|PHILLY BOXING HISTORY - March 25, 2018|
Philadelphia fighters Tyrone Brunson and Avery Sparrow were the big winners at the 11th Annual Briscoe Awards on Sunday. Brunson took home a record three awards while Sparrow left with two.
Brunson was named the "2017 Fighter of the Year" after winning three bouts, the PA State title and the UBF International regional belt last year. The highlight of 2017 was Brunson's rollercoaster clash with for champion Kermit Cintron last June. Brunson came off the floor twice to stop Cintron in round five.
"It was one hell of a fight against a two-time world champion," said Brunson. "Everybody counted me out, but I didn't count myself out."
Brunson's memorable win over Cintron was also named the "2017 Philly Fight of the Year".
"It was a hard fight for me. Five knockdowns in five rounds. I knew he could punch. He had me down twice, but I got up. Vaughn (Jackson, his trainer) was cussing me out (between rounds). I was more scared of Vaughn than Cintron. So I had to finish him."
That comeback victory also earned Brunson the "Performance of the Year" award. This was the first time that any fighter won three Briscoe Awards in a single year.
Cintron was not in attendance, but the promoter of the fight, Marshall Kauffman represented him.
"It was my honor to put on such a great fight," Kauffman said. "After the fight, Cintron told me that Brunson was the hardest puncher he ever faced."
Avery Sparrow was named both the "Prospect of the Year" and the "Breakout Fighter of 2017", after a stellar twelve months that featured four wins, two national television appearances and his first trip into the world rankings.
"It was a good year," Sparrow said. "I'm blessed to be in a position to display my talents, and I appreciate all these awards. It's a blessing."
Quickly-rising welterweight star, Jaron Ennis won the "One to Watch" award after an excellent sophomore season that raised his record to 17-0. Many believe Ennis is the best Philly prospect to come along in years.
"I want to thank God, my family - Mom and Dad and my brothers," Ennis said. "I wouldn't be where I am today if they hadn't led me the right way. 2018 is going to be a good year."
Marcel Rivers scored the "Knockout of the Year" over Osnel Charles in September. His picture-perfect, one-punch KO brought him his first Briscoe Award in only his third professional bout.
"I want to express my gratitude to everyone who had something to do with this," Rivers said.
South Jersey's Dylan Price was named the "Rookie of the Year", after his perfect 4-0, 4 KOs, first year in the pros. Last year he was won the "Amateur" award at the Briscoes, and appears to have a very bright future.
"I want to congratulate everybody that got nominated and everybody that received an award today," Price said. "I want to thank my team. Without them, I wouldn't be here. I'm just blessed to be in this position."
The "2017 Amateur of the Year", Raymond Ford was not in attendance because he was away at training camp. His coach, Dave Price spoke for him.
"Raymond is unable to be here because he's at the Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center, Price said. "He had a good year. He won the Silver Medal at the Junior Olympics. He won the Ringside Nationals, and was the Silver Medalist at the USA Nationals. He is also on the USA National Elite Team."
Former fighter Eddie Everett once again presented his annual "Everett Brothers Award" at the Briscoe Awards event.
"Both my brothers (Tyrone and Mike) had great careers," Everett said. "They both fought for world titles, and Tyrone Everett was probably one of the greatest fighters ever to come out of Philadelphia. So I take it upon myself to honor them with this award in their name. Today, we honor Jerome Conquest with the Everett Brothers Award."
Jerome Conquest is a professional fighter who also gives back to his Philly community. He was honored for both his skill in the ring and his efforts outside it.
"I'm humbled and blessed to be here," Conquest said. "I want to thank the Everett family. I also want to thank (photographer) Kenny Ludwig. He was one of the first people to reach out and support me when I started giving back to the community and the kids with the toy drive. We stood outside in the cold collecting money for the kids, and that was a cold winter!"
"Two weeks ago, I took a loss," Conquest continued. "but the same way I took those nine wins, I took that loss the same way. I'm right back in the gym, and I'm good."
For the second time, the Briscoe Awards held a competition for local ring photographers to name the "2017 Photo of the Year". Of the nine entries submitted, photographer Tim McCloskey's shot of Jaron Ennis, "Stay Down!" was chosen as the winning photo.
The Briscoe Awards were hosted by Alexis Barbosa, a former professional fighter who is now a ring announcer and also manages the UFC Gym in Cherry Hill, NJ. This year's Awards were held at the VBA Clubhouse.
The Briscoe Awards were presented by Philly Boxing History Inc., a 501c3 Non-Profit Organization dedicated to preserving and honoring the great legacy of boxing in and around the City of Philadelphia.