BWAA honors Floyd Mayweather Jr. as Fighter of the Year



Pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr. is the recipient of The Sugar Ray Robinson award for the 2013 Fighter Of The Year from the Boxing Writers Association of America, which has also honored the WBO welterweight bout between Tim Bradley and Ruslan Provodnikov  as "Muhammad AliJoe Frazier" Fight of The Year, and, for the sixth time, the organization honored Freddie Roach as the winner of the "Eddie Futch" award for Trainer of The Year.

In addition, the BWAA honored Al Haymon, the advisor to Mayweather and many other world-class boxers, as Manager Of The Year.

Last September, Mayweather (45-0, 26 knockouts) dethroned Canel Alvarez by majority decision for the RING and WBC 154-pound championships in a bout that became the highest-grossing boxing event of all time with nearly $150 million in revenue reported.

Mayweather-Alvarez eclipsed the $136 million earned by Mayweather’s 2007 victory over Oscar De La Hoya, the last time Mayweather was named the BWAA's Fighter Of  The Year.

Last May, Mayweather unanimously decisioned Robert Guerrero in defense of the WBC 147-pound title he had earned by dethroning Victor Ortiz via fourth-round stoppage in September of 2011, cementing his status as RING welterweight champion as well.

"This is a great honor for Floyd to receive the highest honor in boxing from the Boxing Writers' Association of America for being The Fighter of The Year," said Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions. "I'm sure that he'll be ecstatic when he hears the news. This has been a great year, and there were so many other fighters who had great years also, and we want to say congratulations to them and that they should keep on striving and working.

"Floyd has a great deal of respect for the writers and for all of his fans who have helped him to have a great career this far. This has been an incredible year. The year of 2013 has been a great success from inside of the ring and outside of the ring. Everything is going according to his plan, and we're always looking for new ways to continue to expand our brand. We feel as though 2014 is going to be a phenomenal success also."

Mayweather's promotional company has several fighters, one of whom, Ishe Smith, briefly held the IBF's junior middleweight belt. Earlier this month, Mayweather, the highest-paid American athlete for the past two years, made a trip to South Africa in an attempt to "resuscitate" boxing in the nation.

Click here for the video of the press conference.

Mayweather, who turns 37 in February, still is considering the opponent he will fight next on May 3 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas amid wide speculation that he will face England's Amir Khan. Khan (28-3, 19 KOs) stated publicly late last month that he has signed his contract to face Mayweather.

"Floyd Mayweather keeps taking on all comers and challenging himself. Last year, we saw that youth and size is not going to bother Floyd Mayweather. We have seen that power and strength is not going to bother Floyd Mayweather. He is just a complete fighter, and has clearly grown into that role of being the face of the sport," said Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer, who promotes Mayweather.

"There's a tremendous charitable side to Floyd as well, but many of the things that he does go unnoticed because he does them quietly, but he does them. This was an easy choice, in my opinion, to make Floyd Mayweather the Boxing Writers' Fighter of The Year. Floyd Mayweather has separated himself from the rest. No question about it, he is pound-for-pound king of this generation and maybe of any generation."

Bradley (31-0, 12 KOs) rose from a 12th-round knockdown to secure a unanimous decision over Ruslan Provodnikov in March in defense of the belt he won by split-decision over Manny Pacquiao in June, and followed that up with a split-decision over Juan Manuel Marquez in October.

"It is an honor to not only be nominated but to have won Fight of the Year," said Bradley, who has a rematch with Pacquiao on April 12 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. "I thank all who have voted for my fight with Ruslan as well as Ruslan for being in the ring with me."

Provodnikov (23-2, 16 KOs) rebounded with October's 10th-round stoppage win that dethroned Mike Alvarado as WBO 140-pound beltholder.

"This fight was definitely the standout," said Provodnikov's manager, Vadim Kornilov. "I'm glad that Ruslan performed the way that he did in that fight. That fight was the beginning of Ruslan's career."

Already a five-time winner, Roach guided Pacquiao to a comeback unanimous decision victory over Brandon Rios in November, this, after having been a major influence in Provodnikov's victory over Alvarado. 

Roach left Provodnikov to assistant Marvin Somodio against Alvarado as he traveled to General Santo City, Philippines, to train Pacquiao for Rios.

"It's good to be back.  We had one year off when it seemed like nothing was going our way.  But last year, it all came together again," said Roach.

"I'd like to thank the BWAA for this honor and even though I may be the recipient, I represent the collective efforts of the most talented and hardest-working fighters and assistant trainers in the world, and I thank them all from the bottom of my heart."

Honored with The Cus D'Amato "Manager Of The Year" award, Haymon's stable includes Mayweather,Danny Garcia, Adrien Broner, Marcos Maidana, Shawn Porter, Keith Thurman, Lucas Matthysse,  Leo Santa Cruz, Deontay Wilder, Gary Russell Jr., Peter Quillin, Sakio Bika, Anthony Dirrell, Andre Berto,  Devon Alexander, Paulie Malignaggi, Chris Arreola, Edwin Rodriguez, Austin Trout, Seth Mitchell, and Fernando Guerrero, among others.

Most of Haymon's fighters are promoted by Golden Boy.

"Al Haymon has clearly separated himself from the rest," said Schaefer. "I don't think that there is anybody even close to him when it comes to advising fighters and giving his fighters the best and biggest opportunities. Al Haymon, I think, has re-defined the advisory function for fighters, and is the undisputed pound-for-pound king when it comes to advising fighters. I don't think that there has ever been anybody in the history of boxing who has done such a terrific job for his fighters and creating financial well-being and opportunities for them.

"I'm lucky to call Al one of my best friends, but he is tough negotiator, is demanding, and he's clearly a man who identifies with his fighters. The word 'greed' does not exist in Al Haymon's vocabulary. He is empowering the fighters and looking out for their well-being and the well-being of their families. There is a reason why, when you watch boxing, his fighters thank God, and then they thank Al Haymon. Sometimes, they thank Al Haymon first. I can't say enough about Al Haymon. Certainly, he deserves that recognition. He's in a league of his own."

Two of Haymon's major signings in 2014 were Maidana in advance of his unanimous decision that dethroned Broner as WBA 147-pound beltholder on Dec. 14, and Malignaggi in the wake of his unanimous decision over Zab Judah on Dec. 7.

The year also includes Malignaggi, a Showtime ringside boxing analyst, being honored as the winner of the BWAA's Sam Taub Award for "Excellence in Broadcast Journalism."

"It's pretty cool that I've gotten this award because I haven't been doing it for very long. It's been almost a year and a half. The fact that I've gotten it so quickly it means that people appreciate listening to me. You're so focused on working the fights and stuff, that I never gave anything like this much thought," said Malignaggi, whose first fight was Alvarez's fifth-round stoppage of Josesito Lopez in September of 2012.





"You're so focused on working your fights and winning championships in boxing, that you forget that there are awards for broadcasters and fighters as well. I couldn't have done it without having a great cast around me. The guys at Showtime have really coached me through some things and given me a lot of lessons and tips. I'm fortunate to have my first experience be among such experienced guys."

Malignaggi credited fellow commentators Mauro Ranallo and Al Bernstein, host Brian Kenny, interviewer Jim Gray and unofficial ringside scorer and analyst Steve Farhood for their mentoring.

"I congratulated him for something that I've told him from the very beginning, and that is that he's known for the 'Gift of Jab,' but now, he's known for 'The Gift of Gab and Jab.' He's very worthy of the honor," said Ranallo, who has began working as a boxing announcer in September of 2012 after having started with Showtime's mixed martial arts team in February of 2007.

"His transition to broadcasting has been seamless. Paulie just has this ability to break down fights in an entertaining and insightful manner. I knew that one day that he would make a great analyst, and to be able to work alongside of him and the rest of our crew is simply an honor and a pleasure. He made my first year as a broadcaster that much easier. We're all friends on this team, and it's great to be a small part of this. This is fantastic."

Former titleholder Paul Williams was named the recipient of the BWAA's recipient of the Bill Crawford award for "Courage in Overcoming Adversity."

Williams has remained active and maintained his zest for life despite having suffered a career-ending motorcycle accident at the age of 30 in May of 2012  that rendered him paralyzed from the waist down. 

Williams, now 32, retired with a record of 41-2 that includes 27 knockouts following a unanimous decision over Japan’s Nobuhiro Ishida in February of 2012, still goes hunting, fishing and boating, and recently shot "an eight-point buck," according to his former manager and trainer,  George Peterson.

"That's something that brings tears to your eyes," said Peterson. "How can you not see that he's capable of winning an award like that, given his great attitude."

Tied for honors as the recepients of The Barney Nagler "Long and Meritorious Service" award were  Lee Samuels, a 32-year publicist for Top Rank, and respected broadcaster Colonel Bob Sheridan.

"I met [Top Rank CEO] Bob Arum in Atlantic City on a cold and wintery night. He hired me as Top Rank was launching an ESPN Thursday Night boxing series. Since, I have had the pleasure of working with superstars and world champions and with media from all corners of the world," said Samuels.

"Life has twists and turns. My life turned when I met Bob Arum and went on to this incredible journey. I want to thank Bob, [Top Rank President] Todd duBoef, and my long-term P.R. partner Ricardo Jiminez for allowing me to be a small part of our great company, Top Rank."

Other honorees were Showtime's boxing announcer Jimmy Leonnon Jr. for The Marvin Kohn "Good Guy" award, ESPN boxing writer, Dan Rafael, for "Exellence in Boxing Journalism" and the Nat Fleischer award; and Sandy Grady as the A.J. Liebling award recepient for "Outstanding Boxing Writing."

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