Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Pound-for-Pound Champ Pacquiao is 2008 Fighter of the Year

For the second time in three years, Manny Pacquiao has been voted by The Boxing Writers' Assn. of America on Tuesday as the Fighter of the Year.

The Filipino fighter, who is currently preparing for his May 2 clash against Ricky Hatton, edged out the recently retired Joe Calzaghe for the award. Freddie Roach, the Hall of Fame trainer of Pacquiao, was also named Trainer of the Year for the third time since 2003.

Pacquiao, who first fought Juan Manuel Marquez in 2008 won a super-featherweight world title last March on a split-decision. He then moved up in weight and beat world lightweight champion David Diaz by ninth-round knockout. After that fight, he once again moved up in weight and defied boxing logic by dismantling Oscar De La Hoya over eight rounds in December, making the 10-time world champion quit before the ninth round began.

"It's always nice to be recognized for doing a good job. I appreciate it a lot. We worked hard on making Manny a better fighter, and I think he was last year."

Roach said Pacquiao is "very excited" at the honor and intends to attend the BWAA dinner in June in New York.

Pacquiao is currently training under Freddie Roach for his May 2 fight against Hatton with a possibility of facing Floyd Mayweather on July.

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