Top Five Boxers Of 2021| Australian George Kambosos Jr. Shocked The Boxing World

(Art By David Grubb)

Many boxers exceeded the world’s wildest expectations in 2021 but some stood above the rest. Here are the top five boxers of 2021.

5. George Kambosos Jr.

In the future, when you look up boxing upset of the year, there will sit a picture of Teofimo Lopez vs. George Kambosos, Jr.

After taking down the indomitable Vasiliy Lomachenko back in October 2020, Lopez rode the wave as the unified lightweight champion. However, after a harsh internal negotiation for Lopez with his promoter Top Rank, the fight against Kambosos went to a purse bid with Triller, then DAZN taking the streaming rights.

Kambosos, who defeated former IBF featherweight champion Lee Selby in October 2020, was ready, and from the outset, he cemented his ambition. After knocking Lopez down in the first round, the back-and-forth affair saw Kambosos execute a brilliant 12-round performance and ring generalship.

The Australian shocked the world and took Lopez’s IBF, WBO, WBA, and The Ring lightweight titles. He disrupted the division by taking Lopez out of the top of the division in one night. However, Kambosos makes intriguing matchups with Devin Haney and even a Tank Davis.

4. Oleksandr Usyk

In a land of disruptors, Oleksandr Usyk is the quietest one. However, his in-ring performance is nothing short of a legend, and he cemented it with a dominant win over Anthony Joshua.

After becoming the undisputed cruiserweight champion, in three heavyweight fights he is now the unified heavyweight champion of the world. He derailed a highly sought all-British war between Anthony Joshua and rival Tyson Fury.

With a rematch against Joshua likely in 2022, Usyk is the man the division is chasing, and he is just getting started there. With Canelo Alvarez entering the cruiserweight ranks, Usyk and go back down for an epic fight or stay and face the winner of Usyk vs. Joshua 2.

3. Terence Crawford

The world loved to doubt Terence “Bud” Crawford. The criticisms were consistent: who has he fought? The veiled hint of Crawford ducking fighters was a tag he wanted to destroy, but it would take a fight with a high-level welterweight.

Enter “Showtime” Shawn Porter, a former welterweight champion known as a tough competitor. It was a perfect test that Crawford passed exceptionally. Although Porter’s signature in-your-face style was effective, Crawford proved to yet again be a quick study. He knocked Porter down twice in the 10th round.

Eventually, Kenny Porter, father, and the head coach, stopped the fight, and Crawford retained his WBO welterweight title. Now, the narrative has flipped in Crawford’s favor. His chief nemesis, Errol Spence Jr., looks like he is avoiding Crawford, albeit boxing politics is preventing the fight.

However, Crawford is proving to be the boogeyman in the division, a title Spence had been holding until Crawford’s defeat of Porter.

2. Tyson Fury

Tyson Fury told the world many times that he is the best heavyweight in the world, and his trilogy win over Deontay Wilder put him in a class above the rest.

Both men exchanged a total of five knockdowns as Fury won the bout via eleventh-round knockout. After a back and forth war that saw Wilder push his will to succeed to the limit, Fury delivered an eleventh-round KO that felled the Alabama phenom.

Now Fury sits waiting for the winner of Oleksandr Usyk vs. Anthony Joshua 2 and the king of the heavyweight division.

1. Canelo Alvarez

After Canelo Alvarez’s sole defeat to Floyd Mayweather Jr., “TBE” said that he felt Canelo was the future of the sport. When Canelo defeated Caleb Plant via an eleventh-round KO, he became the first-ever undisputed super middleweight champion.

Canelo Alvarez Broke The Levees To Face Biggest Challenge In Callum Smith

He became only the sixth fighter to unify all belts in one division in the four-belt era with this win.

In short, Canelo Alvarez is the current face of boxing, and his legend is only growing with every division conquered.

Honorable Mention:

Shakur Stevenson
Claressa Shields
Jake Paul


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Rhett Butler is a Boxing Writer Association of America Journalist, Play-By-Play Commentator, Combat Sports Insider, and Former Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing Promoter. The New York City native honed his skills at various news outlets including but not limited to: TIME Magazine, Money Magazine, CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports, and more. Rhett hosts the PRITTY Left Hook podcast, a polarizing combat sports insider's take featuring the world's biggest names.