Oft-honored photographer Al Bello and first-time entrant Marilyn Paulino took top honors in the Boxing Writers Association of America’s photo contest. They and other placing photographers will be recognized during the 91st annual BWAA Awards Dinner to be held June 24 at the Copacabana on Times Square in New York City.
All photos that were entered in the contest had to be taken in the 2015 calendar year.
Bello, shooting for Getty Images, has won as many BWAA photo awards as anyone. This time he placed first in the Action Photo category for his classic shot of welterweight Amir Khan landing a right hand to Chris Algieri’s jaw in their May 29 bout at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. Not only that, but Bello also was second in the Feature Photo category for his shot, taken Dec. 1 at the Park Hill Boxing Club on Staten Island, N.Y., of light heavyweight Marcus Browne hitting the mitts held by trainer Gary Starke.
Paulino made her first appearance in the BWAA photo contest count as she took first place in Feature Photo for her shot of super lightweights Mikkel LesPierre and Evinci Dixon, their faces covered by their gloves, going nose-to-nose in a four-rounder at the Aviator Sports Complex in Brooklyn on Oct. 29, which LesPierre won on a majority decision. Shooting for Salita Promotions, Paulino again demonstrated that a photo of neophyte pros in an undercard bout can be as visually striking as those involving the sport’s superstars.
Also placing in the Action Category are Rich Schultz, who, shooting for Getty Images, took second for his photo of Roy Jones Jr. landing a left in his bout with Eric Watkins at Foxwoods on Aug. 16, and Naoki Fukuda, of RingTV.com, third for his shot of Jessie Vargas connecting with a right hand against Timothy Bradley Jr. on June 27 at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif.
Rounding out the top three in the Feature Category is Mikey Williams. Shooting for Top Rank, he captured the moment when Puerto Rican featherweight Karl Garcia sprayed a mouthful of blood in his Jan. 10 bout with Vic Pasillas at Texas Station Casino in Las Vegas.
Honorable mentions went to Emily Harney in Action and to Schultz in Feature.