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Andre Ward is BWAA Fighter of the Year

BY The Sweet Science ON January 30, 2012
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WardFroch Bailey8JANUARY 30, 2012 -- Andre Ward has won an Olympic gold medal,
professional world titles, and Showtime's Super Six super-middleweight
tournament. Now the Boxing Writers Association of America has named
Ward its Fighter of the Year for 2011. Ward will receive the BWAA's
Sugar Ray Robinson Fighter of the Year trophy.  Ward was chosen by an
overwhelming margin over nominees Nonito Donaire, Wladimir Klitschko,
Floyd Mayweather, and Manny Pacquiao.


      Trainer Virgil Hunter has worked with Ward since Ward started
boxing as a nine-year-old amateur. It is only fitting that in the year
Ward won his first BWAA honor, Hunter has won as well. The BWAA
electorate has voted Hunter winner of the the Eddie Futch Trainer of
the Year award.


      There were many great fights during 2011. The BWAA determined
that the first battle between Delvin Rodriguez and Pawel Wolak topped
the list. The two fought to a blistering 10-round draw last July at
the Roseland Ballroom in New York. The "Fight of the Year" award is
named after legendary heavyweight champions Muhammad Ali and Joe
Frazier.


       Don Elbaum has been in boxing so long that he promoted fights
involving Willie Pep and Sugar Ray Robinson.  Elbaum's service to the
sport is now being officially recognized by the BWAA.  Elbaum is the
winner of this year's John F.X. Condon award for Long and Meritorious
Service to the sport.


       At last year's awards dinner in Las Vegas, Showtime's Al
Bernstein served as the master of ceremonies. Bernstein will be be
invited back this year in a different capacity. He was voted the
Marvin Kohn "Good Guy" award,his second major honor from the BWAA.
Previously he won the Sam Taub award for Excellence in Broadcast
Journalism.


       Dewey Bozella spent 26 years in prison for a crime he did not
commit. Bozella was offered a substantially reduced sentence if he had
agreed to plead guilty. Bozella would not sacrifice his principles.
Instead he fought the injustice through the legal system, and the
truth finally emerged. At age 52, he lived his dream of having one pro
fight. Bozella won and retired unbeaten from the ring.  Bozella has
been named recipient of the BWAA's Courage in Overcoming Adversity
award.  The award is named after Congressional Medal of Honor winner
Bill Crawford.


       In addition to the above awards, recognition will also be given
to the winners of the BWAA's Barneys contest, which honors the best
boxing writing of the previous year.The BWAA's membership determined
that no award should be given this year in the Manager and Broadcaster
categories.


       Previously it was announced that Colin Hart won the Fleischer
award for Excellence in Boxing Journalism, and the late George
Plimpton the Liebling award for Outstanding Boxing Writing. The date
and location of the 87th annual BWAA's awards banquet will be
announced in the coming weeks.


      Check www.bwaa.org for updates.

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