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The BWAA Announces The 2015 Bernie Writing Award Winners

The Boxing Writers Association of America is very proud to announce the winners of its 2015 Bernie Awards, the 15th annual writing contest named after former BWAA President Bernard Fernandez.

This year’s big winner is Boston Herald writer Ron Borges, who won a first in Event Coverage, second in the Column category and a third for Feature Under-1,500 words. He also achieved an honorable mention for News Story.

Other multiple winners included ESPN’s Dan Rafael, who placed second in Event Coverage and third in Feature Under-1,500 words. Springs Toledo, from the, took seconds in Event Coverage and Investigative Reporting, and Ivan Goldman, from, garnered a second in Feature Under-1,500 word and third in Investigative Reporting.’s Chris Mannix received a first in News and a third in Investigative Reporting.’s Diego Morilla was awarded first in the Column category, San Antonio Express-News’ John Whisler achieved a first for Feature Under-1,500 words, ESPN Magazine’s Tim Keown was first in Feature Over-1,500 words and Thomas Hauser was first in Investigative Reporting for his story on the USADA for SBNation.

Former BWAA presidents Fernandez (second in News, for the Philadelphia Daily News) and Jack Hirsch (third in Column, for Boxing News Annual) also placed, as did the Los Angeles Times’ Lance Pugmire (second in News), The Ring’s Norm Frauenheim (third in News), ESPN Magazine’s Pablo S. Torre (second in Feature Over-1,500 words) and Tim Struby (third in Feature Over-1,500 words) for Playboy.

The BWAA would like to congratulate all of the winners and honorable mentions in a record year of 137 entries to the contest. This year featured a who's who of the top writers that cover boxing today.



First Place

RON BORGES, “Money Good Enough,” Boston Herald, May 3, 2015

Second Place

SPRINGS TOLEDO, “Jack Dempsey’s,” April 27, 2015

Third Place

DAN RAFAEL, “Floyd Mayweather Beats Manny Pacquiao In Unanimous Decision,”, May 3, 2015

Honorable Mention: Bill Dwyre, Los Angeles Times; Bernard Fernandez,; Thomas Gerbasi,; Ivan G. Goldman,; David P. Greisman,; Thomas Hauser,; Kieran Mulvaney,; John Whisler, San Antonio Express-News; George Willis, New York Post


First Place

DIEGO M. MORILLA, “Billion Dollar Daddy – Or How Arum Lost His Fight To Father Timing,”, May 2, 2015

Second Place

RON BORGES, “Contradictions Abound,” Boston Herald, April 29, 2015

Third Place

JACK HIRSCH, “Hype Of The Century,” Boxing News Annual, December, 2015

Honorable Mention: Lyle Fitzsimmons,; Norm Frauenheim, The Ring; Thomas Gerbasi,; Thomas Hauser,; Kieran Mulvaney,; T.K. Stewart,; Tim Struby, Playboy; Michael Woods,;


First Place

CHRIS MANNIX, “Sources: Antonio Tarver Failed Drug Test Before Steve Cunningham Bout,”, October 19, 2015

Second Place (Tie)

BERNARD FERNANDEZ, “Beyond The Blue Horizon,” Philadelphia Daily News, November 2, 2015

LANCE PUGMIRE, “Waiter Has A Hand In Floyd Mayweather – Manny Pacquiao Matchup,” Los Angeles Times, February 21, 2015

Third Place

NORM FRAUENHEIM, “How It Happened,” The Ring, May, 2015

Honorable Mention: Ron Borges, Boston Herald; Thomas Gerbasi,; Lee Groves,; John Whisler, San Antonio Express-News; George Willis, New York Post

BOXING FEATURE (Under 1,500 words)

First Place

JOHN WHISLER, “His Life is Boxing – And Losing; At 4-29-1, He Wants To Be A Contender,” San Antonio Express-News, July 10, 2015

Second Place (Tie)

IVAN G. GOLDMAN, “NY State Dragging Its Feet Reporting On Mago Abdusalamov Tragedy,”, January 9, 2015

DAN RAFAEL, “Jim Lampley, The Voice Of Boxing For Nearly 30 Years,”, June 13, 2015

Third Place:

RON BORGES, “Roach Still Eyes Prize,” Boston Herald, April 30, 2015

Honorable Mention: Jake Donovan,; Bill Dwyre, Los Angeles Times; Bernard Fernandez,; Thomas Hauser, The Ring; Jack Hirsch,; Lance Pugmire, Los Angeles Times; Joseph Santoliquito,; David Weinberg, Press of Atlantic City;

BOXING FEATURE (Over 1,500 words)

First Place

TIM KEOWN, “A Legacy on the Line,” ESPN The Magazine, April 29, 2015

Second Place

PABLO S. TORRE, “The Perfect Opponent,” ESPN The Magazine, April 30, 2015

Third Place

TIM STRUBY, “The Ballad of John Joe,” Playboy, August 2015

Honorable Mention: Bill King, Sports Business Journal; Chris Mannix,; Ronan Keenan,; Joseph Santoliquito,; Ryan Songalia;


First Place

THOMAS HAUSER, “Can Boxing Trust USADA?,” SB Nation, September 8, 2015

Second Place

SPRINGS TOLEDO, “The Ringside Belle,”, February 5, 8, and 12, 2015

Third Place (Tie)

IVAN G. GOLDMAN, “California Commissions Get Cold Feet After Crossing Mighty Al Haymon,”, July 3 and June 25, 2015

CHRIS MANNIX/GREG BISHOP, “How It All Came Together,”, May 4, 2015

Honorable Mention: Brin-Jonathan Butler, Bleacher Report; Bernard Fernandez,; Tim Graham, Buffalo News; Lee Groves,; Cliff Rold,


TOMMY DEAS, Executive Sports Editor, Tuscaloosa News; 1st Vice President, Associated Press Sports Editors

GEORGE DIAZ, Sports Writer, Orlando Sentinel

STEVE FARHOOD, Boxing Commentator, Showtime

STEVE HUMMER, Sports Columnist, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

ROSCOE NANCE, Sports Writer, USA Today, Retired

RICK TELANDER, Sports Columnist, Chicago Sun Times

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