By Ronnie Nathanielsz
Pound for pound king Manny Pacquiao, three-time winner of the “Fighter of the Year” award has lost out to world middleweight champion Sergio Martinez in this year’s poll by the prestigious Boxing Writers Association of America.
BWAA president Jack Hirsch informed the Inquirer that the BWAA voted Martinez over Pacquiao, the fighter who achieved an incredible record of eight world titles in eight different weight divisions.
Hirsch said “while his star pupil Pacquiao was runner-up in the “Fighter of the Year” award, trainer Freddie Roach maintained his perennial position as “Trainer of the Year” to win the award for the third time in a row and the fifth time overall. The award has always had special meaning for Roach as it is named after his mentor Eddie Futch.”
WBA light welterweight champion Amir Khan who was pushed to the limit in winning a unanimous twelve round decision over Marcos Maidana last December shared the “Ali-Frazier” award for “Fight of the Year.”
Khan trained alongside Pacquiao as the Philippines national sports hero prepared for his vacant WBC light middleweight/super welterweight title fight against Antonio Margarito last November at the Dallas Cowboys Stadium in Texas . Pacquiao pulverized Margarito to win by a twelve round shutout.
The award itself is linked to the Philippines as it was at the Araneta Coliseum on October 1, 1975 that Muhammad Ali defeated Joe Frazier in an epic battle considered the greatest heavyweight championship fight of all-time.
The BWAA noted that it was a safe bet to say that few have been at ringside for more shows than Jack Obermayer. At last count the number was well over 3,000 and climbing. Obermayer has finally been given his long overdue recognition by the BWAA, which has voted to honor him with the "Condon" award for "Long and Meritorious Service" to the sport.
The "Marvin Kohn Good Guy" award will be going to Bill Caplan. A long-time publicist for George Foreman. Caplan currently works in that capacity for Golden Boy Promotions.
Robert Guerrero had put his career on hold to deal with his wife Casey's health issues. With her Leukemia in remission, Guerrero made a successful return to the ring. How he coped with the situation impressed the BWAA electorate who voted him the "Crawford" award for "Courage in Overcoming Adversity."
It had been previously announced that Micky Ward won the "James A. Farley" award for "Honesty and Integrity," and Steve Farhood the "Fleischer" award for "Excellence in Boxing Journalism."
Hirsch said that all award winners will be honored at the BWAA's 86th annual dinner, tentatively set for May 6, 2011 in Las Vegas.