BOXING at its best is two evenly matched heroes going toe-to-toe for as many rounds as possible.
But occasionally one side of the show puts on such a sublime performance that what on paper looks to be a 50/50 nail-biter turns into a one-sided stroll in the park.
In 2022 we sat down for dozens of hard-to-call fights.
And we were treated to some humdingers that went right down to the wire.
But on a few spectacular occasions, one warrior had too much skill, strength or spirit for their rival and made their fight a formality.
SunSport takes a look at the top five individual performances of 2022…
Jack Catterall vs Josh Taylor – February 26
Scotland’s Tartan Tornado was supposed to breeze into his hometown show and blow understated southpaw Catterall away.
But the Manchester southpaw put on a masterclass of boxing and won almost every round in the 20-20 eyes of all the sane people who watched.
But scandalous scoring from Ian John Lewis and Victor Loughlin robbed Catterall of the win and handed Taylor a poisoned victory.
The bitter rivalry is now almost a year old and still neither man has returned to the ring but hopefully it is settled in February.
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Claressa Shields vs Savannah Marshall – October 15
This was a decade-old rivalry dating back to a 2012 amateur bout that Hartlepool’s Marshall won.
It was supposed to be a nip-and-tuck affair where the heavy-handed Brit would pose a serious threat to the smaller two-time Olympic queen.
Instead Shields danced into the ring like Queen B Beyonce and laid waste to Marshall like Queen Boudica.
Shields earned a few critics for proclaiming herself as the Greatest Woman of All Time. But the GWOAT moniker now fits perfectly.
Kell Brook vs Amir Khan – February 19
Both brilliant British welterweight heroes were well past their primes, with a shared age in excess of 70. So neutral fans were struggling to pick a winner.
But Brook came out and utterly dominated the decade-long rival he had felt undervalued and disrespected by.
The sensational sixth-round stoppage from Sheffield star Brook is hopefully the last action we ever see these two men engaged in a boxing ring.
…Especially as Brook was treated as the B-side and made to jump through hoops surrounding the 149lb catchweight and the cruel rehydration clause and possible penalties.
It was a retirement moment almost as perfect as Carl Froch’s.
Oleksandr Usyk vs Anthony Joshua II – September 20
AJ hugely improved on his original performance against the Ukraine southpaw.
But he was still outfoxed, outworked and outgunned by the utter sensation.
The former undisputed cruiserweight king once again bullied a man four inches taller and almost 2st heavier.
It’s a testament to Usyk’s skill and resilience that he rarely looks close to stopping his heavyweight opponents but manages to be in almost total control and never look in danger when he is mixing it with giants.
Tyson Fury vs Dillian Whyte – April 23
The Brixton body snatcher had waited so long for his WBC heavyweight world title shot that the UK was expecting something special.. a slugfest worthy of the 94,000 tickets sold to pack Wembley out.
But the giant Gypsy King kept his KO streak running by detonating a sickening uppercut that felled Whyte like an oak tree.
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Mandatory world title defences – especially in the top division – should not be as easy as the showman made it look.
It was impressive enough to even plaster over the latest fake retirement he revealed moments after.
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