We’ve left the best for last. For the grand finale of our Boxing Awards countdown, we recap the most sensational and brutal KOs of 2018. But before diving in, it’s best to briefly go over our criteria.
Rankings are based on three factors: the rep of the opponent KO’d (Has he been stopped before? Champion? Contender?), how “clean” the knockout was (One shot blitzes tend to get ranked higher unless the multiple shots are all clean blows) and if the opponent was rendered motionless (high ranking for those who are completely out).
Without further delay, here are the picks for 2018’s best knockouts.
4. MIKE ALVARADO TKO2 RICHIE CANNON
Mile High Mike is no longer a top contender, but the man still packs a wallop.
:39 second mark
3. DANNY GARCIA TKO9 BRANDON RIOS
For all the praise we heap on Danny’s left hook, the right isn’t too shabby, either. Just ask Brandon Rios…
2. OLEKSANDR USYK TKO8 TONY BELLEW
Our Fighter of the Year capped his 2018 with this beautiful one-shot kill on Tony Bellew.
1. ELEIDER ALVAREZ KO7 SERGEY KOVALEV
The Krusher gets crushed as Alvarez hands him his first KO loss behind 2 big knockdowns.
10. JACOB ROBINSON TKO5 JULES PHILLIPS
UK featherweight prospect Jacob Robinson showed frightening power in only his third pro bout with this one-shot KO. Phillips had to be given oxygen in the ring and thankfully left under his own power.
9. ANGEL ACOSTA KO2 ABRAHAM RODRIGUEZ
Angel Acosta’s 19 wins have all come by knockout. You won’t find many who punch harder at light flyweight.
8. MICHEL SORO TKO2 GREG VENDETTI
Sometimes I wonder why Soro didn’t get more exposure in the States after KO’ing Glen Tapia way back in 2015. Then I see knockouts like this and I’m reminded why most top American super welterweights are in no hurry to face him.
7. LUIS MELENDEZ KO1 VICENTE LOREDO
This was Melendez’s pro debut and boy did he leave a lasting impression.
6. DILLIAN WHYTE KO6 LUCAS BROWNE
This was no contest. As nasty as this KO was, it was almost an act of mercy.
5. ROMAN GONZALEZ TKO5 MOISES FUENTES
Chocolatito still has something left in the tank.
4. ALEXANDER POVETKIN KO5 DAVID PRICE
Price has been stopped before but never this badly. An overhand right hand him out on his feet and defenseless for a flush Povetkin left hook. And at 6’9, it was a long way to the canvas.
3. TEOFIMO LOPEZ KO1 MASON MENARD
No, it wasn’t a taser that struck Mason Menard — that was Teofimo Lopez’s overhand right!
2. DILLIAN WHYTE KO11 DERECK CHISORA II
After the year he had, Dillian Whyte might want to switch his nickname from “Boydsnatcher” to “The Sandman.” While down on two cards, Whyte’s left hook proved to be the equalizer that settled this rivalry.
1. NAOYA INOUE KO1 JUAN CARLOS PAYANO
Inoue needed just 70 seconds to blow away Payano in his opening match for the World Boxing Super Series’ bantamweight tournament. This marked Inoue’s seventh consecutive stoppage dating back to 2016. Not bad for a guy that started his career at light flyweight.