Junior lightweight world titleholder Vasiliy Lomachenko, who gained recognition from many in boxing as the pound-for-pound No. 1 fighter in the world last year, was named as the winner of the 2017 Sugar Ray Robinson Fighter of the Year award by the Boxing Writers Association of America on Friday.
Lomachenko (10-1, 8 KOs), the first winner of the award from Ukraine in the 80 years that the organization has given it out, won in a vote of the membership over then-undisputed junior welterweight world champion Terence Crawford, unified heavyweight world titleholder Anthony Joshua, lightweight world titlist Mikey Garcia and junior bantamweight world titleholder Srisaket Sor Rungvisai.
In 2017, Lomachenko, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and two-division world titleholder, ascended to No. 1 on some pound-for-pound lists, including ESPN's poll, by retaining his junior lightweight world title three times. He made all three opponents quit in one-sided fights: Jason Sosa, Miguel Marriaga and fellow pound-for-pound-ranked Guillermo Rigondeaux, a junior featherweight world titleholder who moved up in weight for the first-ever professional fight between two-time Olympic gold-medal winners.
The BWAA awards were owned by Team Lomachenko, which won the organization's triple crown.
Lomachenko's father and trainer, Anatoly Lomachenko, won the Eddie Futch Trainer of the Year award over Derrick James, Brian McIntyre, Andre Rozier and Abel Sanchez.
Egis Klimas, who manages Lomachenko, as well as light heavyweight world titleholder Sergey Kovalev, won the Cus D'Amato Manager of the Year award for the second year in a row. Klimas beat out nominees Keith Connolly and Frank Espinoza.
Team Lomachenko's sweep of those three awards marks the first time that has happened since 1992, when then-heavyweight champion Riddick Bowe won fighter of the year, Futch, Bowe's trainer, won trainer of the year and his manager, Rock Newman, was picked as manager of the year.
The Muhammad Ali-Joe Frazier Fight of the Year award was an obvious choice: Joshua's 11th-round knockout of former longtime heavyweight world champion Wladimir Klitschko on April 29 before a sold-out crowd of 90,000 at Wembley Stadium in London. Both fighters were knocked down in an action-packed and dramatic battle that was also named ESPN.com's fight of the year.
Joshua-Klitschko beat out Sor Rungvisai-Roman "Chocolatito" Gonzalez I; David Benavidez's super middleweight title-winning decision against Ronald Gavril in a wild slugfest; the action-packed super middleweight title unification draw between James DeGale and Badou Jack; and junior lightweight Miguel "Mickey" Roman's scintillating ninth-round knockout of former titlist Orlando Salido.
The Sam Taub Award for outstanding achievement in broadcast journalism -- an award that can only be won once -- went to Lou DiBella, who is now one of boxing's leading promoters. But he won for his work as a former longtime executive at HBO. DiBella was a top executive at HBO from 1989 to 2000, and during his time when he was the primary fight buyer, the network was the unmatched television boxing leader. He also created the landmark series "Boxing After Dark" in 1996.
DiBella won the award over finalists Stephen Espinoza, executive vice president and general manager of Showtime Sports; Showtime blow-by-blow announcer Mauro Ranallo; "Showtime Championship Boxing" host Brian Custer; and HBO expert analyst Roy Jones Jr.
The Bill Crawford Award for courage in overcoming adversity went to former featherweight Daniel Franco, who suffered a traumatic brain injury in a fight in June. Franco nearly died but he is on the road to recovery and making great progress. He won over Main Events promoter Kathy Duva, trainer Jose Santa Cruz, unified women's super middleweight world titleholder Claressa Shields and junior welterweight Samuel Teah.
Dr. Margaret Goodman, the president of the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association and a former ringside physician for the Nevada State Athletic Commission, won the Barney Nagler Long & Meritorious Award. The other nominees were longtime BWAA event coordinator Gina Andriolo; CompuBox founder Bob Canobbio; former New York State Athletic Commissioner and current radio personality Randy Gordon; and John Sheppard, creator of the indispensable online boxing record archive BoxRec.
The Marvin Kohn Good Guy Award was a tie. Klitschko, the retired former heavyweight champion, will share the award with Ed Keenan, a publicist who has worked on countless major events for more than 20 years. They won over junior welterweight contender Jose Ramirez; Showtime publicist Matt Donovan; Bruce Silverglade, the charitable owner of famed Gleason's Gym in Brooklyn, New York; and Premier Boxing Champions publicist Tim Smith.
Two other awards were previously announced. Undisputed women's welterweight world champion Cecilia Braekhus won the first Christy Martin Female Fighter of the Year award over Jessica Chavez, Naoko Fujioka, Mariana Juarez, Amanda Serrano, Shields and Katie Taylor. Also, Michael Rosenthal, the former longtime editor of the Ring magazine and the former Los Angeles Daily News boxing writer, won the Nat Fleischer Award for career excellence in boxing journalism. The award is voted on only by past winners.
The winners will all be honored at the BWAA's annual awards dinner, which will take place on a date and at a location to be determined in April.