There were many spectacular performances in 2021 and so, quite a notable few were deserving of Fighter of the Year honors.

But one fighter stood head and shoulders above the rest as he continued to reign supreme at the apex of the boxing world.

Saul Alvarez ended the year as the undisputed super middleweight champion, fighting on three occasions and continued his reign at the apogee of the sport.

CANELO. He started off 2021 with a stoppage over the game Avni Yildirim. He dominated the challenger, knocked him down and stopped him in the 3rd round. He followed that up with a gutsy performance against Billy Joe Sanders. Coming into the fight, Saunders talked a lot of trash and Canelo vowed to punish him for it.

The first two rounds were competitive, but at the start of the 3rd, Canelo started to take the upper hand. He walked down Sanders and landed uppercuts and body shots.

Sanders kept things competitive, but as the fight wore on, it became apparent that whatever he dished out, Canelo could do better.

Alvarez showed there are levels to this and in the 8th round, hurt Sanders with an uppercut and forced him to retreat to full defensive mode the rest of the round.

Sander’s corner prevented him from coming out in the 9th and afterward it was revealed that Saunders suffered a quadripod fracture to his orbital bone, similar to the one that former IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook suffered in his loss to Gennady Golovkin.

Alvarez finished off the year in spectacular fashion by going after Caleb Plant who held the last remaining belt at the 168 lbs. division.

Caleb held his own for three quarters, giving as good as he got but Alvarez was undeterred as he was dead set on achieving undisputed status at the super middleweight division.

In the championship rounds, he stepped up his attack to break down a very game opponent, a proud champion in his own right.

In the 11th, Canelo caught Plant with a brutal left hook to the face followed up by a sneaky right uppercut that knocked him down.

Plant staggers to his feet and Canelo follows it up with another barrage that knocks him down again. Seeing he has had enough, the referee calls for the denouement of the fight.

The last time the 168 lbs. division had an undisputed champion was 10 years ago when Andre Ward won the Super Six World Championship boxing tournament which spanned almost two years.

In Canelo’s case, he cleaned it up in less than a year. And that my dear Last Rounders certainly merits Fighter of the Year status.

LAST ROUND. It’s on a dear friend, Mimi Maureen Lim-Co who recently celebrated her birthday. Cheers!