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Boxing writers select Floyd Mayweather Jr. fighter of the year

He’s no longer fighting, but if that itch to return comes back, Floyd Mayweather Jr. can boast he’s the reigning fighter of the year.

The Boxing Writers Assn. of America has announced Mayweather, following his convincing unanimous-decision victory over Manny Pacquiao in the richest fight of all time in May, is its fighter of the year.

Mayweather (49-0, 26 knockouts) turns 39 later this month. He retired following the September finale of his six-fight Showtime pay-per-view deal, an easy decision over Andre Berto at MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

The riveting super-featherweight title fight won by Mexico’s Francisco Vargas over former champion Takashi Miura on Nov. 21 was proclaimed the fight of the year. Vargas overcame a knockdown and the threat of a fight-stopping cut to score a ninth-round technical knockout of Miura at Mandalay Bay.

Big Bear-based trainer Abel Sanchez, whose handling of unbeaten middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin has helped increase his knockout streak to 21 consecutive fights, was named trainer of the year.

Golovkin stopped Willie Monroe and David Lemieux last year.

Powerful boxing manager Al Haymon, who played a role in making Mayweather-Pacquiao and formed Premier Boxing Champions in 2015, was named manager of the year for the fourth consecutive year.

Other awards went to former HBO boxing director Marc Payton and former HBO executive Mark Taffet (Broadcasting), Showtime photographer Tom Casino (Courage in Overcoming Adversity), Philadelphia Daily News boxing writer Bernard Fernandez (Long and Meritorious Service), California boxing promoter Don Chargin (Good Guy), East Coast promoter Lou DiBella (Honesty and Integrity) and Washington Post boxing writer William Gildea (Excellence in Boxing Journalism).

A gala to honor the winners will take place later this year.

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