MANILA, Philippines – World Boxing Organization (WBO) president Francisco “Paco” Valcarcel on Wednesday commended world super bantamweight champion Nonito Donaire and his trainer, Robert Garcia, after the pair won year-end awards from the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA).
Donaire was named “Fighter of the Year,” while Garcia was named “Trainer of the Year” by the organization.
In an interview with Ronnie Nathanielsz of PhilBoxing, Valcarcel congratulated Donaire, who holds the WBO’s super bantamweight belt.
“We want to congratulate Nonito Donaire for this achievement, being elected as the Boxer of the Year,” Valcarcel told Nathanielsz.
“We are proud of Donaire because he is a great champion, one of the best now, and a good person. It’s an honor to have Donaire as our champion,” he added.
It was Donaire's first time to win the BWAA's Fighter of the Year award. He was also named Fighter of the Year by several media organizations, including ESPN, Sports Illustrated and Yahoo! Sports.
About Garcia, Valcarcel said: “Robert is a good friend of mine, but also is one of the best trainers in the spot. He has a good group of fighters and a good future with them.”
Valcarcel is also proud of the role the WBO played in the 2012 “Fight of the Year” – the fourth clash between great rivals Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez last December.
Though there was no championship on the line in the Pacquiao-Marquez bout, the WBO sanctioned the fight and created a special “Champion of the Decade” belt for the historic encounter.
“We knew this was a great fight, and they didn’t let us down,” Valcarcel said. “Pacquiao and Marquez are two legends and in this fight, they showed their talent to the world in an exciting fight.”
Pacquiao is a former WBO welterweight champion, while Marquez holds the WBO’s light-welterweight title.