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Thursday, December 18, 2008

British paper names Pacquiao as world’s top fighter

MANILA, Philippines – A British newspaper has named Manny Pacquiao as the world’s top pound-for-pound fighter, beating nine other boxers and mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters.

To shed light on the issue, The Sun compiled a list of who they think deserve to be called “Top 10 fighters."

Pacquiao beat the already retired Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Anderson Silva, who is still undefeated and the reigning middleweight champion in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in a poll made by The Sun from both boxing and MMA fans.

Pacquiao earned the status after an eight-round demolition of Oscar De La Hoya in their “Dream Match" last December 7 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. He forced the Golden Boy to call it quits as the ninth round is about to start.

The Filipino boxing icon, who is celebrating his 30th birthday Wednesday, has only lost three times in his 53 fights where he won 48 times with 36 by way of knock out. He was twice held to a draw by Juan Manuel Marquez and Agapito Sanchez.

Mayweather, who is aiming to come out of retirement to fight Pacquiao, placed second while Silva placed third. BJ Penn, another MMA fighter who was the first non-Brazilian gold medalist in the Mundial World Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Championship came in fourth.

Marquez placed fifth and is challenging Pacquiao for a rematch after losing by split decision in their fight last March.

Rounding up the Top 10 pound-for-pound list are UFC’s Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (no.6) and Georges St. Pierre (no.7), light heavyweight Ring champion Joe Calzaghe (no.8), reigning World Boxing Association (WBA) welterweight champion Antonio Margarito (no.9) and World Extreme Cagefighting bantamweight champion Miguel Torres.

Meanwhile, the World Boxing Council (WBC) – one of the largest boxing organizations in the world – also gave Pacquiao a grand recognition by naming him as “World Boxer of the Year."

A separate online survey made by ESPN Sports also showed Pacquiao as the fourth most favorite sports hero.

Pacquiao, in an interview with 24Oras, and his promoter Bob Arum were elated by the results. The ring icon, however, humbly said he does not want such recognition to get into his head. “Ayokong isipin yan, pasalamatan natin lagi ang Panginoon dahil sa kanya lahat ito (I don’t want to think about it. Let us just thank the Lord because these are all his)." – With Aie Balagtas See, GMANews.TV


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