By Rob Smith: The Boxing Writers Association of American has selected WBO super bantamweight champion Nonito Donaire as their Fighter of the year for beating four opponents in 2012. They saw victories over Jeffrey Mathabula, Jorge Arce, Toshiaki Nishioka and Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. as enough to give Donaire the Fighter of the Year award. They also picked Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez 4 as Fight of the year, and Robert Garcia as the trainer of the year.
I really wasn’t impressed at all with Donaire’s wins over Mathebula and Vazquez Jr. Donaire struggled against those guys, and got marked up. I don’t rate Mathebula or Vazquez Jr. as being as good as Abner Mares or Guillermo Rigondeaux.
As far as Donaire’s wins over a faded Jorge Arce and Nishioka, I don’t see those victories as being worthy of being given a Fighter of the Year award. Arce and Nishioka are pretty old and past it, and those weren’t the kinds of fighters that I feel are good enough to give Donaire any kind of an award.
I think the award should go to his matchmaker for scouting out the aging fighters and making the fights because that’s the only award that I feel should be handed out. For me, the Fighter of the Year award should be given to fighters that take on and beat really, really good opponents, and not just a bunch of old guys or fighters that are little known.
To me I think Juan Manuel Marquez deserved the Fighter of the Year award for beating Manny Pacquiao because that victory alone is a much more weighty victory than beating a past his best Arce and Nishioka. Marquez’s win over Pacquiao was simply huge, and his victory over Serhiy Fedchenko cancelled out Donaire’s wins over Mathebula and Vazquez Jr. in my view.