For some time now, Floyd Mayweather Jr. has been considered the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. This past year he strengthened that claim by defeating Robert Guerrero and “Canelo” Alvarez. As a result, the Boxing Writers Association of America has voted Mayweather as its 2013 “Fighter of the Year.” This is the second time that Mayweather has won the award in his illustrious career, having previously been voted BWAA “Fighter of the Year” in 2007. The award is named after the legendary Sugar Ray Robinson.
There were many great fights during 2013, but topping the list was last March’s epic contest between Timothy Bradley and Ruslan Provodnikov. Bradley barely survived the first two rounds before gradually taking control of the contest. By the 12th round it appeared that Provodnikov would need a knockout to win. He nearly got it, flooring Bradley right before the final bell. It was a classic contest--the BWAA’s Muhammad Ali - Joe Frazier “Fight of the Year.”
Freddie Roach added to his hall of fame credentials by winning the 2013 BWAA “Trainer of the Year” award. Roach has now won the award a record-setting six times, the most individual major awards in BWAA history. For Roach, this award has always been special because it is named after his mentor Eddie Futch.
Al Haymon is rarely seen, but his impact in getting high-profile matches for his fighters is always in full view. Haymon’s managerial skills during 2013 are recognized by the BWAA electorate, who have voted him the Cus D’Amato “Manager of the Year” honors.
The BWAA’s Barney Nagler “Long and Meritorious Service” award voting for 2013 could not have been any closer. Lee Samuels, Top Rank’s crackerjack public relations guru, and broadcaster Colonel Bob Sheridan crossed the finish line in a dead heat. As a result, both will be honored with the award.
Former two-weight world champion Paul Malignaggi is an outstanding boxer, but he might be an even better broadcaster. At least many in the BWAA seem to think so. Malignaggi, who serves as an expert analyst for both Showtime and Fox Sports, has taken home the Sam Taub 2013 award for “Excellence in Broadcast Journalism.”
2013 is a year that ring announcer Jimmy Lennon Jr won’t forget. In June, he was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame. The always approachable and accommodating Lennon will be this year’s BWAA Marvin Kohn “Good Guy” recipient.
Paul Williams always showed enormous heart inside the ring, but his attitude outside is even more inspiring. A horrific motorcycle accident left Williams paralyzed from the waist down, but his determined and upbeat attitude to get back on his feet emotionally, if not physically, has inspired the BWAA membership to vote him its 2013 winner of the Bill Crawford award for “Courage in Overcoming Adversity.”
It had been previously announced that ESPN’s Dan Rafael is the 2013 winner of the Nat Fleischer award for “Excellence in Boxing Journalism” and Sandy Grady the A.J. Liebling award recipient for “Outstanding Boxing Writing.”
The date and location of the awards banquet will be announced in the coming weeks.