Pacquiao voted ‘Fighter of the Year’

By Ronnie Nathanielsz – Filipino boxing hero Manny Pacquiao has once again been voted as “Fighter of the Year” for 2008 while his celebrated trainer Fredde Roach was voted “Trainer of the Year” by the prestigious Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA).

His victories over “The Golden Boy” Oscar de la Hoya, David Diaz and Juan Manuel Marquez last year helped clinch the award for Pacquiao, as expected.

Undefeated Welshman Joe Calzaghe was runner-up, but voted “Manager of the Year” for guiding his own career. The former super middleweight champion recently retired.

The super bantamweight rubber match between Israel Vazquez and Rafael Marquez was chosen fight of the year. Vazquez won by split decision.

The Edward J. Neil award will be presented to Pacquiao at the annual BWAA dinner which, by coincidence, will be held on June 12, Philippine Independence Day.

It is the second time that Pacquiao has been voted “Fighter of the Year” by the BWAA having first won the accolade in 2006 when he scored two sensational victories over Mexican legend Erik Morales.

In-between the Morales fights, Pacquiao scored a twelve-round unanimous decision over Oscar Larios.

Other award winners include ShoBox commentator Steve Farhood for the “Long and Meritorious Service” award while HBO’s resident unofficial judge Harold Lederman was cited for “Excellence in Broadcast Journalism.

The “Good Guy” award went to Alan Hopper of Don King Productions while journalist George Kimball and former world champion Genaro Gernandez are co-winners of the Crawford Award for perseverance in overcoming adversity.

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