LOS ANGELES, February 1 – The Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) has spoken, and the verdict is that the February 28, 2009 battle between Juan Manuel “Dinamita” Marquez and Juan “Baby Bull” Diaz is the winner of the 2009 Muhammad Ali-Joe Frazier award for Fight of The Year.
“This is a great honor and receiving this award is one of the highlights of my career,” said Marquez, who stopped Diaz in the ninth round of their unforgettable war at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. “I thank Juan Diaz for being a great warrior, because it takes two to make a fight like this. Since my brother Rafael won the award last year, I’m also proud to be keeping it in the family.”
“My fight with Juan Manuel Marquez was definitely my toughest fight and I’m proud that the members of the BWAA honored Juan Manuel and I with this award,” said Diaz, a former Three-Time Lightweight World Champion. “We both left it all in the ring that night and it’s always special when people appreciate your hard work. Congratulations to Juan Manuel on a great fight and on winning this award.”
On February 28, 2009, the WBA and WBO Lightweight World Titles were on the line at Houston’s Toyota Center when hometown hero Juan Diaz took on future Hall of Famer Juan Manuel Marquez. Early on, Diaz controlled the action, seeming to be too young, fast and aggressive for the veteran from Mexico City, but as the all-action fight went on, Marquez began to settle in and as he found his range, he started to make his charge back. Finally, in the ninth round, Marquez halted the courageous “Baby Bull”, completing his amazing comeback win.
“I congratulate both Juan Manuel Marquez and Juan Diaz on winning the BWAA’s Fight of The Year award,” said Oscar de la Hoya, President of Golden Boy Promotions, which promoted the bout and promotes both fighters. “This was a fight that promised to be great on paper and it not only lived up to all the expectations, but surpassed them. When you want to see what boxing at the elite level is all about, with skill, power, heart and determination, you look at a fight like Marquez vs. Diaz.”
The award will be presented at the BWAA’s 85th annual banquet in New York City on June 11.Source