Berchelt wins fighter of the year
There are more elite and possibly elite fighters contending now than there have actually been at any point in this century. There are fighters in their primes who reveal no indications of decreasing and unskilled fighters who are elbowing their method into contention.
The light-weight department is an example of this. At the top, it’s headlined by Teofimo Lopez, however the department likewise consists of Gervonta Davis, Devin Haney and Ryan Garcia.
It’s not a stretch to think about that any of those 4 will be Leading 10 pound-for-pound fighters, and Haney has the sort of capacity that might make him the pound-for-pound finest on the planet.
It’s not simply the lightweights, however. Up-and-down the weight classes, there are fighters who offer hope that 2021 might be the year that boxing turns a corner.
Those people following the sport consistently comprehend that for all of the end ofthe world, boxing is dead talk, there is genuine, genuine skill out there and a great deal of advantages going on.
The sport is not without issues, however, and the greatest is getting everybody on the very same page and interacting to make the greatest battles.
However it’s early in the year and it’s a time for optimism. So here are some forecasts for how 2021 might play out.
Who will be P4P No. 1 on Jan. 1, 2022?
Canelo Alvarez is currently the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world, and it’s no stretch to believe that he could hold that mantle throughout 2021, as well.
He figures to have several intriguing fights which, if he wins them, would enable him to keep that spot.
As good as Alvarez is, though, there is one fighter with the ability to surpass him even if the Mexican superstar goes 2-0 or 3-0 in 2021.
Bantamweight Naoya Inoue might be the most complete fighter on the planet and he has such a dynamic skill set that it’s hard to conceive of him losing in the near future. He’s fast, powerful, tough and smart.
He’s ranked No. 3 on the Yahoo Sports’ pound-for-pound list at the moment, and so doesn’t have far to go. Inoue has the kind of jaw-dropping ability that it’s not inconceivable to think he might leapfrog Alvarez and slide into that top spot even if Alvarez continues to win.
Fight of the Year in 2021
If you saw their first fight in 2012, I can guarantee what you will be doing on March 13, 2021: Sitting in front of a television or a computer or a tablet or a mobile phone, because that’s the date that DAZN will stream the rematch between Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez and Juan Francisco Estrada.
Gonzalez won a unanimous decision on Nov. 17, 2012, at the Los Angeles Sports Arena in a display of his tremendous talent.
Estrada was good then; it’s fair to say he’s excellent now. I think this is the easy leader for 2021 Fight of the Year.
Fighter of the Year in 2021
My first inclination was to go with Shakur Stevenson, a dynamic talent who is only getting better each time out. But I’m not sure Stevenson is going to get the fights he needs to get to that point.
One fighter who will, though, is one of his Top Rank stablemates.
Miguel Berchelt will begin 2021 next month with a WBC super featherweight title defense against Oscar Valdez. If he wins that — which I suspect he will — it’s going to set him up for several other big fights.
He could meet IBF champion Jamel Herring in a unification, and he could even jump to lightweight to fight one of the elites there.
Imagine this scenario for a second: Berchelt defeats both Valdez and Herring and is a unified super featherweight champion. At super lightweight, Josh Taylor and Jose Ramirez will meet early this year for the undisputed title.
Teofimo Lopez could well move up to 140 to challenge the winner, which would then make a fight between Berchelt and Haney possible for a lightweight title at 135.
Berchelt’s got the fan-pleasing style to get attention, too as the potential opponents, so look at him as your early choice for 2021 Fighter of the Year.
Unknown fighter who makes a name for himself
Remember the name Bektemir Melikuziev. He’ll fight Sergey Kovalev on Jan. 30, and chances are you’ll know him a lot better after that fight.
He’s only 6-0 with five knockouts, but if you want to pick a guy who is widely unknown at the start of the year who will have fans talking about him a lot by the end of the year, you can do worse than to choose Melikuziev.
There are a lot of good battles out there for him and he’s got a chance to have a huge year.
More from Yahoo Sports:
Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.