Boxing Monthy, the British-based magazine, has named Manny Pacquiao as its choice for Fighter of the Year for 2009.
In a decision that did not come as a surprise to everyone in the know, Pacquiao’s selection stemmed from his two victories against topnotch opposition, the second-round demolition of Englishman Ricky Hatton in May and the Filipino’s brutal stoppage win over Puerto Rican Miguel Cotto in November.
Pacquiao’s choice as 2009’s finest was made in the January 2010 issue of the monthly publication, where an image of him striking a fighting pose is splashed on its cover.
Even though he scored a savage kayo win over Hatton, a popular figure in the British sports scene, Pacquiao had endeared himself to UK fans when he came to visit London and Manchester two months before the fight as part of a publicity tour.
With Boxing Monthly beating almost everyone to the punch, other publications and internet sites are expected to come up with their own version of the annual awards for boxing soon.
Expected to release their own list are The Ring, regarded as the Bible of Boxing, and a bevy of sites dedicated mainly to boxing.
Even the prestigious Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA), which has named Pacquiao twice the recipient of the most coveted award, the Edward Neil Trophy (Best Boxer), is expected to announce its choice soon after votes are counted.
Pacquiao was BWAA top awardee for 2006 and 2008.