Floyd Mayweather voted fighter of the decade by BWAA

Who is the best boxer of the decade? (3:33)

Bernardo Osuna, Andre Ward, Timothy Bradley Jr. and Mark Kriegel debate which boxer should be considered the best of the decade. (3:33)

Floyd Mayweather and Canelo Alvarez, onetime rivals, will take home the biggest prizes in the annual Boxing Writers Association of America awards.

In balloting results announced on Friday, Mayweather was voted winner of the Joe Louis Fighter of the Decade award and Alvarez, a fighter of the decade nominee, won the 2019 Sugar Ray Robinson Fighter of the Year award.

They will be honored, along with the rest of the award winners, at the 95th annual BWAA awards dinner in the spring at a site to be determined.

Mayweather, who outpointed Alvarez in a 2013 junior middleweight world title unification fight that was, at the time, the highest-grossing pay-per-view event in history, went 10-0 from 2010 to 2019 in a series of megafights. Mayweather retired in 2015, returning for a 2017 knockout of UFC star Conor McCregor when he crossed over to boxing, before retiring again -- though he has hinted about making another comeback this year.

But even though five-division champion Mayweather (50-0, 27 KOs) essentially fought for only half the decade, his performances were so dominant and such massive events that he claimed the award. He was the only two-time BWAA fighter of the year in the decade, winning it in 2013 and 2015.

Besides Alvarez, Mayweather also defeated Manny Pacquiao in their long-awaited welterweight unification fight to determine king of their era in 2015 in what remains the highest-grossing fight in history. Other major wins for Mayweather in the decade came against Shane Mosley, Miguel Cotto and Marcos Maidana (twice).

The other fighter of the decade nominees were Alvarez, Pacquiao, former super middleweight and lightweight world champion Andre Ward and former unified heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko.

"Thank you to the Boxing Writers Association of America for voting me Fighter of the Decade," Mayweather said in a statement. "I am honored to be recognized by the media who covered my career throughout its many decades.

"Boxing has been a part of my life since I was 2 years old and I dedicated my life to it and gave it my all. I trained hard, showed up for every one of my fights and did my job successfully each and every time. To retire undefeated and achieve what I did in the sport is not only a gift to myself but to the fans and, most importantly, my team and family. I certainly didn't do it alone and I appreciate anyone who played a part in it. Hard work and dedication -- something I did for my entire career. I am grateful and humbled by this honor. Thank you so very much."

Alvarez (53-1-2, 36 KOs) completed a sweep of the major media fighter of the year awards, doing so on the strength of two highly significant victories. He unified two middleweight world titles with a clear decision over Daniel Jacobs in May, and then jumped up two weight classes and scored a devastating 11th-round knockout of Sergey Kovalev in November to win a light heavyweight title, which gave him belts in four weight classes overall.

"This is a great honor and privilege, and something that I'm very proud to accomplish," Alvarez said. "It's something I've waited for a while to achieve. I'm so happy to be a part of history as the second Mexican to win this."

Alvarez is the first Mexican fighter to win the award in 32 years, since International Boxing Hall of Famer Julio Cesar Chavez won it in 1987. Alvarez beat out nominees Pacquiao, Naoya Inoue, Errol Spence Jr. and Josh Taylor. Alvarez received 81 percent of the vote from the BWAA members who cast ballots.

Eddie Reynoso, who trains Alvarez, Oscar Valdez and Ryan Garcia, among others, won the Eddie Futch Trainer of the Year award, beating out the dual entry of Jay Deas and Mark Breland (who co-train heavyweight world titlist Deontay Wilder), Derrick James, Brian McIntyre and Manny Robles.

"I don't have the words to express what this means to me," Reynoso said. "We're going to continue to work hard to get this award for a few more years in the future, God willing."

Added Alvarez: "I'm overwhelmed with the news that Eddy received trainer of the year. I've worked with Eddy since I was at a young age. All of the hard work and sacrifices got us to this point. I'm happy that we've accomplished this together."

The other award winners:

• The Muhammad Ali-Joe Frazier Fight of the Year went to Inoue's unanimous decision win over Nonito Donaire to unify bantamweight world titles in an all-out brawl in the final of the World Boxing Super Series tournament in November in Saitama, Japan. Other nominees were Gennadiy Golovkin's razor-close decision over Sergiy Derevyanchenko to win a vacant middleweight title in October; Pacquiao's exciting split decision over Keith Thurman to claim a welterweight title; heavyweight Andy Ruiz's seventh-round knockout of Andy Joshua in a massive upset in June to win three heavyweight world titles in their first fight; Spence's split decision over Shawn Porter to unify two welterweight belts in September; and Taylor's narrow majority decision over Regis Prograis in October to unify two junior welterweight titles in the final of that division's World Boxing Super Series tournament.

• New Yorker Keith Connolly won the Cus D'Amato Manager of the Year award for the first time on the strength of multimillion-dollar deals he negotiated for Jacobs, Derevyanchenko and heavyweight contender Adam Kownacki, as well as lucrative fights for Richard Commey and Luis Collazo. Connolly also manages a stable that includes several rising prospects. He beat out Luis DeCubas Jr., Peter Kahn, David McWater and Rick Mirigian.

"It's a great honor, especially for someone who fell in love with boxing (when) I was 7 years old," Connolly, 46, said. "This probably means more to my father, Patrick, who's the one who got me into boxing. He used to set up the projector and we'd watch fights of Rocky Graziano and Tony Zale on the wall. Managing fighters is something I fell into. It's like anyone in boxing, they kind of fall into it. Very few 7-year-olds grow up thinking they want to be a boxing manager. Any time you're honored by your peers and people in the business, it's a great honor.

"I always tell a fighter they don't work for promoters or managers, they work for themselves. I'm there to fight tooth and nail to make money for them, and I'm there to guide them in what's best for them. But in the end, it's their decision. The fighter is the boss, not the promoter or the manager."

• Ward, a ringside analyst for ESPN, won the Sam Taub Award for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism, getting the nod over ringside colleague Tim Bradley Jr., Showtime senior vice president and executive producer David Dinkins, Showtime broadcaster Jim Gray and Showtime blow-by-blow announcer Mauro Ranallo.

"This means a lot to me," said Ward, who previously worked at HBO. "I'm the type of person that anything I do, I try to excel at it. For me to be recognized with this honor, it's really encouraging and it motivates me to get even better. Getting into broadcasting was something I always wanted to do since I saw Roy Jones do it. He juggled both when he was active."

• CompuBox founder and president Bob Canobbio won the Barney Nagler Award for long and meritorious service to boxing from a group of nominees that also included ESPN broadcaster and trainer Teddy Atlas, ring announcer Michael Buffer, historian Henry Hascup and Boxrec founder John Sheppard. "It's such an honor just to be nominated, but to win, it's very humbling," Canobbio said. "It validates all of the hard work that I put into CompuBox and for everyone else involved with CompuBox. It's nice to be recognized by your peers."

• There was a tie for the John McCain-Bill Crawford award for courage in overcoming adversity. The winners were: former light heavyweight world champion Adonis Stevenson, who made a remarkable recovery from a traumatic brain injury suffered in an 11th-round knockout loss to Oleksandr Gvozdyk in December 2018; and publicist Marc Abrams, who overcame a series of health issues in 2019. Others who were nominated were Showtime broadcaster Brian Custer, trainer Jose Santa Cruz and Ranallo.

• The Marvin Kohn Good Guy award was a tie between longtime writer Norm Frauenheim and Premier Boxing Champions vice president of communications (and former journalist) Tim Smith. The other nominees were former super middleweight titlist Anthony Dirrell, unified junior welterweight titlist Jose Ramirez and WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman.

• The BWAA will also honor Graham Houston, best known for his writing in Britain's Boxing Monthly, as the 47th winner of the Nat Fleischer Award for career excellence in boxing journalism. The winner of the lifetime achievement award is voted on by past winners.

"As a boxing fan in the 1950s in the U.K., an eagerly awaited highlight of the month was buying the latest issue of The Ring," Houston said. "I loved Nat Fleischer's detailed, in-depth coverage of the big fights. Now, to be told I have been voted winner of the Nat Fleischer award, it's as if the wheel has come full circle after all these years. To receive the award based on the votes of past winners, respected colleagues all, is the greatest affirmation any boxing writer could wish for. This was an honor I never expected. I feel proud, grateful and humble to be selected for this most prestigious of awards."

Previously, the BWAA announced that Ireland's Katie Taylor (15-0, 6 KOs), the undisputed women's lightweight world champion and also a junior welterweight titleholder, was named winner of the 2019 Christy Martin Female Fighter of the Year Award as selected by the BWAA women's boxing committee.