Pacquiao honored as best of decade by BWAA

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NEW YORK (AP)—Manny Pacquiao was honored as the fighter of the decade by the Boxing Writer’s Association of America Feb. 1, along with matching Muhammad Ali and Evander Holyfield by winning his third fighter of the year award.

Pacquiao (50-3-2, 38 KOs) capped off a remarkable decade by stopping welterweight Miguel Cotto in the final round in November to win a title in a record-setting seventh weight division. Pacquiao will return to the ring in March when he defends his WBO belt against Joshua Clottey at the $1.2 billion Cowboys Stadium in Dallas.

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FIGHTER OF THE DECADE— Champion Manny Pacquiao, of the Philippines, poses for a photo during a news conference Jan. 20, in New York, to promote an upcoming fight against Joshua Clottey.

Pacquiao says he will accept his awards haul in person at the 85th boxing writers awards dinner on June 11 in New York City.

The reigning pound-for-pound king was chosen fighter of the decade over Bernard Hopkins, Joe Calzaghe, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Shane Mosley, Juan Manuel Marquez and Marco Antonio Barrera.

Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach, was honored with a record-setting fourth Eddie Futch Award for trainer of the year. Futch once trained Roach, who eventually became his assistant and has gone on to train the likes of Israel Vazquez and James Toney.

“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].”

Juan Manuel Marquez’s ninth-round knockout of Juan Diaz was picked as fight of the year, an award that was renamed this year for Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier.

The John F.X. Condon award for long and meritorious service was given to Jerry Izenberg, who covered boxing and other sports for decades at The Star Ledger in Newark, N.J.

Former three-division champion Alexis Arguello was honored posthumously with the Marvin Kohn Award, given to an individual who exemplifies goodwill. The Hall of Famer who eventually became mayor of Managua, Nicaragua, died in July at age 57.

ESPN broadcaster Joe Tessitore won the Sam Taub Award for broadcasting excellence, and Showtime broadcaster Nick Charles and former heavyweight contender George Chuvalo shared the Bill Crawford Award for perseverance in overcoming adversity.

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