Saturday, June 5, 2010

Pacquiao named Fighter of the Year

NEW YORK - Manny Pacquiao, boxing's pound-for-pound king and a newly elected legislator in the Philippines, accepted his third Fighter of the Year award Friday from the Boxing Writers Association of America.

"Tonight I overflow with joy and gratitude," Pacquiao said. "I am thankful that, just like Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier and other boxers, I decided to get into boxing."

After a 2009 that included a spectacular second-round knockout of Ricky Hatton and a punishing 12th-round stoppage of Miguel Cotto that gave Pacquiao titles in a record seven divisions, Pacquiao was the overwhelming winner in voting by the organization's members.

He was also named Fighter of the Decade.

"I confronted poverty by trusting God and dreaming big," Pacquiao said. "I was convinced I could succeed in boxing. The boxing ring could be the breeding ground for my dreams."

Pacquiao, who was accompanied by his wife, Jinkee, planned to stay in New York to see Cotto challenge junior middleweight champion Yuri Foreman on Saturday night in the first fight at the new Yankee Stadium - more than 30 years after the last fight at the original Yankee Stadium.

After that he will travel to Washington to meet with US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, promoter Bob Arum said.

He'll take on his own new duties as a legislator when the Philippine Congress convenes in July.

Arum said that he would continue to try to put together a fight between Pacquiao and unbeaten Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Negotiations on a bout last year broke down over Mayweather's demand for stringent blood-test doping controls.

Pacquiao instead beat Joshua Clottey in front of 51,000 at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas, while Mayweather beat Shane Mosley in Las Vegas.

Pacquaio's trainer, Freddie Roach, accepted his fourth Trainer of the Year award - and said he wouldn't discuss a possible Pacquiao-Mayweather bout.

"I'm just going to stay out of this one," he said. "I'm tired of whining, guessing, hoping. Obviously we all hope to get the big fight, but if we don't, we'll fight somebody else."

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