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TTR Monthly Honors: January 2018
Pictured: Unified WBO-WBC World Cruiserweight Champion Oleksandr Usyk

TTR Monthly Honors: January 2018

Fighter of the Month: Oleksandr Usyk

One of the most impressive things a champion can do in the modern era is unify his title against other titleholders to show that he is the True Champion of his weight class. Usyk not only unified his WBO title with the WBC version held by Mairis Briedis in the Semi-Finals of the World Boxing Super Series, he traveled to Briedis' home town of Riga, Latvia to do it. Usyk won their competitive and entertaining bout by a well-earned majority decision.

The Ukranian southpaw has become a bold road warrior winning the WBO belt in Poland, defending in the United States and Germany, and now unifying it in Latvia, In the modern era, very few fighters take risks like repeatedly fighting in their opponents' backyard but the ones that do, and are able to succeed, are revered by fight fans as very special talents. Usyk is definitely a special talent to be reckoned with.

With his win over Briedis, Usyk advances to the World Boxing Super Series where he'll meet Murat Gassiev, who stopped Yunier Dorticos in the other semi final.

His win over Briedis also made him the easy choice for January's Fighter of the Month.

Fight of the Month: Oleksandr Usyk vs Mairis Briedis

With the Final of the World Boxing Super Series and the recognition as the top man in the Cruiserweight division potentially hanging in the balance, these two put on a great show in the first semi-final match of the Tournament. Briedis did well early and was able to trouble Usyk. Many of the early rounds were close, but Briedis was very much in the fight. Starting around the 5th round, Usyk began to take control and controlled the action more clearly over the 2nd half. The proud Briedis had a resurgence of energy in the 9th and 12th rounds, and did his best to thwart the effective attack of Usyk, but wasn't quite able to narrow the gap as Usyk emerged with the majority decision victory. Usyk's accomplishment, and the significance of this victory has already been noted, but it takes two to make a great fight, and Briedis deserves credit for his effort in this bout. Congratulations to both fighters on having fought January's Fight of the Month!

KO of the Month: Elison Marquez TKO 1 Reynaldo Jimenez

This battle between two young pros with limited professional experience may not get a lot of attention from the boxing community at large but it certainly got the attention of the voters in TTR's KO of the Month poll. Marquez entered the bout with a 5-1 record. His opponent Jimenez had slightly more experience as evidenced by an 8-2 slate. Their bout didn't last long as Marquez was able to land a devastating overhand right in the 1st round that dropped Jimenez to the canvas very hard. The count was waived as Jimenez was obviously finished from the punch and resulting knockdown. By a narrow vote, Marquez's KO of Jimenez has been selected as TTR's KO of the Month.

Honorable Mention: Charles Bellamy TKO 2 Chairak Tor Silachai

Receiving just one less vote than the Marquez/Jimenez KO, this one is worthy of a mention as it was every bit as brutal if not more so than the Marquez/Jimenez KO. The main reason this bout did not take our award was that it was, according to BoxRec, the pro debut for Silachai (birth name: Chairak Phonpanpanao), BoxRec does note its data may be incomplete. Be that as it may, Bellamy is a former world-ranked veteran and Silachai is a novice, one who may or may not have been fighting as a pro boxer for the first time.

Nevertheless as far as brutal KO's go, they don't get much more brutal than putting your opponent face first on the canvas in an unconscious heap, and that was exactly Bellamy (AKA Charlie Ota) did to his young Thai opponent,.
Article By: Bobby Davis