1 Dmitry Bivol

Not content with beating just one Mexican star in 2022, Russia’s Dmitry Bivol managed to follow up a breakout performance against Saul “Canelo” Alvarez in May with an equally convincing thrashing of Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez in November. Indeed, despite what some of the scorecards may have said, Bivol lost very few of the 24 rounds he spent in the company of both Alvarez or Ramirez and essentially taught two fighters fuelled by long unbeaten runs a boxing lesson. He also hit the brakes on the progress of not only the sport’s current number one Mexican superstar but also a man who was being tipped to carry that mantle in the future.

2 Jesse Rodriguez

Nowhere near a list like this in 2021, this year happened to be the year Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez transitioned from hot prospect to champion in one giant leap, taking a fight at short notice in an unnatural weight class to bang down the door and let his voice be heard. This approach paid off in spades back in February, when he stepped up to super-flyweight to dethrone Carlos Cuadras, and he was then just as impressive when stopping Srisaket Sor Rungvisai in eight rounds in June. He finished the year with a 12-round decision win against Israel Gonzalez, when, at the tender age of 22, Rodriguez played the chief support role to Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin III in Las Vegas.

3 Shakur Stevenson

After first making a splash as a featherweight, 2022 was the year Shakur Stevenson truly announced himself at super-featherweight, building on a 2021 win against Jamel Herring to widely outpoint major rivals Oscar Valdez and Robson Conceicao. Both those opponents looked well-matched with Stevenson on paper, yet the American has, at just 25, already developed a knack for making the supposedly difficult look easy.

4 Jack Catterall

As strange as it may seem to feature on this list a fighter who didn’t officially “win” a fight in 2022, such was the quality of Jack Catterall’s performance in a February super-lightweight title fight against Josh Taylor, and so heinous were the eventual scorecards, he more than deserves his place. From round one to 12 that night in Glasgow, Catterall boxed quite beautifully, even dropping Taylor, the champion, in the eighth round, and would have, in any other sport, been rewarded for his brilliance with a well-deserved, career-defining victory. But, alas, this is boxing.

5 Oleksandr Usyk

Although on the face of it Usyk’s 2022 appears no different than his 2021, it is crucial to keep in mind the context and duress under which he performed, and to also emphasise the importance of removing all doubt by beating Anthony Joshua a second time in August. To do so in the year in which Ukraine, his home country, went to war with Russia is a testament to not only Usyk’s mental fortitude but his willingness to step up, back himself, and ignore any and all potential excuses.

6 Devin Haney

Few will be keen to rewatch the two fights anytime soon, yet Haney’s back-to-back victories over George Kambosos in Australia this year deserve recognition and respect. Pitching a one-sided boxing lesson in both (one in June, the other in October), he tamed a man in Kambosos who not only had the backing of home support but had just beaten Teofimo Lopez in a career-best performance.

7 Jai Opetaia

Australian southpaw Opetaia was unproven and relatively unknown before his title challenge against cruiserweight champion Mairis Briedis in July. However, after 12 scintillating rounds on the Gold Coast, the 27-year-old had well and truly proven himself as both a warrior and the new number one at 200 pounds.

8 Jermell Charlo

After the disappointment of a split draw with Brian Castano in 2021, Charlo was adamant he would make the gulf between them much clearer in 2022. And this he did, too, playing his part in one of the best fights of the year before, in round 10, knocking Castano out to confirm once and for all his supremacy at super-welterweight.

9 Naoya Inoue

“Monster” Inoue ended the year with a routine and somewhat disappointing 11th round stoppage of an overmatched Paul Butler, yet began the year with a far more thrilling and meaningful second-round dismissal of old rival Nonito Donaire. That was a fight many assumed would be competitive, based on their titanic first fight in 2019, but Inoue had other ideas, exploiting his opponent’s advancing age with the quickest and scariest of starts.

10 Kenshiro Teraji

WBA and WBC super-flyweight belt-holder Teraji rebounded from a difficult 2021, a year in which he suffered his first pro loss, to both exact revenge on his conqueror and also win a “Fight of the Year” contender in 2022. He started the year by stopping Masamichi Yabuki in three rounds in March, avenging his 2021 loss to Yabuki, and then waged a thrilling war with Hiroto Kyoguchi, eventually prevailing in the seventh-round of a mini classic.

British Fighter of the Year

1 Jack Catterall

2 Tyson Fury

3 Joe Joyce

4 Leigh Wood

5 Joe Cordina

6 Chris Billam-Smith

7 Sunny Edwards

8 John Ryder

9 Dan Azeez

10 Maxi Hughes