2022 KO of the Year: Leigh Wood
Leigh Wood KOs Michael Conlan
2021 Winner: Oscar Valdez KOs Miguel Berchelt
An epic battle that saw the always underrated Leigh Wood able to outlast Michael Conlan as Wood was down on the cards, but Conlan was unable to keep up his fast pace. Thus, set up one of the more epic final rounds in recent memory, as Conlan was exhausted and Wood knew he needed a KO to win.
What we saw was both fighters leaving it on the line, and inevitably Wood knocking out Wood, in the process knocking Conlan out of the ring. What made the KO more dramatic was the fact that Conlan dropped Leigh Wood early in the fight, and Conlan was in control for most of the fight. Yet, the forward pressure of Leigh Wood caught up to Conlan causing one of the most dramatic moments in a fight this year.
Wood is one of the major pieces of Matchroom Boxing in my eyes right now.
Caleb Plant KOs Anthony Dirrell – Plant who is known as a fighter who would outbox you, and outlast you, was able to stop Anthony Dirrell via a highlight-reel KO, that shocked the world.
Joe Cordina KO Kenichi Ogawa – Joe Cordina won his first world title, the IBF 130 lbs strap in style by landing a one-punch KO with a right hand to stop Ogawa. Not the best of the year, but notable.
Jermell Charlo KOs Brian Castano – A massive statement to pick up the fourth and final belt at 154 lbs to become undisputed and one of the iconic moments of Jermell Charlo’s career, stopping Castano who had fought him to a draw prior.
John “Scrappy” Ramirez KOs Jan Salvatierra – Ramirez didn’t just knock out Salvatierra, he knocked him out of the ring, as Ramirez got the most noteworthy undercard KO of the year.
Callum Smith KOs Mathieu Bauderlique – Callum Smith might be one of the most fun fighters to watch just below the top-level of the sport, as if you’re not a world-class opponent he will knockout you out. Smith brutally stopped Bauderlique in a title eliminator worthy of mention.