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Robert Garcia Runs Away With 2011 Trainer of the Year Award (Bad Left Hook Boxing Awards)

Robert Garcia enjoyed the spotlight with his top fighters in 2011, and has been named the 2011 Bad Left Hook Trainer of the Year. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Robert Garcia enjoyed the spotlight with his top fighters in 2011, and has been named the 2011 Bad Left Hook Trainer of the Year. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
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Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

Say hello to the bad guy and his rowdy stable of fighters. After years of Freddie Roach dominating the category in year-end awards, 2011 saw the Wild Card leader and his fighters regress a bit, opening the door for a new Trainer of the Year: Robert Garcia.

Though Garcia may currently be most famous as the trainer for boxing's ultimate villain Antonio Margarito, the trainer found true success in 2011 with Brandon Rios and Nonito Donaire, as well as younger brother Mikey Garcia, and emerged as a notable name on the big stages.

Here's the full voting breakdown:

Trainer 1st 2nd 3rd Total
Robert Garcia 9 1 2 50
Virgil Hunter 0 6 2 20
Barry Hunter 3 1 0 18
Emanuel Steward 1 1 1 9
Ann Wolfe 0 1 6 9
Naazim Richardson 1 0 0 5
Joe Gallagher 0 1 1 4
Nacho Beristain 0 1 0 3
Freddie Roach 0 0 1 1
Ismael Salas 0 0 1 1

Garcia, a former fighter himself, may not have had that One Big Win the way that Virgil Hunter (Ward over Froch) or Barry Hunter (Peterson over Khan) did, but a larger group of top fighters secured victory in the voting.

But Virgil and Barry (no relation) did take Nos. 2 and 3 in the balloting, and with good reason. Virgil and Andre Ward became one of the top fighter-trainer tandems in boxing int he last couple of years, and that may lead to Virgil Hunter getting more work as a go-to trainer for fighters. He has prospect Brandon Gonzales newly under his wing, as well. Barry Hunter trains both Peterson brothers, but it was Lamont who shined late in the year to give Barry some support in the voting.

Also receiving notable support was Ann Wolfe, who resurrected the career of James Kirkland when the two of them reunited following Kirkland's devastating loss to Nobuhiro Ishida, but Wolfe was mostly named as a third place trainer. Like the Hunters, Wolfe has just one really notable fighter at the moment.

Also receiving support were Hall of Famer Emanuel Steward for his work with Wladimir Klitschko and Andy Lee; Naazim Richardson for his continued excellence alongside Bernard Hopkins; top UK trainer Joe Gallagher; Hall of Famer Nacho Beristain; soon-to-be Hall of Famer Roach, who did have another fine year all things considered; and Ismael Salas, the trainer of 105-pound standout Kazuto Ioka.

Voters for the 2011 Bad Left Hook Boxing Awards are Scott Christ, Andrew Fruman, Brickhaus, Matt Miller, James Foley, Sean Mills, Ryan Bivins, Waldo Rastel, Kory Kitchen, Matt Mosley, Oli Goldstein, Nick Foxx, Chris Celletti, Sidney Boquiren, and Corey Erdman.

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