SOTO, HART WIN PHOTO “BARNEYS

Frequent honoree Will Hart and first-time entrant Rafael Soto took top honors in the Boxing Writers Association of America photo “Barneys contest. The contest period covered the 2009 calendar year.

All placing entries will be recognized, along with the winners of the writing “Barneys, at the 85th annual BWAA Awards Dinner on June 4 at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York.

Hart’s winning entry in the Feature category showed Juan Manuel Lopez, wearing a shiny robe emblazoned with his JuanMa nickname, beginning his entrance walk toward the ring in a haze of smoke as his Puerto Rican fans leaned over the railing and waved flags. It was another attention-grabbing photograph by Hart, whose work draws plaudits from the BWAA on an almost annual basis. He also finished third in the Action category, for a shot of Shane Mosley, his eyes closed, connecting with a right hand to the jaw of Antonio Margarito.

Soto, on the other hand, entered the contest for the first time. Actually, he didn’t; Ricardo Jimenez, a publicist for Top Rank, submitted two examples of the better work done by Soto, the Las Vegas-based company’s photographer in Mexico. Soto’s photo of Jose Luis Castillo ripping a left uppercut to Carlos Urias’ chin took first place in the Action category.

Finishing second and third, respectively, in the Feature category are Tom Hogan and Ed Mulholland. Hogan drew high marks for a panoramic, overhead shot of Ricky Hatton flat on his back after being knocked out by Manny Pacquiao, and Mulholland was cited for his shot of Lucian Bute leaping in celebration as referee Benji Esteves counts out Librado Andrade.

Another frequent BWAA honoree, Al Bello of Getty Images, took second in the Action category.

Honorable mentions went to Top Rank’s Chris Farina and Hogan for Action and Chris Cozzone for Feature.

The contest was judged by Yong Kim and Sarah J. Glover, staff photographers for Philadelphia Newspaper Holdings.

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