Crawford Sparks Debate: “2023 Fighter Of The Year Is Me”

Fighter Of The Year Award Top Candidates

Terence Crawford (L) Credit: staceymsnyder | Devin Haney Credit: Mark Robinson | Naoya Inoue Credit: Naoki Fukuda
Terence Crawford (L) Credit: staceymsnyder | Devin Haney Credit: Mark Robinson | Naoya Inoue Credit: Naoki Fukuda

Crawford, Haney & Inoue: Who Is The 2023 Fighter Of the Year?

The end-of-the-year debate for Fighter of the Year is generating buzz, with three names emerging as front-runners: undisputed welterweight champion Terence “Bud” Crawford, undisputed super bantamweight champion Naoya “Monster” Inoue, and two-divisional champion Devin “The Dream” Haney.

Like the pound for pound list, this is a subjective topic. However, a case can be made for each of them deserving the honor, but only one can prevail.


Bud (40-0, 31KO) claims the top spot on the pound for pound list and believes that his dismantling of former unified champion Errol Spence is sufficient to earn the award. Despite fighting only once in 2023, he argues that it should not be a disqualifying factor.

Unlike Inoue or Haney, Crawford did not move up in weight and immediately face a top champion. However, he is correct in stating no one else has defeated another top pound for pound champion.

The Dream (31-0, 15KO), earlier in the year, defended the undisputed lightweight crown against former unified champion Vasyl Lomachenko. Haney then entered the conversation following his domination of two-time junior welterweight champion Regis Prograis. Many considered Prograis the best fighter in the division.

Within the boxing community, some fans believe Haney shouldn’t have won against Lomachenko. Yet, his performance against Prograis without taking a tune-up receives high praise.

Monster (26-0, 23KO) moved up in weight after securing the undisputed crown at bantamweight to become undisputed at super bantamweight. Inoue dominated the best fighter in the division, one-time unified champion Stephen Fulton, with an eighth-round stoppage.

On December 26, he rounded out the year with a stoppage over unified champion Marlon Tapales to become a two-divisional undisputed champion.

Inoue openly admitted that the fight with Tapales was tougher than expected. However, he managed to impressively stop two unified champions in a row.

The debate for the award is set to be fierce as the fighters, fans and enthusiasts attempt to make their case.

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Garrisson Bland - Head of Public Relations/Senior Journalist. Garrisson is the Head of Public relations for as well as a senior writer. He is also the host of YouTube boxing show "Truth And Facts Sports Talk."