By Ronnie Nathanielsz
The World Boxing Organization headed by its re-elected president Francisco “Paco” Valcarcel has honored two great Filipino boxers on the first day of its 25th Annual Convention in Florida.
The WBO president confirmed his statement to BoxingScene.com/Manila Standard prior to the super bantamweight/junior featherweight title fight between Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire and Japan’s WBC champion emeritus in Carson City, California, that Donaire would be named “Fighter of the Year.”
Valcarcel also announced that Manny Pacquiuao has been given the accolade of “Fighter of the Decade” even though he was robbed of the decision in his WBO welterweight title defense against Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley in his last fight.
Pacquiao, an eight-division world champion had been named “Fighter of the Decade” by the World Boxing Council last year.
At the suggestion of WBO Asia Pacific vice president Leon Panoncillo, Pacquiao’s fourth fight with Juan Manuel Marquez will be for “WBO Champion if the Decade.”|
In welcoming the suggestion Valcarcel said “It will be part of the advertising and will give the WBO a boost” adding that “both fighters are allies of the WBO.”
Donaire who won the WBO super bantamweight title by beating Wilfredo Vazquez Jr last February in San Antonio, Texas then won the IBF title in convincing fashion from South Africa’s Jeffrey Mathebula before scoring a 9th round TKO over Japanese southpaw Toshiaki Nishioka last October 13 at the Home Depot Center in Carson City, California.
Donaire had earlier won the WBO/WBC bantamweight title with a spectacular 2nd round demolition of Fernando “Cochulito” Montiel at the Mandalay Bay Resort Hotel m& Casino and then retained his title in a twelve round shutout decision over two-division champion Omar Andres Narvaez of Argentina at New York’s famed Madison Square Garden.
Pacquiao is tied with undefeated Floyd Mayweather Jr in the No.2 spot in Ring Magazine’s pound for pound list while Donaire is at No. 5.