Don Stradley and The Ring/RingTV.com took top honors in the 20th annual Boxing Writers Association of America writing contest, the BWAA announced on Monday. All placing entries will be acknowledged at the BWAA Awards Dinner, the date and time for which have not yet been determined.
The 2020 BWAA writing contest’s 211 total entries in six categories shattered the previous record of 149, set the year before.
Stradley, an author of three well-received books on boxing, was the only two-category winner, taking firsts in Event Coverage (“Mike and Roy battle of the aged,” for DonStradley.blogspot.com) and Feature Under 1,500 Words (“The Reinvention,” for The Ring). Tying Stradley for first place in the latter category is Diego Morilla (“A tale of Christmas in Wonderland,” for The Ring).
In addition to his two firsts, Stradley also had a third place in News Story and an honorable mention in Column. That gave him 13 points on a scoring system that awarded five points for a first, three for a second, two for a third and one for an HM, edging Greg Bishop of SI.com, who had 12 (a first, two seconds and an HM).
The Ring and RingTV.com was the dominant media outlet, logging 29 points (three firsts, three thirds and eight HMs) to 16 for runner-ups Boxingnewsonline.com (three seconds, one third, and five HMs), followed by The Athletic’s 13 (one first, two thirds and four HMs).
Other first places went to Bishop in Investigative Reporting (“Clifford Etienne would like to paint you a picture,” SI.com); Lance Pugmire in Feature Over 1,500 Words (“In the name of the father: How Deontay Wilder learned to lead by example,” The Athletic); Norm Frauenheim in Column (“Defiance not enough to keep Coronavirus off an island or the UFC on ESPN,” 15rounds.com), and Joseph Santoliquito for News Story (“Dealing with death: The courage and compassion of Charles Conwell,” RingTV.com).
Santoliquito was the most-cited writer, with a first and four HMs. Stradley and Bishop each placed in four categories and Pugmire in three.
2020 BERNIE WINNERS
BOXING EVENT COVERAGE
GREG BISHOP, “Lopez Backs Up His Dad’s Trash Talk to Complete His ‘Takeover’ and Claim the Undisputed Lightweight Championship,” SI.com, October 18, 2020
MIKE COPPINGER, “Canelo Alvarez is Finally in Control of His Destiny. Now What?,” The Athletic, December 24, 2020
Honorable Mention: Matt Christie, Boxingnewsonline.com; Ryan O’Hara, RingTV.com; Lance Pugmire, The Athletic; Dan Rafael, RingTV.com; Joseph Santoliquito, Ringtv.com; Springs Toledo, Thesweetscience.com; David Weinberg, Thesweetscience.com; Elliot Worsell, Boxingnewsonline.com
BILL DWYRE, “Wonders of Boxing,” Los Angeles Times, November 27, 2020
ELLIOT WORSELL, “Egos Tripping Out: Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Show the Last Thing a Fighter Loses is His Ego,” Boxingnewsonline.com, November 30, 2020
Honorable Mention: Carlos Acevedo, Hannibalboxing.com; John Dennen, Boxing News; Phil Jay, Worldboxingnews.net; Mark Kriegel, ESPN.com; Thom Loverro, Washington Times; Eric Raskin, Ringside Seat; Joseph Santoliquito, RingTV.com; Don Stradley, Donstradley.blogspot.com
BOXING NEWS STORY
GREG BISHOP, “Inside the Longstanding Tension Between Vasiliy Lomachenko and Teofimo Lopez,’” SI.com, September 29, 2020
DON STRADLEY, “A Legacy of His Own,” The Ring, June, 2020
Honorable Mention: Manouk Akopyan, Boxingscene.com; Mike Coppinger, The Athletic; Jose Corpas, Boxing News; John Dennen, Boxingnewsonline.net; Lee Groves, RingTV.com; Dan Rafael, Boxingscene.com
BOXING FEATURE (Under 1,500 words)
DIEGO MORILLA, “A Tale of Christmas in Wonderland,” The Ring, June 16, 2020
DON STRADLEY, “The Reinvention,” The Ring, September 2020
JOSE CORPAS, “Harry Greb Street Artist,” Boxing News, July 22, 2020
SPRINGS TOLEDO, “Truth, Justice, and Muhammad Ali,” Mizan, June 23, 2020
Honorable Mention: Carlos Acevedo, Hannibalboxing.com; Manouk Akopyan, LATimes.com; Rick Assad, Thesweetscience.com; Tris Dixon, Boxingscene.com; Mark Kriegel, ESPN.com; Joseph Santoliquito, RingTV.com; Jimmy Tobin, Hannibalboxing.com; Paul Zanon, Hannibalboxing.com
BOXING FEATURE (Over 1,500 words)
SPRINGS TOLEDO, “Dark Days,” Boxing News, July 2, 2020
TIM GRAHAM, “The Comeback No. 1: Politics? Racisim? Death Threats? Nothing Could Stop Ali” The Athletic, September 10, 2020
Honorable Mention: Greg Bishop, SI.com; Mike Coppinger, The Athletic; Tris Dixon, Boxing News; Mark Kriegel, ESPN.com; Joseph Santoliquito, The Ring; Jimmy Tobin, Hannibalboxing.com
BOXING INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING
JACK HIRSCH, “The Rise and Fall of the Golden Gloves,” Boxingnewsonline.net, June 4, 2020 – June 25 2020 (Series)
Third Place (tie)
DIEGO MORILLA, “Money, Shit, and the Left Hand of God,” RingTV.com, December 12, 2020
DAN RAFAEL, “Life in a Bubble,” The Ring, December 2020
Honorable Mention: Manouk Akopyan, Boxingscene.com; Mike Coppinger, The Athletic; Jose Corpas, Boxing News; Alan Dawson, Insider Inc.; Bernard Fernandez, RingTV.com; Lance Pugmire, The Athletic; Cliff Rold, BoxingScene.com
2020 BERNIES JUDGES:
TOM ARCHDEACON, Dayton Daily News, Nat Fleischer Award recipient
CHUCK BAUSMAN, Rider University, School of Journalism
TONY BOONE, Omaha World-Herald (retired)
GEORGE DIAZ, Orlando Sentinel (retired)
CHRISTIAN GIUDICE, Author, Boxing Biographer
SEAN PATRICK GRIFFIN, Ph.D., The Citadel, Criminal Justice Department; Author
JIM JENKINS, Sacramento Bee (retired)
DAVE KINDRED, Louisville Courier-Journal, Washington Post, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, (retired), Author
JOE MAXSE, Cleveland Plain Dealer (retired), Nat Fleischer Award recipient