MANILA—The World Boxing Organization named pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao “Fighter of the Year” at the gala closing of its 23rd Annual Convention in Hotel Caribe in Cartegena, Colombia.
Pacquiao couldn’t attend the ceremony since he was training at the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles for his Nov. 13 showdown against Antonio Margarito at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
The Filipino champion was earlier named “Fighter of the Decade” by the prestigious Boxing Writers Association of America.
Pacquiao received another accolade even as he flew to Las Vegas Friday to boost the campaign of a close friend by his promoter Bob Arum.
He is featured on the cover of the Nov. 1, 2010 American Way magazine which will be placed on thousands of seats aboard American Airlines flights in the US and around the world.
Pacquiao flew to Las Vegas immediately after his workout Friday aboard a private plane with Arum to formally endorse US Senate majority leader, Democrat Harry Reid at a “Get Out the Early Vote” rally at Orr Middle School in Las Vegas.
Meanwhile, “Marvelous” Marvin Sonsona is back in the gym after an eight-month absence following his fourth-round knockout loss to Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. of Puerto Rico in a WBO super bantamweight title fight on February 27 this year.
Sonsona, who won the WBO super flyweight crown with an impressive twelve-round decision over Jose “Carita” Lopez at Casino Rama in Canada last year, lost the title when he failed to make the weight in his first defense against journeyman Alejandro Hernandez in a fight which ended in a draw.
Sonsona moved up two divisions in weight to face Vazquez in his very next fight and suffered a stinging setback.
His manager, Dr. Rajan Yraola, had a fight lined up for Sonsona in November but after training for a week he reportedly left for his hometown of General Santos City to celebrate his birthday and failed to return—forcing his manager to call off the fight.
However, Yraola told the Inquirer that Sonsona has returned and has been training religiously over the past two weeks and sparred for the first time on Friday.
His manager said the 20-year-old southpaw went four rounds with Vicente Palicte, who recently lost in a WBO Oriental super flyweight title fight to Mark John Apolinario, and his absence from the ring showed.
However, Sonsona showed flashes of the speed and power that helped him score a spectacular second-round TKO over former world interim champion Wandee Singwancha on May 28, 2009 to earn the world title shot against Lopez.
Dr. Yraola said he is hoping to pit Sonsona against tough Heriberto Ruiz, who scored a unanimous eight round decision over Rey “Boom Boom” Bautista in 2008.