Canelo Alvarez was the name on everyone's lips last week as the four-division world champion claimed boxer of the year at the recently conducted WBC awards in Mexico City.
In a media event hosted by WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman, Alvarez picked up the acclaimed Fighter of the Year award and the Event of the Year award for his unification showdown with Caleb Plant at the MGM Grand in November.
Having begun 2021 with the goal of unifying the super middleweight division, Canelo made the first step to that remarkable achievement with a dominant unanimous decision victory against now-former WBA and Ring Magazine champion Callum Smith at the back-end of 2020.
Following a one-sided beatdown of the over-matched Avni Yildirim in a voluntary defence of his WBA (Super), WBC, and Ring super middleweight titles in February, Canelo continued his assault on the 168lb weight class, claiming the WBO title from Britain's Billy Joe Saunders in early May.
Finally, following a protracted and controversial build-up, Canelo would complete the full set of super middleweight titles with another brilliant display, stopping Caleb Plant via TKO to win the IBF belt.
Capping a brilliant year for the 31-year-old Mexican, Canelo was also recognised for his altruistic and charitable work as he claimed the WBC Cares award.
Indeed, it has been a great year for Mexican boxing with Alvarez´s head trainer Eddy Reynoso also recognised for a stellar twelve months as he claimed the trainer of the year award following a 9-0 unbeaten year with fighters under his tutelage.
Serrano picks up top female award
In the women's ranks, Amanda Serrano claimed the boxer of the year award following an outstanding 12-month period in which the American retained her WBC and WBO female featherweight titles while adding the IBO female featherweight title to her growing collection.
Serrano claimed a trio of impressive victories against Miriam Gutierrez, Yamileth Mercado and Argentine Daniela Romina Bermúdez during the past 12 months.
Fury vs Wilder III wins fight of the year
In what was a truly outstanding year for boxing, Tyson Fury's brilliant stoppage victory against Deontay Wilder was a richly deserved winner of the fight of the year award.
A bonafide heavyweight classic, this third instalment of their heavyweight rivalry somehow managed to top the two previous editions, with Fury the victor following a brilliant back and forth slugfest.
While the heavyweight division has long been starved of genuine rivalries or dramatic occasions, Fury and Wilder delivered the best trilogy series since Bowe and Holyfield nearly three decades ago, with both men leaving everything in the ring on a night of extraordinary drama and courage.
Also recognised for their achievements over the past year, newly crowned unified lightweight champion George Kambosos Jnr was awarded the "Revelation of the Year" title for his brilliant upset victory over Teofimo Lopez in November.
Meanwhile Jermell Charlo and Brian Castano picked up the "dramatic fight of the year" award for their thrilling draw as they battled for the undisputed light middleweight title back in July. A rematch has been confirmed for late February in Texas.
A brilliant year for the sport, particularly following the COVID shutdown that so badly affected boxing during much of 2020, we can only hope that 2022 can go somewhere near to matching the quality of fights enjoyed over the past twelve months.
Full list of winners
Boxer of the Year - Saul Alvarez
Boxer of the Year (female) - Amanda Serrano
Fight of the Year - Tyson Fury vs Deontay Wilder III
Fight of the Year (female) - Ibeth Zamora vs. Marlen Esparza
Prospect of the Year - Mark Magsayo
Revelation of the Year - George Kambosos Jnr
Comeback of the Year - Nonito Donaire/Jessica Gonzalez
Event of the Year - Alvarez vs Plant
Dramatic fight of the Year - Charlo vs Castaño
Knockout of the Year - Valdez vs Berchelt
Knockout of the Year (female) - Baumgardner vs Harper
WBC Cares Award - Saul Alvarez
Trainer of the Year - Eddy Reynoso