NONITO Donaire Jr. won his first ever Boxing of the Year award from the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) following an outstanding season that saw the `Filipino Flash’ fight and win all of his four matches.
The 30-year-old Donaire beat out Mexican star Juan Manuel Marquez, Robert `The Ghost’ Guerrero, Danny Garcia and fellow Filipino Brian Viloria for the coveted Sugar Ray Robinson award.
Andre Ward was the winner of the title last year and the same award won by the great Manny Pacquiao three times – 2006, 2008, and 2009.
Donaire moved to the super-bantamweight division last year and took on the best fighters of the division. He won the vacant World Boxing Organization (WBO) 122-lb. crown with a 12-round split decision over Puerto Rican Wilfredo Vazquez Jr, then added the International Boxing Federation (IBC) version of the belt with a dominant 12-round unanimous decision over Jeffrey Mathebula of South Africa middle of the year.
Donaire then successfully defended his WBO crown with a ninth-round stoppage of former champion Toshiaki Nishioka of Japan, before capping the year with a bang following his third-round demolition of former champion Jorge Arce of Mexico.
Various media publications and websites such as Yahoo!Sports, Ring Magazine, and Sports Illustrated earlier named him as the hands-down choice as Fighter of the Year.
But in winning the BWAA title, the Filipino now joins a long list of great fighters and Hall of Famers who had been recipients of the award such as Muhammad Ali, Robinson, Jack Dempsey, Joe Louis, Henry Armstrong, Joe Frazier, George Foreman, Larry Holmes, Sugar Ray Leonard, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Tommy Hearns, Mike Tyson, Julio Cesar Chavez, Oscar De La Hoya, Evander Holyfield, Bernard Hopkins, Lenox Lewis, Floyd Mayweather Jr. among others.