Boxer of the Year

UK Boxer of the Year 2017

Published On Wednesday, December 27, 2017By Danny Flexen

BBN announce the winner of their UK Boxer of the Year award

Although we have picked a worthy winner, this was not an easy choice. First, we highlight the other 'Boxer of the Year' candidates for 2017.


Runners-up

Anthony Joshua (20-0, 20 KO's)

IBF, IBO and WBA Super World heavyweight champion


Anthony Joshua has enjoyed an eventful year, the highlight of which came in April as he rose from a heavy knockdown, cleared an even heavier fog then stopped a still-dangerous Wladimir Klitschko to annex the vacant WBA Super heavyweight title to the IBF strap AJ already owned.

That the dramatic victory took place before 90,000 fans - a post-war record attendance for boxing - at Wembley Stadium made it all the more memorable. The October stoppage of the rough Carlos Takam was rather anti-climactic in comparison but still impressive and entertaining fare from the humble Watford superstar.


Josh Taylor (11-0, 10 KO's)

WBC Silver and Commonwealth super-lightweight champion

Edinburgh's Josh Taylor broke free of the prospect pack in 2017 and should challenge for a world title next year.

The Olympian and Commonwealth Games gold medallist forced loudmouth domestic rival Ohara Davies into (temporarily) humiliating submission in a big July grudge match, then became the first man to halt former IBF king Miguel Vazquez four months later, with an absolute peach of a body shot.

Super-lightweight Taylor has shone, displaying diverse attributes across these performances - and those in his two less high-profile contests this year. He looks more and more like a complete fighter.


Billy Joe Saunders (26-0, 12 KO's)

WBO World middleweight champion

That Billy Joe Saunders' inclusion here would have been laughable before this month's dominant decision win over David Lemieux in Canada, underlines just how supreme a showing that was.

WBO middleweight ruler Saunders frustrated and bamboozled the powerful Canadian throughout, finally under the esteemed Dominic Ingle displaying the conditioning and discipline to adhere to a sensible gameplan for 12-rounds.

The September points victory over Willie Monroe Jr was closer and far less compelling, yet was still achieved by the Hatfield southpaw with relative ease.


BBN UK Boxer of the Year

Ryan Burnett (18-0, 9 KO's)

IBF and WBA Super World bantamweight champion

It was always going to take something special to edge Joshua but in becoming the first man to unify world titles in Ireland (North or South) Ryan Burnett, still just 25, attained such a feat.

Following an eight-round warm-up win in February, the Belfastman twice dropped and thoroughly outboxed tricky Lee Haskins to wrest his IBF bantam belt in June.

Four months later, the Adam Booth-trained prodigy had to brawl as well as box en route to a hard-fought unanimous verdict over strong WBA Super holder Zhanat Zhakiyanov, trained by Ricky Hatton.

Burnett made history in doing so and is the only UK fighter to have beaten two reigning world champions in 2017. Take a bow, son, but this may only be the beginning.