Posted by Press Releases on Apr 10, 2014
TOLEDO, MANNIX, ACEVEDO, BORGES, GROVES TOP LIST OF WINNERS IN BWAA WRITING CONTEST

TOLEDO, MANNIX, ACEVEDO, BORGES, GROVES TOP LIST OF WINNERS IN BWAA WRITING CONTEST

bwaaRepeat winners Springs Toledo, of thesweetscience.com, and Chris Mannix, of Sports Illustrated , head the list of honorees in the 13th annual Boxing Writers Association of America writing contest. Joining them with multiple placing entries is a newcomer to the competition, Carlos Acevedo, who writes for Esquino Boxeo and The Cruelest Sport, as well as the competition’s all-time winningest writer, Ron Borges, of Boxing Monthly and The Ring, and Lee Groves, of RingTV.com. The contest period covered the 2013 calendar year.

They and others who found favor with the five-person panel of judges will be recognized at the 89th annual BWAA Awards Dinner, to be held May 1 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Toledo, the Massachusetts-based author/historian, has a new book, The Gods of War: Boxing Essays, that has a publication date of April 24. Among the included pieces is his second-place-winning BWAA story in the Feature Under 1,750 Words category about the eerie parallels between the original “Kid Chocolate,” a nearly penniless Cuban named Eligio Sardinas Montalvo who arrived in New York City in 1928, and an updated fighter who appropriated the nickname, Peter Quillin, who came to Manhattan under similar circumstances in 2001.

Other placing entries for Toledo are the first he will receive in the Feature Over 1,750 Words category, a touching tribute to his friend and role model, Joe Rein, and a second, in News Story, about the boxing background of U.S. Olympic hopeful-turned-terrorist Tamerlan Tsarnaev, one of the two brothers responsible for the finish-line bombing at the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013, that left three people dead and an estimated 264 injured. Toledo also took an honorable mention in Event Coverage, giving him 16 BWAA awards just since 2010.

Mannix, who took two first-place awards in the 2012 BWAA contest (for Feature Under 1,750 Words and Feature Over 1,750 Words), nearly matched that feat a year later. He had a first place (tying Groves, of RingTV.com) in Feature Under 1,750 Words on the talented but erratic Adrien Broner, and a second in Feature Over 1,750 Words, about the bond between junior welterweight champion Danny “Swift” Garcia and his controversial father-trainer, Angel Garcia.

Acevedo didn’t avoid a hot-button topic in his first-place Column, which deals with boxers who give so much of themselves in the ring and sometimes come away with pugilistica dementia and chronic traumatic encephalopathy. His third-place piece in Feature Under 1,750 Words also examines the same harrowing theme.

Borges has never failed to place in the BWAA contest, and he scored again with a first in News Story, in Boxing Monthly, on promoter Bob Arum’s promotion of two-time Olympic champion Zou Shiming, of China, and the necessity of doing so in a manner that meets with the approval of the Chinese government. The veteran Boston writer also scored a third in Feature Over 1,750 Words for a story that appeared in The Ring that dealt with boxer Edwin Rodriguez Jr.’s two children, who had long odds to overcome as “micropreemies,” weighing only 19 ounces at birth. Borges also had honorable mentions in Event Coverage and Column.

Groves, who took a first in News Story in the 2011 contest, returns to the winner’s circle with his tied-for-first entry in Feature Under 1,750 Words on his personal crisis of conscience as a boxing fan wrought by the death of Francisco Leal and the serious brain injury suffered by Magomed Abdusalamov. He added tied-for-third story in News Story, for a tribute to the late Ken Norton.

Other first places went to David Weinberg, of the Press of Atlantic City, for his account of Darren Barker’s wresting of the IBF middleweight title from Daniel Geale, and Thomas Hauser, of BoxingScene.com, in Investigative Reporting, for his account of the tragedy of Abdusalamov’s brutal loss to Mike Perez.

The panel of judges consisted of Lee Barfknecht, of the Omaha World-Herald; Tommy Deas, executive sports editor of the Tuscaloosa News and the third vice president of the Associated Press Sports Editors; Steve Gorten, of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel; Jim McNally, boxing coach at the United States Naval Academy; and Ray Murray, an assistant professor in Oklahoma State University’s School of Media and Strategic Communications.

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