Mike Tyson, the world heavyweight champion, was named the Fighter of the Year for 1988 today by the Boxing Writers Assn. of America. Winner of the Al Buck Award as trainer of the year was Kevin Rooney, who trained Tyson until his last fight--a fifth-round victory over Frank Bruno in his 1989 debut Feb. 25. Rooney was dismissed for public comments Tyson did not like and is suing the champion for $10 million, contending that he has a handshake agreement with the fighter. Tyson also won the Edward J. Neil Award as Fighter of the Year in 1986.
Arthur Mercante won the James J. Walker Award for long and meritorious service to boxing. He has refereed many championship fights, including the the classic first Muhammad Ali-Joe Frazier heavyweight bout in 1971.