Dan Rafael: Steve Smoger
Chris Farina/Top RankMike Alvarado and Brandon Rios went toe-to-toe in an all-action fight last October.
Over the course of two meetings, one on Dec. 1 in New York on the day the Austin Trout-Miguel Cotto fight and one on Dec. 8 in Las Vegas on the day of the Juan Manuel Marquez-Manny Pacquiao IV, members of the Boxing Writers Association of America met to finalize the ballot for the organization’s annual awards.
Over the next week or so, members will begin to receive their ballots, which are due back by Jan. 19. The winners will be honored at the annual BWAA awards dinner (public can purchase tickets). The date and location is not set, but it likely will take place around a major fight in the spring.
Here’s a look at who is on the ballot in each category:
• Fighter of the year: Nonito Donaire, Danny Garcia, Robert Guerrero, Juan Manuel Marquez and Brian Viloria.
• Fight of the year: Brandon Rios-Mike Alvarado, Roman Gonzalez-Juan Francisco Estrada, Guerrero-Andre Berto, Orlando Salido-Juan Manuel Lopez II, Viloria-Hernan Marquez and Marquez-Manny Pacquiao IV.
• Trainer of the year: Nacho Beristain, Eric Brown, Robert Garcia, Ruben Guerrero, Virgil Hunter.
• Manager of the year: Luis DeCubas Jr., Cameron Dunkin, Frank Espinoza, Gary Gittelsohn, Al Haymon.
• Long and meritorious service to boxing: Bob Canobbio (CompuBox), promoter Lou DiBella, promoter Kathy Duva, referee Steve Smoger, Top Rank matchmaker Bruce Trampler.
• Excellent in broadcast journalism: Bruce Beck (my broadcast partner at Epix), Max Kellerman (HBO), Tony Paige (WFAN radio), Bob Papa (HBO), Travis Pomposello (Epix executive producer), Dan Rafael (ESPN and Epix -- and honored to be nominated). Nominees in this category can only win once and it’s open to broadcasters, TV executives and production people.
• Good guy: Don Chargin (Hall of Fame promoter), Steve Farhood (Showtime), Norm Frauenheim (writer), Scott Ghertner (MGM and Mandalay Bay media relations), Wladimir Klitschko (heavyweight champ).
• Courage in overcoming adversity: Alfredo Angulo, Johnathon Banks, Danny Jacobs, Peter Quillin, Paul Williams.