Donaire, who was also named by ESPN and Boxing Scene as the top fighter in 2012 along with other sports bodies, imposed his dominance last year by scoring four victories that pushed him up in the current pound-for-pound ladder.
Known as “The Filipino Flash” because of his combination of speed and tactical boxing approach, Donaire bagged the World Boxing Organization super bantamweight title by scoring a split decision victory over Wilfredo Vasquez Jr. early last year. He successfully defended the title against Jeffrey Mathebula, Toshiaki Nishioka, and Jorge Arce.
In July, Donaire unified the WBO and International Boxing Federation super bantamweight title with a win against Mathebula, which was followed by a sensational win over Nishioka in October, whom he sent to retirement. In December, Donaire also defeated Arce, who was knocked out in the third round of the title fight.
Donaire’s trainer, Robert Garcia, was also named as the 2012 Trainer of the Year.
Bob Arum said: “Nonito came into his own in 2012. He will do even greater things in 2013 and beyond. He will become the next big pay-per-view star. Robert Garcia truly deserves the award as 2012 Trainer of the Year. As the best young trainer in boxing, his future is tremendous.”
Donaire will formally receive the award in the BWAA awards night scheduled in June in New York.
The BWAA also selected the Manny Pacquiao vs Juan Manuel Marquez 4 as 2012 Fight of the Year. The action-packed fourth fight between two bitter rivals ended in a dramatic fashion with the Mexican escaping with a devastating sixth-round knockout win over the former pound-for-pound king.