Teofimo Lopez (16-0, 12KOs), who is only 23 years old, becomes the youngest winner of the BWAA (Boxing Writers’ Association of America) Male Fighter of the Year award in 25 years. Oscar de la Hoya claimed the same top honors in 1995 when he was 22 years old. And, in a span of 5 years, he is also the first American boxer to win back the award since Floyd Mayweather Jr. claimed it in 2015.
Lopez’s electrifying victory over Lomachenko in October 2020 may have cleared his way to this prestigious award. It serves as a punctuation mark that leaves no room for doubt, and for the boxing colonists to realize that he, too, can beat the best. BWAA has taken notice, as have millions of fight fans around the world, so that they selected Lopez as the recipient of the 2020 Sugar Ray Robinson award as Fighter of the Year.
“I am very grateful for this,” Lopez said in an interview. “It has been a long journey and this is just the beginning. What I can say is that this is a real great victory for us. It is surreal. Sometimes I still think this is a dream for us, but we make it come true.”
“All the fighters that I look down on the list of winners for the BWAA Fighter of the Year award are either in the Hall of Fame or going into the Hall of Fame. Now I am part of that group and that history. It’s something that no one can take away from me. There is much more we can do.”
But it was actually a climactic moment for the Team Lopez, in what was a rare occurrence, as Teofimo’s manager and his trainer father also separately won the Manager and Trainer of the Year awards.
“I never expected this,” said the older Lopez. “This is a tribute to all the hard work we did. I was thinking of my son. I wasn’t thinking of any awards so getting this from the BWAA makes me a part of history and I’ll be in the boxing books forever. It is a great honor and I do not plan to disappoint anyone.”
Teofimo’s manager, David MacWater, has said that winning the Manager of the Year award is quite exciting and vindicaing. “It involved a lot of hard work, and it’s especially sweet because I felt last year Keith Connolly (the 2019 BWAA Manager of the Year) deserved it so much, which I felt gave the award more credibility than in the past,” he said. “It is a tribute to our entire company in Split-T. Everyone in Split-T has a lot to be thankful for Teofimo and his father. Their awards couldn’t be more worthy.”
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