Pacquiao also wins fighter of decade
Pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao, who stormed to a pair of decisive knockout victories to win world titles in a record-tying sixth weight class and a record-breaking seventh one, has been named the 2009 fighter of the year by the Boxing Writers Association of America.
Pacquiao, who will be presented with his third Sugar Ray Robinson trophy in the past four years, heads the list of honorees who will be invited to receive their awards on June 11 in New York at the BWAA's 85th annual banquet.
Pacquiao, who was also named 2009 fighter of the year by ESPN.com and Ring magazine, won the award in balloting by the organization's membership over nominees Vitali Klitschko, Andre Ward, Paul Williams and Arthur Abraham.
Pacquiao (50-3-2, 38 KOs), whose first world title came at flyweight, scored a second-round knockout of Ricky Hatton on May 2 to win the world junior welterweight championship and stopped Miguel Cotto in the 12th round on Nov. 14 to win a welterweight world title.
In addition, Pacquiao was also voted fighter of the decade (2000-09), beating out a star-studded group of nominees that also included Bernard Hopkins, Joe Calzaghe, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Shane Mosley, Juan Manuel Marquez and Marco Antonio Barrera.
Pacquiao, of the Philippines, went 24-1-2 during the decade and won six of his seven world titles while emerging as the pound-for-pound king and a box office sensation.
Freddie Roach, who has trained Pacquiao since 2001 and been an integral part of his success, will receive the Futch award for trainer of the year for the fourth time. He also won it in 2003, 2006 and 2008.
"Manny and I are a great team and to win this award you need a great fighter," Roach told ESPN.com Sunday. "Hopefully, [junior welterweight titlist] Amir Khan will be my next guy. It's my favorite award because its named after my trainer [the late Eddie Futch]."
Futch trained Roach during his fighting career before taking him under his wing as an assistant trainer.
"I give Eddie all the credit for where I am today," Roach said. "He gave me great guidance during my apprenticeship with him."
Lightweight champion Juan Manuel Marquez and former titlist Juan Diaz will share the Muhammad Ali-Joe Frazier award for fight of the year. Their Feb. 28 all-action slugfest was an instant classic as Marquez went to Diaz's hometown of Houston and stopped him in the ninth round to retain the title.
Also to be honored by the BWAA:
• ESPN's Joe Tessitore, the longtime blow-by-blow voice of ESPN2's "Friday Night Fights," was selected as the Sam Taub award winner for excellence in broadcast journalism.
• Jerry Izenberg, one of America's foremost sports columnists for the Newark (N.J). Star-Ledger for almost 60 years, will receive the John F.X. Condon award for long and meritorious service to boxing.
• Alexis Arguello, the Hall of Famer who won world championships in three weight classes, will receive the Marvin Kohn good guy award posthumously. Arguello died in July at age 57.
• Showtime broadcaster Nick Charles, who is fighting a battle with bladder cancer, and former heavyweight contender George Chuvalo, will share the Bill Crawford award for courage in overcoming adversity. Two of Chuvalo's sons died from drug overdoses and a third son, as well as his first wife, committed suicide, and now he speaks to high school students about drug use.
The Nat Fleischer award for excellence in boxing journalism, the highest award the BWAA presents to one of its members, has not been announced yet. Balloting for the lifetime achievement award is ongoing. It is voted on only by past winners.
The membership voted against selecting a manager of the year.
Dan Rafael covers boxing for ESPN.com.