THE 32nd annual British Boxing Board of Control [BBBofC] awards dinner took place on Friday [September 25] to celebrate another successful year for British boxing.
The sold out event, with 575 people in attendance, at the Novotel Hotel in Hammersmith, London had a particularly warm feel to it after a stand out season.
The awards recognised achievements made in the 12 months from August 2014 and the shortlist and eventual winners were decided by the awards committee, made up of BBBofC General Secretary Robert Smith, former Commonwealth light-heavyweight champion Nicholas Piper, Boxing News’ Matt Christie, Danny Flexen and former editor Tris Dixon, journalist Glynn Evans and former cruiserweight world champion Johnny Nelson.
IBF world welterweight champion Kell Brook walked away with the coveted Boxer of the Year accolade, having won his title in America before defending it twice in England.
Efforts were made for the Sheffield star to collect the award himself, but understandably he could not attend the event as he is in full training camp in Spain, preparing for his next defence against Diego Chaves on October 24. Brook’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, collected the award on his behalf.
Also shortlisted for the prize were James DeGale, Carl Frampton, Amir Khan, Jamie McDonnell and Lee Selby, who were all in attendance, as well as Scott Quigg, who was out of the country. That all nominees either hold or have held a world title is testament to the current strength of British boxing.
Overseas Boxer of the Year went to Venezuela’s Jorge Linares who successfully defended his WBC world lightweight title against Kevin Mitchell in May, a scrap that was nominated for Contest of the Year.
That trophy went to the knockdown-filled clash between Dave Ryan and John Wayne Hibbert, which Ryan prevailed in after twice rising from the canvas.
Manchester’s Joe Gallagher scooped the inaugural Boxing News Trainer of the Year award while his charge, Anthony Crolla, was given the Achievement Award after recovering from career-threatening injuries suffered in an attempt to stop a burglary to fight to a draw with lightweight world champion Darleys Perez.
Former world light-heavyweight champion John Conteh, also in attendance, was given this year’s Special Recognition Award.
Chris Sanigar, who helped guide Selby to his IBF world featherweight title, received the Sir Henry Cooper Services to Boxing Award.
The Dennie Mancini Trophy, awarded to excellent Commonwealth champions, went to cruiserweight Ovill McKenzie, who fights for the WBC world title against Victor Ramirez in Argentina on Friday [October 2].
A raffle was also held with prizes including a glove worn by the great Jack Dempsey and signed artwork from Joe Calzaghe v Jeff Lacy. Over £3000 was raised for the Board’s charity, which helps ex-boxers who have fallen on hard times.