MANILA — Manny Pacquiao’s crowded trophy room will have to be re-arranged once more.
During the ESPY Awards Night last July 13 at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles, ESPY named Pacquiao as the recipient of the Fighter of the Year (2011) award with the Filipino star besting fellow champions lightheavyweight Bernard Hopkins and middleweight Sergio Martinez and mixed martial artists Jon Jones and Georges St. Pierre.
It was the second time Pacquiao was named winner of the award after the reigning World Boxing Organization welterweight took the same honor in 2009. In 2010, Floyd Mayweather Jr. won the award.
The ESPY 2011 will now rank high among the bevy of awards and honors that Pacquiao has collected through the years.
Pacquiao’s major awards have come from the prestigious Boxing Writers Association of America, which named him Best Boxer for 2006, 2008 and 2009 and The Ring magazine, which honored him in those same years.
The BWAA also named Pacquiao as Fighter of the decade 2000-2009, stemming from the eight-division champion’s exploits in the US.
Apart from these awards, Pacquiao also was cited by Sports Illustrated, Time magazine (which included him on the list of 100 Most Influential Persons in 2009) and received countless awards from the Philippine Sportswriters Association stretching back to his days as World Flyweight King in the late 1990s.
Pacquiao is poised to win many more in the next couple of years as he is not expected to retire until 2013.
Pacquiao will get the chance to solidify his status when he faces Mexican nemesis Juan Manuel Marquez on Nov. 12 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Last May, Pacquiao easily defeated Shane Mosley. (Nick Giongco, Manila Bulletin)