ESPN Reveals Mid Year Awards, Canelo Alvarez, Claressa Shields and More on the List

Published 07/03/2021, 8:30 AM EDT
Dec 19, 2020; San Antonio, TX, USA; Canelo Alvarez (red trunks) celebrates after defeating Callum Smith (white trunks) during their WBA, WBC and Ring Magazine super middleweight championship bout at the Alamodome in San Antonio, TX. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland/Handout Photo via USA TODAY Sports


2021 has proved to be a high-voltage boxing year until now as boxing lovers have truly enjoyed the cosmic fights that have taken place. Moreover, there have been stunning performances from the young boxing stalwarts as well as the absolute veterans of the game. The remainder of the year looks promising enough and everyone is keen to see what happens in the next half of 2021.

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But before that, ESPN came out with its Mid Year Awards to recognize the efforts boxers have put in until now. With that, here we look at all the names that earned recognition.

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Canelo Alvarez bags the Best Male Fighter Award

The Mexican boxing legend, Canelo Alvarez confronted Billy Joe Saunders in a massive title unification fight this year. He hammered ‘Superb’ and showed his true class in this clash. Right from the first bell, Alvarez, who was keen to execute his game plans, certainly did that to a great extent.

His skill sets were too much to handle for Saunders and as a result, Alvarez ended up winning this fight with an RTD. With such a sensational performance, he backed up his decimation of Avni Yildirim and was the rightful winner in the eyes of many.

Best Female Fighter – Claressa Shields

The Olympic gold medalist became the Best Female Fighter after putting on a cracking performance against Marie Eve Dicaire. With this win, she became the undisputed champ of two weight classes and again solidified her spot as the Greatest Woman of All Time.

Also, after this win, Shields transitioned her focus to MMA and proved her case in her first MMA fight as well. She beat Brittney Elkin after overcoming adversity in the initial stage of the bout.

Roman Gonzalez vs Juan Estrada 2 Claims the Best Fight Award

Both the super-flyweights launched an attack on each other in this high-class 12-round war. Gonzalez and Estrada presented their absolute best versions in this fight and kept the fans on their toes.

However, in the end, it was ‘El Gallo’ Juan Estrada who won this fight by edging over his ‘Chocolatito’ on the judges’ scorecards.

Best Knockout – Oscar Valdez vs Miguel Berchelt

The stout super-featherweight from Mexico, Oscar Valdez, put on the performance of his life against Miguel Berchelt. He dropped Berchelt multiple times in this fight, eventually finishing him with a devastating shot towards the end of the contest.

As a result, Berchelt went down on the canvas and couldn’t continue fighting after that.

Top Prospect – Xander Zayas

9-0 as a professional, Xander Zayas has made steady statements in the fight world with his performances. The 18-year-old has fought thrice in 2021 and has won all of those fights. Moreover, 2 of his wins have arrived via sublime T/KOs.

He definitely has attracted attention and drawn the boxing universe’s gaze onto himself.

Biggest Surprise – Josh Warrington losing to Mauricio Lara

Josh Warrington was making his comeback to the ring after a considerable while. In order to strengthen his boxing resume, he confronted the underdog Mauricio Lara.

To everyone’s surprise, Warrington succumbed to the wrath of Lara’s thunderous power and capitulated to his first-ever pro-boxing loss.

Biggest Disappointment – Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua fight negotiations falling through

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The Joshua vs Fury fight was one of the most awaited contests of 2021. The undisputed war between these two was even set for August 14 with the locations and fight purses all in place.

But the ex-WBC heavyweight champ, Deontay Wilder, wanted a trilogy with Fury. And he took the matters to an arbitrator, who later ruled in his favor. As a result, this contest fell through and the boxing fans were left disheartened. However, Fury vs Wilder 3, may have calmed them.

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Prathamesh Singh Chauhan

1412 articles

Prathamesh Singh Chauhan is a Boxing Author at EssentiallySports. He is a graduate from the International Institute of Sports Management who combines his love for sports, particularly combat sports, and his flair for writing and analysis to help him in his day-to-day work. He has prior professional experience with sporting organizations such as Star Sports, Khelo India, and NBA.

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