2022 Northern California Fighter Of The Year: Devin and Eros
2021 Winner: Devin Haney
2022 Northern California Fighter of the Year
Wins: George Kambosos Jnr (x2)
Devin Haney won the award last year, and retained his award, as Haney came in second to only Dmitry Bivol in terms of voting for the boxer of the year, let alone the regional award, of Northern California Fighter of the Year.
Haney is not yet in his prime, but one of the marquee figures in his division, as lightweight is a stacked division, and Haney holds all four world titles. The only thing that hurt him this year was he defeated George Kambosos Jnr. so soundly in his first fight, it negated the effect of his dominant second fight with Kambosos Jnr. In short, Haney hurt his chances of being Boxer of the Year by performing too well in the first fight.
Why did that happen, a rematch that no one wanted to see?
While most fighters are having trouble getting to the promised land of a big fight, Haney gave up every form of leverage to face George Kambosos Jnr. when Vasiliy Lomachenko was unable to fight Kambosos Jnr., Haney agreed to fight Kambosos in Australia, as well as if a rematch clause was enacted that bout would happen in Australia, too.
The manner in which Haney dominated Kambosos Jnr., we saw Kambosos Jnr turn from being a brash-talker not unlike Conor McGregor to very quiet, as Haney silenced Kambosos Jnr., and the fans understood the formality of the two fulfilling a contract forcing them to fight again but fan interest wasn’t there.
Haney was simply a prisoner of his own success, as next year should be one of his biggest years to date, as Haney is set to be a centerpiece of the sport of boxing.
Wins: Saul Sanchez, Luis Fernando Saavedra, and Cristian Valente Espinoza
Correa had as good of a year as any fighter who lives in the Bay Area, the San Jose native, and 2012 Olympian, who was unable to qualify for the 2012 Olympic Games, won three fights including one massive upset.
The marquee win of this year for Correa was going to L.A. and facing Thompson Boxing’s Saul Sanchez, whom he outboxed and won a split decision over. This was coming two fights removed from a loss to Katsuma Akitsugi, who had outpointed him, as, despite Correa’s great amateur pedigree, many favored the local slugger, Sanchez to beat him.
The end result saw Correa taking Saul Sanchez’s spot in the 118 lbs division, a division, that soon should have four vacant world titles as we expect “The Monster” Inoue to leave the division, fairly soon.
Correa won a regional show in Mexico to start the year, pulled off a massive upset in Saul Sanchez’s home region, and then followed that up by headlining and winning a Thompson Boxing card in Sacramento, Ca.
Correa went from his career being in jeopardy after his first career loss to now being one of the key young fighters in his division moving forward. Worthy of a tie for Northern California Fighter of the Year.
Joeshon James – With a huge knockout win over Richard Brewart Jr., in Southern California on a Thompson Boxing card, James is looking the part of a formidable middleweight. James will start 2023 with tons of momentum and hopefully lands a promoter to help guide his career.
Alan Sanchez – Winning a regional title over an undefeated game fighter in Saul Bustos proved to be a very big, and career-reviving win, in one of the best fights I had seen all year.
Charlie Sheehy – Looked as good as any prospect could have this year. His only problem, he is just starting out his career, still highly impressive and a future Bay Area contender.