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Why Tyson Fury is the 2020 Fighter of the Year in Boxing

| January 1, 2021 5:02 am PDT
Tyson Fury 2020 Boxer of the Year

It’s fair to say that the world that appears to be getting more and more divided by the day. And the boxing community is no different.

In fact, it comes as no surprise at all to see some fans lose their collective shizzle at the news of Tyson Fury being crowned as the Fighter of the Year by The Ring. According to those fans, other boxers deserved the gong. But Fury? (Cue the meltdowns).

I’m here today to make my case for the 2020 boxer of the year. Although this year has been a rather strange one for the sweet science — with fights canceled left, right, and center, as well as general chaos — one man stands out as the king of the sport over the last twelve months.

That man’s name is…

I’ll get to that shortly. First, let’s start off with the fighters that deserve recognition for their efforts in 2020.

My 2020 Fighter of the Year Candidates

Fighter of the Year Candidates in 2020
Division Fighter Highlight
Heavyweight Tyson Fury Beating Deontay Wilder for WBC heavyweight crown
Lightweight Teofimo Lopez Beating Vasyl Lomachenko to unify lightweight
Welterweight Errol Spence Jr. For his comeback win over Danny Garcia
Lightweight Gervonta Davis Sublime KO against Leo Santa Cruz
Heavyweight Alexander Povetkin Spectacular KO of Dillian Whyte

Tyson Fury

Fury subjected Deontay Wilder to a one-sided beatdown at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in February.

The Gypsy King, who outboxed Wilder only to earn a draw in their first fight in December 2018, turned up the heat on the night. Despite fans expecting Fury to pick boxing’s most feared puncher apart from the outside, Fury marched ahead and simply battered the “Bronze Bomber” to a TKO victory in the 7th round.

Teofimo Lopez

The young upstart took on the consensus pound-for-pound number one, Vasyl Lomachenko, in just his 16th professional fight.

The 23-year-old dominated the living legend inside the ropes, stunning the boxing world with a win that earned him status as the unified champion of the lightweight division.

An incredible feat, certainly. I wasn’t expecting Teo to do what he did to Loma. All power to him on what should be remembered as up there with the most impressive performances of the year.

But if I’m deciding things, he just misses out on the Fighter of the Year award.

Errol Spence Jr.

Just over one year removed from a car crash that could have cost him his life, Spence beat the former two-weight world champion, Danny Garcia, in his comeback fight.

Spence, who many had suspected wouldn’t be as sharp due to the accident in October 2019, looked his very best.

Heading into 2021, Spence is being tipped to come to an arrangement with Terence Crawford that will see the biggest fight to make in the sport going down in the summer.

Gervonta Davis

A stunning knockout over world champion Leo Santa Cruz earns Davis the acclaim of the boxing world.

The lightweight, a protégé of ring legend Floyd Mayweather, is being tipped with a super fight against Teofimo Lopez or Devin Haney in 2021.

In case you haven’t seen it — or if you have seen it and want to watch it again — here’s that KO.

Alexander Povetkin

Written off by many in the boxing community, Povetkin shocks WBC heavyweight interim-champion Dillian Whyte in England.

Povetkin’s sublime punch sent the Jamaican-born Londoner crashing to the canvas.

Who is Boxing’s Fighter of the Year for 2020?

Well, the five fighters above are considered to be in with a shout of being named as the fighter of the year.

There was also a case for Canelo Alvarez, following his sublime win over Callum Smith in December. But he just about misses out this time.

I’ve chosen the guys above based on the consensus. I don’t necessarily agree that all five deserve to be nominated, and I would probably omit Gervonta Davis from the equation. It was an awesome knockout, sure, but let’s see him do this to solid guys his own weight next year.

Although the candidates above were in line with the consensus, my pick for the 2020 fighter of the year was made without the influence of anyone else.

Especially Deontay Wilder.

The Case for Tyson Fury

I could take the holistic approach here and explain that 2020 was the year when Fury completed one of the greatest feats in boxing history.

Fury went from being a 400-pound, substance-abusing, suicidal mess to the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. He climbed out a massive black hole — similar to the one that has swallowed up countless human beings over the centuries — by his fingernails.

When he announced his comeback to the sport in 2017, many laughed. The same way that folks who knew George Foreman as an overweight preacher, and not the all-conquering heavyweight icon, held their sides when he announced he was getting back into the ring.

Only for “Big George” to believe in himself, aided by his faith in God, that he would win back the heavyweight title. The great story of George Foreman, much like the incredible story of Muhammad Ali beat Foreman in Zaire, are those that we tell to our kids. They are the stories that then get passed down by our kids to theirs.

In 2020, Fury’s story entered that same realm. It sits next to Vinny Paz’s return to the ring from a broken back and James Braddock’s against all odds triumph in the heavyweight division.

Fury’s Triumph Over Wilder

The Wilder rematch would immortalize Fury if he could find a way past the most feared heavyweight puncher on the planet.

Not only did he beat the Alabamian; he battered him into submission, the way Wilder was used to overwhelming his opponents. It was truly remarkable to watch, and no less deserved for the blatant robbery that stole Fury’s fairytale ending in December 2018.

This was the Gypsy King’s chef-d’œuvre. It was also one of the most impressive performances I have had the pleasure of watching in 30+ years as a boxing fan. 

Wilder fans ate up the excuses and came up with pretty much every conspiracy theory capable of being conjured by those who just, well, cannot accept the facts. The former champ, as magnanimous in defeat as a small child that has just had their candy taken away from them, was to blame.

As classless as Wilder was after the fight — and as ridiculous as some of his fanboys were in their efforts to “prove” that Fury cheated — it can’t take the shine away from the Gypsy King’s efforts.

Tyson Fury is the 2020 Fighter of the Year. Deal with it.

Will Fury Fight Wilder in 2021?

It’s fun to entertain a trilogy fight between Fury and Wilder in 2021.

I would certainly tune in if it were to happen, but I guess that the fight itself depends on whether both camps can come to an agreement in purses and location, etc.

There is a bigger fight on the cards for the WBC champ, however, and we all know who that is, right?

Check out the following betting guide for Fury vs. Joshua. If nothing else, it’ll get you stoked for what could be the biggest fight in heavyweight boxing this century.

Tyson Fury vs. Anthony Joshua Betting Guide – Where to Bet, Odds, Best Bets, and More

Consider this a guide to betting on Tyson Fury vs. Anthony Joshua that you can bookmark and come back to at any time you want. See it as your all-in-one source of everything you need for one of the biggest fights of the 21st century. That means odds and best...

Read More

Let me know what you think of Fury being 2020’s most impressive fighter below. I’d especially love to hear more excuses from Wilder fans regarding his cheating.

With that, I’m done. Thanks for reading, and see you soon!

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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