Pound for Pound List (As Of 4/20/08)

21.04.08 - By Matt Yanofsky: Floyd Mayweather {Welterweight}
Although Calzaghe and Pacquiao are catching up, Mayweather is definitely the number one fighter in the world. Unfortunately, Mayweather will be fighting Oscar De La Hoya in a rematch on September 20th (which real boxing fans don’t care to see). If Mayweather beats Oscar again and doesn’t face the winner of the July 26th Miguel Cotto vs Antonio Margarito fight, his legacy will be severely hurt for blatantly ducking the winner..

2. Joe Calzaghe {Light Heavyweight}
In his first trip to America on April 19th, Calzaghe moved up in weight to win a split decision over the legendary Bernard Hopkins while taking his Ring Magazine Light Heavyweight crown. Calzaghe, who is the Ring Magazine champion in two weight classes, recovered from a first round knockdown and outpointed Hopkins by having the much busier hands. According to Compu Box, Calzaghe landed more punches than anyone ever against the defensively sound Hopkins. Although he may consider retirement, Calzaghe could be facing Roy Jones this November in England.

3. Manny Pacquiao {Junior Lightweight}
Pacquaio earned an incredibly hard fought split decision to take the WBC junior lightweight crown from Juan Manuel Marquez in another thriller. Pacquiao’s third round knockdown ended up being the deciding factor as one judge’s score of 114-113 would have had the fight once again end a split draw if Marquez stayed on his feet. Pacquiao will be moving up weight and fight WBC lightweight champion David Diaz June 28th on Pay Per View. This should be an entertaining bout while it lasts.

4. Kelly Pavlik {Middleweight}
The undisputed middleweight champion used effective aggression and an improved defense to earn a unanimous decision victory over Jermain Taylor in a non title fight fought at 166 lbs as per Taylor’s request. Pavlik will be facing unknown Brit Gary Lockett June 7th on HBO. If Pavlik is victorious as expected, he will reportedly be taking another tune up fight against tough Mexican Marco Antonio Rubio.

5. Miguel Cotto {Welterweight}
Cotto annihilated Contender season 1 star Alfonso Gomez, earning a TKO at the end of round 5 on April 12th. The fight was never competitive as Cotto’s dominance was evident just seconds into the first round. Cotto is now slated to face Antonio Margarito July 26th on Pay Per View in what should be a fight of the year candidate as Margarito is one of the few fighters in the world who should be able to stand up to Cotto’s vicious offensive arsenal.

6. Bernard Hopkins {Light Heavyweight}
Hopkins lost a close decision to the undefeated Joe Calzaghe while giving the Welshman the hardest fight of his career. The Philadelphia bred legend cried of a robbery after the fight but this was definitely not the case. Hopkins will most likely retire for good this time after one of the greatest careers in the history of the sport.

7. Israel Vazquez {Super Bantamweight}
Vazquez made it two out of three against the elite Rafael Marquez with his hard fought and well deserved split decision victory on March 1st. Vazquez showed an incredible amount of heart as he recovered from a fourth round knockdown and an early deficit on the scorecards to aggressively attack Marquez in the later rounds, and score a knockdown with just seconds remaining in the 12th to seal the fight. Vazquez will be taking some much deserved time off as he had taken some heavy punishment during the phenomenal trilogy. Rumors are not circulating that Vazquez and Marquez will fight a 4th time. While it would be a great fight, it is unnecessary as Vazquez has two victories and neither man can really afford this type of further punishment if they want to continue their careers much longer.

8. Ricky Hatton {Junior Welterweight}
Hatton is coming off a heart breaking 10th round knockout loss to pound for pound elite Floyd Mayweather. The Hitman will be making his comeback against Juan Lazcano in Manchester on May 24th. The bout will be aired on the Versus Network and if Hatton wins, expect a bout with Paulie Malignaggi (who is fighting on the TV portion of the undercard) in the near future.

9. Juan Manuel Marquez {Junior Lightweight}
Marquez fell just short in his thrilling rematch against the elite Manny Pacquiao while losing his WBC junior lightweight belt. Marquez boxed well in spurts but the Filipino’s aggression and third round knockdown ultimately earned him the razor thin split decision which many thought could have gone to Marquez. There is a good chance that Marquez will end up fighting for the belt he just lost as Pacquiao is moving up in weight and most likely vacate the belt.

10.Winky Wright {Middleweight}
Although there were talks, Wright was unable to lock the June 7th date for the fight with Kelly Pavlik. Wright claims Pavlik was ducking him while Pavlik’s promoter Bob Arum said Winky priced himself out of the fight (what else is new?). Winky has been on the shelf for 9 months and has nothing scheduled. If Winky keeps pricing himself out and refuses to take a tune up type bout to stay busy, he may soon become a forgotten about fighter.

Honorable Mention: Rafael Marquez, Chris John, Shane Mosley, Cory Spinks, Wladimir Klitchko, Nate Campbell, Mikkel Kessler, David Haye, Ivan Calderon, Christian Mijares

Article posted on 21.04.2008

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