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Boxing Chronicles Pound 4 Pound List

///UPDATED: October 5, 2009 ///

World Jr Welterweight Champion

After Floyd Mayweather Jr announced his retirement from the sport, Manny Pacquiao rose to the top of the pound for pound list. He's defeated Eric Morales, Marco Antonio Barrera, Juan Manuel Marquez by slightest of margins in their rematch last March, and moved up to 147lbs to dominate and stop Oscar De la hoya in what was an upset in December 2008. The upset win over De la hoya cemented his status as the best pound for pound fighter in the world today. In his latest outting back on May 2, Pacquiao scored a devastating 2nd round KO of  Ricky Hatton to claim the 140lb championship. He is scheduled to meet WBO welterweight champion Miguel Cotto on November 14, in what is an intriguing matchup that pits speed against power.  Should Pacquiao emerge victorious, the absolute biggest and best fight that can be made remains Pacquiao vs Mayweather.

Undefeated Six-time World Champion

Money May successfully returned to the ring after a 21 month lay off, scoring an impressive, one-sided unanimous decision over lightweight champion Juan Manuel Marquez.  Mayweather boasts an impressive resume, from 130lbs to 154lbs, which includes victories over Genaro Hernandez, Angel Manfredy, Diego Corrales, Arturo Gatti, Zab Judah, Oscar De la hoya, Ricky Hatton, and now Marquez.  Should Mayweather have any intentions of rising to the very top of this list, it behooves him to defeat either welterweight champion Shane Mosley or the winner of the November 14 welterweight title fight between Pacquiao and Cotto.  During Mayweather's temporary retirement period, Pacquiao assumed the top spot on this list.  The only fight that matters in boxing, should Pacquiao defeat Cotto, is still Pacquiao vs. Mayweather to determine who is the absolute best competitor in the sport.

Former 175lb World Champion
Former 160lb World Champion

Hopkins is where he is at for a reason. He set the record for most middleweight title defenses in history. Following two consecutive yet disputed losses to Taylor, Hopkins moved up two weight classes to the Light Heavyweight division and did what his idol Sugar Ray Robinson could not accomplish. He defeated the universally recognized Light Heavyweight Champion of the World at the time, Antonio Tarver. He not only defeated Tarver, he dominated him and beat him up over the course of twelve rounds. In his most recent outing, he took on Pound for Pound elite, the favored Winky Wright. Over the course of the 12 rounds, Hopkins outworked Wright en route to a unanimous decision. Hopkins lost a split decision to Joe Calzaghe last April, but he followed that up with a scintillating performance - dominating and outpointing previously undefeated middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik (who is seventeen years his junior). Amazing that Hopkins, 43, still remains near the top of this list. He is in fact the ageless wonder!  Hopkins is tentatively scheduled to face Roy Jones Jr at some point in the spring of 2010.  I'd much rather see Hopkins face Chad Dawson.

World Welterweight Champion

Mosley just scored the biggest win of his career, a 9th round stoppage of defending welterweight champion Antonio Margarito. Mosley did something nobody else was previously able to do - he stopped Margarito, who is one of the toughest and most durable fighters in the sport of boxing. Previously, Mosley had faced Cotto in November of 2007and fought a virtually even fight with Cotto, but came up on the losing end of a close unanimous decision (Boxing Chronicles scored that fight a dead heat draw). Close decision loss to Cotto, a dramatic knockout win in the final second of his fight with Mayorga, and a career defining stoppage of Margarito to reclaim the welterweight championship of the world places Mosley back in the pound for pound sweepstakes, when few thought they would once again see him here in this position. Mosley's next fight will likely fall on January 30 against the undefeated WBC welterweight kingpin Andre Berto.

World Lightweight Champion

After laboring in obscurity as a result of poor management decisions, Marquez made a career defining statement, bursting onto the pound for pound scene, by dethroning the great Marco Antonio Barrera in March of 2007 to win the World 130lb Championship. He defended that title with an easy unanimous decision victory over Rocky Juarez. Marquez would lose a razor thin split decision to Manny Pacquiao in their fight at 130lbs in March of 2008(a fight that Boxing Chronicles scored for Marquez by a point), but Marquez would rebound from that loss to knock out Joel Casamayor in September of 2008 to win the lightweight championship.  Marquez knocked out Juan Diaz last February to retain his title. Consecutive knockout wins over Casamayor and Diaz have elevated Marquez to the status of universally recognized lightweight champion of the world. Many were arguing that Marquez was the best pound for pound fighter in the world. That was until his last outting on September 19, when he moved up to the weight limit of 144lbs to take on the comebacking Floyd Mayweather.  Marquez was clearly outclassed, but showed plenty of heart against the bigger and more talented man.  A return to the lightweight ranks appears likely for Marquez. 

Former two time Welterweight Titlist

Paul Williams moves up on this pound for pound list with his recent lopsided unanimous decision win over Winky Wright. Prior to his loss to Williams, it had been quite some time since Wright had been defeated that convincingly. You would have to go back to Wright's fight against Julio Cesar Vasquez, who officially knocked Wright down five times enroute a decision win. Given Margarito's loss Mosley, and Cotto's loss to Margarito, Williams win over Margarito remains pretty solid and substantial, given that Margarito had knocked out both Cintron and Cotto following that loss. Williams did lose his welterweight title in what was a mild upset to Carlos Quintana in a very close fight in February of 2008, but he avenged that loss four months later with first round KO of Quintana to reclaim his title. Since his destruction of Quintana, Williams has left the 147lb weight class and moved around between 154lbs and 160lbs. Williams stopped Verno Phillips in November of 2008, who had dethroned defending IBF jr middleweight champion Cory Spinks in his previous fight at 154lbs.

Two-time Welterweight Titlist

Miguel Cotto is back on my pound for pound list, largely due to the controversy surrounding Margarito's hand wrap issue and speculation that Margarito may have used the handwraps during the fight in which he beat Cotto. Cotto also has wins over Paulie Malignaggi, Carlos Quintana (who once beat Paul Williams), Zab Judah, and Shane Mosley who is currently the welterweight champion after having knocked out Margarito. Cotto won the vacant WBO welterweight title with a 4th round TKO of Michael Jennings and won a hard-fought split decision over Joshua Clottey at Madison Square Garden last June.  Cotto is scheduled to face Pacquiao on November 14 in Las Vegas.

World Jr Featherweight Champion

Israel Vasquez finally enters my top ten Pound for Pound list, based on his revenge victory over defending champion Raphael Marquez. Vasquez in the last three years has posted victories over the likes of Oscar Larios, Jhonny Gonzalez, and now Raphael Marquez, who prior to this update, was a pound for pound entrant himself. Vasquez has dropped a couple spots on my list, due to his inactivity as well as the accomplishments of other pound for pound entrants previously beneath him, but he returns to the ring on October 10 in a non-title featherweight match against Angel Antonio Priolo.

Light heavyweight contender

The undefeated Dawson makes his long awaited debut on this pound for pound list.  Having scored wins over Eric Harding, Tomaz Adamek (who went on to become the cruiserweight champion of the world), Antonio Tarver (2X), and Glenn Johnson, Dawson has quietly established an impressive resume for himself.  Yours truly would've loved to have seen him fight Joe Calzaghe, but Calzaghe saw fit to retire after being dropped in each one of his last two wins against former champions Bernard Hopkins and Roy Jones Jr.  Dawson may very well be the goods at the 175lbs.  His next fight, a rematch with Johnson, is scheduled for November 7.  This reporter wouldn't mind seeing Dawson vs. Hopkins in 2010.

Hatton stops Castillo in four rounds!

On Saturday night, at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas, NV, World Jr Welterweight Champion Ricky "The Hitman" Hatton retained his title with a fourth round knockout of Former Two Time Lightweight Champion Jose Luis Castillo. Hatton dominated the action for the first three rounds, rounds that were fought in close quarters for the most part. Hatton appeared to be the physically stronger fighter of the two combatants, as he out muscled Castillo in the inside and managed to land some brutal body shots. The fourth round spelt Castillo's demise as Hatton landed a vicious left hook to Castillo's liver, putting the Mexican down for the first time in his career.

As referee Joe Cortez reached the count of ten, Castillo had been cleanly knocked out for the first time in his long career. Castillo has previously been stopped on cuts, but this marked the first time that Castillo went down from a punch and could not manage to beat the count. The body shot was so devastating that Castillo did not even try to get up. Hatton raised his unbeaten record to 43-0, 31 KOs, while Castillo, who has probably seen better days, dropped his record to 55-8-1, with 47 KOs.

There are a number of fighters in the surrounding weight classes would love to get a shot at "The Hitman". World Lightweight champion Joel Casamayor, Former WBA Jr Welterweight Champion "Vicious" Vivian Harris, and newly crowned IBF Jr Welterweight Champion Paulie Malignaggi (fresh off his title-winning victory over Lovemore N'dou last weekend in Uncasville) are just a few guys calling out Hatton. Hatton, however, has entirely different intentions. He mentioned that he would love to get a crack at Pound for Pound King "Pretty Boy" Floyd Mayweather, who currently resides in Las Vegas.

Is the Hatton finally ready to challenge Floyd, or is he bluffing knowing that Mayweather is officially retired (or to put it more realistically, vacationing)???? Hatton turned down the Mayweather fight on a number of occasions, claiming that he was not yet ready for the challenge. Last year he opted to go up to welterweight to face Luis Collazo, but he damn near suffered the first loss of his career against the bigger and slicker Collazo (who was soundly defeated by "Sugar" Shane Mosley this past February). Mayweather, whos last fight was fought in the 154lb weight division against Oscar De la hoya, is classes above Collazo in terms of slickness, ring generalship, and boxing skill.

Knowing all of these facts, I do not see a Mayweather vs Hatton fight coming to fruition anytime in the near future. We all know Hatton would love to make that kind of money, but does he really want to go through that type of hell or embarrassment in the ring? Hatton would be much better advised to concentrate on cleaning out the 140lb weight division before he opts to once again move up in weight. After all, the previous move was not as successful as he assumed it was going to be. More realistic options for Hatton would be Malignaggi and Harris (should Harris get past WBC Jr Welterweight titlist Junior Witter).

Preview: Hatton -vs- Castillo!

World Jr Welterweight Champion Ricky Hatton and Former Two Time Lightweight Champion Jose Luis Castillo were showcased in separate 140lb matches back in January on an HBO World Championship Boxing Doubleheader, with Castillo just barely winning a split decision over previously undefeated Herman Ngoudjo and Hatton dropping back down to 140lbs with a comfortable unanimous decision win over Juan Urango who was also previously undefeated.

Regardless of how lackluster their performances may have been, the two were finally set to meet each other on June 23. Tomorrow night, at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas, Hatton and Castillo will finally meet in a much anticipated showdown that is expected to be one of the most exciting fights of the year.

Castillo is coming up in weight, regardless of what anyone else says. He may have been a natural 140lber for a long time, but the fact of the matter is, his opponents were not natural 140lbers. He was fighting lightweights, and he was a bully in the process, against those lightweights. He fought at 140lbs for the first time, against Ngoudjo, and almost got exposed in that fight by a 14-fight novice who was a natural 140lber.

Many of you may recall, that on June 8 of this year, Ngoudjo, in first fight back since the close decision loss to Castillo, barely edged out former WBO beltholder Randall Bailey. Bailey has not accomplished anything of note in the last seven years! Not only is Hatton a natural 140lber, but a legitimate 140lb world champion who's fought guys bigger than Castillo.

In May 2006, Hatton moved up to the welterweight division of 147lbs and fought then WBA Welterweight Champion Luis Collazo in Boston, MA. Hatton won a disputed decision over Collazo, in a fight in which many boxing fans and experts including yours truly believed Collazo had done enough to win the fight and retain his title. That was Hatton's only fight at that weight class to date, but it illustrates nonetheless that Hatton has the size advantage over Castillo.

Although he does it really well, Castillo fights one way. He comes forward and throws a lot of punches. He throws precise shots, and he has fast hands, but that's what he does in the ring. Hatton has shown an ability to fight a couple different ways. He can box a little bit, but he can also stand toe to toe, put the pressure on, and steam roll opponents with an accumulation of punishment.

Castillo is not going to be in there with a lightweight come June 23. He'll be in there with a natural 140lber who is fighting at his most effective weight.


Due to the fact that Castillo fights one way (albeit extremely well) and Hatton can do a few different things in there, I believe Hatton's slightly superior versatility (primary ability to come forward and throw a lot of shots, but also the ability displayed in the Urango fight to box when needed) is going to make the difference in this fight. I'll pick Hatton by convincing UD in a competitive fight, which is exciting at certain times. Castillo may be the better overall fighter, but the man's been in wars. You can only go to the well so many times and come up with fresh water. This should be a wild and entertaining affair, but I look for the younger and fresher fighter to eek this one out. Odds are this will be a memorable battle.

Malignaggi dethrones Ndou!

At the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, CT, Brooklyn native Paulie "The Magic Man" Malignaggi won the IBF Jr Welterweight title with a dominating unanimous decision win over Lovemore Ndou. Scores: 120-106 (twice), 118-108.

Malignaggi used his left jab and lateral movement to control the action for almost the entire twelve rounds. In the eighth round, the light hitting Malignaggi managed to score a knockdown with a right hand that caught Ndou coming in. The performance was an outstanding one for Malignaggi, who picked up his first world title and moved on to 23-1, with 5 knockouts. Malignaggi displayed the sweet science in exciting fashion, demonstrating to the fans that one does not have to run circles around the ring like it's a track to outbox his opponent. Brilliant display of boxing from The Magic Man.

Malignaggi stated afterwards that he wants Ricky Hatton. He believes, by vacating the IBF title rather than having to face Ndou, Hatton took on an easier opponent in Jose Luis Castillo whom he is scheduled to face in Las Vegas next Saturday night. Malignaggi explained to Larry Merchant that he wants to get Cotto again down the road, and that anybody who faces Cotto is going to get beaten up. However, it's just a question of winning more rounds at the end of the day.

On the under card, Andre Dirrell ran and potshotted his way to a unanimous decision over Curtis Stevens. Boxing is perceived as a sweet science in which one hits and doesn't get hit. What Dirrell seemed to be doing was not getting hit for over two minutes and thirty seconds of every round and hitting a little bit in the spare time that he had for the rest of the round each round. He used the entire ring to evade Stevens.

The fans booed during the fight as well as the decision, as Dirrell showed very little desire to engage in exchanges or make any contact whatsoever. Scores: 97-93, 97-93, 98-92 for Dirrell.