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BBBofC Presents Yearly Awards, Jonas Becomes First Female To Win Boxer Of The Year

BBBofC Announces Yearly Awards, Jonas Becomes First Female To Win Boxer Of The Year featured image
Natasha Jonas became the first female to win the 'Boxer of the Year' award. (Photo by Lewis Storey/Getty Images)

In a gala awards luncheon held on Sunday, March 12, the winners of a variety of awards were announced, with Natasha Jonas winning the most coveted prize of ‘Boxer of the Year’. The other awards included prizes for the best trainer, and best overseas boxer, amongst other categories. The awards pertained to the year of 2022 and the nominees had been picked announced as of late April.

Natasha Jonas (13-2-1, 8 KO’s) became the first female boxer to win the award – that previously had been won by British legends in the sport such as Lennox Lewis and ‘Prince’ Naseem Hamed – after a successful year in which she became a world champion at a new weight, as well as unifying twice after crucial wins against Patricia Berghult (16-1, 4 KO’s) and Maria-Eve Dicaire (18-2, 1 KO’s).

With her winning the award, Jonas beat the likes of Chantelle Cameron (17-0, 8 KO’s), Joe Cordina (15-0, KO’s), Sunny Edwards (19-0, 4 KO’s), Joe Joyce (15-0, 14 KO’s) and Leigh Wood (26-3, 16 KO’s) who had all been nominated for the award.

The award for ‘Best Contest of the Year’ went to Leigh Wood and Michael Conlan (18-1, 9 KO’s) for their March 22 bout which had proven to be an exciting high-stakes title fight for the WBA Featherweight world title – which Wood ultimately won by stoppage in the last round. The match was also picked as ‘Fight of the Year’ by global media outlet ESPN.

Claressa Shields (13-0, 2 KO’s), one of the greatest and most decorated female boxers to come out of America, won the ‘Overseas Boxer of the Year’ award which included nominees such as her fellow American compatriot, women’s undisputed Junior Lightweight champion Alycia Baumgardner (14-1, 7 KO’s), recently-crowned IBF Featherweight world champion Luis Alberto Lopez (27-2, 15 KO’s) and Spanish veteran Kiko Martinez (44-11-2, 31 KO’s). Shields’ victory over Savannah Marshall (12-1, 10 KO’s) in a match where she was widely considered the underdog and became undisputed in the process, was likely a huge catalyst that led to her winning the award.

BBBofC Announces Yearly Awards, Jonas Becomes First Female To Win Boxer Of The Year image 1
Claressa Shields gained the prestigious ‘Overseas Boxer of the Year’ award. (Photo by James Chance/Getty Images)

The ‘Boxing News Trainer of the Year’ award went to Grant Smith for his work with boxers Dalton Smith (14-0, 10 KO’s) – who is also Grant’s son, and the Edwards brothers in Sunny and Charlie Edwards (17-1, 7 KO’s), with Dalton noticeably netting making strides as a legitimate contender with his British title win and defenses, while Sunny Edwards defeated two of some of the best Flyweight contenders in his division in Muhammad Waseem (12-2, 8 KO’s) and Felix Alvarado (38-3, 33 KO’s). He edged past other known trainers in the sport which includes the likes of Shane McGuigan, Ben Davison, Joe Gallagher, Tony Sims and Jamie Moore.