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BWAA Barney Awards-Congrats To The TSS Crew, And All!

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PUGMIRE, TSS.com, LA TIMES LEAD WAY IN BWAA “BARNEYS” WRITING CONTEST

TheSweetScience.com Leads The Pack With 6 Stories In The Spotlight, Tied For First With The Esteemed LA Times

Lance Pugmire of the Los Angeles Times took top individual honors in the 10th annual Boxing Writers Association of America writing contest, known as the “Barneys” in honor of Barney Nagler, the late former president of the BWAA.

The contest period covered the 2010 calendar year. Winning entrants will be honored at the 86th annual BWAA Awards Dinner on May 6 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Pugmire was the only winner of two first-place awards, in judging by a panel of nationally recognized sports writers and journalism instructors. He tied John Whisler, of the San Antonio Express News, for first in Event Coverage, for a story on a winning but lackluster victory by Shane Mosley, and in Column, which cited the unconvincing attempt by Antonio Margarito and his trainer to explain their mocking gestures toward Manny Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach, who has Parkinson’s disease. But Pugmire wasn’t the only LA Times writer to place highly. Bill Dwyre and Kevin Baxter shared third place in the Feature Under 1,750 Words category.

Other first places, based on a blind scoring system in which independent scores by a panel of judges are tablulated, went to T.K. Stewart, of T.K. Stewart on Boxing, Column; Robert Mladinich, of Thesweetscience.com, Feature Under 1,750 words (tie); Pablo S. Torre, Sports Illustrated, Feature Under 1,750 words (tie) David Weinberg, The Press of Atlantic City, Feature Under 1,750 words (tie); Peter Owen Nelson, Sports Illustrated, Feature Over 1,750 words, and Thomas Hauser, Secondsout.com, Investigative Reporting.

Multiple placers in addition to Whisler, who also took a third in Column; Torre, added a second in Feature Over 1,750 Words; Hauseer, who also was third in Column; Lee Groves, of Boxingscene.com, with ties for second in Column as well as News Story, and Dave Skretta, of the Associated Press, with a second-place tie in Feature Under 1,750 Words and a third in Event Coverage.

10th annual BWAA writing contest

Event Coverage

First place (tie)
Lance Pugmire, Los Angeles Times
John Whisler, San Antonio Express News

Second place
Chris Mannix, SI.com

Third place
Dave Skretta, The Associated Press

Honorable Mention
Michael Rosenthal, RingTV.com; Don Steinberg, Philadelphia Inquirer; Springs Toledo, Thesweetscience.com; David Weinberg, The Press of Atlantic City

Column

First  place
T.K. Stewart, T.K. Stewart on Boxing

Second place (tie)
Adam Berlin, Thesweetscience.com
Lee Groves, Boxingscene.com

Third place (tie)
Tim Dahlberg, The Associated Press
Thomas Hauser, Secondsout.com
John Whisler, San Antonio Express News

Honorable mention
Lyle Fitzsimmons, Boxingscene.com; Matthew Hurley, Secondsout.com; George Kimball, Thesweetscience.com; Don Stradley, donstradleyblogspot.com

News story

First place
Lance Pugmire, Los Angeles Times

Second place (tie)
Ron Borges, Boxing Monthly
Lee Groves, Boxingscene.com

Third place
Bill Dwyre, Los Angeles Times

Honorable mention
Bart Barry, 15rounds.com; Kevin Iole, Yahoosports.com; Armando Paz, Ironchinboxing.com

Feature under 1,750 words

First place (tie)

Robert Mladinich, Thesweetscience.com
Pablo S. Torre, Sports Illustrated
David Weinberg, The Press of Atlantic City

Second place (tie)
Norm Frauenheim, 15rounds.com
Dave Skretta, The Associated Press

Third place (tie)
Kevin Baxter, Los Angeles Times; Bill Dwyre, Los Angeles Times; Rick Folstad, Thesweetscience.com

Honorable mention
William Detloff, The Ring; Bernard Fernandez, Philadelphia Daily News; Thomas Hauser, Boxing Monthly

Feature Over 1,750 Words

First place
Peter Owen Nelson, Sports Illustrated

Second place
Pablo S. Torre, Sports Illustrated

Third place
Ivan Solotaroff, Details

Honorable mention
Bill Dwyre, Los Angeles Times; Charles Farrell, Post Road Issue #19; Bernard Fernandez, Philadelphia Daily News; Gabriel Montoya, Maxboxing.com

Investigative reporting

First place
Thomas Hauser, Secondsout.com

Second place
Springs Toledo, Thesweetscience.com

Third place
Mark Kram, Philadelphia Daily News

Honorable mention
Bernard Fernandez, Philadelphia Daily News; Norm Frauenheim, The Ring; Don Stradley, HVB magaxine

Judges

Randy Galloway, Fort Worth Star-Telegram; Kurt Kragthorpe, Salt Lake Tribune; Angelique Chengelis, Detroit News; George Solomon, University of Maryland College of Journalism; Neil Reisner, Department of Journalism and Broadcasting, Florida International University.

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2015 Fight of the Year – Francisco Vargas vs Takashi Miura

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The WBC World Super Featherweight title bout between Francisco Vargas and Takashi Miura came on one of the biggest boxing stages of 2015, as the bout served as the HBO pay-per-view’s co-main event on November 21st, in support of Miguel Cotto vs Saul Alvarez.

Miura entered the fight with a (29-2-2) record and he was making the fifth defense of his world title, while Vargas entered the fight with an undefeated mark of (22-0-1) in what was his first world title fight. Both men had a reputation for all-out fighting, with Miura especially earning high praise for his title defense in Mexico where he defeated Sergio Thompson in a fiercely contested battle.

The fight started out hotly contested, and the intensity never let up. Vargas seemed to win the first two rounds, but by the fourth round, Miura seemed to pull ahead, scoring a knock-down and fighting with a lot of confidence. After brawling the first four rounds, Miura appeared to settle into a more technical approach. Rounds 5 and 6 saw the pendulum swing back towards Vargas, as he withstood Miura’s rush to open the fifth round and the sixth round saw both men exchanging hard punches.

The big swinging continued, and though Vargas likely edged Miura in rounds 5 and 6, Vargas’ face was cut in at least two spots and Miura started to assert himself again in rounds 7 and 8. Miura was beginning to grow in confidence while it appeared that Vargas was beginning to slow down, and Miura appeared to hurt Vargas at the end of the 8th round.

Vargas turned the tide again at the start of the ninth round, scoring a knock down with an uppercut and a straight right hand that took Miura’s legs and sent him to the canvas. Purely on instinct, Miura got back up and continued to fight, but Vargas was landing frequently and with force. Referee Tony Weeks stepped in to stop the fight at the halfway point of round 9 as Miura was sustaining a barrage of punches.

Miura still had a minute and a half to survive if he was going to get out of the round, and it was clear that he was not going to stop fighting.

A back and forth battle of wills between two world championship level fighters, Takashi Miura versus “El Bandido” Vargas wins the 2015 Fight of the Year.

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Jan 9 in Germany – Feigenbutz and De Carolis To Settle Score

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This coming Saturday, January 9th, the stage is set at the Baden Arena in Offenburg, Germany for a re-match between Vincent Feigenbutz and Giovanni De Carolis. The highly anticipated re-match is set to air on SAT.1 in Germany, and Feigenbutz will once again be defending his GBU and interim WBA World titles at Super Middleweight.

The first meeting between the two was less than three months ago, on October 17th and that meeting saw Feigenbutz controversially edge De Carolis on the judge’s cards by scores of (115-113, 114-113 and 115-113). De Carolis scored a flash knock down in the opening round, and he appeared to outbox Feigenbutz in the early going, but the 20 year old German champion came on in the later rounds.

The first bout is described as one of the most crowd-pleasing bouts of the year in Germany, and De Carolis and many observers felt that the Italian had done enough to win.

De Carolis told German language website RAN.DE that he was more prepared for the re-match, and that due to the arrogance Feigenbutz displayed in the aftermath of the first fight, he was confident that he had won over some of the audience. Though De Carolis fell short of predicting victory, he promised a re-vamped strategy tailored to what he has learned about Feigenbutz, whom he termed immature and inexperienced.

The stage is set for Feigenbutz vs De Carolis 2, this Saturday January 9th in Offenburg, Germany. If you can get to the live event do it, if not you have SAT.1 in Germany airing the fights, and The Boxing Channel right back here for full results.

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2015 Knock Out of the Year – Saul Alvarez KO’s James Kirkland

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On May 9th of 2015, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez delivered a resonant knock-out of James Kirkland on HBO that wins the 2015 KO of the Year.

The knock-out itself came in the third round, after slightly more than two minutes of action. The end came when Alvarez delivered a single, big right hand that caught Kirkland on the jaw and left him flat on his back after spinning to the canvas.Alvarez was clearly the big star heading into the fight. The fight was telecast by HBO for free just one week after the controversial and disappointing Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao fight, and Alvarez was under pressure to deliver the type of finish that people were going to talk about. Kirkland was happy to oblige Alvarez, taking it right to Alvarez from the start. Kirkland’s aggression saw him appear to land blows that troubled the young Mexican in the early going. Alvarez played good defense, and he floored Kirkland in the first round, displaying his power and his technique in knocking down an aggressive opponent.

However, Kirkland kept coming at Alvarez and the fight entered the third round with both men working hard and the feeling that the fight would not go the distance. Kirkland continued to move forward, keeping “Canelo” against the ropes and scoring points with a barrage of punches while looking for an opening.

At around the two minute mark, Alvarez landed an uppercut that sent Kirkland to the canvas again. Kirkland got up, but it was clear that he did not have his legs under him. Kirkland was going to try to survive the round, but Alvarez had an opportunity to close out the fight. The question was would he take it?

Alvarez closed in on Kirkland, putting his opponent’s back to the ropes. Kirkland was hurt, but he was still dangerous, pawing with punches and loading up for one big shot.

But it was the big shot “Canelo” threw that ended the night. Kirkland never saw it coming, as he was loading up with a huge right hand of his own. The right Alvarez threw cracked Kirkland in the jaw, and his eyes went blank. His big right hand whizzed harmlessly over the head of a ducking Alvarez, providing the momentum for the spin that left Kirkland prone on the canvas.

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez went on to defeat Miguel Cotto in his second fight of 2015 and he is clearly one of boxing’s biggest stars heading into 2016. On May 9th Alvarez added another reel to his highlight film when he knocked out James Kirkland with the 2015 “Knock Out of the Year”.

Photo by naoki fukuda

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