Killa had a knockout year

Charles ‘The Killa’ Whittaker finished off the year in the same style as he started it – with a knockout.

It was his fourth straight knockout in 2008 and secured another unbeaten year, plus he got another belt as well in the Philippines.

Whittaker blasted out in two rounds Filipino lightweight Dexter Delada at the Digos City Gym in Digos.

He won the WBO junior-middleweight Asian-Pacific belt in beating Delada on December 20. In 47 fights now, Whittaker has won 33 including 21 knockouts.

Whittaker turned 35 yesterday and was working as hard as ever in the gym.

There is no let up for him as he wants to capitalise on his unbeaten streak of nine fights stretching back to 2004.

He said: ‘Since 2003 I’ve always had a title so I’m pleased I finished off the year with another one. This was the perfect platform to continue things this year.

‘Between me and my manager Raul Alvarez we’ve got a couple of irons in the fire.

‘I’m not worried about turning 35. Time will only run out for us if we allow it to. I feel strong and look forward to 2009 after having such an exceptional 2008.

‘I don’t want to say too much because things in boxing tend to fall through but I think ’09 is going to be an exciting year for me.

‘Those people who have cheered me on over the years will have even more to be excited about and my detractors, they will have to eat their words.’

Meanwhile, the ballots haven’t even gone out yet, but two of the year’s major boxing awards appear to be foregone conclusions.

Manny Pacquiao, who capped a year in which he won three significant fights at three different weights with a one-sided demolition of Oscar De La Hoya last month, looms the hands-down winner as 2008’s Fighter of the Year, while Freddie Roach is such an obvious choice to win his third Trainer of the Year Award that the only real question is whether the vote will be unanimous.

Pacquiao and Roach will be in New York to collect their hardware at the Boxing Writers Association of America dinner on April 27, and while the events of December 6 represented their crowning achievement of 2008, Pacquiao-De La Hoya turned out to be such a mismatch that it won’t get much support for Fight of the Year.