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PACQUIAO RECEIVES THE ?OSCAR? AWARD OF BOXING


PhilBoxing.com




Filipino boxing hero and a hero of Asia, Manny Pacquiao, received what amounted to the coveted ?Oscar Award? of boxing as ?Fighter of the Year? for 2008 from the prestigious Boxing Writers Association of America at star-studded dinner in New York Friday (Saturday morning Manila Time.)

It was Pacquiao?s second ?Fighter of the Year? award having first won the accolade in 2006. The awards dinner which was carried ?Live? by Gofightlive.tv was monitored in Manila by www.insidesports.ph and Viva Sports.

Celebrated trainer Freddie Roach won his third ?Trainer of the Year? award and paid tribute to Pacquiao for much of his success.

Pacquiao received a standing ovation when he went on stage to receive the award from BWAA president Jack Hirsch who hinted that with Pacquiao?s spectacular 2nd round knockout of Ricky ?The Hitman? Hatton last May 2 may put him in contention for a third award for 2009.

In his remarks delivered in near-flawless English and interrupted by resounding applause on occasions, Pacquiao said he flew all the way to New York because he realized the value and prestige of the ?Fighter of the Year? award. Pacquiao acknowledged Top Rank promoter Bob Arum for his faith in him, his remarkable trainer Freddie Roach and his wife Jinkee and their children and family for all their support and the support of his countrymen.

Pacquiao reiterated a constant theme that nothing would have been possible without the help of God.

In an interview prior to receiving his award Roach said ?it gets better every time and Manny Pacquiao really is the best student in the world and we have a good relationship so I am very honored be around a guy like him and a workhorse like Manny Pacquiao.?

Roach said he wants ?two more big fights and then retire. With (Floyd) Mayweather Jr coming up and of course (Miguel) Cotto and (Shane) Mosley and we?ll fight the winner of that down the line? even as he spoke about he himself retiring in the Philippines.

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 Pacquiao?s ?work ethic is amazing and I?m real happy he walked through my door one day.?

BWAA president Jack Hirsch said a lot of luck was involved in pulling off such a great event and commended ?the people in the boxing community, the way they rallied together and tonight showed boxing at its absolute finest. Its given a bad image a lot of the time but the people who knock it should be here tonight.?

Hirsch said ?this is the academy awards for the sport and everyone wants to be a part of the academy awards. Winning a BWAA award is the greatest award you can win in boxing and take the turnout ? Genaro Hernandez from Los Angeles, Manny Pacquiao from the Philippines, Israel Vasquez from Mexico, Joe Calzaghe from Wales, they are coming from all over.?


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Ronnie Nathanielsz.


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