The Boxing News Awards for 2020 Prospect of the Year, Comeback of the Year, Worst scorecards, Most Improved, Journeymen of the Year and more
2020 PROSPECT OF THE YEAR AWARD:
Vergil Ortiz Jnr [above]– The 22-year-old Texan extended his perfect record by knocking out Samuel Vargas in seven rounds. All 16 of the exciting welterweight’s victories have come inside the distance.
Daniyar Yeleussinov; Chris Colbert; Edgar Berlanga; Tim Tszyu; Filip Hrgovic; Israil Madrimov; Michel Rivera; Tony Yoka; Conor Benn; Ali Izmailov; Sebastian Fundora; Richardson Hitchins; Charles Conwell; Carlos Gongora.
2020 COMEBACK OF THE YEAR AWARD:
Errol Spence Jnr
Spence returned from a horrific car accident in October 2019 – which initially left him in intensive care – to successfully defend his WBC and IBF welterweight titles with a thoroughly deserved unanimous decision over former two-weight world champion Danny Garcia.
2020 WORST SCORECARDS OF THE YEAR
Another worryingly long list, just like last year
James Kinney ludicrously scoring Jesse Hart as a 95-94 victor over Joe Smith Jnr; Rudy Barragan (100-89), Max DeLuca (99-90) and Chris Migliore (97-92) making Alexis Rocha a far-too-wide winner over Brad Solomon; Dave Moretti marking the Joshua Greer Jnr-Mike Plania bout as a 94-94 draw, when Plania seemed to win clearly; Giovani Santillan looking fortunate to pip Antonio DeMarco to a majority decision thanks to two scores of 96-94 from Tim Cheatham and Steve Weisfeld; Zak Chelli, despite seeming to be a comfortable victor over Jack Cullen, having to settle for a split draw due to the cards of Victor Loughlin (96-95 to Cullen) and Ian John-Lewis (95-95); Jack Culcay appearing lucky to get the split nod over Abass Baraou owing to the tallies of Iko Bebic (115-114) and Peter Milord (115-113); Lou Moret’s consternation-causing 117-111 scorecard in favour of Abel Ramos over Yordenis Ugas; Don Trella somehow having Cobia Breedy a 115-111 winner against Tugstsogt Nyambayar; John Hedges receiving a fortunate 39-37 victory from Ian John-Lewis over Jan Ardon; Rudy Barragan posting a much-too-wide 100-90 tab in favour of Mark Magsayo against Rigoberto Hermosillo; Julie Lederman scoring Teofimo Lopez an overly wide 119-109 victor against Vasiliy Lomachenko; Lewis Ritson being gifted a split verdict win over Miguel Vazquez, with Michael Alexander tallying 115-113 and Terry O’Connor handing in an inexplicable 117-111 card [above]; Fernando Villarreal adjudging Elwin Soto as an excessively wide 119-109 winner against Carlos Buitrago; Marlen Esparza being awarded a pair of too-generous 80-72 scores from Rudy Barragan and Lou Moret in her fight with Sulem Urbina; Ian John-Lewis inexplicably notching a shambolic 117-111 scorecard in favour of Anthony Yarde against Lyndon Arthur; Florian Marku having to make do with a 76-76 draw (from Marcus McDonnell) against Jamie Stewart, despite knocking his opponent down and looking like the winner; Don Ackerman strangely scoring the Richardson Hitchins-Argenis Mendez fight for Mendez by 97-93; John Rupert marking John Ryder a too-close 96-94 victor over Mike Guy; Don Trella (116-112) and John McKaie (115-113) posting baffling cards in favour of Reymart Gaballo against Emmanuel Rodriguez, resulting in a controversial split decision win for Gaballo.
MOST IMPROVED FIGHTERS OF THE YEAR 2020:
Joe Smith Jnr; Maxi Hughes [below]; Ionut Baluta; Petros Ananyan; Vladimir Hernandez; Robeisy Ramirez; Brad Foster; Joseph Diaz; Joshua Franco; Robin Krasniqi; Conor Benn; Umar Sadiq; Isaac Avelar; Germaine Brown; Rylan Charlton; Craig Richards; Jordan Gill; Sam Maxwell; Lewis Crocker; Katelynn Phelan; Isaac Cruz Gonzalez; Arslan Magomedov; Rachel Ball; Denzel Bentley; Fabio Wardley; Liam Davies; Petchmanee CP Freshmart; Lourdes Juarez; Gamal Yafai; Chris Bourke; Sebastian Fundora; Tomoko Okuda; Damian Bonelli.
JOURNEYMEN OF THE YEAR 2020:
Ed Harrison; Stu Greener; Nathan Hardy; Alexander Zeledon; Chris Jenkinson.
LIONHEARTS OF THE YEAR 2020:
Jay Harris, face bloodied and swollen, putting in a valiant effort on foreign soil against Julio Cesar Martinez in his first step up to world class; The marked-up Dec Spelman, gutsy in the extreme, plundering forward against Lyndon Arthur, despite having his head regularly clumped backwards; Katie Taylor and Delfine Persoon going to war once again in their rematch and once again suffering significant facial damage; Samir Ziani and Alex Dilmaghani participating in a gruelling encounter brimming with courage, determination and non-stop action; Jose Zepeda and Ivan Baranchyk sharing eight knockdowns (four apiece) in their five-round barnburner; Juan Francisco Estrada and Carlos Cuadras putting it all on the line in a bruising, back-and-forth thriller; Miriam Gutierrez bravely soaking up sustained punishment from Katie Taylor to make it through the full 10 rounds.
HEROES OF THE YEAR 2020:
Claressa Shields becoming a three-weight world champion in just 10 fights – quicker than any other male or female fighter in history; Various figures raising money towards the Ringside Rest and Care Home for ex-boxers; Boxing paramedic Ged Carroll being on the frontline during the coronavirus pandemic; Joseph Parker providing some much-needed comic relief during the COVID-19-enforced lockdown with his humorous social media videos; Viddal Riley engaging in impressive work with the Teenage Cancer Trust; Vince McNally being awarded an MBE for services to the community in Hereford; Colin Jones being awarded an MBE for services to boxing in Wales; Moss Side Fire Station Boxing Club and Empire Fighting Chance carrying out valuable community work.
Alexander Besputin; Yves Ngabu; Alejandra Jimenez; Jarrell Miller.
RETIREMENTS IN 2020:
Scott Cardle; Frankie Gavin; Thomas Stalker; Tommy Coyle; William Warburton; Lee Haskins; Scott Quigg; Johnny Garton; Oleksandr Gvozdyk; Danny Williams; Jeff Thomas; Juan Manuel Lopez; Dave Allen; Tom Little; Francisco Santana; Ashley Theophane.