ESPN had a round table discussion with boxing analysts Joe Tessitore, Mark Kriegel, Timothy Bradley and Andre Ward to discuss their picks for the 2019 Fight of the Year.
Tim Bradley the former two-division world champion who now works for Top Rank on ESPN as a commentator and only has one professional defeat to Manny Pacquiao, chose Saul “Canelo” Alvarez as his Fighter of the Year.
“That’s easy. That is real simple. Canelo Alvarez is (Fighter of the Year) by far,” said Bradley. “Danny Jacobs, going up two weight divisions to face Sergey Kovalev. I mean come on man, you cannot deny him the Fighter of the Year. Taking that much risk and going up there to get another strap.”
Olympic gold medalist and undefeated retired former pound for pound king Andre Ward had a much different pick for his 2019 Fighter of the Year.
He went with Tim Bradley’s former rival, the great Manny “PacMan” Pacquiao as his choice.
Pacquiao beat former four-division world champion Adrien Broner in January and at the age of 40 became the oldest welterweight champion in history when he beat the ten years younger, undefeated WBA champion Keith Thurman in July.
“I think you can make an argument for Deontay Wilder (as Fighter of the Year), but I’m not going to go with Deontay Wilder. I’m going to go with Manny Pacquiao,” said Ward.
Ward who won titles at 168 and 175 pounds, was impressed with the Filipino ring legends ability to still compete at the highest level at his age.
“It’s the fact at his age, with the amount of miles that he has on his odometer, he is still competing with the young guys and he’s still asking for more smoke. He wants the big fights. He’s not really picking and choosing. I respect that and he is not the Manny Pacquiao of old but he is still good enough to deal with these young guys.”
The BWAA (Boxing Writers Association of America) Sugar Ray Robinson Award Fighter Of The Year 2019 nominees are: Canelo Alvarez, Naoya Inoue, Manny Pacquiao, Errol Spence Jr. and Josh Taylor.