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Kriegel, Coppinger And Borges Top The List Of BWAA Writing Award Winners

Two familiar names and one relative newcomer to the uppermost tier of winners highlight the 19th annual Boxing Writers Association of America writing contest, covering the 2019 calendar year. Nine highly qualified judges took part in assessing the merits of another record number of entries, all of which were submitted minus bylines and other identifying marks as to authorship or media affiliation.

Under normal conditions, placing entries in the writing and photo contests would be recognized at the BWAA’s annual awards dinner, but, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, what would be the organization’s 94th annual event has yet to be scheduled and might even have to be pushed back into 2021 should the need arise.

Top individual honors again go to Mark Kriegel of, marking the third consecutive year in which he led the field and solidified his credentials as perhaps the finest boxing writer in America. Kriegel becomes just the second “hat trick” winner in the BWAA writing contest, taking three first places – in Event Coverage, Feature (Under 1,500 Words) and Feature (Over 1,500 Words).

A record was set in the long feature category as Kriegel was part of a four-way tie in the weighted scoring system, sharing that distinction with Carlos Acevedo of Hannibal Boxing, Ron Borges of The Ring and Lance Pugmire of Borges is the only other writer to snag three firsts in a given year’s competition, which he actually did twice, in 2001 and 2004. Kriegel added to his impressive haul with a second place in the Column category and Honorable Mention in Investigative Reporting.

In addition to his shared first in the long feature category, veteran writer Borges, who has claimed more BWAA awards than anyone, added to his career haul with a first in Column for a story for Boxing Monthly, which he shares with Greg Bishop of

The newcomer to the winner’s circle is Mike Coppinger of, who took firsts in News Story and Investigative Reporting, both for Coppinger also scored an Honorable Mention in Event Coverage.

Other recipients of multiple awards include Don Stradley with a pair of seconds, for Event Coverage and Column, as well as an HM in short feature, long feature and Investigative Reporting, and Jose Corpas, with a second in short feature, a third in Event Coverage and an HM in Column.

The complete list of placing entries:

Mark Kriegel tops the list of BWAA writing award winners again



First Place

MARK KRIEGEL, “What Maxim Dadashev Was Fighting For,”, July 20, 2019

Second Place

DON STRADLEY, “Ass-Kicking in Arlington,” Ringside Seat, March 17, 2019

Third Place (tie)

GREG BISHOP, “’This Would Be a Great Way to Go Out’: Behind the Scenes of Pacquiao’s Win Over Thurman,”, June 21, 2019,

MATT CHRISTIE, “World Comes Down,” Boxing News, June 4, 2019

JOSE CORPAS, “Andy Ruiz Jr. - A Win for the Good Hombres,”, June 2, 2019

Honorable Mention: Mike Coppinger, The Athletic; Bernard Fernandez,; Thomas Gerbasi,; Tony Paige,; Springs Toledo,;


First Place (Tie)

GREG BISHOP, “Boxing’s Tragedies Put the Sport in a Difficult Corner,”, August 7, 2019

RON BORGES, “Only One Place to Settle This,” Boxing Monthly, March 2019

Second Place

DON STRADLEY, “Rocky Lockridge 1959-2019,”, February 15, 2019

Third Place (tie)

MARK KRIEGEL, “A Prayer for the Living: You Don’t Have to be Irish to Root for Michael Conlan,”, July 30, 2019

ELLIOT WORSELL, “Down the Tube: KSI and Logan Paul Go Pro,”, October 7, 2019

Honorable Mention: Jose Corpas,; Thomas Hauser,; Steve Kim,; Lance Pugmire,; Springs Toledo,


First Place

MIKE COPPINGER, “Inside the Making of Wilder-Fury 2, the Fight that Brings Al Haymon and Bob Arum Together at Last,” The Athletic, November 22, 2019

Second Place

LANCE PUGMIRE, “As the Boxing World Mourns the Death of Maxim Dadashev, Questions are Raised Surrounding Fighter Safety,’”, July 24, 2019

Third Place

MATT CHRISTIE, “When the Smoke Clears,” Boxing News, May 16, 2019

Honorable Mention: Mick Akers, Las Vegas Review Journal; Ron Borges, The Ring; Jose Corpas,; Bernard Fernandez,; Thomas Hauser, Sporting News; Joseph Santoliquito,; Elliot Worsell,

BOXING FEATURE (Under 1,500 words)

First Place

MARK KRIEGEL, “Why Marine Jamal Herring Keeps Fighting,”, November 7, 2019

Second Place

JOSE CORPAS, “Andy Ruiz – Marked for Victory,” Premierboxingchampions, April 16, 2019

Third Place

JOHN DENNEN, “Boxing and Saudi Arabia,” Boxing News, December 12, 2019

Honorable Mention: Carlos Acevedo, Hannibal Boxing; Bernard Fernandez,; Lee Groves, The Ring; Lance Pugmire,; Joseph Santoliquito,; Don Stradley, The Ring; Springs Toledo, Boxing News

BOXING FEATURE (Over 1,500 words)

Lance Pugmire/The Athletic

First Place (tie)

CARLOS ACEVEDO, “The Duke of the West Side: Owney ‘The Killer’ Madden,” Hannibal Boxing, August 7, 2019

RON BORGES, “The Truth Hurts,” The Ring, July 2019

MARK KRIEGEL, “Why Joet Gonzalez Wants to Beat Up Shakur Stevenson, His Sister’s Boyfriend,”, October 24, 2019

LANCE PUGMIRE, “For Almost 40 Years, Promoter Kathy Duva Has Done Things Her Way, and She’s Not Stopping Anytime Soon,”, October 31, 2019

Second Place (tie)

SEAN NAM, “’Everyone Walks Away’: Matt Farrago Battles the Help Other Fighters, and Himself,” Hannibal Boxing, June 12, 2019

RANDY ROBERTS, “Richard Wright Discovers Joe Louis’ Dynamite,” The Undefeated, June 21, 2019

Third Place

NORM FRAUENHEIM, “The Heart of Boxing,” The Ring, January 2019

Honorable Mention: Manouk Akopyan,; Bernard Fernandez,; Andrew Harrison, Boxing Monthly; Joseph Santoliquito,; Don Stradley, Ringside Seat #8; Elliot Worsell, Boxing News


Mike Coppinger/The Athletic

First Place

MIKE COPPINGER, “’There’s No Loyalty. We See it Now’: Inside Canelo Alvarez’s Feud with Promoter Oscar De La Hoya,” The Athletic, October 30, 2019

Second Place

KENNETH BOUHAIRIE, “The Art of Promotion,” Boxing News (UK), January 2019

Third Place

MATT CHRISTIE, “The Silent Killer,” Boxing News, April 25, 2019

Honorable Mention: Manouk Akopyan,; Thomas Hauser, The Ring; Mark Kriegel,; Don Stradley, Ringside Seat #6; Springs Toledo, Boxing News


TOM ARCHDEACON, Dayton Daily News

CHUCK BAUSMAN, Rider University, School of Journalism

IRA BERKOW, New York Times (retired); 2001 Pulitzer Prize winner

TOMMY DEAS, USA Today Sports Network

SEAN PATRICK GRIFFIN, Ph.D., The Citadel, Criminal Justice Department; Author

JIM JENKINS, Sacramento Bee (retired)

RICH ROSE, All Sports Productions

TODD D. SNYDER, Ph.D., Siena College, English Department

JOHN WHISLER, San Antonio Express-News (retired)

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