Nonito Donaire voted top fighter

Updated: January 28, 2013, 12:35 AM ET
By Dan Rafael | ESPN.com

Junior featherweight titleholder Nonito Donaire, who had a dominant 2012 campaign, was voted Sugar Ray Robinson Fighter of the Year in balloting results announced on Sunday by the Boxing Writers Association of America.

Donaire, previously named 2012 ESPN.com fighter of the year, had a huge campaign. After vacating his bantamweight titles, Donaire moved up in weight and won two belts at junior featherweight. He also was 4-0 last year in an era when most top fighters rarely fight more than three times a year.

[+] EnlargeNonito Donaire
Bob Levey/Getty ImagesJunior featherweight titleholder Nonito Donaire (left) was voted Sugar Ray Robinson Fighter of the Year by the Boxing Writers Association of America.

Donaire also scored knockdowns in each of his wins, which came against former titleholders Wilfredo Vazquez Jr., Toshiaki Nishioka and Jorge Arce as well as Jeffrey Mathebula in a unification fight.

The awards will be given out at the BWAA's annual banquet, which will be held in the spring in New York on a date and at a venue to be announced.

The other award winners:

•  Robert Garcia, Donaire's trainer, was voted winner of the Eddie Futch Trainer of the Year award. Besides Donaire, Garcia, also the ESPN.com trainer of the year, trains junior welterweight contender Brandon Rios, who knocked out Mike Alvarado in October in one of the best fights of 2012. He also trains his younger brother Miguel Angel "Mikey" Garcia, a top featherweight contender before winning a world title on Jan. 19, welterweight contender Marcos Maidana and several other fighters.

•  The BWAA voted the Dec. 8 fourth fight between Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez as the Muhammad Ali-Joe Frazier Fight of the Year. The welterweight rivals slugged it out and traded knockdowns before Marquez scored a massive one-punch knockout of Pacquiao with one second left in the sixth round. Pacquiao still leads the series 2-1-1. The fight was also the ESPN.com fight of the year.

•  Al Haymon, the reclusive power broker who handles numerous top fighters, was voted winner of the Cus D'Amato Manager of the Year award. He has a vast roster of top fighters, including pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr., junior welterweight titlist Danny Garcia, lightweight titleholder Adrien Broner, heavyweight contender Cristobal Arreola, middleweight titleholder Peter Quillin, junior middleweight titlist Austin Trout, welterweight titlist Devon Alexander, former welterweight titlist Andre Berto, bantamweight titleholder Leo Santa Cruz and several members of the 2012 U.S. Olympic team.

•  Middleweight Danny Jacobs, the 2009 ESPN.com prospect of the year, won the Bill Crawford Award for courage in overcoming adversity. The 25-year-old Jacobs returned to the ring in October after a 19-month layoff caused by his battle with cancer. Jacobs nearly died from a tumor that wrapped itself around his spine. He is now cancer-free and has won both of his fights since beating the disease.

•  HBO analyst Max Kellerman, the former co-host of ESPN2's "Friday Night Fights," was voted winner of the Sam Taub Award for excellence in broadcast journalism. Recipients can only win this award once.

•  Main Events promoter Kathy Duva and Top Rank matchmaker Bruce Trampler, a member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame, tied in voting for the Barney Nagler Award for long and meritorious service to boxing. They will both be honored.

•  Steve Farhood, the Showtime analyst and longtime writer, won the Marvin Kohn Good Guy Award. Farhood has previously won the broadcaster and long and meritorious service awards.

In previously announced awards, Dave Kindred won Nat Fleischer Award, a lifetime achievement award for excellence in boxing journalism, and Peter Finney won the A.J. Liebling Award for outstanding boxing writing.

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