2022 Boxing Awards: Bam Rodriguez, Claressa Shields, Dmitry Bivol & More

We all know the proverb. Opinions are like bastards. Everyone has one and it usually stinks. But today I feel especially fragrant.

If you haven’t dialed in Scott and John’s excellent podcast award yet, eat a turkey sandwich, open another bottle of red, and join the comments across these 10 categories.


Male Fighter of the Year: Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez

Wham! Bam! Thank you ma’am.

In 2022, Jesse Rodriguez made a convincing title defense against Israel Gonzalez by scalping former World Champion Carlos Cuadras, Sri Saket Sor Lumbisaye.

What first started out as a standard appearance on the Arizona undercard turned into a series of fights that ran Bum to numerous accolades at the end of the year and accelerated to the Bad Left Hook Pound for Pound spot. Top 10.

Three big wins after a last-minute promotion to the super-flyweight division while posting selfies of himself in his bedroom like the hero in a 90s chick movie.

The juxtaposition of a hard-hitting assassin in the ring and his boyish charm outside the ring is enough to make me twist my arm to award him the MALE FIGHTER OF THE YEAR.

Texas southpaws agree. “I believe I am Fighter of the Year,” he said in a brief exchange with Bad Left Hook. Now I am 22 years old and a world champion.”

I’m not going to argue with him. At least not in the ring.


Claressa Shields v Savannah Marshall

Photo by James Chance/Getty Images

With two wins on the English coast in 2022, you’ve probably been exposed to the self-proclaimed ‘GWOAT’ more than usual this year.

But I have to admit, I didn’t expect her to feel the way she did when she stepped into the O2 arena and played against Savannah Marshall.

‘Champions are here’ echoed across East London, and her choreographed dance routines underscored her superstar status and unwavering confidence in the sport. It was a special moment before the special fighter showed off her one of this year’s performances.

Shields avenged the lone blemish on his boxing resume by comfortably beating his longtime rival Savannah Marshall in points, and – if you care about these kinds of things – made history in the multi-belt era. He became the first three-time undisputed champion.

She overtook Natasha Jonas, Shantel Cameron and Alicia Baumgardner in a glorious year for the growth of women’s boxing.

Fight of the Year: Katie Taylor vs Amanda Serrano

Katie Taylor v Amanda Serrano

Photo by Sarah Steer/Getty Images

Just like Juan Francisco Estrada and Roman Gonzalez did in 2021, Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano put on a non-stop slug fest that makes it nearly impossible to pick a convincing winner.

The two trailblazers in women’s code headlined Madison Square Garden, where all the marbles were lightweight and sold out, and the 10-rounder was far from disappointing.

For 20 pulsating minutes, no one had time to catch their breath, and the match was overwhelmed in the final stanza as 142 punches were delivered in the final two-minute round.

This instant classic could pave the way for Taylor’s Irish rematch in 2023.

Taylor won the argument that night, but there were no losers inside the Garden. The biggest winner was women’s boxing overall.

Performance of the Year: Dmitry Bivol vs Canelo Alvarez

Canelo Alvarez was the big favorite to beat Dmitry Bivol in May, despite battling beyond his comfort zone and weight class.

However, Bivol was unwilling to succumb to narrative building within the T-Mobile arena and put in a career performance to keep the light heavyweight strap.

Bivol’s victory over Canelo changed the game forever. The Mexican star hasn’t lost since 2013, when Floyd traced his Mayweather back.

By controlling the distance with vicious jabs and spitefully countering anything Canelo threw, Bivol lent credence to the saying “a good big gun beats a good Lytton.” This control and execution in the biggest fight of his career is worthy of Performance of the Year.

Knockout of the Year: Joe Cordina vs Kenichi Ogawa

Joe Cordina could never have dreamed that his first world title shot would go so well.

Kenichi Ogawa visited the backyard of Cordina, who has been undefeated for 10 years, to defend his IBF super-featherweight title, but within five minutes of the bout he was slammed with the biggest right arm of Cordina’s life. I fell on my back.

The 30-year-old left Japan’s defending champion cold and Ogawa had to bring a stool to the center of the ring to allow him to recover.

With Ogawa’s guard slackening, Cordina unleashed an instinctive haymaker on the button, the perfect blend of timing, power and execution like never before. A feint to Cordina’s body opened the door and he walked straight in to see the world title awaiting him.

It’s like a knockout you hear before you see it – the crackling of leather on your skin and the thud of your canvas butt seals the envelope of KNOCKOUT OF THE YEAR.

Trainer of the Year: Derrick James

For me, this debate came to a complete halt after Frank Martin’s impressive win over Michelle Rivera the week before Christmas. Under James’ guidance, Martin made Rivera look like an average fighter and added him to the trainer’s winning catalog in 2022.

Errol Spence’s loss to Yordenis Ugas in April and Jermell Charlo’s rematch victory over Brian Castano underscored his efforts this year.

Moment of the Year: Connor Benn failed a drug test

I have to admit: I wasn’t high on the fight against Ben and Chris Eubank Jr. when it was first made. I soon found myself rewatching two fights between Eubank and Ben in the early ’90s to light a fire inside of me.

moved. I was ready for his trip to the O2 arena until news broke that Conor Benn had failed a drug test heading into the catchweight contest.

But what deserves Moment of the Year isn’t a canceled match, but an inexcusable attempt to sweep all parties’ misconduct under the carpet and continue the contest as if nothing had happened.

It’s been a dark week for the sport with many of us questioning why we trust boxing’s supposed guardians. As the news penetrated the British mainstream, my attempts to explain in layman’s terms what was happening to the casual bystander were disgustingly difficult.

Moment of the Year does not necessarily have to be positive. Boxing this week was arguably the most memorable of the year.

UPSET OF THE YEAR: Hector Luis Garcia, Chris Colbert

Stephanie Trapp/SHOWTIME

His replacement, Hector Luis Garcia, defeated undefeated top contender Chris Colbert in a unanimous decision in February to win the upset of the year.

Partly because of the magnitude of the shock in Las Vegas, partly because 2022 was fairly quiet, the underdogs were biting.

The flamboyant Colbert was convincingly humbled by an unheard-of southpaw, six months later defeating Roger Gutierrez, the first-scheduled fighter for Colbert, doubling his winnings. I made it

The 26-year-old Colbert still has a lot to achieve, but the Brooklyn fighter will need to make a quick comeback in 2023 to regain momentum after a 16-loss record at the start of his career.

“I always knew I needed a chance,” Garcia said after the game.

Disappointments of the Year: Spence vs Crawford, Fury vs Joshua

No need to say much here.

Again, boxing was its own worst enemy in 2022.

Errol Spence vs. Terrence Crawford and Tyson Fury vs. Anthony Joshua were teased numerous times, but both fights failed at the 11th hour.

Prospect of the Year: Adam Azim

boxing in london

Photo by James Chance/Getty Images

Signing with Boxxedr for 2021, Adam Azim is fast becoming one of the stars of Sky Sports in the UK.

The 20-year-old has stopped and won five fights in 2022, drawing early comparisons to his hero Amir Khan, and his trainer, Shane McGuigan, said the Slough fighter is the best he has ever worked with. I swear he’s one of the best players I’ve ever worked with.

The light welterweight has concrete hands and lightning speed, and has short-worked several experienced and educated fighters (especially Rylan Charlton) while setting a 7-0 record. rice field.

Lewis Watson is a sportswriter from London, England and a member of the BWAA. Follow him or reach out to him on Twitter @lewroyscribbles.

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