Canelo Alvarez an easy pick for Fighter of the Year

Among the issues in boxing just recently is that champs tend to be danger averse and don’t attempt to be excellent. Hence, they don’t look for the battles that would show their achievement.

The most apparent example of this is merged welterweight champ Errol Spence Jr., among the most talented fighters on the planet, who appears to be doing whatever in his power to prevent a bout with WBO champ Terence Crawford.

The Good News Is, that’s not how Canelo Alvarez rolls, and it’s why Alvarez is the 2021 Yahoo Sports boxing Fighter of the Year.

Alvarez went 3-0 in 2021, knocking out Avni Yildirim in a ludicrous necessary he required to keep the WBC belt and keep his dream alive of ending up being the very first fighter ever to end up being the undeniable incredibly middleweight champ.

He followed that up by stopping formerly unbeaten Billy Joe Saunders after 8 rounds, including Saunders’ WBO belt to the WBA-WBC belts he currently held. Then in November, Alvarez stopped another unbeaten world champ, completing Caleb Plant in the 11th round to end up being the IBF champ and ended up being the very first undeniable incredibly middleweight champ in the department’s history.

In the process, he became the first boxer of Mexican descent in any weight class to be an undisputed champ.

Alvarez fought three opponents who were a combined 72-2 at the time he met them and won all of them by knockout.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - NOVEMBER 06: Canelo Alvarez celebrates after his 11th round technical knock out of Caleb Plant after their championship bout for Alvarez's WBC, WBO and WBA super middleweight titles and Plant's IBF super middleweight title at MGM Grand Garden Arena on November 06, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Canelo Alvarez beat three world champions in 2021 to end up being the first boxer of Mexican descent in any weight class to be an undisputed champ. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

There weren’t many close runners-up. Nonito Donaire comes in second on my card after going 2-0 with KO victories over Nordine Oubaali and Reymart Gaballo, both of which came in the fourth round.

He won the WBC bantamweight title from Oubaali, making him at 38 the oldest fighter to hold a bantamweight title. He then successfully defended it in December against Gaballo.

Boxing Fighter of the Year honorable mentions

• Crawford only fought once, but he point on a clinic in retaining his WBO welterweight title by stopping Shawn Porter. He showed he’s the only legitimate challenge to Alvarez’s spot as the sport’s top pound-for-pound champion.

• Oleksandr Usyk was the undeniable cruiserweight champion in 2018 and then moved to heavyweight. In his only fight of 2021, he showed he belonged by dominating Anthony Joshua and becoming the unified champion, winning the IBF-WBA-WBO belts.

• Shakur Stevenson was 2-0 and defeated Jamel Herring in October to become the WBO incredibly featherweight champ. He opened the year with a wide, if uninspiring victory over Jeremiah Nakathila. He heard the critics and rebounded with a vengeance, stopping Herring in the 10th of a one-sided bout.

• Tyson Fury signed to fight Joshua for the undisputed title, but a day later, an arbiter ruled he must fight Deontay Wilder. He survived two fourth-round knockdowns to stop Wilder in a wildly entertaining slugfest.

• George Kambosos Jr. won a split decision over Teofimo Lopez to become the undisputed lightweight champ. It was a dominant performance by Kambosos, who was lightly regarded going in but never wavered in his belief that he’d beat Lopez.

• Josh Taylor defeated Jose Ramirez to end up being the undisputed super lightweight champ, winning by scores of 114-112 on all cards. Taylor put Ramirez, who held the WBC-WBO belts entering the bout, down in Rounds 6 and 7 and cruised to the impressive win.

• Gervonta Davis went 2-0, stopping Mario Barrios to win a secondary super lightweight title, then defeated Isaac Cruz by decision in December.

• Vasiliy Lomachenko rebounded from his 2020 loss to Lopez with a ninth-round stoppage of Masayoshi Nakatani and a wide decision win over Richard Commey.

• Amanda Serrano established herself as arguably the best female fighter in the world in going 3-0 with a knockout of Daniela Bermudez and decisions over Yamileth Mercado and Miriam Gutiérrez.

• Mikaela Mayer successfully defended her WBO super featherweight title twice, and added the IBF belt in the 2nd of those.

• Katie Taylor went 3-0, defending her undeniable lightweight title each time with a choice, by defeating Natasha Jonas, Jennnifer Han and Firuza Sharipova.

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long included to this report.