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The Big Winners and Losers in Boxing in 2020

| December 29, 2020 7:27 am PDT
The Big Winners and Losers in Boxing in 2020

In a figurative sense, some of us made it out of 2020 smelling of roses.

Not everyone was as lucky, though. Some crawled towards the end of December smelling like the inside of that dumpster behind McDonald’s and looking like an extra from the cantina scene in Star Wars.

The same can be said for boxing. The past twelve months have brought considerable fortune to a handful of the game’s biggest players. For others, this will be one to box up and throw into Room 101 before bolting the door shut.

Today, I’ll be taking a look at the biggest winners and losers in boxing in 2020. So keep reading and I’ll reveal all!

Boxing’s Key Winners of 2020

Which boxer had the best 2020?

Traditionally, we look to the consensus boxer of the year for answers. This year, that man is Tyson Fury. So, if you want to know what success looks like, take a long, hard look at the accomplishments of the “Gypsy King” and you’ll get it.

Of course, Fury wasn’t the only boxer to have a great 2020. But I think he’s the best place to get the ball rolling on boxing’s big winners over the past year.

Tyson Fury

No boxer on the planet had a better year than Fury.

The big man ended the year as the boxer of the year, according to numerous publications such as The Ring.

In a rematch with Deontay Wilder, the Gypsy King annihilated the former unbeaten WBC heavyweight champion of the world to declare himself as the best heavyweight fighter on the planet.

Despite some downright ridiculous claims and excuses from Wilder we’ll get to those a little later the public knew what they saw. It was a massacre by Fury, helped by Kronk’s Javan “SugarHill” Steward. Fury, bulked up to 273 pounds, walked the American down and gave him the beating of his life.

That was in February. Since then, we have been waiting for Fury’s next move.

You can bet on Fury vs. Joshua being the fight that everyone wants to see next. If Fury comes out on top in that all-British unification bout, which he surely will, the Wythenshawe-born technician will be the biggest star in boxing.

Teofimo Lopez

What a year it was for young Lopez.

He claimed he would run through the consensus pound for pound best in Vasyl Lomachenko, drawing a mixture of admiration for his ballsy confidence and, well, ridicule.

In modern boxing, it is almost unheard of for prospects of Lopez’s caliber to be allowed into the ropes against the very best in their division. But the 23-year-old and his father pushed for the fight, and Lomachenko happily agreed to answer their call.

For the first time in his career, Lomachenko looked lost. He was standing in front of a bigger, fresher man who had accurately prophesized his first world title win in his 15th fight, which came against Richard Commey. He had told the world how he would beat Lomachenko, and he pretty much did as he said he would.


Canelo Alvarez

Canelo had just the one fight in 2020, but he made it count.

Against Callum Smith in the final major fight of the year, he looked better than he ever has. It was a one-sided beat down that established the Mexican as the top boy at super middleweight, as well as 160-pounds.

Love him or hate him, Canelo looked magnificent on the night. He was relentless in walking the much bigger man down while cutting off the ring and landed clean shot after clean shot.

I haven’t always been a fan of how the flame-haired superstar conducts his business. He does tend to bend the advantages towards himself more often than not, but there is no denying that he is, right now, the best in the business.

Alexander Povetkin

Dillian Whyte’s campaign to land a WBC title shot reached boiling point towards the end of 2020.

But with a third fight between WBC champ Tyson Fury and recently dethroned Deontay Wilder on the cards, Whyte was given assurances that he would get what he wanted providing he could get past Russian stalwart Alexander Povetkin.

Most wrote Povetkin off, and it looked as though Whyte was cruising to an inevitable win. He dropped his man twice in the fourth and was set to take advantage of the shaky 41-year-old in the fifth.

Then, this happened.

If Povetkin can overcome Whyte in the rematch in 2021, he will be next in line for a shot at the WBC crown.

Boxing’s Major Losers of 2020

Well, 2020 was not exactly the best of years for most people on the planet.

But in boxing, we saw some really shocking stuff. Not only did one particular heavyweight lose their “0,” but one of the sport’s biggest promoters lost their golden boy.

Here are the biggest losers of 2020 in boxing.

Deontay Wilder

So, Wilder lost against Fury in the rematch of their December 2018 fight that ended in a majority draw.

Fury beat him the first time around. Anyone who disagrees with that is frankly… WRONG. Some fans actually thought Wilder did enough to take the win the first time around. Seriously.

Anyway, I had expected Fury to outbox Wilder to a win in their second fight. So when the Gypsy King came out and announced his intentions to knock out “The Bronze Bomber,” I chuckled. It was all part of the pre-fight spiel, right? WRONG.

Fury battered Wilder around the ring, scoring a Round 7 TKO and pretty much doing it as he said he would.

Real fighters lose, regardless of this modern-day obsession with unbeaten records. But what real fighters don’t do is make up a litany of excuses that tarnish the very sport that has turned them into someone.

Wilder lost a lot of respect in 2020 for the absolute ridiculousness of those excuses.

Deontay Wilder’s Excuses for Losing to Tyson Fury
Excuse #1 Ring walk outfit too heavy
Excuse #2 Fury moved his fist down inside his glove
Excuse #3 Fury used an illegal object in his glove
Excuse #4 Fury spiked his water with a muscle relaxant
Excuse #5 Referee Kenny Bayless was not fair
Excuse #6 Trainer Mark Breland was part of a conspiracy to see him lose

Vasyl Lomachenko

Loma’s performance against Lopez was highly disappointing.

It did prove that he is just not the same fighter at lightweight. He had found himself within a couple of hairy situations before the Lopez fight and must now consider where he is to go next.

Lomachenko reportedly wants a rematch with Lopez, but the Ukrainian superstar never insisted on adding a clause to the contract before the first fight.

Lopez doesn’t want a rematch with Lomachenko, and it’s unlikely to happen.

Oscar De La Hoya

Golden Boy Promotions lost Canelo Alvarez, the biggest name in boxing, in 2020.

The Mexican had signed an exclusive deal with media service DAZN for 11-fights. The contract was set to bag him $365 million, but when Golden Boy Promotions and DAZN failed to confirm his next opponent and his purse, Canelo filed a lawsuit.

Now a free agent, Canelo leaves De La Hoya with all the cards. Golden Boy’s main man is now forced to concentrate on the likes of Ryan Garcia, Joseph Diaz Jr., and Vergil Ortiz.

Dillian Whyte

For years, Whyte claimed he was hard done by.

He wanted his shot at the WBC crown, having beaten Oscar Rivas for the vacant interim title in July 2019.

But in boxing, one punch can change everything. Whyte now finds himself one loss away from potential championship hinterland. And that’s not where he expected to be at the end of 2020.

Can he pull himself back into contention? Well, that remains to be seen.

Boxing’s Highlights and Lowlights of 2020

It’s been a crazy year, right?

So much can change in 12 months. I don’t think that statement has ever rung as true as it did in 2020.

Who expected Lomachenko to be beaten in that fashion? Or Canelo to walk away from the biggest contract in sports history? Deontay Wilder’s excuses were hardly predictable, were they?

But boxing’s highlights of 2020 are ones we will look back on in years to come. Just as we did with certain performances in 2019, we will be having a similar conversation at the end of 2021.

Make sure you keep an eye on our boxing betting blog as well as our picks for boxing as we move into the new year. It’s going to be a good one, especially where all the fighters above are considered!

Adam Haynes
Adam Haynes

Adam is a sports writer and tipster with a strong background in MMA, boxing, and combat sports.

When Adam isn't writing about those, as well as politics, rugby, and Gaelic Games, he can be found working on methods and strategies to beat the bookies.

For his troubles, Adam is a fan of Leinster Rugby, Glasgow Celtic, and trusting the process.

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