Updated Boxing Pound-For-Pound Rankings

October 5, 2009

TheDailySportsHerald's boxing panel has updated their rankings for the Top 10 Boxers regardless of weight class. The latest rankings incorporate the triumphant return of former pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr., and also add a new face from the heavyweight division.

Other than recent performance, our writers weighed factors such as inactivity and choice of opponents in raising or dropping fighters in the rankings.


Pac-Man retains the top spot because he has done nearly everything that has been asked of him. First, he ambitiously challenged larger foes and prevailed with destructive wins over Ricky Hatton and Oscar De La Hoya. Second, he upgraded his game to a more diversified attack utilizing more of his right hand. And finally, he is moving up once more to fight dangerous Miguel Cotto at a catch weight in November. Until proven otherwise, he's the king.


When both Pacquiao and Mayweather try to avoid fights with you, it's a good indication of just how dangerous and skilled a boxer you are. Such is the case with Shane Mosley, who openly challenged Mayweather on national television, only to have Mayweather later hide behind claims of "disrespect" and "past opportunities."

Still, promoter Oscar De La Hoya believes that a Mosley-Mayweather fight could occur in 2010 if the potential Pacquiao-Mayweather bout stalls at the negotiation table. That's good news to fight fans, as Mosley's decapitation of Antonio Margarito established "Sugar" Shane as the man for Mayweather to fight. Young Andre Berto is another possible alternative.


Mayweather looked like poetry in motion in his return from a two-year retirement. Not only did he appear as fast as ever, but his body finally grew into the size of a natural welterweight. More importantly, his trademark defense looked crisp and impenetrable, as his shoulder rolls and quick reactions stymied Juan Manuel Marquez even at close range.

But before Mayweather can again be considered the best fighter pound-for-pound, he must first take care of his own weight class by challenging either Shane Mosley or Paul Williams.


In many ways, Williams embodies the ideal of a pound-for-pound king, as he can fight at 4 different weight classes and still excel. In fact, at welterweight, Williams probably beats the top 3 names on this list thanks to his superior length and punch volume.

Unfortunately for Williams, he's had to move up in weight just to get a fight, and that ultimately could make him more ordinary. The reason? Against larger foes, his amazing reach advantage diminishes somewhat. Williams' upcoming December test with Kelly Pavlik should quickly reveal his position in the middleweight pecking order.


Although his inactivity made it a serious possibility to drop this legend from the list, his assertion that he will fight Roy Jones in 2010 is good enough for us. Despite both men being quite long in the tooth, the inherent bad blood and star power of this matchup should make it one of the more interesting fights of next year.

5. (tie) CHAD DAWSON

Dawson has a November rematch with crafty veteran Glen Johnson. Should he prevail in that fight, Dawson might be hard-pressed to find a worthy next opponent. With the exception of Bernard Hopkins, the southpaw Dawson already has cleaned out most of the big names in his division thanks to his superior hand speed and electric combinations.


For now, Marquez's loss to Floyd Mayweather can be chalked up to a very poor matchup of styles, rather than to any physical decline in his skills. Marquez jumped two weight classes to take the fight, and encountered a fighter who was simply too big, too fast, and too long. The counterpunching Marquez was forced to come forward, taking him out of his element.

Nevertheless, another big payday could be looming, as promoter Oscar De La Hoya has spoken of a potential Ricky Hatton-Marquez crossroads fight at 140 pounds. Of course, a third fight with Pacquiao is always in demand as well.


Klitschko's performance against Cris Arreola was so dominant that many were forced to reconsider whether his brother Wladimir is still the world's best heavyweight.

The elder Vitali put on a boxing clinic in that fight, using his superior reach to full advantage. In addition, Vitali showed more diversity in his game than the robotic, 1-2 throwing Wladimir, as he mixed in a nice assortment of hooks, uppercuts, and unorthodox combinations. Throw in his willingness to roughhouse, and it's clear Vitali is currently the better fighter.


After 3 eye surgeries and a 19-month layoff, Vasquez makes his long-awaited return to the ring this Saturday when he takes on Angel Antonio Priolo at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles. Despite his long hiatus, Vasquez makes this list on the strength of his epic third fight with Rafael Marquez. This Saturday we should learn rather quickly whether he truly has recovered from his injuries.


Since his third bout with Israel Vasquez, Marquez has fought infrequently in order to allow his body time to recover. His quality skills and gutsy showing in the Vasquez fight have kept him in the pound-for-pound rankings for quite some time, but sooner or later Marquez will need to fight another legitimate opponent to maintain his elite status.

Others Receiving Votes: Wladimir Klitschko, Celestino Caballero, Edwin Valero, Nonito Donaire, Miguel Cotto, Timothy Bradley

By Mike Elliott
Staff Editor for TheDailySportsHerald.com

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