Promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom has tabbed Oleksandr Usyk and Josh Warrington as his two standout boxers of 2018.
Usyk, who is now co-promoted by Hearn, is almost universally being recognized as the Fighter of The Year – after winning the World Boxing Super Series tournament, and unifying the WBC, WBO, IBF, WBA world titles.
During the past year, he racked up three impressive decision victories with Murat Gassiev and Mairis Breidis, and capped off the year with a knockout victory over Tony Bellew.
If there was one fighter who would have likely been the Fighter of The Year in another scenario, it would have been IBF featherweight champion Josh Warrington – who arrived on the world scene with back to back wins, where he was the big underdog, in fights with Lee Selby and Carl Frampton.
Warrington was at one time promoted by Hearn and left him for rival promoter Frank Warren.
“Oleksandr Usyk, I don’t think anybody could go against him,” Hearn told iFL TV.
“When you talk about domestic world champions, Warrington’s got to be up there. Callum Smith’s standout win was more impressive than Warrington’s standout win, but Callum had the [George] Groves fight and [Nieky] Holzken fight, so Warrington’s wins over Selby and Frampton were impressive.
“Domestically, Buatsi’s had a great year. Even though he hasn’t beat world ranked fighters, he’s been super impressive. AJ’s had a great year, he’s beaten [Joseph] Parker and [Alexander] Povetkin. He unified the heavyweight division and then boxed his mandatory.
“[Tyson] Fury, Dillian Whyte has had a great year. Dillian has beaten [Lucas] Browne, [Joseph] Parker and [Dereck] Chisora. That’s consistently up there with all the heavyweights. I think it’s been another great year.”