The Pacman, Manny Pacquiao, voted as 2006's Fighter of the Year by the Boxing Writers Association of America
The Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) voted the People's Champ, Manny Pacquiao, as its Fighter of the Year for 2006, and trainer Freddie Roach as the year’s top cornerman. Pacquiao will receive the Edward J. Neil Trophy as fighter of the year for going 3-0, including two knockout victories over Erik Morales in 2006. Manny is currently vacationing in Orlando, Florida, with wife Jinkee and sons Michael Stephen and Emmanuel Jr. Filipino boxing fans' first family will arrive in New York just in time for the 82nd BWAA awards at the Copacabana, in Manhattan, New York.
According to Top Rank Chairman Bob Arum, Mexico's Marco Antonio Barrera and Humberto Soto, Dominican Republic's Joan Guzman, and Venezuela's Edwin Valero are all set and ready to slug it out with the People's Champ. A decision on the Filipino pugilist's next fight will be known later this week in New York. Barrera, who lost an 11th-round knockout to the Pacman, is apparently putting a lot of pressure on Golden Boy Promotions (GBP). The future Hall of Famer still has one more fight left in his contract with GBP and is eyeing the Filipino boxer for that bout. The unbeaten Guzman is very much available to face Pacquiao. And with regards to Soto, everything would depend on the outcome of his fight against Manny's sibling, Bobby Pacquiao.
Boxing analysts feel that if Arum fails to ink a deal with Barrera, Guzman or Valero, and assuming that Soto prevails over Bobby, Arum will promote a Soto-Pacquiao bout on October 6, 2007, and tout it as an attraction to see Manny trying to avenge the loss of his brother, Bobby. However, Barrera, the former World Boxing Council (WBC) Super-Featherweight Champion, remains a very attractive and popular opponent for the People's Champ. Even though Barrera is coming off a loss to Juan Manuel Marques and poses a lesser threat among all the names being floated, a Barrera-Pacquiao fight guarantees a bigger paycheck as compared to a fight with Marquez or someone else. And with Macau, Vancouver, Canada, and Las Vegas, Nevada, all scrambling to land a Pacquiao fight, this will definitely be one of the year's biggest draws. And I kid you not!