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The most coveted championship belt which can be awarded to a professional fighter is the Ring Magazine Championship Belt. The most coveted award that can be bestowed on a fighter is the Edward J. Neil Trophy. The Edward J. Neil Trophy, known alternatively as the Boxing Writers Association of America Fighter of the Year Award, has been conferred annually since 1938 by the Boxing Writers Association of America on the boxer, irrespective of weight class or nationality, adjudged by the membership of the Association to have been the best in a given year. Named for Edward J. Neil, an Associated Press sportswriter and war correspondent who was killed in 1938 while reporting on the Spanish Civil War, the award is presented with other honors given by the BWAA at an annual awards dinner in the spring of the year following that for performance in which the award is given. Offered here is the Edward J. Neil Trophy awarded to heavyweight champion Floyd Patterson for the year 1956. 1956 was a big year for Patterson. He started the year with victories over Jimmy Walls and Alvin Williams. This set up a title eliminator with Tommy "Hurricane" Jackson at Madison Square Garden in New York on June 8, 1956. It was not easy, but Patterson prevailed winning a very hard fought and close 12 round split decision over Jackson. This put Patterson in a title fight with Archie Moore for the vacant world heavyweight title, vacated by the retiring Rocky Marciano the year before. The fight was set at Chicago Stadium on November 30, 1956. Moore had given Marciano fits the year before so many thought Patterson would have a lot of trouble. It was not to be. The younger Patterson boxed beautifully and knocked Moore out in the 5th round to become the youngest man to win the heavyweight title at 21 years, 10 months, 3 weeks and 5 days. He also was the first gold medalist from the Olympics to win the heavyweight title. This prestigious award is a metal plaque affixed to a wooden base. It reads, "THE EDWARD J. NEIL MEMORIAL FOR OUTSTANDING SERVICE TO BOXING IN 1956 PRESENTED BY BOXING WRITERS' ASSOCIATION OF NEW YORK TO FLOYD PATTERSON." An 8.5" x 13.25" metal plaque on a 12.5" x 15.5" wooden base. Minor scratches on wood and slight rub to the nose on face of Neil, otherwise fine. A chance to own the most prestigious award bestowed on Floyd Patterson in recognition of his championship run and championship victory in 1956. Letter of authenticity from the family of Floyd Patterson. LOA from Craig Hamilton of JO Sports, Inc.
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