David Berlin Wins BWAA Integrity Award



David Berlin Wins BWAA Integrity Award

David Berlin, who spoke truth to power during his tenure heading the New York State Athletic Commission during the tumultuous period following the tragic near fatal injury to heavyweight boxer Magomed Abdusalamov during a December 2014 bout in NYC, has won a prestigious award from the Boxing Writers Association of America.

Berlin earned via vote by BWAA membership the Honesty and Integrity Award. Here is the release which went out:

The Boxing Writers Association of America is proud to announce that the “James A. Farley Award for Honesty and Integrity” will be presented to DAVID BERLIN at the annual BWAA dinner in Spring 2017.

Mr. Berlin, the 18th recipient of the BWAA Farley Award, served with distinction as Executive Director of the New York State Athletic Commission from May 1, 2014 through May 13, 2016. He was a beacon of integrity and personified the view that public officials should follow the law and do what’s right. During his time in office, Berlin earned the respect of fighters, trainers, managers, promoters, television executives, writers, and the rest of the boxing community.

“My philosophy for running the commission was simple,” Berlin says. “I believed that the commission should be run in a way that’s professional, open, and transparent. I also believed that integrity, ability, and knowledge of boxing should take precedence over political considerations in the hiring and assignment of employees.”

Berlin received his undergraduate degree from Princeton University and his juris doctor degree from New York University School of Law. He has practiced law for a quarter-century, during which time he has developed an expertise in representing the families of children in need of special education services pursuant to the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. He’s also skilled in criminal defense work, having begun his legal career as a staff attorney in the Criminal Defense Division of The Legal Aid Society’s Bronx office.

Berlin shared a response with NYF:

“I am honored that the BWAA has decided to recognize me. My parents instilled in me a sense of justice, a belief that it is important to treat people with respect, and the conviction that when you are doing a job it is important to do it right. I brought those values to my work at the New York State Athletic Commission, and they gave me the strength to push, even when there was resistance, for what I felt was proper for the sport of boxing. The driving force for all of my decisions, large and small, came down to a simple question: What is right for the boxers and for the integrity of the sport? Receiving the Farley Award gives me some assurance that during my time at the Commission I answered that question in the proper way.”

Founder/editor Michael Woods got addicted to boxing in 1990, when Buster Douglas shocked the world with his demolition of the then-impregnable Mike Tyson. The Brooklyn-based journalist has covered the sport since for ESPN The Magazine,, Bad Left Hook and RING. His journalism career started with NY Newsday in 1999. Michael Woods is also an accomplished blow by blow and color man, having done work for Top Rank, DiBella Entertainment, EPIX, and for Facebook Fightnight Live, since 2017.