(Floyd Mayweather re-enters the rankings on his "legal sucker punch.")
September and October had the potential to disturb these pound-for-pound rankings more than they did, but the onset of fall didn't do as much rumbling as anticipated. It didn't help that the Super Six finale got canceled and that there were some lackluster performances where nobody really separated themselves.
Nonetheless, there was some legitimate, if incremental, movement. The big debut comes from Floyd Mayweather, which forced out Brandon Rios. And I had to figure out how to handle the Bernard Hopkins-Chad Dawson controversy. I won't tell you how both those things affected the rankings because you've got to have a little mystery to entice you to read the rest. I showed you my ankle! You have to buy the cow if you want the rest of the ankle-milk! So read on.
As usual, my primary standard for pound-for-pound placement is quality wins, especially of recent vintage. Fighters inactive for a year are not eligible, and poor opposition over the past year can lead to downgrades. There's a dollop of the "eyeball test" thrown in there, where a boxer's evident talent can help his status -- but because a lot of talented-looking fighters lose when they step up their competition, it's better to see them prove how good they are rather than speculating based on how they fare against less-than-world-class opponents. The most recent update, for comparison's sake, is here.
1. Manny Pacquiao (welterweight)
Over at the Yahoo! poll, Pacquiao barely held off Mayweather, and I'm in the camp that believes Mayweather's most recent competition is better than Pacquiao's, so I get it. But Pacquiao still has the edge in career victories, and while Pacquiao's competition hasn't been great, it hasn't been totally horrendous. Until Pacquiao's opponents get even worse or Mayweather unexpectedly gets busier, it will be hard for Floyd to dislodge Manny. Or, if, somehow, Pacquiao loses his next fight in November.
2. Floyd Mayweather, Jr. (welterweight)
Believe it or not, I considered putting Mayweather lower than this. Mayweather has wins over Shane Mosley and Victor Ortiz -- in his last fight, in September -- in the same period where Martinez has wins over Kelly Pavlik, Paul Williams, Serhiy Dzinziruk and Darren Barker. I'm more impressed by the Martinez roster of recent wins. But Mayweather's two-fight run is very good, and he has a far longer resume than Martinez overall. Who knows when or if we'll see Floyd again; he's unreliably interested in being a boxer, and ever-present legal troubles hover over his head.
3. Sergio Martinez (middleweight)
Martinez was far from overwhelming against Barker this month -- some of it Martinez' fault, some of it Barker's -- but he ultimately got a win over a man in his division with top-10 talent, closing the show late in their bout with a knockout. The lackluster nature of his showing didn't help his argument for remaining at #2 upon Mayweather's return. But he was helped by another lackluster showing in not dipping further, which brings us to...
4. Nonito Donaire (bantamweight)
...Donaire wasn't stellar this weekend. We'll discuss his performance at length in a future blog post, but as with Martinez, at least some of it was the fault of his reluctant opponent, in Donaire's case Omar Narvaez. He gets some credit for beating the top junior bantamweight, but he didn't do anything to truly surpass Martinez in my book. Neither Martinez nor Donaire will have anything booked for a while, so their position is dependent until then on what others do.
5. Juan Manuel Marquez (junior welterweight)
And here's Pacquiao's November opponent, who's the lightweight champion but I have listed at junior welter because that's where he was for his last fight. Nothing has convinced me yet that Pacquiao won't blow him out, but should Marquez somehow win, I can picture Mayweather-Marquez-Pacquiao going 1-2-3. With a loss, Marquez has to get docked but can't be docked too much for fighting and losing two weight classes above his current one.
6. Wladimir Klitschko (heavyweight)
The heavyweight champ will be back in action before 2011 ends, but not in any way that will help his status. I can defend his December opponent, Jean Marc Mormeck, as a decent-money, stay-busy fight for a man coming off his most difficult fight in many years, but I can't defend him as a legitimate, respectable foe. As such, Klitschko could be lower by the final update of 2011. He benefited this time, actually, from the Dawson-Hopkins silliness.
7. Carl Froch (super middleweight)
On paper, October was going to be the month where my higher-than-most ranking of Froch was resolved as wise, or given cause for adjustment. But we'll have to wait to see whether Froch can beat Super Six tournament betting favorite Andre Ward in a fight rescheduled for December, owing to Ward suffering that cut.
8. Andre Ward (super middleweight)
When the fight happens, and if Ward wins as expected, I can see moving him up to #5 or even slightly higher, depending on how decisively he handles his business. Ward gets a lot done with me on the "eyeball test," because it's hard to imagine with that big toolbox of his how someone beats him. Froch, who's tough and tricky and an underrated athlete, is the biggest threat yet to the limits of my imagination.
9. Vitali Klitschko (heavyweight)
Vitali in September wiped out one of the last, best options for the Klitschko brothers at heavyweight, Tomasz Adamek. It wasn't even close. At his advanced age of 40, Klitschko has had performances that vary somewhat in their quality, but against Adamek, he was as good as he'd ever been. If Vitali and Wlad ever fought, and they won't, I'd pick Vitali. But Wlad has simply done more in the division, largely because of Vitali's long injury layoff.
10. Pongsaklek Wonjongkam (flyweight)
I've long maintained that people have gotten carried away in their praise of Pong, but he's slowly winning me over. His win this past weekend against Edgar Sosa was the latest installment: Sosa was only at #7 in The Ring's divisional rankings because of a strange, head-butt induced knockout loss that didn't count much against Sosa. He'll inevitably have five more fights next with some 0-1-1 opponents, so that doesn't burnish much, but if that Giovani Segura fight could happen, he'd have some high stakes P4P poker going.
11. Chad Dawson (light heavyweight)
I had Dawson at #17 before, and Hopkins at #5. This is them meeting almost exactly in the middle, with Dawson getting the slight edge because on his official record, it says he has a technical knockout win over Hopkins, no matter how much his lift-and-throw move to end the fight means it should be rendered a no contest. Furthermore, I think Dawson had all the edges early, although I can't say for sure he would've won because Hopkins is a notorious slow starter. Ultimately, these two rounds of weirdness don't prove much about either man, but I couldn't just leave people be with one person having an official "W" over the other. By the time of the next update, I could switch things back because a "no contest" shouldn't have much impact if any on one's ranking.
12. Bernard Hopkins (light heavyweight)
See Dawson, above.
13. Timothy Bradley (junior welterweight)
He's finally getting back into action next month, but it's against decrepit Joel Casamayor. For 2010 and 2011, he'll finish with that modest win over Luis Carlos Abregu, a quality win over a top divisional contender in Devon Alexander, and a likely crap win over Casamayor. The Alexander win gets him real mileage, but if anyone's due for a docking in early 2012, it'll be Bradley, who's already suffered in these rankings for his inactivity.
14. Giovani Segura (flyweight)
Segura helped himself a little in 2011 with a rematch victory over Ivan Calderon, but outside of that he's wasted his year. He doesn't have anything scheduled and talk of taking on, say, Brian Viloria or Julio Cesar Miranda or Roman Gonzalez or Pong has gone nowhere. It's too bad, because there are some good opponents for him out there and some exciting fights.
15. Amir Khan (junior welterweight)
Khan's one of the people here due to fight in December. His opponent, Lamont Peterson, is Ring's #6 140-pounder, and he figures as a semi-safe opponent, but a good enough one that with little separation between himself and some of the people just above him he could move up a smidge with a defeat of Peterson.
16. Yuriorkis Gamboa (featherweight)
YURIORKIS GAMBOA! has nothing scheduled. He's not even been rumored for anything. There's nothing all that amazing for him at 130, where he's talked about fighting, but there could be some wonderful competition for him if he sticks around 126 in 2012. If he wants to go back and forth until the featherweight options materialize, I could live with that.
17. Lucian Bute (super middleweight)
At long last Bute is fighting someone for whom there is the teensiest bit of uncertainty whether he'll win, a clash next month with Glen Johnson. On the eyeball test, Bute is top-10 material. But on resume alone, he's significantly overrated in most P4P lists, appearing above Froch too often. Against Johnson, he'll at last have a chance to get a higher-quality win than he has of late.
18. Miguel Cotto (junior middeweight)
It'll be hard to judge how much credit Cotto deserves for beating Antonio Margarito in December until and if he does it. We just don't know how much Margarito has left with that bad peeper of his, with him needing medical clearance rather late in the process. If Margarito looks good and Cotto doesn't look too faded, I can see the win helping him a smidge.
19. Fernando Montiel (junior featherweight)
There was some news recently about Montiel being cleared for a "fall return," but against whom is uncertain. I wouldn't expect anyone too terrific. Considering his hanging-by-a-thread status, he very well could be gone from this list by the close of 2011 unless something unexpected happens and some others drop off.
20. Abner Mares (bantamweight)
If all goes well, a Mares-Joseph Agbeko rematch in December will end with us knowing definitively who's better between the two. Mares has the edge on this P4P list for now, because he got the win the first time, however controversially. The winner of the second meeting should be very well-positioned for a nice jump, unless things are settled in a murky way.
Honorable mentions: Brandon Rios, Mikkel Kessler, Juan Manuel Lopez, Erislandy Lara, Paul Williams, Chris John, Robert Guerrero, Marcos Maidana, Joseph Agbeko, Orlando Salido, Andre Dirrell, Toshiaki Nishioka
Solid list, but I am a boxing fan so I'll nit pick. I think BHOP is tough to gauge at this point. His next fight could make him look like #5 again or #500 and it wouldn't surprise anyone. I agree with the Froch call and Bute's overratedness. Froch's quality of opposition has been better than anyone in the sport the last 3 years and he deserves that spot if not even higher. I'd put Rios in the late teens, drop Bradley 5 spots or so and switch the Klit bros. At this point, opp is close enough and Vitali is KO'ing fools and looking his best in doing so. Also, if most boxing pundits believe he'd beat younger bro that's got to count for something. Good stuff as always Tim, can't believe some of the shit you have to put up with, lol. I tried to drop a Hanlon's Razor reference, but ....
@scottchristianson4 I've dealt with every kind of attack there is by now, so I barely have to "put up" with anything -- it's just part of the gig, really.
I hear you on a lot of your suggestions, but I can't switch the Klitschko bros. just because I go by resume over who would beat whom. If someone else did it differently, I couldn't blame 'em.
And thanks, btw.
I was getting ready to hammer you bout the Hopkins-Dawson....but reading comments below, I can't possibly match the passion of the Pacquiao-ites (is that the proper term..?) and if I can't disagree with you in an irrational, hateful, insulting manner, what's the point?
Hey Miss Starks.
As always, it's damn hard to fault your logic. I'd probably have B-Hop higher, but I get you. I would say that the advantage of being just a "fraudulent writer" rather than an official rating system like The Ring means that you don't have to give credit to stupid decisions like Hopkins/Dawson. I'd probably still have Dawson as an honorable mention at this stage, or maybe replacing Montiel. Each to his own though.
Also, somehow this list isn't nearly as depressing as the last one. I remember reading that and thinking "Fuuck, these guys are the best?" Not entirely sure why, maybe because disappointing activity is better than none at all.
Also, I'd want to put Marquez as #1 if he beat Pacquiao. That might not be entirely logical though. I am a Marquez nuthugger after all. I'd need to think about it more.
Can't wait to see some serious shake ups though, seems the list has been relatively static for a while. Big fights for Gamboa/Donaire/Segura/Ward/Khan/Bradley need to happen in 2012 for that though.
@ALEXMAC Would be kind of tough to rank Marquez over Floyd, considering Floyd didn't lose a second of their fight. But I can't fault you for loving Marquez, he's the man.
@Scott_Kraus You are probably right. BTW, have you seen the pics of Marquez' prep? The dude looks jacked this time round, not tubby like in the Floyd fight. Maybe he's on A class meth.
Bloated, need to reduce the air to 35 psi, which is just normal, dang I really don't know what to say, good conditioner coach Heredia, oh yea.. he doesn't need to change name, good for Juan.
@Scott_Kraus@tstarks I stuffed up my boxing references and said A class meth, which everybody knows is not a PED. Here's the pic I was talking about.http://i86.photobucket.com/albums/k110/FightFanDotCom/JMMinOctober.jpg
Where the hell do these trolls emerge from to criticise people's P4P rankings? Thought the list was spot on - any changes I'd make are based more heavily on the eyeball test than achievement (e.g. Brandon Rios, Roman Gonzalez), so can't really fault you list at all.
@ham_napkin Thanks. The trolls generally are based on whether the guy they like or dislike gets ranked the way they want. Some people don't see the exercise the same as me, to say the least.
Rios and Gonzalez are good fighters. Rios was #20 for me but fell out when Floyd came, so he could be back at the end of the year, depending.
tim, don't listen to these idiots. i really have no idea what article they just read. i didn't see you stating anything blatantly biased against pacquiao. anyway, great read. my list is very similar.
Hey Tim, you say PBF's competition in the last two years is better than that of Pacquiao's in the same time span?..Let's see...Hmm..Both Pac and PBF fought Mosley, so we can cancel Mosley out. What's left for PBF is only Ortiz, and Pac got himself three in the name of Cotto, Margarito, and Clottey. I can tell you right now that Ortiz can't even get a win against any of these three. Oh wait, did I mention that Pac leaped to superwelter to face a guy 17 lbs heavier than him? Oh well, I don't know how you did this article but it's YOUR article, after all..
@Van_Brooks We can't cancel Mosley out at all. It's not like beating Mosley at any time in his career is an equal victory. If Pacquiao dragged Ali out of retirement and beat him, would it be the same as the time Frazier beat him? I know that's not an even comparison -- I'm just reducing the argument to its absurd end.
Mayweather beat Mosley when he was the #3 fighter in the world, coming off a victory over the #1 welterweight in the world. Pacquiao beat Mosley when he was another year older, coming off a loss to Mayweather and a draw against Sergio Mora and clearly was even more done against Pacquiao than he was against Mayweather. I don't judge those victories the same way merely because it's the same name, same way I give Pacquiao more credit for beating Marquez when and how he did than I do when and how Mayweather beat Marquez.
I didn't say "last two years," by the way. I said "recent competition." I'm more impressed by better Mosley + Ortiz (the top welterweight in the world not named Pacquiao or Mayweather) than I am older Mosley + Margarito + Clottey.
WTF...are you saying in a span of 2 years fighting MOSLEY and ORTIZ is better competition than fighting COTTO, CLOTTEY, MARGARITO, MOSLEY and finally MARQUEZ also in a span of 2 years...wake up man. what can we do if pacquiao is dominating these people. so you mean to say also that ORTIZ is better than COTTO....IMHO, ORTIZ will be schooled by COTTO should they ever meet.
@trez Where'd you get that two year figure? I didn't say "two years," did I?
I'd have been happier with Pacquiao if instead of Clottey, Margarito and Mosley he'd have fought Paul Williams, Tim Bradley, Marquez at 140, or the winner of Ortiz/Berto (all options that were available to him and would have been better fights at any given time).
It is apparent that this list was made up just to reiterate the fraudulence of the greatest coward of all time in boxing history. Come on Mr. Writer, you mean to say that if Manny Pacquiao who is number one gets beaten by Marquez who is number 5, all of a sudden, the cheap shooter, fraud Floyd gets to be number one? Marquez as number two and Pacquiao number 3 all of a sudden? Manny Pacquiao's achievements are far more stellar than the Fraud bar none even though he had mediocre fights for reasons that the Fraud himself is avoiding him and Pacquiao is running out of opponents. Mr Starks, are you dreaming, just to make up this list? Because the Fraud should be behind Klitschko for the once in the blue moon activity he does and the last one was a suspect staged/fixed fight. And that is already considered very generous to Fraud. Undefeated, Mr. Starks is not reason enough to make him number one. ATG's like Ali, Armstrong, Louis, Tyson all have losses. Heck even Dela Homo was not undefeated and became P4P number one. Until the Fraud beats the best in welterweights in Pacquiao, Cotto, Margarito whom he ducked, he should not be on the list at all.
@RicHernando That's exactly what I'm saying. Would you keep Pacquiao at #1 if he lost to Marquez? Or would you put Marquez #1? If you put Marquez #1, wouldn't you feel strange ranking Marquez above someone who had beaten him?
I didn't dream to make up this list. It's very similar at the top to a lot of other lists.
Floyd's inactivity hurts his consideration for the #1 spot, as I explained.
I agree with you that Floyd is avoiding Manny.
Undefeated WASN'T enough reason to make Mayweather #1, or it would read "Mayweather #1 , Pacquiao #2." Read it again. It says "Pacquiao #1, Mayweather #2."
If you don't think Mayweather should be on the list at all, you're simply not all that familiar with what a good boxer looks like or whom he's beaten.
Also, "Dela Homo" is the kind of remark that can get you banned here. Please refrain from that kind of thing in the future.
@tstarks@RicHernando Is "Mr. (Occupation)" some kind of insult in the Philippines? Like how angry parents in the U.S. will use their child's full name? We get a lot of "Mr. Writer" posts here, and they usually don't seem to be followed by, "Mr. Writer, while I disagree with your position, I appreciate the reasoning and logic behind it."
this writer said " I'm in the camp that believes Mayweather's most recent competition is better than Pacquiao's, so I get it. " .., then made a comment on "floydie re-enters the rankings on his "legal sucker punch."...WTF!
@conggo He won the fight, legally. He gets credit for doing so. And Ortiz at 147 is more impressive than Marquez at welter, so the competition IS better.
tim starks are u stupid look at the opponent compare the opponent of gayweather to pacquiao, pacquiao has never done that so called CHEAP SHOT aginst cotto, margaritto, clottey or mosley, gayweather did it twice the 1st against GATTI then ORTIZ.,your so full of shit bitch
this p4p list is stupid. floyd doesn't deserve to be in the top 4. her recent victory against ortiz is a circus stunt. you give floyd credit for beating mosley but discredit pacquiao for having bad competition. pacquiao had better performance than mayweather against mosley. this writer is a big joke just like floyd. i bet miss tim starks will put mayweather on number one even at the slightest chance possible.
@JakobAlfredReyes Thanks for your comment, Jakob. It's the kind of thing that really convinces me how wrong I am, and that I'm a woman.
For an explanation of the competition question and Mosley, see my substantial remarks to the commenter above who objected without namecalling.