Did Tyson Fury Deserve to Win the ‘Best Boxer’ ESPY in 2021?

Published 07/12/2021, 2:24 AM EDT
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – FEBRUARY 22: Tyson Fury enters the ring prior to the Heavyweight bout for Wilder’s WBC and Fury’s lineal heavyweight title against Deontay Wilder on February 22, 2020 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)


Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly Award, popularly known as the ESPY, is one of the most prestigious accolades a professional athlete can receive in their career. Following its discontinuation in 2020 because of the pandemic, the awards ceremony resumed this year, naming top athletes from various sports. ESPY recognized the WBC Heavyweight champion, Tyson Fury, as the best boxer of 2021.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad


Anthony Mackie hosted the 29th edition of the ESPYs, held at The Rooftop at Pier 17 in New York City on July 10. ‘The Gypsy King’ beat Lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez, dominant boxing champion Claressa Shields, and multiple division champ Canelo Alvarez to take home a career first ESPY.

Fury had a great 2020. His knockout victory over reigning WBC champion Deontay Wilder saw him increase his popularity by manifolds. ‘The Gypsy King’ has become a household name in boxing. His rise in fame saw him coast through a tough competition at the ESPYs.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

The ESPYs are judged based on votes turned in by fans. Hence, the very format of the show favored Fury to win. But did his in-ring achievements compliment his winning the accolade?

DIVE DEEPER

Tyson Fury vs Deontay Wilder 3 Receives a New Possible Date After Postponement

17 days ago

Revisiting February 2020, the build-up to the Deontay Wilder-Tyson Fury already had captured the undivided attention of the boxing world. Fury, who was almost knocked out in the first fight, came in the fight as a slight underdog. After dominating Wilder comfortably initially, Fury knocked him in a devastating fashion.

However, that was only February. The year 2020 had multiple other brilliant performances embedded throughout.

Did Tyson Fury actually stand out in 2020-21? Here’s a look at the rest of the field

Claressa Shields scored a comfortable unanimous decision win over Marie Eve Dicaire in 2021. ‘T-Rex’ unified the Women’s super welterweight title with this win. Furthermore, Shields solidified her legend status by debuting successfully in MMA, becoming one of the first elite boxers to do so.

 

In 2020, Teofimo Lopez shocked the entire world. Lopez, who won the IBF lightweight championship in late 2019, challenged Vasyl Lomachenko in 2020. He ran through ‘Loma’ in the first half, beating him at his own game. This made the unanimous decision victory sweeter. After unifying the lightweight titles, ‘The Takeover’ has become a huge name in boxing.

Mexico’s Canelo Alvarez is one of the most dominant boxers competing today. The ESPY 2019’s Best Boxer continued his winning ways in the past year.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

May 8, 2021; Arlington, Texas, USA; Boxer Canelo Alvarez celebrates defeating Billy Joe Saunders during a super middleweight boxing title fight at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Canelo challenged Britain’s Callum Smith for his WBA (Super), The Ring titles. The WBC super-middleweight belt was also on the line. Alvarez cruised through a smooth UD victory over the Brit. He defended his championship in February 2021 against Turkey’s Avni Yildirim. Canelo made quick work of the Turkish Wolf, finishing the fight via RTD in the third.

He then unified the super-middleweight titles by putting on a tremendous performance against WBO champion Billy Joe Saunders. Facing some challenges in the initial parts of the fight, he managed to fracture Saunders’ orbital bone and close the show.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

After reading up about the contenders’ accomplishments, do you agree with Fury winning the award? Let us know.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Akshit Pushkarna

94 articles

Akshit Pushkarna, who has a Post Graduate Degree in Journalism from Xavier's Institute of Communication, is an MMA writer for EssentiallySports. Before his current role, Akshit worked on the Urban Development beat at the Urban Update magazine. However, combat sports always called out to Akshit, who pursued both boxing and wrestling at a regional level before shifting his focus to MMA journalism.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT