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Naoya Inoue And Amanda Serrano Win BWAA “Fighter of the Year” Awards

Naoya Inoue And Amanda Serrano Win BWAA 'Fighter of the Year' Awards featured image
Naoya Inoue (L) and Amanda Serrano both pose for the camera's during the BWAA's award ceremony, held on June 6th, where they both won the "Fighter of the Year" awards. (Photo by BWAA)

Naoya Inoue and Amanda Serrano have both become the winners of the Boxing Writers Association of America’s (BWAA) “Fighter of the Year” 2023 awards for their contributions in the ring last year. The BWAA also announced the winners of their other awards with ranged from “Trainer of the Year” and “Fight of the Year”. Voting occurred on January 19th this year, with the BWAA’s official award ceremony taking place yesterday on June 6th.

Japanese undisputed super bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue (27-0, 24 KO’s) claimed the Sugar Ray Robinson Award to be heralded the men’s “Fighter of the Year” for 2023 in which he defeated Stephen Fulton (21-1, 8 KO’s) in his debut at super bantamweight to become a unified champion, and dispatched Marlon Tapales (38-4, 20 KO’s)―beating both fighters by knockout (KO)/technical knockout (TKO)―to become the second boxer in history to become twice undisputed in the four-belt era.

In winning the award, Inoue beat a list of nominees that included Terence Crawford (40-0, 31 KO’s), David Benavidez (28-0, 24 KO’s), Gervonta Davis (29-0, 27 KO’s) and Devin Haney (31-1, 15 KO’s).

Puerto Rican unified featherweight champion Amanda Serrano (46-2-1, 30 KO’s) won the female version of the “Fighter of the Year” award, named the Christy Martin Award after the legendary Christy Martin herself, for her services to boxing; managing to fight thrice in 2023 to become undisputed during her first match of the year, and make history by becoming one of the first female boxers to fight in a 12×3-minute round match alongside Danila Ramos (12-3, 1 KO’s) in her third fight in 2023.

Muhammad Ali – Joe Frazier 2023 Award, also known as the “Fight of the Year” award, was awarded to Mexican 168 lbs contender Jaime Munguia (43-1, 34 KO’s) and Ukrainian fighter Sergiy Derevyanchenko (15-5, 10 KO’s) who engaged in a close-knit and competitive bout last year that was narrowly won by Munguia through a unanimous decision (UD)―after Munguia knocked down Derevyanchenko in the last and 12th round to grab the victory.

Brian “BoMac” McIntyre grabbed the BWAA’s Eddie Futch Award for “Trainer of the Year” due to his contributions in coaching American 135 lbs prospect Keyshawn Davis (10-0, 7 KO’s) to become a successful contender in 2023 as well as contributing in Terence Crawford’s undisputed welterweight victory over Errol Spence Jr (28-1, 22 KO’s), and Chris Eubank Jr’s (33-3, 24 KO’s) revenge win over Liam Smith (33-4-1, 20 KO’s).

The Cus D’Amato Award for “Manager of the Year” went to Bill Haney, father of Devin Haney, who was also nominated for the Eddie Futch Award. Haney was given the award for his success in arranging Devin Haney’s fights against Vasyl Lomachenko (18-3, 12 KO’s) and Regis Prograis (29-2, 24 KO’s) which saw Devin Haney successfully defend his undisputed lightweight titles against the former, and become a two-division champion when he defeated Prograis in December of 2023 to claim the WBC super lightweight championship.

Other BWWA’s award winners included:

  • John Scull, who won the Marvin Kohn “Good Guy” Award.
  • Retired professional boxer Tim Bradley, who became the winner of the Sam Taub Award for “Excellence in Broadcast Journalism”.
  • Gordon Hall, who received the Barney Nagler Award for his “Long and Meritorious Service” in boxing.
  • Thomas Hauser, who won the A.J. Liebling Award for “Outstanding Boxing Writing”.
  • Nigel Collins, who became the 2023 winner of the Nat Fleischer Award for “Excellence in Boxing Journalism”.
  • Lisa McClellan―sister of incapacitated former professional boxer Gerald McClellan―won the John McCain-Bill Crawford “Courage Award”―for her dedication to helping her brother and spreading awareness surrounding the dangers of boxing―alongside prominent photographer Ed Mulholland who received the award posthumously for his contributions to the sport.