SimBoxx End of Year Awards 2020

2020 has been a rollercoaster for us all. Lockdowns and social distancing have affected us as both human beings and fans of boxing . Now though we come to the end. We at SimBoxx have agonised over who we believe to be the stand out performers in this disrupted year.

We pick our; Trainer, Round, Upset, Prospect, Knockout, Villain, Fight and Fighter of the year! We will also include our full shortlist in the ‘close but no cigar’ category so you can see who was in contention.

While many have chosen to have separate ‘women’s only’ categories we have included them in our general consideration. At SimBoxx we believe in equality and parity, and think women have earned the right to be judged simply as fighters, not just female fighters.

With all that in mind, let’s see who took the awards…

Trainer of the Year: Pat Barrett

Trainer of the year is always such a hard fought category, so many dedicated individuals put in the hard work behind the scenes. One man though who works harder than most is Pat Barrett.

He didn’t train the heavyweight champion of the world but what he did do was get 3 huge wins in some very difficult circumstances. First was his nephew Zelfa, who scored a stunning 8th round knockout. Then came two back to back wins for his Light Heavyweight charge, Lyndon Arthur. First was Dec Spelman but most impressively Pat coached an injured Lyndon Arthur to beat Anthony Yarde. A 5/1 underdog, he was able to box a perfect game plan despite the injury and cement his place as a light heavyweight contender.

Close but No cigar;

  • Teofimo Lopez Sr

  • Sugar Hill Steward

  • Steve Broughton

  • Eddy Reynoso

Round of the Year: Cheeseman v Eggington Round 12

It’s hard to rank just three minutes of action but round 12 of Ted Cheeseman v Sam Eggington had it all. The back and forth championship round between these two junior middleweight sluggers had that intangible something. When fighters are tired but refuse to give in, slugging it out in that final pursuit of the victory, you get that special edge of your seat buzz. This round had all that and more to finalise a real vintage British dust up.

Close but no Cigar

  • Zapeda v Baranchyk round 2

  • Fury v Wilder Round 5

  • Joshua v Pulev round 3

  • Nakatani v Verdejo round 9

Upset of the Year: Lopez v Lomachenko

The back end of 2020 was rife with upsets but one tower above the rest, Teofimo Lopez’s victory over the pound for pound king Vasyl Lomachenko. A 7/2 underdog the 23 year old shocked the boxing world when he dominated the fight behind a powerful jab and a lightning right hand.

He naturalised Lomachenko’s wizard-like attacks and made a man who in the eyes of many was the greatest of this generation, look like he’d run out of ideas. Teofimo catapulted himself from prospect to unified champion of the lightweight division with just one flagship win.

Close but no Cigar

  • Joyce v Dubois

  • Mcaskill v Breakus

  • Povetkin v Whyte

  • Arthur v Yarde

Prospect of the Year: Edgar Berlanga

3 wins, 3 knockouts, all in the first round. This year the 16-0 Edgar Berlanga fought three times in the top rank bubble, twice against fighters who’ve never been stopped before, and he never once went more than three minutes. At 23 years of age he is improving fast and is sure to have a massive 2021.

Close but no Cigar

  • Israil Madrimov

  • Fabio Wardley

  • Bek Melikuziev

  • Denzel Bentley

Knockout of the Year: Povetkin v Whyte

After being knocked down multiple time’s Alexander Povetkin’s knockout over Dillian Whyte, was far more dramatic than it would have been otherwise. The old adage is that a wounded tiger is a dangerous tiger and the wiley Russian proved this when he exploded into a vicious uppercut.

Close but no Cigar

  • Davies v Santa Cruz

  • Zapeda v Baranchyk

  • Barrett v Donovan

  • Joshua v Pulev

Villain of the Year: BBBoC

As we celebrate the positives the negatives were often at the forefront of our minds this year. COVID-19 ravaged the schedule, governing bodies continued their money making rackets but one organisation drew consistent bad press with its horrendous scorecards and general mismanagement. The British Boxing Board of Control.

The reason they have earned this distinction is normally they are the best, the cream of the crop, but something has gone fundamentally wrong as their ineptitude has produced shocking card after shocking card. Terry O’Connor and Ian John Lewis have been the chief culprits but ultimately blames lies with Robert Smith and the Board. We hope to categorise them differently next year!

Close but no Cigar

  • Suliman and the WBC (Bridgerweight)

  • COVID-19 (...Obviously)

  • NSAC (Andrew Maloney Incident)

  • Deontay Wilder (The man of 1000 Excuses)

Fight of the Year: Zapeda v Baranchyk

8 knockdowns in 5 rounds. A knockout of the year contender to finish. Heart, blood and guts in abundance, Zapeda v Baranchyk had everything.

The 140lbs shootout was as wild as they come with both men repeatedly touching down only to jump up and drop their opponent. Reminiscent of Nassem Hamed v Kevin Kelly it might not have had the biggest ramifications but for sheer competitiveness and entertainment value, it is the only choice for the SimBoxx fight of the year.

  • Fury v Wilder 2

  • Davies v Santa Cruz

  • Harper v Jonas

  • Zani v Dilmagahni

Fighter of the Year: Tyson Fury

Heavyweight champions don't come much more outspoken, charismatic and skilled than Morecambe’s very own Tyson Fury. In a year of extreme competition for the top spot Fury has just edged it by the smallest of margins.

Although he only fought once, a punch perfect display against one of the most dangerous competitors in the history of boxing, is hard to top. On the biggest stage Fury did everything right, he called his shot and he took it, knocking out the knockout artist and setting up the biggest fight in boxing, Fury v Joshua.

Close but no Cigar

  • Teofimo Lopez

  • Canelo Alvarez

  • Katie Taylor

  • Jermell Charlo

In Memoriam.

The SimBoxx Awards are dedicated to all those we lost from the boxing community this year;

Alan Minter, Roger Mayweather, Frankie Randall, Johnny Clark, Greg Steene, Daniel Gonzalez, Nazim Richardson, Frankie Otero, Juan Roldan, Joe Barrientes, Miguel Ángel Castellini, Fernando Atzori, Jean-Baptiste Mendy, Sandro Mazzinghi, Eddie Cotton, Rudy Richardson, Wilbert “Skeeter” McClure, Tony Doyle, Ernesto Marcel, Javier Alejandro Gonzalez Barrientos, and everyone else who loved boxing and tragically passed away this year.

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