Pacquiao named Sportsman of the Year by UAE sports daily

DUBAI – MANNY Pacquiao, the ‘Fighting Pride of the Philippines,’ has been named 2010 Sportsman of the Year after beating a host of other world-class athletes in an online poll conducted by Sport360°, the world’s only English-language sports daily, based in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

“Pacquiao garnered 57% of the total votes and saw off a number of stiff challengers including legendary Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and Formula One champion Sebastian Vettel, who came in second and third respectively,” said Sport360°’s Web Editor, Chris McHardy.

Other sterling athletes who made it in the shortlist were: Lee Westwood, who ended Tiger Woods’ incredible 281-week stay as the world’s number one golfer; Martin Kaymer, who won his maiden Major at the USPGA Championship and claimed the European No.1 spot; Rafael Nadal, who added three Grand Slam titles in 2010 and reclaimed the number one spot from Roger Federer; Barcelona’s FIFA World Player of the Year Lionel Messi, and his Barcelona team-mates Xavi and Andres Iniesta, the dynamic duo instrumental in Spain’s first ever World Cup triumph; Drew Brees, the quarterback star who guided the New Orleans Saints to their first ever Super Bowl triumph with a 31-17 win over the Indianapolis Colts; Tim Lincecum, starting pitcher for the San Francisco Giants, who played a pivotal role in helping them claim a 4-1 success over the Texas Rangers in the World Series.

Kobe Bryant, who secured his fifth championship ring as LA Lakers swept Boston Celtics in last year’s NBA finals; Sidney Crosby – touted as the finest NHL player of his generation – who inspired Canada to a gold medal at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, and horse racing champion Tony McCoy.

Unsurprisingly, Filipinos residing in the UAE expressed their pride that their compatriot won the award.

Sport360° reader Reimond De Leon called Pacquiao “The Eighth Wonder of the World,” after he became the first eight-weight world champion in boxing history with his win over Mexican Antonio Margarito.

“Pacquiao is quite simply a phenomenon and thoroughly deserves our inaugural Sportsman of the Year title,” added McHardy.

Pacquiao – regarded as the world’s No.1 pound-for-pound boxer by Ring magazine and named Fighter of the Decade by the Boxing Writers Association of America – is also in the running for the World Sportsman of Year accolade at the prestigious 2011 Laureus World Sports Award.

The Laureus World Sports Awards are considered the top awards on the international sporting calendar with a jury made up of 46 of the finest athletes of all-time.

The award ceremony will be held in Abu Dhabi on February 7. ALT

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