Vasiliy Lomachenko Makes History As The First Ukrainian Selected As The BWAA Fighter Of The Year
The Boxing Writers Association of America is proud to announce that its Sugar Ray Robinson 2017 Fighter of the Year is Vasiliy “Hi-Tech” Lomachenko, who made history in becoming the first Ukrainian to earn that distinction in the 80-year history of the award.
Lomachenko (10-1, 8 knockouts) earned the BWAA’s coveted prize by beating solid contenders Jason Sosa and Miguel Marriaga in 2017, then closing the year by making two-time Olympic gold medalist Guillermo Rigondeaux quit after six rounds.
“Hi-Tech” won out over Terence Crawford, Anthony Joshua, Mikey Garcia and Thailand star Srisaket Sor Rungvisai.
Lomachenko’s selection is the crowning moment for Team Lomachenko, which won a rare BWAA triple crown by winning the BWAA’s fighter, trainer and manager of the year awards for 2017. The last trio to complete the BWAA's triple crown was in 1992, when Riddick Bowe was the BWAA FOY, the late renowned Eddie Futch was Trainer of the Year and Rock Newman was Manager of the Year.
For the first time ever, the BWAA announced its first 2017 Christy Martin Female Fighter of the Year, Cecilia Braekhus, who won over a worthy class that included Jessica Chavez, Naoko Fujioka, Mariana Juarez, Amanda Serrano, Claressa Shields and Katie Taylor.
The 2017 Muhammad Ali – Joe Frazier Fight of the Year was an obvious choice, with the epic Showtime heavyweight championship fight between Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko in April 2017 before 90,000 at Wembley Stadium. That choice outdistanced David Benavidez-Ronald Gavril, James DeGale-Badou Jack, Miguel Roman-Orlando Salido and Srisaket Sor Rungvisai-Roman Gonzalez I.
The second winner of Team Lomachenko’s BWAA triple crown is Loma’s father, Anatoly Lomachenko, who was voted the BWAA’s 2017 Eddie Futch Trainer of the Year. The finalists in that category included Derrick James, Brian McIntyre, Andre Rozier and Abel Sanchez.
For the second-straight year and completing Team Lomachenko trifecta is the BWAA’s 2017 Cus D’Amato Manager of the Year Egis Klimas, in a category that included Keith Connolly and Frank Espinoza.
For the second time in three years, Lou DiBella is a BWAA award winner—but this year DiBella finally breaks a spell receiving his first voted-on award by taking the 2017 Sam Taub trophy for outstanding achievement in broadcast journalism. The finalists there included Brian Custer, Stephen Espinoza, Roy Jones and Mauro Ranallo.
Daniel Franco’s saga in 2017 has been well documented. The California featherweight recovered from a serious brain injury after a fight in June and continues to make great progress. The BWAA is honored to name Franco as the 2017 Bill Crawford Courage Award winner. The other distinguished candidates in this category were Kathy Duva, Jose Santa Cruz, Claressa Shields and Samuel Teah.
The BWAA is also proud to announce Dr. Margaret Goodman as the 2017 Barney Nagler Long & Meritorious Award. This is the second BWAA award for Dr. Goodman, who received the Honesty and Integrity Award in 2005. The honorable mentions in this category included the BWAA’s indispensable Gina Andriolo, punchstat guru Bob Canobbio, boxing journalist Randy Gordon and BoxRec creator John Sheppard.
Long-time publicist Ed Keenan is the co-winner of the 2017 Marvin Kohn Good Guy Award, sharing it with future Hall of Famer Wladimir Klitschko. The team of Keenan-and-Klitschko was selected among a group of worthwhile contenders like Matt Donovan, Jose Ramirez, Bruce Silverglade and Tim Smith.
The awards will be presented at the annual BWAA gala, which will take place in April on a specific date and venue yet to be determined.