Picture Credit: LAWRENCE LUSTIG’s Fighter of the Year 2016 award goes to…… Carl Frampton. Below is what the team, had to say.

Fighter of the Year: Carl Frampton

Two fights in 2016 – two victories. A unification fight between #2 and #3 in the super bantamweight division, Frampton outboxed his rival Scott Quigg on his way to a dominant points decision. Afterwards, the Northern Irishman rose to 126lbs dethroning WBA champion Leo Santa Cruz in just his first fight at the weight – a rematch takes place in just four weeks.

Fighter of the Year: Andre Ward

With only two wins to his credit this year, hindsight shows us the overlooked victory against what was thought of as an “easy” win over an underrated and undefeated Sullivan Barrera wasn’t so easy after Barrera dismantled and knocked out heralded prospect Vyacheslav Shabransky.

But the real chile on the taco was Ward’s victory over undefeated light heavyweight juggernaut Sergey Kovalev in the most significant fight of the last five to ten years. After the victory over Kovalev, Ward is poised to put himself into the premiere position as the largest American talent draw in boxing.

Fighter of the Year: Carl Frampton

By the way, it took me about 0.327 seconds to come up with this selection. No other fighter this calendar year has boxed in front of 21,000 people in a unification fight, won relatively convincingly and then moved up a weight to dethrone an undefeated champion –– all before announcing a rematch with the previously undefeated champion he beat last time out.
A no-brainer, for me.

Fighter of the Year: Vasyl Lomachenko

Lomachenko takes this one for becoming a two weight world champion in just his seventh professional fight and defending it fantastic style in his eighth.

Lomachenko claimed the WBO Super Featherweight title in June by outclassing Roman Martinez before knocking him out in the 5th round of their encounter. This was only the second time Martinez had been stopped in his 14 year career, and it was Lomachenko’s first fight at the weight.
The Ukrainian displayed the footwork and use of angles boxing fans know him for, and showed us he carries power too.

He followed this up in November with such a dominant performance against the previously unbeaten Nicholas Walters that the Jamaican seemingly quit in his corner after seven rounds.
Walters said of Lomachenko in his in ring interview after the fight “He’s a great fighter, he hit me hard with a number of punches. I’ve never been hit like that before. “He’s very fast. He’s a very good puncher. He got me with shots all over.”

Promotor Bob Arum told ESPN after the fight that they would like a rematch with Orlando Salido (the only opponent to beat him so far) next, followed by a lightweight title fight against Terry Flanagan, and then a super fight with Manny Pacquiao – all in 2017.

Fighter of the Year: Vasyl Lomachenko

Lomachenko, purely for having some of the most outrageous skills I’ve seen. His humbling of Nicholas Walters was poetry in motion.

Fighter of the Year: Carl Frampton.

Beating Scott Quigg to become unified super bantamweight champion was a big achievement, but to go to America and dethrone Leo Santa Cruz up at featherweight was an incredible achievement in such a short space of time. The win has cemented Frampton’s place in the world’s top ten P4P rankings, and there are plenty of big fights for him in 2017.

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