By Pablo Freight and Ludo Saenz in Cartagena, notifight.com
Manny Pacquiao was named Fighter of the Year by the World Boxing Organization (WBO), which completed its 23rd Annual Convention on Thursday night at the Hotel Caribe in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia, with a party and awards dinner that was led by Francisco Valcarcel, president of the World Boxing Organization (WBO) and the other members of the WBO's executive committee.
Among others who received awards were Magdalena Governor Omar Diaz Granados, who thanked the WBO for their presence in Colombia and publicly requested that the 25th convention of 2012 to be held in Santa Martha, given that the Convention of 2011 will be held in Puerto Rico. Also receiving an award was Jairo Clopatofsky, national director of Coldeportes, the Colombian sports governing body and the Governor of Bolivar, Jorge Mendoza Diago.
Once this formal ceremony was over, we proceeded to the yearly awards from the WBO.
Fighter of the Year: The Filipino Manny Pacquiao, promoted by Top Rank, which is headed by American businessman Bob Arum.
Promoter of the Year: Top Rank. Carl Moretti, representative of the company, took the award and also received the trophy for Pacquiao, who is preparing for his fight with Antonio Margarito, next month.
Fighter Most Dominant Wladimir Klitschko, the most dominant fighter the heavyweight division.
Special Recognition: Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez, a member of the company Golden Boy Promotions, Eric Gomez, accepted the award.
Special Recognition: Dariusz Michalczewsk, the first super champion of the WBO, with 23 light heavyweight title defenses.
International Promotor of the Year: Saureland Event of Germany.
Special Recognition: Wilfredo Vazquez Jr., WBO super bantamweight champion. Vazquez Jr. also received an award named after his father Wilfredo Vazquez father, for his successful work in boxing.
Special Recognition: Fernando Montiel, WBO bantamweight champion, who this year Japan's Hozumi Hasegawa defeated, is the WBC champion, in a unification bout held in Japan.
Latino Promoter of the Year: Fernando Beltran of Mexico's Zanfer Promotions. William Brown received the award on behalf of this company.
Female Fighter of the Year: Gabriel Hanna, Costa Rica, who won the WBO middleweight title. Gabriel traveled from Costa Rica to receive this award.
Special Recognition: Scot Ricky Burns, featherweight champion, who was crowned this year after dethroning the Puerto Rican Roman "Rocky" Martinez.
Special Recognition: Puerto Rican Juan Manuel Lopez, WBO featherweight champion.
Puerto Rico's Promoter of the Year: PR Best Boxing.
Latino Boxer of the Year: Luis A. Cruz. Miguel Cotto received the trophy on behalf of Cruz.
International Independent Contractor: Shaw Gibbons.
José H. Special Award: Referee Jose H. Rivera of Puerto Rico, for his strong support for the Drug Free Kids program promoted by the WBO.