Boxing has provided more epic fights, but what was the best fight of 2022? The expert group has issued its verdict …
The fight of the year was undoubtedly Tyson Fury against Deontay Wilder. One of the greatest heavyweight fights of any era.
I was lucky enough to find myself at Riddick Bowe vs Evander Holyfield 2 in the midst of that rivalry. Anthony Joshua versus Wladimir Klitschko was still one of the great nights, but surely this was too. He had it all. Fury in trouble, Wilder on the brink. Wilder somehow resists, showing an incredible heart and Tyson walking away with the win.
But I also want to give Katie Taylor a shout out against Natasha Jonas in May. I thought it was an amazing sight. Women’s duels get better and better. Taylor vs Jonas was fantastic publicity for how far boxing has come.
In itself, it was an exceptional fight. The best fight we’ve had in the UK this year, but the best fight globally has to be Fury vs Wilder.
Tyson Fury vs. Deontay Wilder. Every single viewer would have appreciated that fight, it was a tear. Wilder seemed to be out of it and then Fury got hurt. You thought, ‘wow’, these two guys have the ability to take out each other at any moment, which means you’re absolutely stuck in it.
It was the definitive conclusion of the saga and Wilder covered himself in glory in defeat, due to the heart he showed. He was standing, mouth wide open, but he really dug. Though he was convincingly beaten in the end, his title rose in defeat.
Theofimo Lopez vs George Kambosos Jnr. Lopez was coming out of the biggest win of his career against Vasiliy Lomachenko, one of the best pound-for-pounds in the world. The odds were against Kambosos, who was a big underdog.
Lopez was trying to take out Kambosos in the opening round and when he was knocked down, everyone in my house jumped up and said “Woah”. From that moment on, you were thinking: ‘Can the Kambosos continue like this?’. Then he got knocked down and, with boxing, you’re wondering what the scores will be. But the right person made the decision, I think.
Tyson Fury versus Deontay Wilder was great. It was amazing, it had it all. It had the ups and downs of knockdowns. At first I thought the battle was over, Fury killed him. But for Wilder getting up and dropping Fury twice, I was like, ‘Oh no, what’s going on?’.
Fury eventually overwhelmed him with his superior strength and size. That was the most exciting fight of the year. You’re running out of names of people who could really beat Fury.
Tyson Fury versus Deontay Wilder was everything. It was a storybook. It was a movie. If you’re a Fury fan, you can sit back and think he’s finally silenced Wilder. Their bitter rivalry was resolved in that fight.
With that win, Fury proved he is the best heavyweight in the world, while Wilder proved he was determined to back up every word he had said during the build-up.
Eventually, Wilder got that proof of reality that it’s not world no. 1. That emotional realization may last longer than the blows and bruises it has acquired.
Out of sheer drama, jaw-dropping, it’s Tyson Fury versus Deontay Wilder. It was like a ‘Rocky’ movie and sometimes you said to yourself, ‘What am I watching?’. It was an incredible fight that must be right up there.
But I also loved Terence Crawford versus Shawn Porter and I loved Teofimo Lopez versus George Kambosos Jnr.