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2019 ESPYS feature separate MMA and boxing categories

The 2019 ESPYS – ESPN’s annual sports award show – will air Wednesday July 10 and there are several changes that combat sports fans may find appealing.

The ESPYS have confirmed that MMA and Boxing now have their own categories as shown below:

    • Canelo Alvarez
    • Vasily Lomachenko
    • Oleksandr Usyk
    • Terence Crawford


    • Israel Adesanya
    • Daniel Cormier
    • Henry Cejudo
    • Amanda Nunes

Some facts and figures for this year’s show:

  • For the first time since 1994 – the 2nd ESPYS ever – all the nominees for “Best Male Athlete” are newcomers to the category. Patrick Mahomes, Mookie Betts, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Brooks Koepka all vie for their first “Best Male Athlete” honor.
  • In “Best Female Athlete,” newcomer Alex Morgan joins a field of returning nominees, including Breanna Stewart, Simone Biles, and Mikaela Shiffrin. At least one of those three women has been represented in the category since 2014.
  • For a third-straight year, James Harden graces the “Best NBA Player” category, alongside first timer Paul George and returning nominees Giannis Antetokounmpo and Kevin Durant.
  • In “Best Record-Breaking Performance,” returning nominees Drew Brees and Klay Thompson are joined by two young newcomers – Oregon basketball’s Sabrina Ionescu and high school runner Matthew Boling.
  • Rising tennis star Naomi Osaka is nominated in three categories this year – “Best Breakthrough Athlete,” “Best Upset,” and “Best Female Tennis Player.”

The 2019 ESPYS will be broadcast on ABC at 8 p.m. ET from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, California. Tracy Morgan will host.

Fans can vote for nominees at


Kenai is a former Postmedia Network online news and sports editor. He is the Editor-in-Chief for MMA Crossfire.

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