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Pacquiao named boxer of the year

March 24, 2009 |  4:47 pm

Manny The Boxing Writers' Assn. of America on Tuesday voted Manny Pacquiao the fighter of the year for the second time in three years.

The Filipino fighter, preparing in Hollywood now for his May 2 junior-welterweight fight against Ricky Hatton, beat out Wales' Joe Calzaghe for the honor and his trainer, Freddie Roach, was named trainer of the year for the third time since 2003.

Pacquiao, with Roach in his corner each time, first won a super-featherweight world title last March with a close decision over Juan Manuel Marquez. He then beat world lightweight champion David Diaz by ninth-round knockout, then topped off a Henry Armstrong-like performance by dismantling Oscar De La Hoya over eight rounds in December, making the 10-time world champion quit before the ninth round began.

Reached at his Wild Card Gym on Tuesday, Roach said he and Pacquiao weren't popping champagne or throwing a party.

"We're just working out, nothing but water in here," Roach said.

"It's always nice to be recognized for doing a good job. I appreciate it a lot. We worked hard on making Manny a better fighter, and I think he was last year."

Roach said Pacquiao is "very excited" at the honor and intends to attend the BWAA dinner in June in New York.

In other honors, retired (and unbeaten) fighter Calzaghe was named manager of the year.

--Lance Pugmire

Photo: Manny Pacquiao celebrates following his victory over Oscar De La Hoya on Dec. 6, 2008. Credit: Eric Jamison / Associated Press

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