24 January 2010 – By Cormac Campbell
Bernard Dunne was named Boxer of the Year on Saturday night at the Bogart Menswear National Boxing Awards in An Culturlann, Belfast.
The Dubliner, who claimed the WBA super-bantamweight title from Ricardo Cordoba in March 2009, beat off stiff competition from European champions Matthew Macklin and Paul McCloskey.
Dunne was unable to attend due to prior commitments, leaving his coach Harry Hawkins to collect the award.
Hawkins recalled the highs of the title win as well as the subsequent defeat against Thai puncher Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym. The Holy Trinity coach also hinted that an announcement on Dunnes future will be made in the coming weeks.
22-year-old Belfast native Carl Frampton (3-0) was named Prospect of the Year. The Barry McGuigan managed, Gerry Storey trained box-puncher has already caught the eye of the boxing fraternity and looks set to make a push into title contention in the next 18 months.
The Irish Champion of the Year award was presented to super-featherweight champion Eddie Hyland (Tallaght) in recognition of recent victories over domestic rivals Kevin OHara and Oisin Fagan.
Belfasts John Breen was recognised as coach of the year after another successful year in his Lombard Street gym.
Boxing historian and author Barry Flynn gave a special presentation on the careers of boxing legends John Caldwell and John McNally inducting the duo into the Hall of Fame.
The keynote address of the awards was given by Boxing Union of Ireland President Mel Christle.
Stay tuned to irish-boxing.com for further updates and reaction from the awards.