The BWAA Is Proud To Announce Its 2021 Bernie Award Winners





It was a rewarding year for Bernard Fernandez, the longtime BWAA president, who received the sport’s highest honor with his enshrinement into the International Boxing Hall of Fame during this year’s induction ceremony.


Mr. Fernandez further added to his legacy with a first-place finish for News Story (“Don King at 90: A Legend Nears the Finish Line,” RingTV.com, August 20, 2021), tied for second in Feature (“Evander Holyfield’s Battering of Mike Tyson Proved Again There is Nothing Certain in Boxing,” RingTV.com, November 9, 2021) and tied for third in Investigative Reporting (“Marvelous Marvin Hagler Story of The Ring Special Issue,” The Ring, June 2021).


This year’s awards saw double first-place wins for two writers.


Greg Bishop claimed top honors for Event Coverage (“’In My Heart, I Want to Continue to Fight’: Manny Pacquiao Isn’t Ready to Retire, but the End May Be Near,” SI.com, August 22, 2021) and Column (“A Collection Worth Millions Tells the Priceless Story of a Matchmaker’s Life in Sports,” si.com, May 20, 2021). He also earned Honorable Mention for Feature Over 1,500 Words.


Springs Toledo enjoyed another big year in the annual Bernie Awards, winning first place for both Feature categories - Under 1,500 Words (“An Empty Chair on Hanover Street,” Boxing News, October 28, 2021) and Over 1,500 Words (“The Hard Road,” Boxing News, March 25, 2021). The wins paved the way for Boxing News—the industry’s longest-running print magazine—leading all publications with eight places among the six Bernie categories.


Boxing News also earned six Honorable Mentions, second to The Ring and its RingTV.com website which combined for eight Honorable Mentions and seven places.


Current BWAA president Joseph Santoliquito won seconds in Column (“Adam Glenn Proudly Carries His Legendary Father Jimmy’s Legacy into the Boxing Realm,” RingTV.com, July 23, 2021) and Feature Under 1,500 Words (“The Remarkable Story of Kalvin Henderson, Who Wouldn’t Let a Phone Call Change His Life,” RingTV.com, July 21, 2021) and earned Honorable Mentions in Boxing News Story and Boxing Event Coverage.


Joining the multiple winners were Matt Christie, who placed second in Event Coverage (“The Lesson.” Boxing News, September 30, 2021), tied for third in Column (“Stop This Grisly Exhibition,” Boxing News, September 16, 2021) and Mike Coppinger who won thirds in Event (“Manny Pacquiao Might Be Done After Loss to Yordenis Ugas, But His Legacy is One of a Kind,” ESPN.com, August 22, 2021) and News (“Millions Lost, Lawsuits Everywhere and Eight Date Changes: How a Typical Title Defense for Teofimo Lopez Went Sideways,” ESPN.com, November 26, 2021) along with Honorable Mention for Investigative Reporting.


Former BWAA President Jack Hirsch also collected two awards, tied for second in Feature Over 1,500 Words (“Joe Frazier vs. Muhammad Ali: The Fight of the Century,” Boxing News, March 8, 2021) and claiming third in Feature Under 1,500 Words (“I Was a Part of Boxing History,” Boxing News, March 4, 2021).


Don Stradley placed third in Feature Over 1,500 Words (“He Could Sing but He Couldn’t Fight,” Ringside Seat #13, February 26, 2021) and received Honorable Mention in four more categories—Event, Column, Feature Under 1,500 Words and Investigative Reporting.


Other placed finishers were Elliot Worsell (first in Investigative: “Inside Fighters,” Boxing News, April 6, 2021), Dan Rafael (tied for third in Column: “Holyfield-Belfort PPV Event Was a Sad Spectacle Shrouded in Deception,” Fight Freaks Unite, September 12, 2021), David Greisman (second in News: “Marvelous Marvin Hagler’s Mother Invites Public to May 23 Memorial,’” RingTV.com, May 3, 2021), John Dennen (tied for third in News: “The Olympic Nightmare,” Boxing News, December 28, 2021), Cliff Rold (second in Investigative: “), Thomas Hauser (tied for third in Investigative: “The Script for Lamar Odom vs. Aaron Carter,” thesweetscience.com, August 10, 2021) and Ryan O’Hara (tied for second in Feature Over 1,500 Words: “Conscience Guides Jeremiah Milton Through the Life and Death Landscape of Boxing,” RingTV.com, May 19, 2021).


The BWAA would like to congratulate all of the winners and honorable mentions among 147 entries to the contest. This year once again featured a who's who of the top writers that cover boxing today.


The BWAA will be honoring all of the winners at its annual dinner, with further details forthcoming. Anyone caring to attend can find the order forms here on the BWAA.org website.


2021 BERNIE WINNERS



BOXING EVENT COVERAGE



First Place

GREG BISHOP, “’In My Heart, I Want to Continue to Fight’: Manny Pacquiao Isn’t Ready to Retire, but the End May Be Near,” si.com, August 22, 2021


Second Place

MATT CHRISTIE, “The Lesson.” Boxing News, September 30, 2021


Third Place

MIKE COPPINGER,“Manny Pacquiao Might Be Done After Loss to Yordenis Ugas, But His Legacy is One of a Kind,” ESPN.com, August 22, 2021


Honorable Mention: John Dennen, Boxing News; David Greisman, RingTV.com; Andreas Hale, SportingNews.com; Thomas Hauser, thesweetscience.com; Joseph Santoliquito, RingTV.com; Don Stradley, donstradley.blogspot.com



BOXING COLUMN


First Place

GREG BISHOP, “A Collection Worth Millions Tells the Priceless Story of a Matchmaker’s Life in Sports,” si.com, May 20, 2021


Second Place

JOSEPH SANTOLIQUITO, “Adam Glenn Proudly Carries His Legendary Father Jimmy’s Legacy into the Boxing Realm,” RingTV.com, July 23, 2021


Third Place (Tie)

MATT CHRISTIE, “Stop This Grisly Exhibition,” Boxing News, September 16, 2021

DAN RAFAEL, “Holyfield-Belfort PPV Event Was a Sad Spectacle Shrouded in Deception,” Fight Freaks Unite, September 12, 2021


Honorable Mention: Diego Morilla, RingTV.com; Eric Raskin, Ringside Seat; T.K. Stewart, T.K.Stewart on Boxing; Don Stradley, donstradley.blogspot.com; Aaron Tallent, athlonsports.com; Elliot Worsell, Boxing News



BOXING NEWS STORY



First Place

BERNARD FERNANDEZ, “Don King at 90: A Legend Nears the Finish Line,” RingTV.com, August 20, 2021


Second Place

DAVID GREISMAN, “Marvelous Marvin Hagler’s Mother Invites Pubic to May 23 Memorial,’” RingTV.com, May 3, 2021


Third Place (Tie)

MIKE COPPINGER, “Millions Lost, Lawsuits Everywhere and Eight Date Changes: How a Typical Title Defense for Teofimo Lopez Went Sideways,” ESPN.com, November 26, 2021

JOHN DENNEN, “The Olympic Nightmare,” Boxing News, December 28, 2021


Honorable Mention: Alan Dawson, BoxingInsider; Lee Groves, RingTV.com; Sean Nam, Boxing News; Joseph Santoliquito, RingTV.com; Dan Rafael, WorldBoxingNews.net; David Weinberg, Press of Atlantic City



BOXING FEATURE (Under 1,500 words)



First Place

SPRINGS TOLEDO, “An Empty Chair on Hanover Street,” Boxing News, October 28, 2021


Second Place

JOSEPH SANTOLIQUITO, “The Remarkable Story of Kalvin Henderson, Who Wouldn’t Let a Phone Call Change His Life,” RingTV.com, July 21, 2021


Third Place

JACK HIRSCH, “I Was a Part of Boxing History,” Boxing News, March 4, 2021


Honorable Mention: Andreas Hale, SportingNews.com; Diego Morilla, RingTV.com; Don Stradley, donstradley.blogspot,com; Jimmy Tobin, Hannibal Boxing; David Weinberg, 973ESPN.com; Paul Wheeler, Boxing News; Elliot Worsell, Boxing News



BOXING FEATURE (Over 1,500 words)


First Place

SPRINGS TOLEDO, “The Hard Road,” Boxing News, March 25, 2021


Second Place (Tie)

BERNARD FERNANDEZ, “Evander Holyfield’s Battering of Mike Tyson Proved Again There is Nothing Certain in Boxing,” RingTV.com, November 9, 2021

JACK HIRSCH, “Joe Frazier vs. Muhammad Ali: The Fight of the Century,” Boxing News, March 8, 2021

RYAN O’HARA, “Conscience Guides Jeremiah Milton Through the Life and Death Landscape of Boxing,” RingTV.com, May 19, 2021


Third Place

DON STRADLEY, “He Could Sing but He Couldn’t Fight,” Ringside Seat #13, February 26, 2021


Honorable Mention:

Greg Bishop, SI.com; Bill Dwyre, Los Angeles Times; Jimmy Tobin, Hannibal Boxing; Randy Roberts, theundeafeated.com; Carlo Rotella, VQR; George Willis, Deadspin



BOXING INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING



First Place

ELLIOT WORSELL, “Inside Fighters,” Boxing News, April 6, 2021


Second Place

CLIFF ROLD, “To Be the Best: The Rankings 100,” The Ring, November 2021


Third Place (Tie)

BERNARD FERNANDEZ, “Marvelous Marvin Hagler Story for The Ring Special Issue,” The Ring, June 2021

THOMAS HAUSER, “The Script for Lamar Odom vs. Aaron Carter,” thesweetscience.com, August 10, 2021


Honorable Mention: Mike Coppinger, The Athletic; John Dennen, Boxing News; Diego Morilla, RingTV.com; Michael Rothstein, ESPN.com; Don Stradley, The Ring


2022 BERNIES JUDGES:

TOMMY DEAS, USA Today Sports Network

GEORGE DIAZ, Orlando Sentinel (retired)

JOE MAXSE, Cleveland Plain Dealer (retired), Nat Fleischer Award recipient

WALLACE MATTHEWS, Nat Fleischer Award recipient

RICH ROSE, All Sports Productions

MIKE WATERS, Syracuse Post Standard

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