Image result for vasyl lomachenkoThe 2016 fighter of the year was a bit more challenging for me to choose.  There were three that stood out over everyone else.  The first was Carl Frampton.  Frampton accomplished a ton this year.  He defeated Scott Quig, who was ranked number 2 in his division (behind Frampton), then he moved up in weight, and fought one of the best fighters in his new weight class, Leo Santa Cruz.  Frampton also defeated Santa Cruz and actually won 2 titles in 2 different weight classes.  The second was Terence Crawford, who just demolished every opponent he faced this year.  But the level of competition was just not enough for Crawford to get the nod.  He is simply too far ahead of everyone he faced skill wise.  So, my winner of the INSIDE RINGSIDE 2016 Fighter Of The Year goes to Vasyl Lomachenko (7-1, 5 KO’s)

In 2016, Lomachenko unofficially established himself as the toughest fighter to beat.  Even with only 8 professional fights, he is already ranked 6th on The Ring Magazine pound-for-pound list, and can be found somewhere on most pound-for-pound lists out there.  Even though he only fought twice this year, Lomachenko breezed through top opposition.  He won every round that he fought in 2016.  On June 11th, he faced off against Roman “Rocky” Martinez, and demolished him in 5 rounds, which by the way was also almost rated the knockout of the year.  In that fight, he won the WBO Junior Lightweight title.  On November 26th, Lomachenko successfully defended that title, against the best possible opponent he could find in or around his weight class.  That opponent was the hard hitting knockout artist Nicholas Walters, who Lomachenko dispatched with ease.  Lomachenko won every second of that fight, and after the 7th round, with absolutely no point to continue, Walters quit in the corner on his stool.  When you take two opponents that are that good, and make them look like amateurs, that says something about the skill level that you possess.  For these reasons, Vasyl Lomachenko wins the award of the INSIDE RINGSIDE 2016 Fighter Of The Year.


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