It has been said that a picture tells a thousand words, and that is undoubtedly true. Maybe that is why all boxing writers appreciate the work of boxing photographers, whose best shots can bring even greater meaning to the stories done by the authors of those pieces. Of course, the reverse is also true. The union of words and pictures can be – and often is -- striking, powerful and cause for reflection.
The 94th annual Boxing Writers Association of America Awards Ceremony, on May 31 at the Copacabana in New York City, will again celebrate the photographers’ art as both a stand-alone visual medium and an enhancement to the articles written by BWAA members during the 2018 calendar year.
Taking top honors are Esther Lin, shooting for Showtime, in the Action category, and Ed Mulholland, on assignment for HBO Sports, in the Feature category. Each has been cited by the BWAA in the past.
Lin’s first-place photo is of WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder standing over lineal titlist Tyson Fury as Fury sinks to the canvas after being knocked down in the 12th round of their Dec. 1 bout in Los Angeles. Fury somehow beat the count, but that knockdown allowed Wilder to retain his bejeweled belt on a split draw in an instant classic of a fight. The judges’ comment states that “This winning image has it all. Excellent timing and expressions. The background is clean. It captures the power of a punch and the strength of the athlete so well you can almost feel it.”
Similar praise for a different kind of shot was rightly reserved for Mulholland for his wide-angle capturing of the moment when Canelo Alvarez, with thousands of fans in attendance, stepped on the scales for the weigh-in the day before his Sept. 15 unified middleweight championship rematch with Gennady Golovkin at the T-Mobile Center in Las Vegas. Wrote the judges: “Interesting perspective from a weigh-in. The flash burst gives it the uniqueness that pushes it to the top of the Feature category. Excellent overall shot that captures the scale and place of the event.”
Second and third places, respectively, in the Action category went to Lester Silva, shooting for Univision, and Edward Diller, for DiBella Entertainment. Silva’s shot is of former IBF/WBC super lightweight champ Devon Alexander getting Victor Ortiz’s attention with a jolting straight left, but each had to settle for a majority draw on Feb. 17 in El Paso, Texas. Diller placed when he captured the moment when Adrien Broner connected with a right hand, distorting the facial features of Jessie Vargas in their welterweight bout on April 21 in Brooklyn, which also ended in a majority draw.
Coming in just behind Mulholland in the Feature category are Linette Kielinski, who took second shooting for ESPN.com, and Diwang Valdez, who got third shooting for The Undefeated. Both are first-time entrants and placers in the BWAA photo contest. Kielinski was cited for her photo of super light weight prospect Damon Allen Jr. getting in some roadwork on the streets of Philadelphia, joined by his young cousin Tyreem “Moo Moo” Hayward, an amateur boxer with his own ring dreams. Valdez caught WBC heavyweight champ Deontay Wilder enjoy a moment of quiet respite after a training session leading up to his title-retaining split draw with Tyson Fury.
Honorable Mentions went to Tim Tai of the Philadelphia Inquirer and to Naoki Fukuda of RingTV.com. The placing photo for Tai, a first-time entrant, showed Demond Nicholson getting in a good lick against Jesse Hart in their April 28 bout in Philly for the vacant NABF super middleweight title, but Hart went on to win on a seventh-round stoppage. Fukuda, a frequent honoree of the BWAA, showed Yoshiko Minato finding the target with an overhand right against Ryohei Arakawa, resulting in a third-round knockdown and Arakawa’s corner throwing in the towel in their Dec. 234 bout for the Japanese Rookie Tournament flyweight title in Tokyo.
(1) Esther Lin, Showtime
WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder sends lineal titlist Tyson Fury to the canvas in the 12th round of their epic match of May 18 at Brooklyn's Barclays Center. Wilder needed the knockdown, too, retaining his title on a split draw.
(2) Lester Silva, Univision
Former IBF/WBC super lightweight champion Devon Alexander gets Victor Ortiz's attention with a jolting straight left, but each had to settle for a majority draw on Feb. 17 in El Paso, Texas.
(3) Edward Diller, DiBella Entertainment
Adrien Broner connects with a right hand, distorting the facial features of Jessie Vargas in their welterweight fight on April 21 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, which ended in a majority draw.
(HM) Tim Tai, Philadelphia Inquirer
Demond Nicholson gets in a good lick against Jesse Hart in their -- fight for the vacant NABF super middleweight title, but Hart went on to win by seventh-round knockout at the Liacouras Center in Philly.
(1) Ed Mulholland, HBO Boxing
It's a sea of humanity as Canelo Alvarez steps onto the scale the day before his Sept. 15 middleweight title rematch with Gennady Golovkin at the T-Mobile Center in Las Vegas. Alvarez came away with a majority-decision victory.
(2) Linette Kielinski, ESPN.com
Super lightweight prospect Damon Allen Jr. gets in some roadwork on the streets of Philadelphia, joined by his young cousin, Tyreem "Moo Moo" Haywood, an amateur boxer with his own ring dreams.
(3) Diwang Valdez, The Undefeated
WBC heavyweight champ Deontay Wilder enjoys a moment of quiet respite after a training session leading up to his rousing split draw with Tyson Fury on Dec. 1 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
(HM) Naoki Fukuda, RingTV.com
Ryohei Arakawa's corner throws in the towel after Yoshiko Minato's overhand right resulted in Arakawa's third-round knockdown on Dec. 23 in Tokyo.