Pacquiao is 2009 ESPY Awards' Best Fighter
Best in Sport
Best Female Athlete: Nastia Liukin, Gymnastics
Best Male Athlete: Michael Phelps, Olympic Swimming
Best Moment: US Swim team wins thrilling finish in Olympic relay
Best Team: Los Angeles Lakers
Best Coach/Manager: Phil Jackson, Los Angeles Lakers
Best Game: Steelers vs. Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII
Best Championship Performance: Michael Phelps, Olympic Swimming
Best Play: Roethlisberger to Holmes Super Bowl Winning TD
Best Upset: US Soccer shocks Spain in the Confederations Cup semifinals
Best Breakthrough Athlete: Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons
Best Record Breaking Performance: Michael Phelps, Olympic Swimming
Best Sports Movie: The Express: The Ernie Davis Story
Best Male College Athlete: Tim Tebow, Florida Football
Best Female College Athlete: Maya Moore, Connecticut Women's Basketball
Best Male Athlete with a Disability: Jason Lester, Ironman Triathlete
Best Female Athlete with a Disability: Erin Popovich, Swimming
Best International Male Athlete: Usain Bolt (Jamaica, Sprinter)
Best International Female Athlete: Lorena Ochoa (Mexico, Golf)
Best Baseball Player: Albert Pujols, St. Louis Cardinals
Best NBA Player: LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers
Best WNBA Player: Candace Parker, Los Angeles Sparks
Best NFL Player: Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals
Best NHL Player: Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins
Best MLS Player: Landon Donovan, Los Angeles Galaxy
Best Male Action Sports Athlete: Shaun White, Skateboarding/Snowboarding
Best Female Action Sports Athlete: Maya Gabeira, Surfing
Best Bowler: Norm Duke
Best Driver: Jimmie Johnson
Best Fighter: Manny Pacquiao, Boxing
Best Male Golfer: Tiger Woods
Best Female Golfer: Lorena Ochoa
Best Jockey: Calvin Borel
Arthur Ashe Courage Award: President Nelson Mandela
Jimmy V Award For Perseverance: Don Meyer, Northern State University coach
Best Comeback: Dara Torres, Olympic swimmer.
MANILA, Philippines – He is considered the best pound-for-pound boxer but how does Filipino phenom Manny Pacquiao stack up against equally successful mixed martial arts fighters?
Well, the “Pacman" rises above the best MMA fighters, judging from the final results of the 2009 Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly awards or ESPY.
The 30-year-old Pacquiao won the “Best Fighter" plum in the prestigious awards handed out by famed American cable TV network ESPN to honor the year’s outstanding athletes in major sports.
Pacquiao beat out MMA stars Lyoto Machida and Anderson Silva and fellow boxer Sugar Shane Mosley for the prestigious award.
The pride of General Santos City earned the nod of ESPN’s online voters for his sensational dismantling of erstwhile IBO light-welterweight boss Ricky Hatton last May, and his demolition of Oscar De La Hoya five months before.
Machida was nominated for his knockout victory over erstwhile unbeaten Rashad Evans, which clinched for him the light-heavyweight title at UFC98; Silva for his wins over Patrick Cote, Thales Leites and James Irwin; and Mosley for his stunning TKO victory over Mexican Antonio Margarito.
Pacquiao’s jaw-dropping KO of Hatton was also in the shortlist for the “Best Play" award but lost out to the Ben Roethlisberger-to-Santonio Holmes last-minute touchdown catch in the Pittsburgh Steelers' Super Bowl XLIII win over Arizona.
Others which vied for “Best Play" were Washington Capitals’ Alexander Ovechkin’s goal opposite the New York Rangers during Game 5 of the Stanley Cup playoffs and Texas Tech’s Michael Crabtree’s game-winning catch against the Texas Longhorns.
As ESPY’s Best Fighter, Pacquiao joins an elite line-up that reads like the who’s who in world sports that includes Michael Phelps (Best Male Athlete and Best Record Breaking Performance); LA Lakers (Best Team); Lorena Ochoa (Best International Female Athlete and Best Female Golfer); Usain Bolt (Best International Male Athlete); LeBron James (Best NBA Player); and frequent winner Tiger Woods (Best Golfer).
Pacquiao’s ESPY award came on the heels of his earlier achievements as one of the world’s 100 most influential people by Time Magazine and as a top 10 member of Forbes' richest athletes in the world. - GMANews.TV