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Boxing Chronicles Pound 4 Pound List

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

1. MANNY PACQUIAO
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.

2. FLOYD MAYWEATHER JR
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.

3. BERNARD HOPKINS
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.


4. SHANE MOSLEY
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.

5. JUAN MANUEL MARQUEZ
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. 

6. PAUL WILLIAMS
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.

7. MIGUEL COTTO
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.

8. ISRAEL VASQUEZ
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.

9. CHAD DAWSON
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.

10. KELLY PAVLIK
World Middleweight Champion


Pavlik is gradually falling lower and lower on this list, largely due to the fact that he's been facing non descript opposition at middleweight.  His first two middleweight title defenses have come against Gary Lockett and Marco Antonio Rubio - only two defenses of his title in over two years!  Throughout 2007, surely we witnessed the culmination of Pavlik as he rose through the middleweight ranks. Victories over Jose Luis Zurtuche and favored top contender Edison Miranda proved that Pavlik was the heir apparent to the middleweight throne. Pavlik finally ARRIVED on September 29, when he knocked defending champion Jermain Taylor to seize the World Middleweight Crown. Pavlik won a close decision over Taylor at a catchweight of 166lbs in their rematch February of last year. In October of 2008, the Pavlik express was derailed when he stepped up to 170lbs to fight ring legend and betting underdog Bernard Hopkins. Hopkins completely outclassed Pavlik and won a wide unanimous decision. Pavlik still remains middleweight champion of the world, as well as one of the best fighters in the world.  On December 5, Pavlik is taking a step in the right direction, making his third title defense, which happens to the be most significant to date, against former welterweight champion Paul Williams (who would appear to belong in the middleweight division following his one sided conquest of Winky Wright this past April). Should Pavlik emerge victorious over Williams, who is the early betting favorite, Pavlik will surely do himself some good and rise on this list.

Reactions:

3 comments:

merjoem32 said...

Nice list. It's amazing that Hopkins is still a member of boxing's elite despite his age. Anyway, it seems Pacquiao and Barrera are scheduled for a rematch. I like this match up because Pacquiao can win this one easily. that is, if he trains hard and follows Freddie Roach's game plan. I think Barrera is too old but cannot be totally discounted. He is highly skilled so he remains a dangerous opponent. I hope that the Pacman can bring glory to
Pinoy boxing and please his fans by giving it his all.

Sean A. Malone said...

Great list Bryan! Spot on in my opinon. By the way, what are your thoughts on this seasons Contender?

Chin-Checker said...

How can you list Mayweather as Pound for pound best? Or are you just repeating what the "so-called" experts are saying. Mayweather has never given an impressive performance. His only tough fight was his first fight against Castillo. Castillo was robbed and the whole world knows it. And besides a few stellar names like Oscar...look at the list of his fallen foes. Pretty much nobody's and a few at the end of their careers! Mayweather forgets that boxing is also prize FIGHTING...and Mayweather NEVER comes to fight.