As the United States of America prides itself as the center of the boxing universe, its various sports media outfits have traditionally been bestowing prestigious awards of distinction as Fight of the Year, Fighter of the Year and most importantly, the milestone Fighter of the Decade to boxers they deemed deserving.
There are just a few of these annual award giving bodies in the USA but the one looked up to as the prime authority is the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) which is comprised by predominantly American sports, mainly boxing, journalists although there are also a few coming from Latin America, Asia and Europe.
It was this same BWAA that deservedly conferred the awards as Fighter of the Year thrice to the Philippines Pambansang Kamao, Manny Pacquiao in 2006, 2008 and 2009 that made him the undisputed Fighter of the Decade in 2000-2009 over such equally dominant fighters as Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and Vladimir Klitschko.
Despite a not too impressive 12-4-0 win, loss, draw record over the last ten years, Pacquiao is still seen as the strongest candidate for another Fighter of the Decade award for 2010-2019.
This is due to his better activity and longevity and the quality of his opposition as compared to his perceived closest rivals that included Mayweather and another undefeated American Andre Ward who have both retired just past midway through the current decade.
What bolstered Pacquiao’s chances even more was his recent magnificent victory over ertswhile undefeated and highly rated American Keith “One Time” Thurman in their WBA world welterweight title clash, making him one of the oldest fighters to win and hold a world championship. That bout is also seen as a strong candidate for the Fight of the Year.
That plus his one sided title fight win over former four division world champion and pound for pound lister Adrien Broner also made him a favorite for the Fighter of the Year award, his first this past ten years, boosting his chance for the Fighter of the Decade award .
However, if we will go by statements of noted American boxing authorities as Ring Magazine editor in chief and columnist Douglass Fischer and the recent actuations of media organizations as the BWAA itself, there are fears that Pacquiao’s bid for another Fighter of the Year and Fighter of the Decade awards hangs in a precarious balance.
Responding to my query In a Monday Mailbag column in the Ring Magazine, Dougie Fischer while acknowledging Pacquiao’s worthiness especially for the FOTD award, said that the American scribes are apt to vote for either Floyd or Andre Ward. That was clearly a prejudgment based a raw display of bias.
In the latest pound for pound ratings, while Pacquiao has been reinstated by the Ring and Boxrec, both at number ten and by the Transnational at eighth in their top ten listings, Manny is absent in both the listings of the BWAA and ESPN.
Many of the Ring Magazine staff are members of the BWAA while the ESPN boxing panel curiously includes Timothy Bradley who have no love lost for Manny and Teddy Atlas, a former Manny admirer with lately erratic views and opinions.
Let us just hope that America lives up to another of its historical claim— as the bastion of truth, justice and fairplay.