Recently, we saw one of the heavyweight divisions two world champions make his return to the ring, culminating in a highlight-reel knockout. With that in mind, and with the year nearing its end, we thought we'd give you a chronological rundown of the year's most high profile KO's and TKO's, including the likes of Ryan Garcia, Anthony Joshua, Naoya Inoue and Alexander Povetkin.
Eléider Álvarez vs Michael Seals
Winner - Álvarez (KO round 7)
Eléider Álvarez bounces back from his first professional defeat with a destructive seventh-round knockout of Michael Seals. After a fairly uneventful contest, both men let their hands go with just seconds left in the round. Álvarez beats Seals to the punch - his straight right landing over the top of Seals' left hook, and the fight was over.
Ryan Garcia vs Francisco Fonseca
Winner - Garcia (ko round 1)
In his 20th professional fight, Ryan Garcia records his eighth first-round stoppage with a sensational ko against Francisco Fonseca. The end comes at 1:20 into the round when Garcia counters Fonseca with his signature lightning-fast counter left-hook. Blink and you'll miss it.
Román González vs Kal Yafai
Winner - González (TKO round 9)
In the wake of his only two career losses at the hands of Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, Legend of the lower weight classes, Román 'Chocolatito' González, proved he is far from over the hill, stringing together three consecutive KO's. The last of which saw him strip the WBA super-flyweight title from Kal Yafai, stopping him in the ninth round after giving the champion a comprehensive boxing lesson.
Dillian Whyte vs Alexander Povetkin
Winner - Povetkin (KO round 5)
Quite possibly the knockout of the year. A nearly 41-year-old Alexander Povetkin shows his pedigree by climbing off of the canvas after two knockdowns to find one of the most perfectly placed left uppercuts you'll ever see. The end came just 30 seconds into the fifth round and provided the mosy dramatic of endings to the Matchroom 'Fight Camp' series.
Joe Smith Jr. vs Eléider Álvarez
Winner - Smith Jr. (KO round 9)
In a career-best win, Joe Smith Jr. proves he can mix at the very top of the sport, scoring a ninth-round knock out against former WBO champion Eléider Álvarez. After nine rounds of relentless pressure and clubbing punches, Smith Jr. knocked the exhausted Álvarez through the ropes with a right hand followed by a stiff jab to end the contest.
Jose Zepeda vs Ivan Baranchyk
Winner - Zepeda (KO round 5)
In a fight of the year contender, Zepeda and Baranchyk shared a total of eight knockdowns over five rounds, with Zepeda having the final say. If you watch any fight from the past year, do yourself a favour and let it be this.
Naoya Inoue vs Jason Maloney
Winner - Inoue (KO round 7)
WBA, IBF and The Ring bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue looked as destructive as ever, Knocking out a very game Jason Maloney who did extremely well to make it as far as he did against a man who sits in many peoples pound for pound top 5 in the world. Having been dropped already in the sixth, Maloney fought on bravely but was timed to perfection in the seventh with a straight right hand that he couldn't get up from.
Gervonta Davis vs Léo Santa Cruz
Winner - Davis (KO round 6)
Gervonta Davis made a real statement by becoming the first man in 40 fights to stop 4-weight world champion, Léo Santa Cruz. Up to the sixth, the fight had been relatively even, but with just 23 seconds left in the round, Davis landed a devastating uppercut that left Santa Cruz out cold.
Anthony Joshua vs Kubrat Pulev
Winner - Joshua (KO round 9)
In his first fight in over a year, the unified heavyweight champion of the world put in a patient yet destructive display against a stubborn Kubrat Pulev. It looked as though it would be a quick night when AJ came within a punch or two of stopping Pulev in the third round, but the Challenger recovered well and lasted until the ninth. After a devastating series of uppercuts, Pulev was put down again before a straight right hand to the chin closed the show.