Boxing


After Saturday Night's Action - My New Top-Ten Pound-4-Pound Ratings

hatton25.06.07 - By James Slater, photo by Naoki Fukuda: For the first time in a long while, Britain can lay claim to having not one, but two boxers near the top half of the sport's pound-for-pound best fighters in the world. With Ricky Hatton's superb performance in Las Vegas at the weekend, and Joe Calzaghe's maintained dominance four weight classes above "The Hitman," the U.K can be very proud of itself, boxing-wise.

To some fans/critics, however, the Brits have nothing to shout about with regards to Ricky's four round KO win. Astonishingly alleging that the fight with Castillo was fixed, Hatton's win is seen as tarnished in the eyes of these people. Quite simply, any such fixed fight assertions are nothing short of ludicrous and offensive.

I was both stunned and appalled when reading such notions left on this very website after the fight. What does a fighter have to do these days to win in a way that everyone is both happy and satisfied with? Ricky didn't win by a controversial decision, his opponent didn't take a dive and neither did he quit on his stool. What actually happened was "The Hitman" went back to living up to his nickname by landing a devastating shot to win via a one-punch KO. That some fans are not content with this is very, very strange to me. Sure, you cannot please all the people all the time, but come on - there was absolutely nothing fishy about Hatton's destruction of Jose Luis Castillo. With all that said, I now list my ten choices for boxing's best fighters, pound-4-pound today. Does Ricky Hatton move up in this list? Talk about a no-brainer!

1. Manny Pacquiao. Super-featherweight. Record: 43-3-2(34). Last fight: KO 8 Jorge Solis. Future: A "revenge" fight with Humberto Soto, conqueror of brother Bobby, in October.

2. Floyd Mayweather. Junior-middleweight. Record: 38-0(24). Last fight: W12 Oscar De La Hoya. Future: "Pretty Boy" says he's retired and we must take him at his word. However, a return fight with De La Hoya cannot be totally dismissed. Neither can bouts with Ricky Hatton or Miguel Cotto for that matter.

3. Winky Wright. Middleweight. Record 51-3-1(25). Last fight: W12 Ike Quartey. Future: A fight with all-time great Bernard Hopkins, up at 170 pounds, in July.

4. Juan Manuel Marquez. Super-featherweight. Record: 47-3-1 (35). Last fight: W12 Marco Antonio Barrera. Future: A fight with Jorge Barrios in September.

5. Rafael Marquez. Super-bantamweight. Record: 37-3(33). Last fight: W RTD Israel Vazquez. Future: A rematch with Vazquez in August.

6. Miguel Cotto. Welterweight. Record: 30-0(25). Last fight: TKO 11 Zab Judah. Future: Too early to list a definite, but Cotto will likely box another big name. The Puerto Rican's future looks very, very good, that's for certain. He has no shortage of potential super-bouts down the road.

7. Ricky Hatton. Light-welterweight. Record: 43-0(31). Last fight: KO 4 Jose Luis Castillo. Future: Very bright. No definite next opponent at present, obviously. But the likes of Oscar De La Hoya and Shane Mosley have been mentioned. Ricky himself wants Floyd Mayweather, however.

8. Joe Calzaghe. Super-middleweight. Record: 43-0(32). Last fight: TKO 3 Peter Manfredo Jr. Future: A unification fight with Mikkel Kessler is currently in the works.

9. Jermain Taylor. Middleweight. Record:27-0-1(17). Last fight: W12 Cory Spinks. Future: An agreement has reportedly been reached for "Bad Intentions" to face power-puncher Kelly Pavlik in September.

10. Bernard Hopkins. Light-heavyweight. Record: 47-4-1(32). Last fight: W12 Antonio Tarver. Future: A catch-weight showdown with Winky Wright.

Article posted on 25.06.2007



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