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Boxing Honours the Best on Both Sides of the Ropes

By Bill Tibbs


On Thursday, May 1st, the Boxing Writers Association of America held its annual awards night at the MGM Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. The night was devoted to honouring and recognizing the outstanding work done by participants on both sides of the ropes. Hosted by Showtime’s Steve Farhood, the evening highlighted the best of a strong year in boxing in 2013.
 
The “Sugar Ray Robinson Fighter of the Year” nod went to Floyd “Money” Mayweather who won the award based on two wins, beating Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero in his 2013 assignments. However, he more than likely won the award based on the fact that he seems unbeatable right now than for his 2013 competition. The “Muhammad Ali-Joe Frazier Fight of the Year Award” went to Ruslan Provodnikov and Timothy Bradley for their 12-round bomb-fest in March of last year. Bradley made reference to promotional firms who aren’t getting along, calling for them to sort out their differences and make fights that fans want to see. This is probably also in reference to his inability to score a Mayweather fight due to being with Top Rank Promotions, who Golden Boy Promotions/Mayweather Promotions appears unwilling to work with.

With proud mom and family sitting in the audience, the revered Freddie Roach snapped up another “Eddie Futch Trainer of the Year Award”. And, in a classy, heartfelt gesture, Mauricio Suliaman and the World Boxing Council (WBC) presented the “Bill Crawford Courage in Overcoming Adversity Award” to former world welterweight champion Paul Williams, who was paralyzed from the waist down in 2012 after a motorcycle crash.
 
In an appropriate move, one of the game’s nice guys, popular and well-respected Showtime announcer Jimmy Lennon received the “Marvin Kohn Good Guy Award.” Ringside broadcaster Colonel Bob Sheridan and long-time Top Rank Promotions media man Lee Samuels both received “Barney Nagler Awards” for “Long and Meritorious Service.” Media-shy power broker Al Haymon wasn’t in attendance to pick up his “Cus D’Amato Manager of the Year Award” but friend Sam Watson accepted on his behalf. ESPN’s top scribe Dan Rafael won the “Nat Fleischer Memorial Award for Excellence in Boxing Journalism.” Philadelphia’s Sandy Grady won the “A.J. Liebling Outstanding Boxing Writing Award.” Brooklyn, New York’s former two-division champion and emerging boxing analyst Paulie Malignaggi got the nod for the “Sam Taub Excellence in Broadcast Journalism Award.”
 
All in all, it was a great night that highlighted just some of the outstanding work done in the boxing industry over the last 12 months. In a recent interview, Hall of Fame matchmaker Bruce Trampler told fellow Hall of Fame ringsider Al Bernstein that “boxing people are optimists and we always believe the coming year is going to be even better.” Well said. In a sport that continually survives the slings and arrows of detractors, it is nice to see great work in an equally great sport recognized and rewarded.
 
Questions and comments can be sent to Bill Tibbs at hwtibbs@shaw.ca.
 
 
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