EVEN in his advanced age, Manny Pacquiao can still be at par with the world’s best.
Pacquiao, who turned 41 just last week, had been recognized as a strong candidate for Fighter of the Year honor by the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) for its yearend award.
The Filipino legend was nominated for his two competitive fights for 2019 which saw him dominate Adrien Broner to retain the World Boxing Association (WBA) welterweight crown before capping the year with a stirring performance against previously unbeaten Keith Thurman last July to win the WBA super welterweight championship.
In his prime, Pacquiao was named Fighter of the Year three times by the BWAA in 2006, 2008, and 2009.
Crowding Pacquiao for the honor named after the great Sugar Ray Robinson are newly-crowned light-heavyweight champion Canelo Alvarez, Nonito Donaire Jr tormentor Naoya Inoue, welterweight title holder Errol Spence, and junior welterweight king Josh Taylor.
Donaire was the last Filipino to be given the honor in 2012.
Incidentally, Pacquiao is also a strong candidate for the Joe Louis Fighter of the Decade.
Alvarez, retired champions Andre Ward and Wladimir Klitschko, along with Pacquiao longtime rival Floyd Mayweather are the other contenders for the honor which the Filipino icon won in 2010.
Meanwhile, the Pacquiao-Thurman bout had been included in the Muhammad Ali-Joe Frazier Fight of the Year.
Others in contention are the Inoue-Donaire World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) bout, the Spence-Shawn Porter welterweight showdown, Gennady Golovkin versus Sergey Derevyanchenko middleweight title fight, Taylor-Regis Prograis WBSS duel, and Andy Ruiz Jr’s massive upset of Anthony Joshua in their first heavyweight championship bout last June.
Winners will be announced on Jan. 17 and are going to be honored during the BWAA’s 95th awards gala by June of 2020.
The BWAA (formerly known as the Boxing Writers Association of Greater New York) was originally formed in 1926 and had the late great Jack Dempsey as its first-ever recipient of the Fighter of the Year honor.