01
Jul
09

Manny Pacquiao Wins Fighter of the Year over UFC’s Lyoto Machida ?

Should boxer Manny Pacquiao overhaul UFC fighter Lyoto Machida in ESPYS awards  ? Like the judging in both sports, it is a subjective affair.

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At the NOKIA Theatre, Los Angeles, on July 15, the ESPYS awards will crown ‘Best fighter’ for 2009 . Nominated are Manny Pacquiao, Filipino boxing icon, and Lyota Machida, mixed martial artist, new darling of the Ultimate Fighting Championships, with a style so unique few seem capable of devising a strategy to defeat the Brazilian.  

In fact, two boxers – Manny Pacquiao and Shane Mosely – have been nominated, along with UFC champions at middleweight and light-heavyweight, the mixed martial artists Anderson Silva and Lyoto

Machida. My belief is that it will come down to a two-horse race, at least it ought to, between Machida and Pacquiao. But how to choose between the two ?

Machida is the mystery man, the fighter who appears untouchable in mixed martial arts at present, having not lost a round in his UFC career, and since May 2008, is 3 and 0, including his devastating stoppage

of Rashad Evans. His other triumphs include defeats of Tito Ortiz and Thiago Silva. Overall, he is unbeaten in 15 contests in is career, and it looks like there is no stopping his unbeaten seven fight winning streak in the UFC.

Pacquiao, meanwhile, moved up three weight classes in 2008, defeating Oscar De La Hoya at welterweight, David Diaz at lightweight, and Juan Manuel Marquez at lightweight. In May 2009, he dismantled

Ricky Hatton at light-welterweight in just under six minutes, and now looks to take on the ferocious Miguel Cotto, back up at welterweight, most likely in November. Incredible. Seemingly unstoppable.

Some may argue that he met de la Hoya and Hatton in decline. But his performances were both thrilling, and he may have ended the careers of both, hugely popular, pugilists. 

For his fearlessness in moving up the weight categories, my pick is Pacquiao, whom I also think will garner the most votes, given his colossal popularity in his homeland. In Time Magazine’s poll of the most

influential people in the world in 2009, he garnered more than 21 million votes. 

I pick Pacquiao, but many will side with Machida. Perhaps others will argue for Anderson Silva. What do you think ? Who is ‘Best Fighter’ of 2009 ?

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