The 2017 Fighter of the Year: Vasyl Lomachenko
Vasyl Lomachenko took the next step towards becoming an all-time great by making two world champions and one of the nastiest gatekeepers in the sport of boxing retire on their stool in 2017.
Lomachenko started his year off by utterly outclassing world champion Jason Sosa, who had solid title defenses and was being considered one of top 130 pound fighters prior to fighting Lomachenko on HBO. Lomachenko defeated him so soundly that Sosa’s years of hard work where for not as he was written off by Lomachenko’s dominant performance.
Lomachenko would return again against Miguel Marriaga a fighter who had an incredibly close fight with world champion Oscar Valdez on pay-per-view earlier in the year. Despite getting hit a bit and wearing his wounds on his face, Lomachenko once again imposed his will upon a fighter that seemingly no one volunteers to fight in Marriaga. Marriaga not unlike Sosa would also refuse to answer the bell later in the bout as Lomachenko continued to impress.
Lomachenko sealed the award by beating legendary amateur boxer Guillermo Rigondeaux despite Rigondeaux going up two weight classes and being past his prime, Lomachenko looked to be on another level as Rigondeaux had little to no success as Lomachenko’s inside fighting proved to be too much for the crafty Cuban, Rigondeaux.
As one who was not quick to jump abroad the Lomachenko train, it appears that he has arrived as close to stardom as he will get in 2017 and defined his career in this year, 2017. Though I still doubt his success in the higher weights, I believe 2017 was Lomachenko’s transcendent year and one that will be hard to be duplicated .
Honorable mention: Srisaket Sor Rungvisai Terence Crawford, Jermell Charlo