The Boxing Writers Association of America finalized its list of nominees for all of its awards, including its Fighter of the Year award which has no clear favorite. Why I haven't been invited to cast a ballot is beyond me -- pretentious jerks! Anyway, here are the candidates for all of the BWAA awards:
And the nominees are...
Sugar Ray Robinson Fighter of the Year: Gennady Golovkin, Canelo Alvarez, Roman Gonzalez, Tyson Fury, and none other than Floyd Mayweather Jr.
This one is a toughie. In 2015 Gennady Golovkin unified two middleweight world titles, knocking out three foes in Martin Murray, Willie Monroe, and David Lemieux; Canelo Alvarez flatted James Kirkland in three rounds and then went on to win the (LINEAL!) middleweight title against Miguel Cotto just a couple of weeks ago; Roman Gonzalez impressed many with three wins over Valentin Leon, Edgar Sosa, and Brian Viloria -- and also earned the top pound-for-pound spot on a number of lists; Tyson Fury stopped Christian Hammer in February and just beat Wladimir Klitschko to earn three major title belts (but he's not the best role model); and Floyd Mayweather beat Andre Berto this past September in a fight no one really cared for -- but he also handily beat Manny Pacquiao in the megafight the world had been waiting years to see and finally got.
Muhammad Ali-Joe Frazier Fight of the Year: The brawl between Lucas Matthysse and Ruslan Provodnikov; Krzysztof Glowacki's upset knockout over Marco Huck; Francisco Vargas' back and forth, and ultimate comeback rally to stop Takashi Miura for the WBC super featherweight title (I covered this fight live and boy oh boy was it a doozy); the all out war between Leo Santa Cruz and Abner Mares; and Andrzej Fonfara's win against Nathan Cleverly which set four CompuBox records for the light heavyweight division -- including most punches thrown (2,524). There's a lot of good options here!
Eddie Futch Trainer of the Year: Peter Fury (Tyson Fury); Eddie Reynoso (Canelo Alvarez), Floyd Mayweather Sr (his son); Abel Sanchez (Gennady Golovkin); and Joe Gallagher (Scott Quigg).
Cus D'Amato Manager of the Year: Monica Bradley (The Fireman's wife) -- Tim Bradley for those who DKSAB; Egis Klimas (Kovalev/Lomachenko); Cameron Dunkin (Rios/Donaire); Al Haymon (pretty much everyone else worth a mention); and No Award (bah humbug!).
Sam Taub broadcast award: Peter Nelson (HBO Sports executive vice president); David Dinkins Jr. (Showtime Sports executive producer); Mark Taffet (longtime HBO Sports executive who turned in his walking papers); Jim Watt (Sky Sports commentator); and Marc Payton (retired longtime director of HBO's boxing broadcasts).
Bill Crawford award for courage in overcoming adversity: Kathy Duva (Main Events); Tom Casino (Showtime Sports photographer); Mauro Ranallo (Showtime commentator); Oscar De La Hoya (Golden Boy); and Brian Campbell (ESPN).
Barney Nagler Long and Meritorious Service award: Bob Canobbio (CompuBox founder and owner); Bill Caplan (publicist); Lou DiBella (promoter); Bernard Fernandez (former Philadelphia Daily News boxing writer); and Bill Dwyre (former Los Angeles Times columnist).
Marvin Kohn Good Guy award: Sugar Ray Leonard (HOF fighter, NBC broadcaster); Don Chargin (HOF promoter); Wladimir Klitschko; and Andy Olson (longtime event coordinator).
With all of that out of the way, who's your pick for Fighter of the Year? And feel free to cast your votes for any of the awards in the comments section below.