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Mayweather named fighter of the year after wins over De La Hoya, Hatton

2/19/2008 - Boxing

On the strength of two high-profile victories against Oscar De La Hoya and Ricky Hatton in 2007, pound-for-pound king and welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather has been selected as the Boxing Writers Association of America fighter of the year.

Mayweather, who will be presented with the Edward J. Neil award May 1 in Los Angeles, heads the list of honorees who will receive awards at the organization's 83rd annual banquet.

Results of the balloting by the organization's membership were released Tuesday.

Mayweather (39-0, 25 KOs), whose fight with De La Hoya set several all-time revenue records, narrowly defeated middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik to win the award.

"It's always a blessing to get an award of this magnitude," Mayweather said in a statement. "Just to be mentioned in the same breath with the [past winners] Sugar Ray Robinsons and Muhammad Ali is truly a blessing. The date of the banquet is also kind of special. It's like I always say, May is for Mayweather. My ultimate goal was to be the best fighter of my era, and my two fights last year took me to the next level."

Mayweather won a split decision to win a junior middleweight title from De La Hoya in May and then returned to welterweight to knock out Hatton in the 10th round in December.

Mayweather previously won fighter of the year honors from ESPN.com and Ring magazine.

Pavlik didn't get the fighter of the year award, but he won't leave without being honored. He and Jermain Taylor will receive the Harry Markson Award for fight of the year for their first bout. Pavlik knocked out Taylor last September to win the middleweight championship in a dramatic, action-packed fight that edged the junior featherweight championship rematch between Israel Vazquez and Rafael Marquez for the honor.

The BWAA also will honor longtime Reno Gazette-Journal boxing writer Steve Sneddon. Sneddon will be the 35th recipient of the Nat Fleischer award for excellence in boxing journalism, the highest award the BWAA presents to one of its members. Only living Fleischer winners vote on the award.

Sneddon, who plans to retire in the spring, has written for the Gazette-Journal for 37 years.

"It is an honor and I'm humbled thinking of the writers who received the Fleischer in the past," Sneddon said in a statement.

Enzo Calzaghe won the Futch-Condon award as trainer of the year. He trains three reigning titleholders -- his son, super middleweight champion Joe Calzaghe, junior welterweight titlist Gavin Rees and cruiserweight beltholder Enzo Maccarinelli.

The Al Buck award for manager of the year went to Cameron Dunkin, who guided three of his fighters to upset world title victories in 2007 -- Pavlik, featherweight Steven Luevano and flyweight Nonito Donaire. Dunkin also handles several other fighters, including top prospects Victor Ortiz, Argenis Mendez, Mikey Garcia and James Kirkland.

Others being honored by the BWAA include:

• Nigel Collins, the longtime editor of The Ring magazine, who will receive the James J. Walker award for long and meritorious service to boxing.

• Teddy Atlas, the ESPN ringside analyst on "Friday Night Fights" and "Wednesday Night Fights," who will receive the Marvin Kohn good guy award.

• Nick Charles, Showtime's "ShoBox: The New Generation" blow-by-blow announcer, who won the Sam Taub award for excellence in broadcast journalism.

• The prospect duo of brothers Lamont and Anthony Peterson, who were once homeless in Washington, D.C., won the Pat Putnam award for perseverance in overcoming adversity.

Dan Rafael is the boxing writer for ESPN.com.