Hold Your Horses, Manny Pacquiao Not 2010 Fighter Of The Year Yet

Dave CarlsonCorrespondent IJanuary 14, 2011

ARLINGTON, TX - NOVEMBER 13:  Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines makes his way to the ring for his fight against Antonio Margarito (black trunks) of Mexico during their WBC World Super Welterweight Title bout at Cowboys Stadium on November 13, 2010 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

This is a simple "non-news" update to correct a commonly-held misconception that has been widely reported on many popular sites.

Manny Pacquiao has not been named The Ring magazine 2010 "Fighter of the Year," because none of the official awards for either The Ring or the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) have been announced yet.

The misconception stems from the fact that The Ring's website, RingTV.com, announced the results of its 2010 Fan Polls in late December. The fan polls, which were voted on by online users rather than Ring's editors, chose Pacquiao—the world's most popular fighter—as the winner of their Fan Poll Fighter of the Year award

However, the official awards for Ring will not be announced until at least the next issue of the popular magazine, sometimes referred to as "the Bible of boxing." 

The BWAA's awards, likewise, will be presented at the organization's 86th annual Awards dinner, which will be held in spring or early summer 2011. No official results for the 2010 awards have been posted on the BWAA website

If Pacquiao were to win either Ring's 2010 Fighter of the Year or the BWAA's Sugar Ray Robinson Award (formerly known as the Edward J. Neil trophy), it would be his fourth time winning either award. 

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A fourth win of the BWAA's award would make him the first fighter in history to win the award four times. Currently, Pacquiao is tied with Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray Leonard as a three-time award winner.

A fourth Ring Fighter of the Year would tie Pacquiao with Joe Louis for second-most all time; Ali won the award five times.

Sergio Martinez Apparent Frontrunner for The Award

However, it seems unlikely that Pacquiao will walk away with the official 2010 Ring Fighter of the Year award. Even in the article announcing Pacquiao as the winner of the Fan Poll voting, Ring contributor Michael Rosenthal stated that picking Argentinean Sergio Martinez "was a no-brainer for most objective observers."

In 2010, Sergio Martinez scored a major decision victory over middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik, and followed it up with a stunning second-round knockout of top-five pound for pound fighter Paul "The Punisher" Williams.   

Pacquiao's wins—wide 12-round decisions over welterweight Joshua Clottey and junior middleweight Antonio Margarito—were impressive, but the quality of his opponents was lower than in previous years that Pacquiao won the award. 

Clottey was Ring's fifth-ranked welterweight at the time of his Pacquiao bout and Margarito was unranked by the heralded magazine. Pacquiao did successfully win a world title in a record eighth weight division, but seems to be an underdog for the Fighter of the Year.

USA Today chose Pacquiao as their 2010 Fighter of the Year, primarily for his out-of-the-ring pursuits.

However, Sergio Martinez was chosen as Fighter of the Year by Sports Illustrated, ESPN's Dan Rafael, Fanhouse Boxing and popular blog The Queensberry Rules

Judging by the comments of Michael Rosenthal in the Ring's Fan Poll results, it seems that Martinez would be the frontrunner for the Ring's editors award. 

For the BWAA Sugar Ray Robinson Award, many indications also point toward Martinez being the frontrunner. Both Dan Rafael and Michael Rosenthal are members of the esteemed organization, and Rafael is also on the membership committee. 

Both have indicated their support for Martinez.