Pacquiao gets Fighter of the Year honor in NY

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International boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao has formally received the “Fighter of the Year” award for 2008 from the prestigious Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) in New York Friday (Saturday in Manila).

A report by said Pacquiao, the best Filipino boxer in history, received a standing ovation when he climbed the stage to receive the award from BWAA president Jack Hirsch.

It was Pacquiao’s second “Fighter of the Year” award having first won the honor in 2006.

Hirsch reportedly even hinted that Pacquiao’s sensational second round knockout of Ricky Hatton last May 2 may put the Filipino among the Fighter of the Year candidates for 2009.

In receiving the award, Pacquiao thanked Top Rank promoter Bob Arum for backing him up, his trainer Freddie Roach, his family and his countrymen for all their support.

He also said that he realized the value and prestige of the award which is why he flew all the way to New York.

Meanwhile, Roach won his third “Trainer of the Year” award. He credited his prized ward for much of his success.

“[His] work ethic is amazing and I’m real happy he walked through my door one day,” said the US trainer.

Roach said he wants Pacquiao to have two more big fights and then retire.

“With (Floyd) Mayweather Jr. coming up and, of course, (Miguel) Cotto and (Shane) Mosley, we’ll fight the winner of that down the line,” said Roach.

Roach said he saw “no problem whatsoever” in fighting Cotto or Mosley but added “right now, I think Mayweather is the better fight for Manny and that’s the fight I want.”

He said Mayweather “is not as strong as Cotto or Shane (Mosley)."
"He is not a big puncher. He’s been off for a long time now. He struggled with (Ricky) Hatton and was behind after six rounds. We destroyed Hatton. He struggled with Oscar De La Hoya and Manny destroyed Oscar so who’s the better fighter?” Roach said.


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