Freddie Roach won his seventh Trainer of the Year award and I put it to him point blank when we chatted on Friday: some folks out there saying you won so many, and others, like, say, some Mayweathers, don’t win because it’s a political thing. It’s a popularity contest, non-winners say.
What about it Freddie? Is there something to that…or is that sour grapes whining?
“Hey, I try not to be an a—–e,” he said. “Ask me a question and I give you the best answer I can, the most honest answer I can. I try to be real. And it is political? Maybe this is why I won seven times…maybe I’m the favorite of writers, I’m accused of that, I don’t really care. But the boxing writers are great to me..Eddie Futch is behind me and that’s who I really care about. My dad taught me to fight, and Eddie taught me the ins and outs.”
His oldest brother, Alan, accepted for Roach at Capitale on Fridat night, in NYC. He kept it short and sweet, and relayed from Freddie that he promised a helluva fight on May 2. Freddie told me that he’s gunning for his eighth crown, and guess what…he says Manny told him he would win it next year, because he would knock Floyd Mayweather out.
Eddie Futch, that squat sage who taught Freddie how to teach, would be smiling from his corner, in the heavens…
Other winners included:
Sugar Ray Robinson Award Fighter of the Year
Bud told me he’s willing to fight anyone next, and that he’d not engage in callouts. Why, he said, Floyd and Manny don’t call others out? Why should I?
Muhammad Ali – Joe Frazier Award Fight of the Year
Lucas Matthysse-John Molina
Molina showed up to get the award, while Lucas is back in Argentina. Molina told me he was happy to come and that he looks forward to proving his banned-substance (diuretic) positive was a mistake.
Eddie Futch Award Trainer of the Year
Cus D’Amato Award Manager of the Year
Nope, Haymon didn’t attend. Tim Smith read from a text from the reclusive mogul. Our man Deontay Wilder told me that he thinks Haymon will show up if and when the Bronze Bomber beats Wladimir Klitschko.
Marvin Kohn Good Guy Award
Molina picked up the award and said Dan was a friend, outside the ring, and is missed, bigtime.
Nat Fleischer Award Excellence in Boxing Journalism
he was, you guessed it, on assignment, and couldn’t attend, like a true pro.
A.J. Liebling Award Outstanding Boxing Writing
The NY Timeser shared a few great anecdotes and money quotes from sages from past ages.
Sam Taub Award Excellence in Broadcast Journalism
Thomas Hauser introed Abraham, who, he said, engineered the last golden age of boxing. Abraham was moved to be introed by the dean of boxing writers, he said.
Barney Nagler Award Long and Meritorious Service
The ex prez of the BWAA who served tirelessly admitted he was nervous giving this speech. His wife and kids attended and clapped loudly for their Jack.
Bill Crawford Courage Award
Steve & Livvy Cunningham
The Cunninghams were massively moved, and thanked the boxing community for stepping up, and helping raise money so that they could get to a hospital where their daughter Kennedy received a heart transplant. All applauded this fighting family.
New prez Joe Santoloquito took a stand, and asked that BWAA members be respected, and given ringside seating for #MayPac, noting that they spread the word on Floyd when he was 0-0, and Manny weighed 106 pounds. Now, during the boom time, he fears BWAA members won’t be allowed inside the arena to report, instead shunted aside for glossier outlets, who will disappear when the big fight is over…while the keyboard tappers who spread the word about the upsides of the sport, and act as free advertising, watch on a screen. I concur with Joe, and believe it would be penny-wise and pound-foolish not to allow a full complement of day to day fight writers to cover MayPac from inside the MGM.