Martinez, Roach, Guerrero, Ward, Khan-Maidana Honored by BWAA
Former southpaw WBC middleweight (160 pounds) king Sergio Martinez, southpaw former two-time IBF featherweight (126 pounds) and one-time IBF super featherweight (130 pounds) titlist, Robert Guerrero, WBA junior welterweight (140 pounds) king Amir Khan and division rival Marcos Rene Maidana, trainer Freddie Roach and retired boxer, Micky Ward, have all been named honorees by the Boxing Writers Association of America.
The winners will be honored at the BWAA's 86th annual dinner, tentatively set for May 6 in Las Vegas.
The 35-year-old Martinez (46-2-2, 25 knockouts) has been chosen the organization's Fighter of the Year for 2010, Guerrero (28-1-1, 18 KOs) will receive the "Crawford Award" for "Courage in Overcoming Adversity," and the Dec. 11 unanimous decision victory by Khan (24-1, 17 KOs) over Maidana (29-2, 27 KOs) was named Fight of the Year.
In addition, Roach was named Trainer of the Year for the third straight year and the unprecedented fifth time overall, and the 45-year-old Ward (38-13-1, 27 KOs), whose is played by Mark Wahlberg as his rough life growing up in a nine-member, dysfunctional family in Lowell, Mass., is portrayed in the hit movie, The Fighter, is the honoree for the "James A. Farley Award" for "Honesty and Integrity."
The winner of the "Sugar Ray Robinson Fighter of the Year Award," Martinez becomes the second boxer from Argentina to receive this prestigious honor, the first being Carlos Monzon in 1972.
Martinez is coming off of a Nov. 20, second-round knockout of rival southpaw Paul Williams (39-2, 27 KOs) that avenged a disputed, December, majority decision loss during which both fighters were down in the first round.
Williams was rated No. 3 in most pound-for-pound lists behind six-time titlist Floyd Mayweather (41-0, 25 KOs) and eight-division champ Manny Pacquiao (52-3-2, 38 KOs), who is trained by Roach and is the current WBO welterweight (147 pounds) and WBC junior middleweight champion.
The win over Williams preceded Martinez's unanimous decision win that dethroned Top Rank Promotions' Kelly Pavlik (36-2, 32 KOs) as then-WBO and WBC king.
Earlier in 2010, Guerrero chose to pull out of a scheduled March 27 fight with Australia's Michael Katsidis in order to be with his wife, Casey Guerrero, during her recovery from a bone marrow transplant to treat leukemia.
Robert Guerrero often drove 50 or so miles from the hospital to their home in Gilroy, Calif., to care for their two young children, Robert Jr., 4, and, Savannah, 6.
In July, Robert Guerrero, who is nicknamed, "The Ghost," was able to defeat former four-time world champion and Cuban Olympic gold medalist Joel Casamayor with Casey Guerrero at ringside for the first time since her having recovered from the treatment.
Khan-Maidana was a classic battle. Khan drpped his opponent with a right-left to the body with 20 seconds left in the first round, and endured more than 40, consecutive blows during a 10th-round when he was nearly out on his feet.
In the end, Khan won their Golden Boy Promotions, HBO televised bout over hard-punching, then-WBA interim champion Maidana at the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas.
Maidana had been the most dangerous opponent that Khan had faced since being stopped in the first round by Breidis Prescott in his only loss.
Roach trains, among others, Khan, Pacquiao, Ukrainian WBA welterweight champ Vyacheslav Senchenko (31-0, 20 KOs), junior middleweight contender Vanes Martirosyan (28-0, 17 KOs) and junior middleweight and middleweight prospect Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (41-0-1, 30 KOs).
The trainer award has always had special meaning for Roach as it is named after his mentor Eddie Futch.
Other honorees included Showtime's Steve Farhood earning "Fleischer Award" for "Excellence in Boxing Journalism," Jack Obermayer, as the winner of the "Condon Award" for "Long and Meritorious Service" to the sport, and Golden Boy Promotions publicist Bill Caplan, as the recepient of the "Marvin Kohn Good Guy Award."
Caplan spent more than 40 years working with George Foreman.