Fighter of the Year Naoya Inoue Tops the List of BWAA Award Winners


PRESS RELEASE -- Based on his brilliant 2023 year, the BWAA is proud to announce Naoya Inoue as the 2023 Fighter of the Year, based on his victories over then-undefeated WBC/WBO 122-pound titleholder Stephen Fulton in July and WBA/IBF 122-pound beltholder Marlon Tapales in December.

Inoue (26-0, 23 KOs) makes history as the first Japanese fighter to win the prestigious honor in the 85-year history of the award.

"This is a great honor for me, because all of the writers from the United States and around the world voted for me,” said Inoue, who said he would make arrangements for the BWAA awards dinner at a time and place to be determined later this year. "That means a lot to have my performances recognized in the United States, even though I was fighting in Japan."

Inoue is the undisputed junior featherweight world champion, after being the undisputed bantamweight world champion. He joins undisputed welterweight world champion Terence Crawford, a 2023 FOY nominee, as the only male two-division undisputed champions of the four-belt era.

Inoue won over a distinguished class that included Crawford, Devin Haney, Gervonta Davis and David Benavidez.

Jaime Munguia 12-round victory over Sergiy Derevyanchenko is the BWAA 2023 Fight of the Year. That brawl won out over Artur Beterbiev KO 8 Anthony Yarde; Joe Cordina W 12 Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov; Rafael Espinoza W 12 Robeisy Ramirez and Luis Nery KO 11 Azat Hovhannisyan.

Brian McIntyre is a first time winner as the BWAA 2022 Trainer of the Year for his work with Crawford and resurrecting Chris Eubank Jr.'s career in defeating Liam Smith in their rematch. That class included the fine work done by Bill Haney, Shingo Inoue, Andy Lee and Shane McGuigan.

Speaking of Bill Haney, he, too, is a first-time BWAA winner, as the Manager of the Year for his masterful work of maneuvering his son Devin to the WBC world junior welterweight championship. Bill Haney won the BWAA 2023 Manager of the Year award over a group that included past BWAA award winners Keith Connolly and Egis Klimas.

ESPN boxing analyst Tim Bradley is the BWAA 2023 Sam Taub Award winner for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism. That renowned class included Jim Gray, Dave Harmon, Mauro Ranallo and James “Smitty” Smith.

Former world light heavyweight contender John "Iceman" Scully was voted the BWAA 2023 Marvin Kohn Good Guy Award winner among a strong group that included Sam Jackson & Andrew Roberts, Jose Ramirez, John DiSanto and Steve Pratt..

Former Showtime Senior Vice-President in charge of Production/Executive Producer of ShoBox: The Next Generation Gordon Hall is the BWAA 2023 Barney Nagler Award winner for Long and Meritorious Service winner. His class included a recognition of the great work done by Henry Hascup, Don Majeski, John Sheppard and Bruce Silverglade.

Finally, the BWAA is very proud to announce that Lisa McClellan, who takes care of her brother, former two-time middleweight world champion Gerald McClellan, is the BWAA 2023 John McCain-Bill Crawford Courage Award. She has dedicated her life, living on a disability stipend of $1,920 a month her brother receives, to her brother's care. McClellan finished in a first-place tie with renowned photographer Ed Mulholland in a class that included Prichard Colon and family, Billy Dib and Alejandra Ayala.

The BWAA is also proud to announce that Amanda Serrano will be the 2023 BWAA Female Fighter of the Year, Hall of Fame boxing writer Thomas Hauser is the A.J. Liebling Award winner for Outstanding Boxing Writing and in a choice long overdue, Hall of Famer Nigel Collins is the BWAA 2023 Nat Fleischer Award winner for Excellence in Boxing Journalism.

In a nomination meeting in January, the BWAA determined the top candidates for each category. All BWAA members were eligible to vote. The annual BWAA awards dinner will take place at a date and time to be determined. It promises to be a great affair.
yea there were some interesting fights in the past year -- cant help but wish there might have been more and not at the price that those who control boxing charge in dollars and hype jobs along the way. As long as no one in or about boxing makes any changes the fight game will never draw the way it should. Look at this weekend in the NFL man people who dont know a first down from downtown will be watching the match ups -- yep the match ups have to matter no escaping that fact. They have to be accessable to the people interested, the fans have to feel welcome not take it or leave it but give us your money buddy. So yea saw most of those fights but there should be more and boxing should not be satisfied with itself bc of Inoue or Espy v Rosy little batle of the younger men in boxing. Just how i look at it.............. Tell me boxing is looking at boxing and making real changes now and in the future and let me witness it and i will be a lot more excited about the fight game....