sport, wouldn’t have graced the cover for The Ring for the second year in a row as opposed to the two co-winners since Marvin Hagler and Donald Curry did the same honors back in 1985.