The Barneys

(for work done in 2009)


First Place
TIM DAHLBERG, “Pacquiao Dismantles Cotto,”* The Associated Press, November 15, 2009

Second Place (tie)
BILL DWYRE, “As Pacquiao Throws, Cotto Goes With the Flow,” Los Angeles Times, November 15, 2009
SPRINGS TOLEDO, "Thunderstruck,” Thesweetscience.com, May 3, 2009

Third Place (tie)
RONAN KEENAN, “Miguel Cotto’s Fistic Future Is in Doubt,” Thesweetscience.com, November 16, 2009
DAVE SKRETTA, “Pavlik Stops Rubio to Retain Middleweight Crown,” The Associated Press, February 21, 2009

Honorable Mention: Ron Borges, Thesweetscience.com; Chris Cozzone, Fightnews.com; Peter Owen Nelson, Ringtv.com; Eric Raskin, Ringtv.com; T.K. Stewart, T.K. Stewart on Boxing.


First Place
TIM SMITH, “A Test of Ethics,” New York Daily News, December 25, 2009

Second Place
TIM DAHLBERG, “Tyson, A Grieving Father," The Associated Press, May 27, 2009

Third Place
DAVID WEINBERG, “Former Boardwalk Mugging Victim Has 2nd Pro Bout,” The Press of Atlantic City, August 8, 2009

Honorable Mention: Bart Barry, 15Rounds.com; Adam Berlin, 15rounds.com; Ron Borges, Thesweetscience.com; Norm Frauenheim, 15rounds.com; Chris Mannix, SI.com; T.K. Stewart, T.K. Stewart on Boxing; Don Stradley, The Ring.


First Place
NORM FRAUENHEIM, “Arizona’s Tough Laws Bump Lara Off Tucson Card,” CBSsports.com, June 26, 2009

Second Place
BERNARD FERNANDEZ, “Requiem for a Super Bantamweight,The Philadelphia Daily News, November 23, 2009

Third Place
GEORGE WILLIS, “Naazim Calls Doctored Wraps ‘Deliberate’,” The New York Post, January 28, 2009

Honorable Mention: Ron Borges, The Boston Herald; David P. Greisman, Boxingscene.com;  George Kimball, The sweetscience.com; Lance Pugmire, The Los Angeles Times; Michael Rosenthal, Ringtv.com; Don Stradley, The Ring; T.K. Stewart, T.K. Stewart on Boxing; John Whisler, San Antonio Express-News  

BOXING FEATURE (Under 1,750 words)

First Place
TIM DAHLBERG, “Foreman Looks Back at 'Rumble in the Jungle',The Associated Press, October 28, 2009

Second Place (Tie)
RON BORGES, “Vecchione Starred in Personal Fight Game,” The Boston Herald, July 12, 2009
NIGEL COLLINS, “Manny Pacquiao: The Roots of His Legend and the Secret of His Success,” The Ring, Issue on Newsstands December 2009

Third Place (Tie)
MICHAEL ROSENTHAL, "Rodela: Back From the Dead,Ringtv.com, June 5, 2009
DON STRADLEY, “Don’t Count Out ‘The Contender’,” The Ring, June 2009

Honorable Mention: Norm Frauenheinm, 15riounds.com; Matthew Hurley, Secondsout.com; Robert Mladinich, Thesweetscience.com; Lance Pugmire, Los Angeles Times; Dave Skretta, The Associated Press; Springs Toledo, Thesweetscience.com

BOXING FEATURE (Over 1,750 words)

First Place
DON STEINBERG,King of the D-List,” Philadelphia Magazine,” December 2009

Second Place
NANCY ARMOUR, ”Last Man Standing.The Associated Press, November 24, 2009

Third Place
BERNARD FERNANDEZ, “Far From a Biggs Shot,” The Philadelphia Daily News, July 7, 2009

Honorable Mention: Thomas Gerbasi, Boxingscene.com; Michael Rosenthal, Ringtv.com; Dave Skretta, The Associated Press; Tim Struby, ESPN The Magazine; Pablo S. Torre, Sports Illustrated


First Place
THOMAS HAUSER, “The Truth about John Duddy,” Secondsout.com, January 19, 2009

Second Place
LANCE PUGMIRE, "Promoters Say California Commission Fails to Properly Oversee a Perilous Sport” The Los Angeles Times, September 25, 2009

Third Place (Tie)
RICHARD FLETCHER, "Living With the Nightmare,” Boxing Monthly, October 2009
LEE GROVES, “Would a New Standard Save the Heavyweight Division?,” Maxboxing.com, May 12, 2009
TIM KEOWN, “Shadow Boxing: The Search for Sweet Jimmy,” ESPN.com, December 16, 2009

Honorable Mention: Ron Borges, Boxing Monthly; Bill Dettloff, The Ring; Bernard Fernandez, The Philadelphia Daily News; Richard Fletcher; Boxing Monthly; Jerry Glick, Boxing Digest; Lee Groves, Maxboxing.com; Don Stradley, The Ring; Springs Toledo, Thesweetscience.com

* note: AP wire stories have various headlines in different publications

STEVE DOYLE, Editor, Shelbyville Sentinel-News
MALCOLM MORAN, Director, John Curley Center of Sports Journalism, Penn State
SCOTT REINARDY, Faculty, University of Kansas School of Journalism
W.H. STICKNEY JR., Houston Chronicle, retired
MIKE WATERS, Syracuse Post-Standard



F.X. Toole

F.X. Toole, a cut man who became a literary sensation at the age of 70 with the short stories that inspired the Oscar-winning movie MILLION DOLLAR BABY, has been named the winner of the Boxing Writers Association of America's 2010 A.J. Liebling Award. The late cornerman-turned-author will be honored at the BWAA's annual awards dinner this spring.

The acclaim for Toole's gritty, evocative short story collection ROPE BURNS served as the final reward for a knockaround guy who spent so much of his life as an unpublished -- and frustrated -- writer.  When the book was published in 2000, however, his real name was nowhere to be found.  He was born Jerry Boyd, and he adopted his pen name because he was afraid the denizens of the Los Angeles gym he worked at would feel he had somehow betrayed them.

It was only a year before that Toole saw one of his stories in print for the first time.  The San Francisco literary journal Zyzzva paid him $35 for "The Monkey Look," and he thanked the journal's editor by baking him a gooseberry pie.

In the kind of life that no one would have appreciated more than the character-embracing Liebling himself, Toole kicked around the United States and Mexico as an actor, cab driver, bartender, street fighter, bullfighter and gambling den bootblack.  He turned to boxing in his late 40s, intending to do nothing more than get in shape. He wound up as a student of the fight game and a cornerman whose specialty is defined by the first sentence of "The Monkey Look":

"I stop blood."

Toole, who had churned out novels, short stories, poetry, plays and screenplays all his adult life, wrote tirelessly about boxing until his death, at 72, in 2002.  He lived long enough to read glowing reviews for ROPE BURNS in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times and New York Review of Books.  But he had been dead for two years by the time MILLION DOLLAR BABY made it to the screen, with Clint Eastwood directing and Hillary Swank as the female boxer whose tragic story it tells.

That is not to say, however, that the last has been heard from F.X. Toole.  His novel POUND FOR POUND was published in 2006, and CUTMAN, a cable TV series based on his short stories, is currently in development.

And yet to Dub Huntley, the California trainer who schooled him in the ways of boxing, Toole remains a stranger.  It is Jerry Boyd who counts for something in his old friend's world because he captured it perfectly.  As Huntley once said, "Jerry had wrote down everything."

For 2010 writing awards winners please click here.
For 2009 writing awards winners please click here.
For 2008 writing awards winners please click here.
For 2007 writing awards winners please click here.

For 2006 writing awards winners please click here.

2004 - 2008 Boxing Writers Association of America. All rights reserved.