Mikey Williams And Al Bello Capture Firsts In 2020 BWAA Photo Contest
Top Rank photographer Mikey Williams and Getty Images’ Al Bello, both of whom are widely regarded as being at the top of their profession, each scored first-place honors in the 18th annual Boxing Writers Association of America photo contest, covering the 2020 calendar year.
Placing entrants in both the 2020 and 2019 contests were recognized at the BWAA’s annual awards dinner December 9 at the Edison Hotel in midtown Manhattan. There was no awards dinner held in 2020 because of COVID-19 concerns.
Williams’ winning shot in the Action category showed IBF lightweight champion Teofimo “The Takeover” Lopez connecting with a right uppercut against WBA/WBO 135-pound champ Vasiliy Lomachenko en route to claiming Loma’s WBA and WBO belts via unanimous decision on Oct. 17, 2020, in the “Bubble” at Las Vegas’ MGM Grand. Williams also took second place in the Feature category for a stunning overhead visual from the same bout, which showed Lopez celebrating his greatest victory while flat on his back, his arms and legs outstretched, doing a version of a snow angel.
Bello found favor with the judges for his panoramic shot of amateur boxer and New York City firefighter Jonathan Velasquez training on the rooftop of his apartment building in the Jackson Heights neighborhood in the Borough of Queens, taken on May 5, 2020.
Joining Williams as a placer in both categories is Darryl Cobb, who, shooting for Box World magazine, scored a pair of thirds. His Action shot was of undefeated Swedish super middleweight Elin Cederros connecting with an overhand right against Alicia Napoleon Espinosa en route to a 10-round unanimous decision on Jan. 10, 2020, at the Ocean Resort Casino in Atlantic City. His Feature photo, taken at the same venue on the same date, shows two-time Olympic gold medalist Claressa “T-Rex” Shields raising her arms in expectation of victory prior to her claiming the vacant WBC and WBO super welterweight titles on a UD10 over Ivana Habazin.
Second place in the Action category went to Emily Harney, of FightNews.com, for her shot of Laured Stewart connecting with a left hook to the head of Jalen Renaud during their Feb. 28, 2020, match in Worcester, Mass.
Garnering Honorable Mentions were Matt Heasley, of RingTV.com, and Naoki Fukuda. Heasley’s Action for his shot of welterweight James “No Games” Martin, who took a six-round UD, dislodging Vincent Floyd’s mouthguard on Feb. 14, 2020, at the 2300 Arena in South Philadelphia. Fukuda, a frequent honoree of the BWAA, got his HM for his shot of Japanese lightweight Shuhei Tsuchiya making like a geyser spewing water droplets from his mouth prior to his Feb. 27, 2020, bout with Shogo Yamaguchi at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo. Yamaguchi won via fifth-round TKO.
The winners of the 2019 BWAA photo contest, the 17th annual, had been previously announced. Ed Mulholland won both first places, shooting for Matchroom Boxing USA in Action and for ESPN Images in Feature. Quentin Ngobeh was right behind him with a pair of seconds shooting for Fairshakeboxing, with Bello taking a pair of thirds. HMs went to Fukuda in Action and Williams in Feature.