Manny Pacquiao’s BWAA Fighter of the Decade Speech Transcription and VideoCategory: Boxing
Was there ever a boxer better than Manny Pacquiao this decade?
From the year 2000 to 2009, “Pacman” fought in 27 matches; winning 24, drawing 2 (to Agapito Sánchez and Juan Manuel Marquez) and losing only once (to Erik Morales).
He won six of his record seven world titles in as many division while emerging as the pound-for-pound king.
For that, he was named by the Boxing Writers Association of America as Fighter of the Decade and 2009 Sugar Ray Robinson Fighter of the Year Award.
He was earlier in the year named by HBO and The SweetScience.com as its Fighter of the Decade but this one coming from the BWAA is more special because the organization is the most prestigious in the field of boxing.
It’s like him receiving the Oscar Awards for boxing. This is Pacquiao’s third Fighter of the Year Award from the BWAA after also having it in 2006 and last year.
Manny Pacquiao attended the awards ceremony at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City last June 4, 2010 with his wife Jinkee.
He also delivered a very stirring acceptance speech. Here’s the video:
Here’s the transcription of his speech (thanks to Examiner):
Good evening everybody. Good evening everyone. Thank you.
Poverty confronted our family; poverty challenged my youth. In my journey, I was pressed but was not crushed. In my struggles, I was knocked down but not destroyed. I gained experience and learned from my mistakes.
At the start of the 21st century, I was convinced that I could excel in boxing. The ring became the breeding ground of my dreams. Boxing became the platform of my victories.
To the president of the Boxing Writers Association of America, Mr. Jack Hirsch, to the vice president Ron Borges, . . . to Don Steinberg, . . . to the officers, board of directors, and members of the Boxing Writers Association of America, representing almost every state, thank you very much for this distinct honor and recognition.
Tonight, I overflow with joy and graititude.
I appreciate this distinct honor and recognition of being awarded as the Fighter of the Decade. Once more you affirm that my destiny is to be a boxer. An excellent professional boxer.
I am thankful that just like [Muhammad] Ali and Joe Frazier and other fighters, I decided to get into boxing. I decided to not give up; to never give up. I decided to sacrifice. But not only that, I decided to trust God.
I will never stop thinking God. He formed my destiny. He formed me in my mother’s womb. He formed me from nothing into something. He knows everything about me.
I am so blessed to be surrounded by people who believe in me. My wife, of course Jinkee. And to our children: Princess, my daughter. You’re my inspiration. My promoter and friend, Bob Arum. Thank you for everything. You’re my firm believer and defender.
My trainer Freddie Roach, you are my trainer inside and outside the ring. I applaud your victory as Trainer of the Year. Coach, you’re the man.
To my countrymen, the countless Filipinos around the world, you are my strength. With you, the long and painful seasons of training, and the discipline and sacrifices have become beneficial and rewarding.
It is great to be living in the 21st century. We come from different backgrounds to represent different races, but we are all connected. We all desire to have a sense of meaning, a sense of purpose, a sense of contribution. We all desire to be both great and good. We all desire to leave a legacy.
I am Emmanuel Dapidran Pacquiao. I am proud to be a Filipino.
And I want to remind all of you tonight, we are all destined for greatness. As one author said: “Greatness lies not in being strong, but in the right use of strength.
Tonight I recognize the contributions of those who use their strength to make a difference: world class boxers, boxing promoters, managers, trainers, fans, and of course, all the boxing writers . . . come on, give some noise.
To the Boxing Writers Association of America, and to all of you who believe in boxing, in the ideals it upholds, thank you very much for the honor and recognition. Please accept my gratitute and let it resound throughout the 21st century. Goodnight and God bless everyone. Thank you.
Other nominees for Fighter of the Decade include Floyd Mayweather, Jr, Marco Antonio Barrera, Joe Calzaghe, Bernard Hopkins, Juan Manuel Marquez and Shane Mosley.
Manny Pacquiao’s coach Freddie Roach was also named the Eddie Futch Trainer of the Year, his fourth consecutive award; a record. The award was named for Eddie Futch who served as trainer for boxing great Joe Frazier and who also happened to be Roach’s mentor.
Check out Manny Pacquiao’s list of achievements here.
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