There were 12 months of exhilarating Australian fistfights that resulted in world title belts, unforgettable fights, brilliant shows, embarrassing knockouts and at least one superhuman performance.

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Fighter of the Year

If you suffer the kind of facial injuries more common in the industrial revolution than in the boxing ring and still dethrone the star world champion in your division, you get Fighter of the Year.

27 year old southpaw jay opetaire He was the underdog against reigning IBF Cruiserweight World Champion and former Latvian police officer Mairis Briedis on the Gold Coast in July, but who listened to the Australian in the weeks leading up to the fight? But he was keenly aware of how long he was willing to go looking for his first world title.

Opetaia made me believe two weeks away from a fight in sparring against world-ranked Kiwi David Wright. Then followed his most passionate interview.

No one may have known that underdogs would have to overcome such gruesome injuries on their way to glory, but five years after Jeff Horn’s heroic act against Manny Pacquiao, he’s back in the fight. The Australian had a sense of doom. The Australian boxed admirably throughout the first half, crushing Breedis’ nose before the champion devolved the contest into a bloody brawl.

With his chin inconveniently hanging from his face and his trainer trying to hide his disgust, Opetaire climbs out of the stool for the final round, reaches into the masochistic chamber of his soul, produced some of the most memorable images in his proud history. Possibly the most inconsistent ring interview in addition to sports in this country.

Jai Opetaia defeated Mairis Briedis in an instant classic.  (Photo by Peter Wallis/Getty Images)
Jai Opetaia defeated Mairis Briedis in an instant classic. (Photo by Peter Wallis/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

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Notable in the Fighter of the Year category is Australia’s UK-based bantamweight Evany Bridges, who has used 2022 to prove to the boxing world that she is more than a social media sensation I guess. The ever-improving former math teacher and ring girl released her IBF title holder Maria Cecilia Lohmann in unrelenting effort in March, and her bitter rival, Shannon Roma, in December. blew O’Connell out of her way. Women’s match in Australian history.

New IBF Super Bantamweight World Champion Cherneka Johnson, Stevie Sparks after a frantic 12-month 4-0 record, and Irish-Australian Dennis Hogan, IBO belt winner, face off against two world-ranked men A devastating Liam Wilson, twins Jason and Andrew Molony, who beat their opponents, won three fights each to set up the big 2023 World Title challenger, Tim Tzuju.

internationally Dmitry Bivol He was a standout boxer in 2022, taking overall wins for Canelo Alvarez and Gilberto Ramirez. Meanwhile, we Australians got to see Devin Haney shine against former unified champion George Kambosos. belt at bantamweight.

WBA Light Heavyweight Champion Dmitry Bivol shocked the world on May 7 when he defeated Mexican boxing legend Canelo Alvarez at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

Fight of the Year

Mailis Briedis v Jai Opetaire The Fight of the Year will be handed down as long as mankind walks the earth, but in 2022, a memorable high-quality match was held.

The rematch between Conor Wallace and Leti Leti in Brisbane in November was even better than last year’s original, with Wallace jumping off the canvas and stopping the former conqueror in six crazy rounds.

Professional debutants Chanel Dargan and Ashley Sims spectacularly during eight minutes of pure madness on the No Limits show, one of the funniest female fights ever seen on the Australian coast collided. .

Opetaia v Briedis: Full Fight Highlights | 08:47

Meanwhile, Paul Fleming and Jackson England put together a beautiful 10-round run in March, Justice Huni and Kiki Reutele put up a memorable heavyweight fight in November, and super featherweight Liam Wilson puts up a heavy-handed fight. Won the world title by beating Matias Rueda. Shot, Tim Tsuju warned America of his sinister presence by stepping off the canvas and beating classy Terrell Gausha in Minneapolis, Nikita Tsuju in half of a six-round classic against Ben Horn Parr and Nisira Costello left everything in the ring in a rematch, with heavyweights George Peterson and Gary Phillips combining for a memorable draw. Plus, there were Joel Taylor vs. Ty Telford, Hass Hamdan vs. Trent Gardum, and dozens of other barnburners who should probably be on this list!

The best fights in the world we saw in 2022 were unimaginable Lee Wood v Michael Conran A match won by Wood falling on the cards in Round 12 and knocking Conlan out of the ring. what? !

Round of the Year

There are too many great rounds to choose from, Nikita’s 6th and final round Tuju v Ben Horn The whole audience in the Hordern Pavilion rose to their feet and the whole country went viral.

crazy internationally Round 7 of Sebastian Fundora vs. Ericsson Rubin ‘The Towering Inferno’ hit the canvas before smashing Rubin’s face and heading for his brutal stoppage victory.

Knockout of the Year

This is easy. “head splitter” Isaac Hardman And while fellow good guys Beau Hartas were jarringly friendly with each other before battling each other in the Breedis vs. Opetaire card, in the first round Hardman delves into the meanest corners of Hell to reveal Hartas’ ancestors. I found a rattling right hand. Thankfully, Canberan and his magnificent facial hair quickly recovered completely from the memory of the biggest knockout Australia had ever seen.

Renold Quinlan (vs Jack Bowen), Lucas Brown (vs Junior Fa) and Liam Parro (vs Brock Jarvis) also deserve mention in this category.

overseas Caleb Plant Anthony Dirrell’s one-punch demolition earns Knockout of the Year in a photo finish from Michael Conlan’s last-round eviction of Leigh Wood.

this year’s upset

This was a hotly contested category in 2022, but this year’s upset came from veteran warhorses Renold Quinlan The incredible right hand that stopped talented prospect Jack Bowen’s undefeated run came on a surreal night in Brisbane, with Rachie Higgins stopping ferocious favorite Benjamin Hussein.

Quinlan, who has lost nine of his last 11 bouts, was a despised betting outsider, and despite his fierce demeanor towards the contest, he was the first to produce a miraculous fifth-round offense. I was taking a lot of shots from the big punching Bowen throughout the 4 rounds of.. still grinning.

‘UPSET of the year’ Quinlan shocks Bowen | 01:23

Forty-three-year-old former champion Lucas Brown was given little chance to beat Kiwi heavyweight Junior Fa. something unconscious.

Elsewhere, ‘Django’ Opelu surprised Melbourne’s previously undefeated Hemi Ahio.

And the world’s most important upset of the year came by a considerable margin Dormitory Biborg v Canelo Alvarez.

Performance of the Year

See above for jay opetaire He hung his face in the Global Performance of the Year to win the world title, but he’s had some other great displays in the last 12 months.

A rejuvenated Liam Wilson produced a “left hook from hell” in a rematch against world-ranked Joe Neuney, who knocked him out in 2021, and comically weighed in in Brisbane in March.

All Orgy Showdown During Stacked October Southpaw Sensation Liam ParoBrave showed he’s a legitimate world title contender with his amazing first round stoppage

Brock Jarvis.

Also, Stevie Sparks went to Montana Love’s backyard in Cleveland and boxed so much that Love’s brain exploded. Evany Bridges leveled up further at Leeds against Australian veteran Shannon O’Connell, and Michael Zerafa ended a nasty war of words with a more nasty left hook. Issac Hardman, Tim Tszyu, overcame difficult preparations to impress the US audience and beat Terrell Gausha. Joel Taylor did a great job against his Michael Hall. Sam Goodman was at his best when he faced Juan Miguel Elorde. Jason Moloney wrecked his Aston Palicte. Again, this list could go on and on, so apologies to anyone not mentioned.

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA – MARCH 3: Liam Wilson celebrates victory over Joe NoyNay during a match at Nissan Arena in Brisbane, Australia on March 3, 2022. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images) )Source: Getty Images

Debutante of the Year

We live in the golden age of boxing in Australia and it’s no shock that 2022 has been a bountiful harvest of new talent.

Debut of the Year category instead of the standard Prospect of the Year category.

Paulo Seiso Topping the exciting list of debutants from 2022 is largely due to the ability of the three opponents who have met him with a combined record of 76-23-2.

Aokso at the Tokyo Olympics is progressing at the speed of a man who has the place he needs to go, going 4-0 in 2022 and going full ‘butcher’ with a tough darkon and finally giving his best to No. Unlike Limit’s stablemate Nikita Tsuju, Newcastle’s Dryden.

And few fighters will spend 2022 as the busiest fighter in the world Skye Nicholson With 5-0 runs in San Diego, Leeds, New York, Cardiff and Brisbane, she has made a fan base for everyone who sees her in action.

British Olympic gold medalists Galar Yafai Passing a trio of 10-round tests in his first year as a pro, blue-chip prospects and heavyweights Fraser Clarke and “Sweet” Carline DuBois also had an impressive debut year.

see you in battle

2022 has been an exceptional year for boxing, and from a commentary standpoint, Breedis vs Opetaire was an honor and Tsuju vs Gausha a privilege. It could be the best year in the history of the country’s sport.

Enjoy your time off! I’m Ben Damon. See you at the game.

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