2017: THE YEAR OF RETIREMENT
Miguel Cotto recently lost his WBO light middleweight crown in his farewell bout after competing professionally for 16 years. Injuring his bicep in the 7th, Cotto relentlessly gave it all he had to retain his belt one more time. Sadam Ali, the newly crowned looked prepared and ready for the elite world level of Cotto and just edged a unanimous points victory.
The action from the get-go showed Cotto able to land easy clean body shots but looked unbalanced at times with Ali able to counter the four weight world champ. When Ali took the front foot, Cotto would cover up and find the moment to counter but the shots that landed just simply weren’t clean enough. Ali, with all due credit, gave a great performance against Cotto being the underdog of the fight. Throughout the fight, he was able to land the cleaner shots and looked like he could change his gears and up the pace at any time.
With troubling each other, the fight became exciting and not the result that people expected. Cotto made the right decision to retire after this fight, he didn’t appear at his best and with his post-fight interview claiming something happened to his left bicep in the seventh round, it was clear his body wouldn’t have kept up with the sport for much longer. He entertained one last time at Madison Square Garden in front of a 12,391 crowd with a Spartan attitude.
Along with Cotto, it marks seven former world champions retiring in 2017. It’s been one hell of a year for boxing and it still hasn’t stopped with some great fights on the horizon like Loma vs. Rigo this weekend. 2017 has indeed between the uprising of the new generation and the passing of the torch by the old generation of fighters.
Photo Credits: Press Association
Wladimir Klitschko looked like a completely different fighter when he fought against Anthony Joshua in front of 90,000 people at Wembley Stadium. The fight of the year contender took place in April and had a huge 5 months of preparation for months and hype for the fans. Klitschko became the first person to knock down Anthony Joshua and showed his experience by winning many rounds, but ultimately went out on his shield in the 11th round when the ref had seen enough. It was an amazing spectacle with constant action and a rematch may not have been the same, it was a performance Klitschko could be proud of as his farewell to the sport that he reigned at the top for so many years.
Photo Credits: AP
Juan Manuel Marquez hadn’t fought since 2014 against Mike Alvardo but the inactivity, we didn’t expect to see him make a return. Having never been stopped in his 64 fight career, he was a true warrior of Mexico and never in a dull fight. His sixth-round stoppage of Manny Pacquiao (who he shared a ring with for the 4th time) is one of the best knockouts boxing has witnessed. After closing the book with Pacquiao, Marquez didn’t have anything left to prove, two more fights and a layoff gave him a record full of names to look back on a bunch of classics.
Photo Credits: Getty Images
Mayweather returned to the ring one more time to make some of the sweet green. His opposition is the younger inexperienced Conor McGregor but the two made a better fight than many expected. McGregor of course, started fast and landed on the elusive Mayweather as he tired out in the later rounds. Floyd had aged and hardly sparred in preparation for his last fight. He promised to put on a fight and go for the knockout as he felt he owed the fans for the Pacquiao fight. He delivered on that promise and we saw a Mayweather lancing out and striking a fatigued McGregor. It made a lot of money and gained massive interest to boxing once again, we saw a Mayweather who took risks, one that we wanted to see in a farewell to the best boxer of this generation. Who will be the one to take his place?
After losing to Pacquiao for the second time last year, Bradley remained inactive with no talk of an opponent and retirement seemed more likely than anything. Having shared the ring with Pacman, JMM, Jessie Vargas and notably taking Lamont Peterson’s 0, Bradley has had a career of sharing the ring with multiple world-class operators and only lost to pound for pound.
Photo Credits: Jed Jacobsohn
Shane Mosley had 60 fights in his 23-year career and with his resume, it was no surprise he decided to retire after all he accomplished and building his reputation as one of the hardest punchers in boxing. Mosley racked up 41 knockouts in his career and was only stopped once in his aged body. Having not returned to the ring since his loss David Avanesyan, he announced his retirement from the sport earlier this year and at the right time which said goodbye to his generation of fighters.
Photo Credits: Getty Images
Andre Ward shocked the boxing world deciding to retire after a career-high win against Sergey Kovalev at the age of just 33. With his goals accomplished of becoming a world champion and pitting himself against one of the best pounds for pound fighters, he saw his career as job done and hanged up the gloves. His reasons for retiring being simply that his body couldn’t keep up with the sport, justifying that we wouldn’t see the same Andre Ward and he has had his time in the spotlight. Is there the possibility of an iconic fight out there? Perhaps there is, only time will tell.
2017 has been the year of retiring, what started out as one or two lead to seven as more felt comfortable to announce their time is done. They entertained people growing up and those who have seen the generation of fighters before. Many boxers usually find it hard to give up the sport but 2017 seemed the right time for the new generation to take over. A great year of boxing with so many spectacular fights could only say goodbye to some familiar names.
Who are you going to be missing the most? Let us know in the comments.