The BWAA said: “Sheppard has provided a generation of boxing writers, fans and industry types an indispensable tool - boxrec.com. The free online database that maintains records of hundreds of thousands of boxers and fights has transformed the way records are maintained and updated in the sport.”
Born in London, Sheppard has been involved in boxing since the 90s, when he first worked for former featherweight champion Naseem Hamed’s Prince Promotions. He kept an online database of records at the time, which he soon allowed access to from around the globe. With the growing prominence of the Internet, boxrec.com expanded dramatically and is now an essential daily tool utilised by everyone in the boxing industry.
James A Farley (1888-1976) was a heavyweight American politician and businessman who first came to global attention for his role in fighting for equal rights for African-Americans as Chairman of the New York State Athletic Commission. In 1926, Farley threatened to resign his post as Athletic Commissioner if boxing champion Jack Dempsey did not fight the mandatory challenger, African-American fighter Harry Wills. Farley banned Dempsey from fighting Gene Tunney, and publicly threatened to revoke Tex Rickard's Madison Square Garden license if he ignored the ruling of the commission. The Landmark James Farley Post Office in New York City is designated in his honor and as a monument to his career in public service.
John Sheppard will receive the James A. Farley award at the 89th annual BWAA dinner, the date and location of which will be announced shortly.
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- James A Farley