2022 is over and a clash between one of the best lightweights, Gervonta Davis, and best Jr. lightweights, Hector Garcia, is less than a week away. One season ends and another begins in the endless calendar of the sweet science. For those who write about this great sport, it’s awards time and the last of them are named here today. On the men’s side, BoxingScene honors so far have gone to:
Fighter: Dmitry Bivol
Fight: Leigh Wood-Michael Conn
Knockout: Caleb Plant-Anthony Dirrell
Prospect: Keyshawn Davis
Upset: Hector Garcia-Chris Colbert
On the women’s side, awards went to:
Fighter: Claressa Shields
Fight: Katie Taylor-Amanda Serrano
Knockout: Savannah Marshall-Femke Hermans
Combining some elements of the men’s and women’s sides, here are the best of the rest in boxing from BoxingScene for 2022.
Round of the Year: Katie Taylor-Amanda Serrano, Round 5
If ever there was a frame that screamed “what if they had three minutes” it was this incredible sprint in the middle of one of 2022’s best fights. Great fighters have moments where all the talent, all the schooling, all the accolades are replaced by a moment of sheer survival. It’s the moment where we find out just how deep the reservoir goes as they stare into the abyss. Katie Taylor had that moment against Serrano. With the crowd in a frenzy that continued to build, Serrano hurt Taylor and had her in big trouble pouring on the offense as Taylor looked ready to go. According to CompuBox, Serrano landed 44 of 114 punches thrown in just two minutes. Taylor landed just 14 of her own 44 punches but it was the most dramatic round of 2022, the one Taylor had to survive to get to her biggest victory.
Honorable Mention: Leigh Wood-Michael Conlan Round 12, Kenshiro Teraji-Hiroto Kyoguchi Round Five, Sebastian Fundora-Erickson Lubin Round 7
Trainer of the Year: Derrick James
What’s the old saying about everything being bigger in Texas? If we’re talking about the trophy cases the fighters under the tutelage of Derrick James are putting together, they certainly got bigger in 2022. James coached welterweight Errol Spence to his third major title in the division with a battering of Yordenis Ugas over ten frames. Going even bigger, James coached Jermell Charlo to the undisputed Jr. middleweight crown when Charlo stopped Brian Castano in their rematch. Charlo’s transformation into one of the game’s most lethal sharpshooters aligns with his marriage to James and their work together culminated in the biggest way possible. As a nightcap, James’ work with lightweight Frank Martin took him from promising talent to one of the best lightweight contenders in the world. The game plan in Martin’s win over Michel Rivera worked to perfection. James brings the best out
Honorable Mention: Bob Santos, Hisashi Teraji, Tony Harrison, Colin Nathan
Event of the Year: Katie Taylor-Amanda Serrano
Though arguably no story had more impact on the global boxing scene in 2022 than the sanctions against Daniel Kinahan, the consensus of the staff at BoxingScene centered around the biggest event in the history of women’s boxing. Taylor and Serrano was built for several years and, in the world’s most famous arena, their clash for the lightweight crown exceeded expectations. On the biggest stage in the main arena at Madison Square Garden, Taylor-Serrano drew comparisons to the crowd reactions seen at Duran-Moore and Trinidad-Joppy. It was a perfect storm announcing that women’s boxing had reached a new level of appreciation, the centerpiece of what was arguably the greatest year of women’s professional boxing ever.
Honorable Mention: The Sanctioning of Daniel Kinahan, Tyson Fury-Dillian Whyte, Shields-Marshall/Baumgardner-Mayer Doubleheader
Comeback of the Year: Kenshiro Teraji
Fighters lower on the scale can sometimes burn brightly only to burn out in an instant. When Kenshiro Teraji was stopped in 2021 by Masamichi Yabuki, in a tremendous war, there was no reason to think he was done but one could wonder if he was starting to slide. Kenshiro instead rebounded from that violent loss to post the best year of his career. He regained the WBC title at Jr. flyweight with a third round knockout of Yabuki and then won a unification fight with WBA titlist Hiroto Kyoguchi by stoppage in what was arguably the best big-fight performance of the year. Teraji came back from his first defeat to make an argument as one of the best Jr. flyweights of all time.
Honorable Mention: Deontay Wilder
Best wishes and health to everyone who takes a moment to read us here at BoxingScene for the rest of 2023.
Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene, a founding member of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, a member of the International Boxing Research Organization, and a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be reached at email@example.com