2022 fight of the year: Nontshinga-Flores
Plus: Rest of the barnburners in order; past winners year-by-year
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For all the hype that so many fights get and then fail to deliver, it’s a beautiful thing when a bout that got zero hype delivers something truly special.
That is precisely what happened as Sivenathi Nontshinga and Hector Flores — two unbeaten but largely unknown fighters — squared off in what turned out be an unexpected fight for the ages on the Matchroom Boxing card on DAZN on Sept. 3 at the Multiple Use Center in Hermosillo, Mexico, the hometown of junior bantamweight champion Juan Francisco Estrada’s title defense against Argi Cortes in the main event.
South Africa’s Nontshinga and Mexico’s Flores slugged it out in a riveting, bloody and just plain awesome action battle for the vacant IBF junior flyweight title. It was a truly great fight and the deserving selection as the 2022 Fight Freaks Unite fight of the year. It is a must-see bout that will stand the test of time.
While the combatants do not have the name value of those who participated in perhaps the greatest fight in 108-pound division history — the first of three bouts between Hall of Famers Michael Carbajal and Humberto “Chiquita” Gonzalez to unify titles in the 1993 fight of the year — it wasn’t far off in terms of excitement.