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Don't Turn In Those Fighter of the Year Ballots Until After December 31st

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  • Don't Turn In Those Fighter of the Year Ballots Until After December 31st

    I am seeing a lot of discussion on fighter of the year for 2017 the last few days. It is good to open the discussion but keep in mind that the year is not quite over in the sport. There is one fighter whom should be on everyone's short list still yet to complete his year. Milan Melindo looks to become a unified champion in the 108 pound weight class when he faces Ryoichi Taguchi in Japan on December 31st. With a win, Melindo certainly would make a strong case for fighter of the year in 2017.

    Melindo, who has a record of 37-2 with 13 KO's, is an accomplished fighter in a weight class that gets very little coverage in the United States but nonetheless has had quite a year. He began the year winning the IBF version of the 108 pound crown with a first round TKO of Akira Yaegashi. Melindo then successfully defended his belt with a split decision win against Hekkie Budler who himself is a very talented fighter. A win against Taguchi to partially unify the division would give Melindo three wins against top ten fighters in his weight class and make him a unified champion in the same year. And in doing so, would in my mind also make a strong case for fighter of the year.

  • #2
    Loma rules.

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    • #3
      Have to agree he makes a nice candidate. Our votes are in the final stages of compilation....

      But Kudos, I thought you were going to say Inoue, in which case I would have swatted that like Dikembe Mutumbo, and I WOULD wave the finger NO too......

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      • #4
        Ward or Joshua.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by KO Digest View Post
          Ward or Joshua.
          Loma

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          • #6
            Yes but AJ gets it in 2018.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by KO Digest View Post
              Yes but AJ gets it in 2018.
              Loma

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              • #8
                If Melindo wins on the 31st, he has to get serious consideration.

                Is he a better pound for pound talent then Lomachenko, Crawford or Joshua? No. But compare the year Melindo had to the years of the other three. The wins are all against top 10 fighters in the weight division. He would have become a champion and unified the belts. The totality of the resume (3 fights against top 10 opponents) is better than the totality of the other three. I know Melindo does not get the press in the US but that should not diminish his credentials. If all three of his fights were on HBO (and all were quality enough that they really could have been), this probably wouldn't be much a discussion. But any fighter of the year list needs Melindo on it at the very least if he is successful on the 31st.

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