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Floyd Mayweather honored as boxing's top fighter for third time

Floyd Mayweather, the longtime pound-for-pound king who announced his retirement last year, has received another honor in a career filled with them.

Mayweather was voted the 2015 Sugar Ray Robinson Fighter of the Year after the Boxing Writers Association of America announced balloting results Friday.

Mayweather won the award for the third time, having also claimed the trophy in 2007 and 2013. He won the 2015 award on the strength of his unanimous decision victory over longtime rival Manny Pacquiao, a three-time BWAA fighter of the year in 2006, 2008 and 2009.

Other fighters to win the award three times include Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, Sugar Ray Leonard and Evander Holyfield.

Mayweather defeated Pacquiao on May 2 in Las Vegas to unify welterweight world titles and crown himself as the best fighter of his generation in what was, by far, the richest fight in boxing history. The event shattered boxing revenue records, including selling 4.6 million pay-per-views and generating some $600 million. Mayweather (49-0, 26 KOs) then easily outpointed former welterweight titlist Andre Berto in September and announced his retirement.

Mayweather, along with the other award winners, will be recognized at the 91st annual BWAA awards gala in the spring on a date and at a location to be announced.

The Ali-Frazier Fight of the Year award went to Francisco Vargas' dramatic come-from-behind rally to stop Takashi Miura in the ninth round to win a junior lightweight world title on Nov. 21 in Las Vegas.

Vargas' victory culminated a back-and-forth battle in which Vargas almost knocked out Miura in the first round, got knocked down in the fourth round and was nearly stopped in the eighth before scoring the incredible comeback knockout in the ninth -- despite having a badly cut and swollen right eye. The fight was also named ESPN.com fight of the year.

"I am very humbled by the honor of fight of the year," Vargas said Friday. "It makes me more motivated to keep delivering great fights to the fans, and I hope to keep entertaining them as I continue on my journey to unify the titles in my division."

Abel Sanchez was voted Eddie Futch Trainer of the Year for the first time after previous years as a finalist. He is best known for his work as the cornerman for unified middleweight titleholder Gennady Golovkin, one of the best fighters in the world and a fighter of the year finalist.

The Cus D'Amato Manager of the Year award went to Al Haymon for the fourth consecutive year and fifth time overall. Haymon's stable includes some 200 fighters, including Mayweather, heavyweight titlist Deontay Wilder, welterweight titleholders Keith Thurman and Danny Garcia, and light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson. Haymon is also the creator of Premier Boxing Champions.

Mark Taffet and Marc Payton, longtime colleagues at HBO, were co-winners of the Sam Taub broadcast award. Taffet, essentially the creator of the boxing pay-per-view model, spent 32 years as an HBO executive and oversaw some 190 pay-per-view events that generated 65 million buys and $3.6 billion in revenue before he left the company at the end of 2015 to begin his own Mark Taffet Media consulting business. Payton, a cornerstone of HBO's production team for decades, directed virtually every HBO boxing telecast from 1981 until his retirement at the end of 2013.

Showtime photographer Tom Casino, who overcame serious illness, was awarded the Bill Crawford award for courage in overcoming adversity.

Bernard Fernandez, the former five-term president of the BWAA and a longtime writer for the Philadelphia Daily News who began covering boxing in 1987, won the Barney Nagler Long and Meritorious Service award.

Don Chargin, the beloved Hall of Fame promoter and matchmaker who has been involved in boxing since the 1960s, won the Marvin Kohn Good Guy award.

In awards previously announced, promoter Lou DiBella won the James A. Farley award for honesty and integrity and former Washington Post boxing writer William Gildea won the Nat Fleischer Award for Career Excellence in Boxing Journalism in a vote of past winners.