Posted by Press Releases on Feb 1, 2012
Andre Ward is BWAA Fighter of the Year

Andre Ward is BWAA Fighter of the Year

 

Wolak – Rodriguez I Named Top Fight
Virgil Hunter, Al Bernstein, Elbaum & Bozella also to be honored

JANUARY 30, 2012 — Andre Ward has won an Olympic gold medal, professional world titles, and Showtime’s Super Six super-middleweight tournament. Now the Boxing Writers Association of America has named Ward its Fighter of the Year for 2011. Ward will receive the BWAA’s Sugar Ray Robinson Fighter of the Year trophy. Ward was chosen by an overwhelming margin over nominees Nonito Donaire, Wladimir Klitschko, Floyd Mayweather, and Manny Pacquiao.

Trainer Virgil Hunter has worked with Ward since Ward started boxing as a nine-year-old amateur. It is only fitting that in the year Ward won his first BWAA honor, Hunter has won as well. The BWAA electorate has voted Hunter winner of the the Eddie Futch Trainer of the Year award.

There were many great fights during 2011. The BWAA determined that the first battle between Delvin Rodriguez and Pawel Wolak topped the list. The two fought to a blistering 10-round draw last July at the Roseland Ballroom in New York. The “Fight of the Year” award is named after legendary heavyweight champions Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier.

Don Elbaum has been in boxing so long that he promoted fights involving Willie Pep and Sugar Ray Robinson. Elbaum’s service to the sport is now being officially recognized by the BWAA. Elbaum is the winner of this year’s John F.X. Condon award for Long and Meritorious Service to the sport.

At last year’s awards dinner in Las Vegas, Showtime’s Al Bernstein served as the master of ceremonies. Bernstein will be be invited back this year in a different capacity. He was voted the Marvin Kohn “Good Guy” award,his second major honor from the BWAA.
Previously he won the Sam Taub award for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism.

Dewey Bozella spent 26 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. Bozella was offered a substantially reduced sentence if he had agreed to plead guilty. Bozella would not sacrifice his principles.
Instead he fought the injustice through the legal system, and the truth finally emerged. At age 52, he lived his dream of having one pro fight. Bozella won and retired unbeaten from the ring. Bozella has been named recipient of the BWAA’s Courage in Overcoming Adversity award. The award is named after Congressional Medal of Honor winner Bill Crawford.

In addition to the above awards, recognition will also be given to the winners of the BWAA’s Barneys contest, which honors the best boxing writing of the previous year.The BWAA’s membership determined that no award should be given this year in the Manager and Broadcaster categories.

Previously it was announced that Colin Hart won the Fleischer award for Excellence in Boxing Journalism, and the late George Plimpton the Liebling award for Outstanding Boxing Writing. The date and location of the 87th annual BWAA’s awards banquet will be announced in the coming weeks.

Check www.bwaa.org for updates.

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