Here is the definition of art, and, also, I offer, the fighting style of NYFIGHTS’ fighter of year for 2017, Vasyl Lomachenko:
Something that is created with imagination and skill and that is beautiful or that expresses important ideas or feelings.
We acknowledge that it might seem strange to describe what the 10-1 Ukrainian did three times this year, to Jason Sosa, Miguel Marriaga and to Guillermo Rigondeaux as being artful, but we think the designation works, because just think of the manner in which he got those three wins.
Against Sosa in March, Marriaga in July and against supposed fellow pugilist-specialist Rigo on Dec. 9, Loma showed that feet and movement are as central to his ring mastery as his fists.
“With imagination and skill” the 29 year old Top Rank boxer positioned his feet and thus his body, and his hands, to be in a position to dice up foes with slashing efficiency. Yes, it is hard to defend against a launch you don’t see coming, as those victims can testify to.
This pick won’t be repeated by all outlets; Top Rank’s other top tier craftsman, Terence Crawford, has been holding down the No. 1 position in the Boxing Writer’s Association of America poll of late. His resume additions made during 2017 consist of stoppage wins over Felix Diaz in May and Julius Indongo were manufactured with, one could argue, less artistry and more savagery than Loma’s Ws…and maybe that style difference matches your criteria for FOY honors. We’d not quibble with your logic if you like Bud as your FOY, friends. But from our selection committee, Laura Alvarado, John Gatling and Kelsey McCarson all tapped Loma as NYF FOY.
Here are the responses from our NYF executive committee, when I asked for their choice for boxer/fighter of the year: “This absolutely has to be Vasyl Lomachenko. Right around this time last year, we’re still wondering if a great fighter in Nicholas Walters is out of the psych ward for quitting. For the hell of it, he sends Jason Sosa, Manuel Marriaga and the great Guillermo Rigondeaux there for good measure. None of them may ever be the same,” said John “Gunner” Gatling. “Lomachenko,” said our Costa Rican correspondent Laura Alvarado, a model of succinctness. “Lomachenko due to the dominating way he won his bouts this year,” said the Scottish sage Colin Morrison. “Honorable mention to Srisaket Sor Rungvisai.” “I’d say for me it’s between Anthony Joshua and Jorge Linares. There’s not much activity but I think the significance of their wins carries weight,” said Sergio Martinez. “I know most will say Lomachenko, however, it’s hard to deny Anthony Joshua, especially because he not only was involved in a fight of the year candidate, not only did he have 75k plus in the arena, but he overcame adversity and beat a future Hall of Famer who looked better than he had previously. I pick Joshua,” said Abraham Gonzalez. “I think I’d have to go with Lomachenko for FOTY,” responded Kelsey “Big Tex” McCarson.
Yes, over here, overall, we lean Loma.
Call him “The Matrix,” or “Hi Tech,” or “No Mas-Chenko,” if you like… we call Vasyl Lomachenko the 2017 NYF FOY.