For Sergio Martinez, 2010 was a year to remember. He won the world middleweight title from Kelly Pavlik, then successfully defended it with a sensational one-punch knockout of Paul Williams. The Boxing Writers Association of America has voted Martinez recipient of its Sugar Ray Robinson Fighter of the Year award for his superlative 2010. He becomes the second boxer from Argentina to receive this prestigious honor, the first being Carlos Monzon in 1972. All award winners will be honored at the BWAA’s 86th annual dinner on May 6, 2011 in Las Vegas.
Freddie Roach has maintained his perennial position as the Trainer of the Year, winning for the third year in a row and fifth time overall. Roach trains Manny Pacquiao and Amir Khan as part of his elite stable of champions, contenders and prospects who excelled in 2010. The award has always had special meaning for Roach because it’s named after his late mentor Eddie Futch. In December in Las Vegas, Khan was pushed to the limit in winning a unanimous 12-round decision over Marcos Maidana. The intensity and fury of that contest earned the Amir Khan – Marcos Maidana fight the Ali – Frazier award for Fight of the Year.
It is a safe bet that few have been at ringside for more shows than Jack Obermayer. At last count the number was well over 3,000 and climbing. Obermayer has finally been given his long overdue recognition by the BWAA who voted him the Condon award for Long and Meritorious Service to the sport.
The Marvin Kohn Good Guy award for 2011 goes to Bill Caplan. A long-time publicist for George Foreman, Caplan currently works in that capacity for Golden Boy Promotions. Robert Guerrero had put his career on hold to deal with his wife Casey’s health issues. With her Leukemia in remission, Guerrero made a successful return to the ring. How he coped with the situation impressed the BWAA electorate who voted him the Crawford award for Courage in Overcoming Adversity.
Micky Ward is 2011 recipient of the James A. Farley award for Honesty and Integrity in Boxing. With The Fighter, a film based on Ward’s career, a contender for Academy Awards honors, Ward has transcended his sport. Ward fought with integrity throughout his career, never made excuses when he lost, and never gloated after a victory.
Steve Farhood has been selected as winner of this year’s Nat Fleischer award for Excellence in Boxing Journalism. Farhood launched KO Magazine and from 1989 to 1997 was editor-in-chief of Ring magazine. Currently he’s best known as the analyst for Showtime’s popular ShoBox series. He is still active as a writer, as an associate editor and columnist for the British Boxing Monthly.
Pete Hamill was chosen as this year’s winner of the A.J. Liebling Award for Outstanding Boxing Writing. Hamill has been editor-in-chief of both the New York Daily News and the New York Post. He has also written for the New York Times, Newsday, and the Village Voice. His first published story was a profile of future light-heavyweight champion Jose Torres, and as a young reporter he covered the first Liston-Patterson fight in 1962. Hamill chronicled the twilight of Sugar Ray Robinson’s career and rise of the young Muhammad Ali and wrote a boxing-themed novel, Flesh and Blood. He edited The Library of America’s two-volume collection of A.J. Liebling’s work. Hamill’s latest novel, Tabloid City, will be published on May 5th – a day before the 2011 Boxing Writers dinner.