Split-T Management was awarded the highest honors in the sport, solidifying itself as the premiere management organization by sweeping all of the major awards in an announcement by the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) today.
Undisputed Lightweight World Champion Teofimo Lopez took home the coveted Fighter of the Year; Split-T Management CEO David McWater was named Manager of the Year; Ivan Baranchyk took part in the Fight of the Year, and Teofimo Lopez Sr. was named Trainer of the Year.
Lopez (16-0, 12 KOs) took his honors on the strength of his sensational performance on October 17th when he added the WBC Franchise, WBA and WBO Lightweight titles to his IBF Championship. The win by Lopez further exemplified that Split-T Management is one of the most powerful entities in boxing as it now handles one of the top Pound-for-Pound fighters in the sport.
“I’m very appreciative of this,” Lopez said. “It’s been a long journey and this is just the beginning. What I can say is this is a true big win for us. It’s surreal. Sometimes I still think this is a dream for us, but we turned that dream into reality.
“When I look down on the list of past BWAA Fighter of the Year award winners, they are all in the Hall of Fame, or going into the Hall of Fame. Now I’m a part of that group and that history. It’s something no one can take away from me. And there is so much more that we will accomplish.”
Under McWater, Split-T outperformed the industry in 2020, featuring its fighters in 40% of the bouts it had participated in the year prior (the industry average was 13%). Split-T Management fighters amassed a record of 44-6-1, winning four world titles that included Lopez, Kali Reis, Raquel Miller and Christina Linardatou as well as four more regional titles, with fights televised or streamed on all of the major boxing platforms such as ESPN/ESPN+, SHOWTIME, DAZN, NBC Sports and FOX. Other Split-T boxers, such as Charles Conwell, Brian Ceballo, Abraham Nova, Stephan Shaw and Janelson Bocachica continued their rise in the sport from prospects to bonafide contenders.
“Getting this award is pretty exciting and very vindicating,” McWater said. “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.
“It’s a tribute to our whole company at Split-T. Everyone at Split-T has so much to be grateful about for Teofimo and his father. Their awards couldn’t be more deserving.”
Baranchyk’s October 3rd eight-knockdown thriller with Jose Zepeda was broadcasted on ESPN+ had fans in awe in one of the most exciting and sensational back-and-forth fights in recent memory. Baranchyk displayed both the renowned heart and tenacity that has made him beloved by fans.
“It’s an honor to be recognized by the BWAA as a participant in the Fight of the Year,” said Baranchyk. “I only watched the bout once so I can fix my mistakes and come back stronger for my next fight, which I would love to be a rematch with Jose – something I know the fans would also want.”
Lopez Sr. made good on his prediction of his son defeating the highly acclaimed Lomachenko. Lopez Sr. was magnificent in devising a game plan for which his son carried out almost flawlessly in the October 17th bout.
“I never expected this,” Lopez Sr. said. “This is a tribute to all of the hard work that we put in. I was thinking about my son. I wasn’t thinking about any awards, so to get this from the BWAA makes me a part of history and I’ll be in the boxing books forever. It’s a great honor and I don’t plan on letting anyone down.”