The Boxing Writers Association of America has finalized the ballot for its 2019 awards in nine categories.
In addition to handing out its most prestigious honor, the Sugar Ray Robinson Fighter of the Year award, the BWAA will name the Joe Louis Fighter of the Decade.
The nominees for fighter of the decade (2010-2019) include two men who are still active — four-division titlist Canelo Alvarez, and pound-for-pound great and eight-division titlist Manny Pacquiao — and three who are retired, former unified heavyweight world champion Wladimir Klitschko, pound-for-pound legend and five-division titleholder Floyd Mayweather Jr. and former super middleweight and light heavyweight world titlist Andre Ward.
The nominees for fighter of the year are:
• Alvarez (53-1-2, 36 KOs), who participated in two of the year’s biggest fights as he unified two middleweight world titles with a clear decision over Daniel Jacobs and then jumped up two weight classes and scored a devastating 11th-round knockout of Sergey Kovalev to win a light heavyweight title, which gave him belts in four weight classes overall.
• Forty-year-old legend Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs), who continued to add to his voluminous resume by easily outpointing Adrien Broner to retain his secondary welterweight belt and then dropped Keith Thurman and outpointed him in one of the year’s best fights to claim a world title.
• Bantamweight Naoya Inoue (19-0, 16 KOs), who crushed Emmanuel Rodriguez in the second round to take his world title in the semifinals of the World Boxing Super Series tournament and then won a grueling unanimous decision over probable Hall of Famer Nonito Donaire to unify two world titles and win the eight-man tournament.
• Welterweight Errol Spence Jr. (26-0, 21 KOs), who emerged as a pay-per-view attraction, cruised to a shutout decision to retain his world title against four-division titlist Mikey Garcia, who had moved up two weight classes to challenge him. Then Spence narrowly outpointed Shawn Porter to unify two belts by split decision in one of the year’s most action-packed fights.
• Junior welterweight Josh Taylor (16-0, 12 KOs), who scored two knockdowns and won a decision over Ivan Baranchyk to take his world title in the semifinals of the World Boxing Super Series and then outfought Regis Prograis to take a majority decision in their unification bout in the tournament final.
All BWAA members can vote for fighter of the decade and full members will vote on the rest of the awards over the next month, with winners to be announced in early 2020. The winners will be honored at the 95th annual BWAA awards dinner in the spring at a site to be determined.
Nominees for the Muhammad Ali-Joe Frazier Fight of the Year award are Gennadiy Golovkin’s action-packed and narrow decision win over Sergiy Derevyanchenko to claim a vacant middleweight belt; Inoue’s tremendous battle with Donaire; Pacquiao’s memorable victory over Thurman; Andy Ruiz Jr.’s seventh-round knockout of Anthony Joshua in a fantastic fight and monumental upset to claim three major heavyweight world titles; Spence’s unification win over Porter; and Taylor’s slugfest with Prograis.
The nominees for the Eddie Futch Trainer of the Year award are the dual entry of Jay Deas and Mark Breland (who co-train heavyweight titlist Deontay Wilder), Derrick James, Brian McIntyre, Eddy Reynoso and Manny Robles.
Nominees for the Cus D’Amato Manager of the Year award are Keith Connolly, Luis DeCubas Jr., Peter Kahn, David McWater and Rick Mirigian.
The Sam Taub broadcast award nominees are ESPN ringside analysts Timothy Bradley Jr. and Ward, Showtime Sports executive producer David Dinkins, Showtime Sports broadcaster Jim Gray, and Showtime blow-by-blow announcer Mauro Ranallo.
The nominees for the Bill Crawford award for courage in overcoming adversity are publicist Marc Abrams, Showtime broadcaster Brian Custer, Ranallo, trainer Jose Santa Cruz, and former light heavyweight world champion Adonis Stevenson.
The Barney Nagler Long and Meritorious Service award nominees are Hall of Fame trainer and ESPN broadcaster Teddy Atlas, Hall of Fame ring announcer Michael Buffer, CompuBox founder Bob Canobbio, historian Henry Hascup, and Boxrec founder John Sheppard.
Nominees for the Marvin Kohn Good Guy award went to former super middleweight world titlist Anthony Dirrell, journalist Norm Frauenheim, unified junior welterweight world titlist Jose Ramirez, Premier Boxing Champions spokesman Tim Smith, and WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman.
On Monday, Katie Taylor, the undisputed women’s lightweight world champion and also a junior welterweight titleholder, was named winner of the Christy Martin award for 2019 Female Fighter of the Year by the BWAA women’s boxing committee.
The Nat Fleischer award for career excellence in boxing journalism, which is voted on only by past winners, will be announced in the next few weeks.