Boxing Pound-for-Pound Rankings

December 8, 2008

With Manny Pacquiao's dominating performance over a washed-up Oscar De La Hoya, the top of this list remains the same. Biggest change? No more Joe Calzaghe, since presumably he has retired.


His performance over Oscar was convincing, but what did we really learn about PacMan at 147? Oscar was such a shadow of his former self that Pacquiao's performance was impossible to measure. Still, at a minimum, PacMan showed that he can retain his speed and punch volume at the higher weight. He also showed an improved dedication to attacking the body with consistency. Potential fights with Floyd Mayweather, Ricky Hatton, and Juan Manuel Marquez loom in his future.


The fact that Oscar aged instantaneously at age 35, and Roy Jones aged 3 years ago in his late 30's, only further solidifies that The Executioner is a true physical marvel at age 43. Hopkins is boxing's defensive master, and probably the smartest fighter in the sport. If Joe Calzaghe is unwilling to offer Hopkins a rematch after his gift decision last spring, then a Hopkins-Chad Dawson fight would be a fantastic alternative. Hopkins is bold enough to take that risk, provided the money is right.


The most unique and talented man in boxing. P-Will could be the best fighter at three weight classes, as he seemingly can make weight at 147, 154, or 160 pounds with the greatest of ease. His recent victory over Verno Phillips showed why he is so avoided -- great reach, hand speed, some pop, and a little coolness under fire. Williams tried to get a fight with Margarito, but Margarito flat-out ducked him to fight an older, less-threatening Shane Mosley. Given that the welterweights seem scared of him, his best possible megafight might be at middleweight with Kelly Pavlik.


Probably the second biggest talent in boxing behind Williams. The southpaw Dawson has all the tools -- hand speed, combination punching, and punch volume. And he's no rising "potential" prospect-type guy either. Instead, he has officially arrived with big victories over tough vets Antonio Tarver and Glen Johnson. Dawson deserves a big future fight against Calzaghe or B-Hop.


No man has given Manny Pacquiao more trouble than Marquez, thanks to his spot-on accurate counterpunching style. Marquez tried to chase Manny for a third fight by moving up to 135 pounds, only to have Manny move again to 147. Marquez now may have to bulk up to 140, as money fights with Hatton, and perhaps Pacquiao, can be found there. If not, Nate Campbell or Juan Diaz still are lurking at 135 pounds. Ultimately, Manny's legacy will be tarnished somewhat if a third fight with Marquez does not happen.


Great chin, tough guy, but when Margarito showed no ambition to avenge his past loss to Paul Williams, he justifiably dropped in the rankings. Margarito is having delusions of grandeur after his Cotto victory, and changed his mind several times about fighting Shane Mosley. The fight is now back on, and should prove to be entertaining, provided Sugar Shane still has something left. In the future, Margarito must take a risk and fight Paul Williams if he ever wants to get true respect as a great welterweight champion.


Clottey is one of the toughest guys around at 147 pounds. He has a fan-pleasing style, but still is not a household name yet. Eventually, this guy deserves a rematch with Margarito, as fans would like to see what he could do with 2 good hands against the champ.


After his fight with Margarito, questions remain as to his chin and toughness. Still, Cotto has good boxing skills, and can overpower the smaller fighters in the welterweight division. In the future, if he gets in another war with Margarito, he might want to grab and hold on defense occasionally, rather than exclusively countering and stepping away. Ultimately, a rematch with Margarito should happen sometime in the next year.


A tough, good boxer, despite his 30-something age. Campbell's previous victory over the Baby Bull was impressive. If Juan Manuel Marquez sticks around, a Campbell-Marquez fight would be a tremendous matchup at 135.


His recent win over Paulie Malignaggi gave his career new life. Hatton proved he is the top dog at 140 pounds, and set himself up for a possible matchup with the PacMan. He also looked improved under new trainer Floyd Mayweather Sr., as he progressed away slightly from his past hit-and-hold style.


Juan Diaz, Wladimir Klitschko, Vitali Klitschko, Andre Berto, Jermain Taylor, Kelly Pavlik, Shane Mosley, Vic Darchinyan

By Mike Elliott
Staff Editor for TheDailySportsHerald

No comments:

Post a Comment

We encourage all intelligent, passionate comments. Please refrain from any ignorant, racist, or offensive rants.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...