BOXING icon Manny Pacquiao will lead the list of major honorees in the 10th Gabriel “Flash” Elorde Memorial Boxing Awards – Banquet of Champions slated March 25 at the Harbour Tent of the Sofitel Hotel in Pasay City.
Joining the pound-for-pound king are Donnie Nietes (WBO strawweight), Brian Viloria (IBF light flyweight), Nonito Donaire (IBF flyweight), Marvin Sonsona (WBO Oriental and WBO flyweight), and Gerry Peñalosa (WBO bantamweight).
Nietes, 28, defended his title for the second time last year by scoring a unanimous decision over Erik Ramirez on February 28.
In his third defense, Nietes won by split decision over interim champion Manuel Vargas on September 12.
The 29-year-old Viloria won a unanimous decision over Mexican Ulises Solis on April 19. He retained the title with a unanimous decision over Jesus Iribe on August 29.
Donaire meanwhile successfully defended his title by stopping Raul Martinez in 2:42 of the fourth round also on April 19. The impressive victory gave him the ranking as the No. 7 best pound for pound boxer by Ring Magazine.
He stopped Mruti Mthalane in a mandatory rematch on August 1.
Sonsona won over Jose Lopez via a unanimous decision on September 5 to become the youngest world champion at 20.
His reign, however, was also the shortest – two months and 17 days – when he failed to meet the weight limit against Alejandro Hernandez. The bout ended in a split draw but he lost the crown under WBO rules.
Peñalosa, the comeback kid, was the WBO bantamweight titleholder at age 37 before he fought Juan Manuel Lopez on April 25. He was beaten by Lopez via TKO when Freddie Roach stopped the fight before the 10th round began.
He was stripped of his title in April when he failed to defend it within one year.
The Elorde Annual Awards honors world, international, and national champions of the past year as well as the best boxing promoter, manager, trainer, and best fight as well as individuals and institutions that helped promote Philippine pro boxing. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)