Oleksandr Usyk needed just 287 days in 2018 to write his name in the history books of boxing and, in addition, the Ukrainian boxing star established himself as the best boxer in the world this year as he beat whatever obstacle was placed in front of him.
Usual was a Gold medalist at the Olympic Games in London 2012 in the heavyweight division, debuting a year later as a professional. In just in his tenth professional fight he won his first world cruiserweight championship. However, it was not until 2018 that he established himself as clearly one of the best in the world and even worked himself into the ranking of one of the best pound per pound.
Now 31 years old with a record of 16-0 with 12 knockouts, Usyk swept the World Boxing Super Series tournament by storm beating Mairis Briedis in January and Murat Gassiev in July to become the first cruiserweight in history to hold the title of the World Boxing Association and also those of the World Boxing Council, the International Boxing Federation and the World Boxing Organization.
Already as unified champion and one of the best in the ranking, Usyk went to the home of former champion Tony Bellew, in the same way he did against Briedis and Gassiev, to put his titles on the line and knock him out brutally in eight rounds in one of the most impressive moments of 2018.
Usyk summed up his year with two triumphs by way of points and another by knockout and, better yet, he became one of the fighters that people want to see for his spectacular style, technique, defense, and power. His coach, Anatoly Lomachenko, is likely to be nominated for the best trainer of the year.
Usyk’s accomplishments made voting a little easier on the topic of fighter of the year, because several fighters had made merits to fight for the honor of fighter of the year, but without a doubt Anthony Joshua, Dmitry Bivol, Canelo Alvarez, Jarrett Hurd, Manny Pacquiao, Vasyl Lomachenko and company will appreciate what was done by Oleksandr, the WBA fighter of the year.