On Friday, boxing’s pound for pound champion Manny Pacquiao was once again nominated for the “Best Fighter” ESPY award which is voted on by fans and given out by ESPN. However, after losing to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the 2010 ESPY awards, Pacquiao faces even tougher competition this year as Sergio Martinez, Bernard Hopkins, Georges St-Pierre, and Jon Jones are his competition. According to a Friday report by Fighthype.com, Pacquiao has officially been nominated 4 times for this award only winning it once in 2009. The other 3 times, Manny has lost to Floyd Mayweather Jr.
If this were a popularity contest then Pacquiao would win this year’s award hands down. Unfortunately, based on the recent success of his competition, Pacquiao’s chances of winning the 2011 ESPY for Best Fighter are slim. Bernard Hopkins just became the oldest boxer to win a major world title and the other boxer nominated this year, Sergio Martinez deserves the this award over Pacquiao based on previous opponents.
Martinez destroyed Kelly Pavlik and Paul Williams in 2010 on his way to winning the BWAA Fighter of the Year award for 2010. Additionally, Martinez is the #2 ranked boxer in the world right behind Pacquiao but has fought tougher opponents since the end of 2009.
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UFC fighters Georges St-Pierre and Jon Jones have become MMA heroes with their recent success. GSP lost out to Floyd in last year’s 2010 awards as well. However, unlike Floyd, St-Pierre continues to fight the top competition in his weight class and is unquestionably one of the top MMA fighters in the world. Jon Jones is probably the most exciting fighter in MMA right now, unfortunately his recent rise to success will probably keep him from winning this year’s ESPY despite being the youngest fighter to win a UFC world title.
Martinez or St-Pierre deserve to win this year’s ESPY award as both fighters had impressive victories in 2010. However, I give the slight Edge to Martinez as he held multiple titles in two weight classes and completely destroyed his competition including getting revenge in the rematch against Paul Williams.
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