PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — We are halfway through 2017 and boxing fans have already been treated to some memorable fights. This includes the Anthony Joshua-Wladimir Klitschko clash, before 90,000 at Wembley Stadium on April 29 (if you want someone to follow, better jump on the Joshua bandwagon now). And let’s not forget the Keith Thurman-Danny Garcia brawl on March 4, followed two weeks later by the Gennady Golovkin -Daniel Jacobs fight on March 18, which many thought Jacobs won.
Six months into this year of boxing has brought more action than all of 2016.
There is still plenty more to come, with the Andre Ward-Sergey Kovalev light heavyweight rematch taking place next weekend in Las Vegas, which also features Guillermo Rigondeaux vs. Moises Flores, for Rigondeaux’s WBA junior featherweight title.
Next month, Showtime announced, Adrien Broner, a former four-division titleholder, and Mikey Garcia, a reigning WBC lightweight titlist, will square off July 29 at a 140-pound catch weight at a site to be determined.
And the fight that promises to have crossover appeal will finally take place, when Gennady Golovkin (37-0, 33 knockouts) takes on Canelo Alvarez (49-1-1, 34 KOs) on September 16 at a venue to be determined, even though the lean seems to be the fight may take place in Las Vegas.
So here’s a highly unofficial view of 2017 as of June 5:
Fighter of the Year: Anthony Joshua
Joshua staked a claim for this when came off the floor to beat Klitschko in a highly entertaining brawl, which resulted in a Joshua 11th-round TKO. Keith Thurman is certainly in the mix, as is Golovkin, if he can close a strong year by beating both Jacobs and Alvarez.
Fight of the Year: Joshua-Klitschko
This fight exceeded many expectations, and even caught the attention of non-fight fans here in the Philadelphia area. Klitschko was in serious trouble and in danger of being stopped in the fifth, when he turned the tide by the end of the round. Joshua was then in serious trouble in the sixth, and in danger of being stopped. Joshua finally prevailed knocking Klitschko down twice in the 11th in what was the most memorable heavyweight championship fight in the last 20 years.
Locally, this is what is happening: Thomas LaManna will be the featured fighter on Saturday at the Claridge Casino in Atlantic City, with the first fight taking place at 7. On June 24, former two-time world champion Kermit Cintron will take on former knockout king Tyrone Brunson at the 2300 Arena, and June 27, at the Sands Bethlehem Event Center, a welterweight rematch between Alex Martin and Miguel Cruz, who win the first fight on a controversial split-decision.