By Esteban Garduno: World Boxing Organization welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao (50-3-2, 38 KO’s) has been named Fighter of the Year for 2009 for his wins over Ricky Hatton and Miguel Cotto, according to Dan Rafael of ESPN. The voting was done by the Boxing Writers Association of America. Also, Pacquiao has been selected as the Fighter of the Decade – 2000-2009.
Other fighters who were in the running for that award was Bernard Hopkins, Joe Calzaghe, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Juan Manuel Marquez, Shane Mosley and Marco Antonio Barrera. It’s a subjective thing, because some people might feel that the unbeaten Calzaghe or the forever young Hopkins might have better deserved the award.
Additionally, there are some people who think that Pacquiao lost to Marquez in 2008, a fight in which Pacquiao won by a 12 round split decision. Calzaghe was unbeaten during the entire decade, as well as his entire career. He certainly deserved a good hard look when it came to the voting.
As for the 2009 fighter of the year, unbeaten super middleweight Andre Ward also was one to consider giving the award to. Ward defeated knockout artist Edison Miranda and WBA super middleweight champion Mikkel Kessler. At the time that the young 25-year-old Ward beat Kessler, the Danish fighter was considered to be the best fighter in the division and was picked to be the winner of the Super Six tournament.
Pacquiao defeated Ricky Hatton and Miguel Cotto in 2009. There are many people who say that neither fighter is at the top of their game anymore. Indeed, Cotto had been beaten badly only a year earlier in 2008 by Antonio Margarito, and had looked poor in a subsequent fight against Joshua Clottey in 2009. Hatton had been knocked out by Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2007, and staggered badly in a fight against Juan Lazcano in 2008.
Hatton had been going up in down in weight between fights and had recently picked up a new trainer in Floyd Mayweather Sr. at the time that he fought Pacquiao. As you can see, this award could have easily have gone to another fighter. Another fighter who might have deserved the fighter of the decade award is Mosley. Shane has wins over Oscar De La Hoya, Fernando Vargas, Luis Collazo and Antonio Margarito, among many others. He’s won titles in the welterweight and light middleweight divisions.