Manny Pacquiao, the IBO junior welterweight titlist and current P4P king, has been named 2008’s Best Fighter of the Year by the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA)for his outstanding performance last year.
Pacquiao fought three times in 2008. Here's a short recap.
Pacquiao’s three-win streak last year was initiated with his rematch against arch-nemesis Juan Manuel Marquez on March 15, 2008. On the line was Marquez’s WBC super featherweight belt.
Pacquiao managed to deck Marquez in the third round but the fight was a seesaw battle ending in a split decision favoring Pacquiao. Marquez wanted another match but Pacquiao said he plans to move to the lightweight division.
The Filipino icon next fight was also his first bout at lightweight against WBO lightweight champion David “Dangerous” Diaz on June 30, 2008.
Diaz proved to be a durable fighter that night, managing to withstand Pacquiao’s relentless attacks. But soon, Pacquiao wore him down with series of hard punches to the body and the head. In between rounds, Diaz can be heard saying that Pacquiao is “so fucking fast.”
Pacquiao dropped Diaz for the first and final time in the ninth round. With the win, Pacquiao not only got himself his fifth world title* in his fifth division but he is also the first Asian lightweight champion.
The year was punctuated on December 6, 2008 with Pacquiao’s successful debut in the welterweight division against the Golden Boy of boxing, Oscar Dela Hoya. Both fighters were non-title holders (Pacquiao vacated the WBO lightweight crown before the fight).
Dela Hoya handpicked Pacquiao as a quick replacement after Mayweather “retired” from boxing. Proved to be a wrong move for the handsome boxer.
All throughout the fight, Pacquiao was landing his punches almost at will and battered Dela Hoya in the seventh and eighth round. The Golden Boy refused to come out in the ninth round after suffering a brutal, one-sided beatdown all night.
On the side, Pacquiao's head trainer Freddie Roach is named BWAA's 2008 Trainer of The Year.
Congratulations, gentlemen! You both deserved the accolades and the cheers you are receiving right now.