The Friday night Boxing Writers Association of America awards dinner went well, by and large, and was a sold out show, over 220 persons saw the sports' best and brightest get their just due.
We would have liked Anthony Joshua to pop in, being that he was in NYC, and fighting at MSG the next night. No dice…
Oleksandr Usyk, as the Sugar Ray Robinson Fighter of the Year, did show up, and made folks happy because his speech clocked in at 15 seconds long; neither Jarrett Hurd nor Erislandy Lara, as the Muhammad Ali-Joe Frazier Fight of the Year recipients, made it to the event; Tyson Fury, as the Bill Crawford Courage award winner, didn't either, he sent in a video; Jim Lampley, as the Barney Nagler Long and Meritorious winner, choked up as he saluted the fight writers, who he noted are sturdy pillars for the sport; Anatoliy Lomachenko, as the Eddie Futch Trainer of the Year, doesn't dig media, so he didn't attend; Stephen Espinoza, for the Sam Taub Excellence in Broadcasting, talked about the need to have the best fight the best; Thom Loverro as the Nat Fleischer winner for excellence in boxing journalism, offered recollections from his stint; Ray Stallone admitted he was proud as heck to receive the Good Guy award, and I was very, very proud that he asked me to intro him; Nonito Donaire and Steve Brener shared the Marvin Kohn “Good Guy” award but didn't attend; Egis Klimas got the Cus D'Amato Manager of the Year and Greg Sirb won the James A. Farley Award winner for Honesty and Integrity, which clearly touched him.
Note: It was superb to see NYFights' Kelsey McCarson pick up his first place “Bernie” writing award; he was joined by his proud wife Rachel, and he told me it was one of the proudest moments of his 40 years on this earth. Read his winning entry, on Tyson Fury and his own mental health situation, here.
Here is a release Sho sent out:
The SHOWTIME Sports family was well-represented at tonight’s Boxing Writers Association of America Annual Awards Dinner with several members of our team taking home honors at the 94th awards ceremony. The above image courtesy Stephanie Trapp/SHOWTIME
Stephen Espinoza accepted the Sam Taub Award for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism. Presenting to Espinoza was Brian Custer, the host of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING.
Claressa Shields took the Christy Martin Award for Female Fighter of the Year. Shields fought twice in 2018 on SHOWTIME, defending her 168-pound titles in January before moving down in weight to become a two-division world champion in June. Shields fought two additional times in 2018 before facing Christina Hammer for the undisputed middleweight world championship in April of 2019.
Steve Brener, the President of Brener Zwikel & Associates, accepted the Marvin Kohn Good Guy Award alongside longtime boxing publicist Ray Stallone and Nonito Donaire. Accepting the award on behalf of Brener was Hall of Famer Steve Farhood, a longtime analyst, ringside scorer and historian for the network.
Last but not least, Jarrett Hurd and Erislandy Lara were honored with the Ali-Frazier Award for Fight of the Year for their instant-classic last April on SHOWTIME. SHOWTIMECHAMPIONSHIP BOXING Executive Producer David Dinkins Jr. accepted and presented the award on behalf of Hurd and Lara.
Congrats to all of tonight’s award winners!