2021 Boxing Comeback of the Year: Kiko Martinez
At the enhanced age of 35-years-old, Kiko Martinez, is now a two-time world champion after stopping Kid Galahad, in one of the most surprising outcomes of the year. Martinez, who is promoted by hall-of-fame boxer Sergio Martinez, is always one punch away from changing a fight, and the flaws of Galahad were on full display as Galahad pulled straight back allowing Martinez to seemingly just stop him.
Martinez, who held the IBF super bantamweight world title in 2014 after defeating Jonathan Romero, and would inevitably loss the belt to Carl Frampton, would win the featherweight title seven years later, as a heavy underdog.
Martinez entered this bout as an opponent, and now looks to have new life in his career, as he has to rematch Kid Galahad, which certainly will be a rough out, but Martinez now is a two-weight world champion, and someone has been boxing at a high level for over a decade.
Seeing Kiko Martinez win is why we tune into the fights.
Kenneth Sims Jr. – Sims Jr. derailed the heavily-touted prospect Elvis Rodriguez, in a one-sided domination that showed off Sims ability to jab and time a fighter coming in. This fight will have forever changed the way people look at Elvis Rodriguez.
Leigh Wood – Wood with two losses to his ledger was all but written off in his world title shot against Xu Can, but working with Ben Davison as well as making major improvements saw Wood look to be one of the most interesting fighters going into 2022 for the Matchroom stable. Wood is next fighting Michael Conlan.
Alycia Baumgardner – Baumgardner righted her only career loss by stopping Terri Harper brutally, and picking up a world title. Now Baumgardner is a commentator on DAZN, and working towards a super fight with Mikaela Mayer. Baumgardner with one win became one of the most relevant fighters in her division.
Myke Fox – Fox defeated Gabriel Maestre on everyone, but the three judges’ scorecards and the decision was so bad, the sanctioning body in charge of the bout, the WBA, seemingly consolidated all of their belts, because even they knew the outcome was bad. This was the fight of Fox’s life and it is awful that the right result was taken from him.
Nonito Donaire – Donaire came into a world title fight against champion Nordine Oubaali a year away from 40, and looked as good as ever, stopping the champion. Donaire is a living legend who looks to be someone who will have a massive fight in 2022.