Pound for Pound Dilemma: Who’s really #1? Mayweather or Pacquiao?

By P.H. Burbridge - I think we have a legitimate P4P dilemma coming our way this summer. You have the old P4P king, UNDEFEATED Floyd Mayweather Jr coming out of retirement to fight again and you’ve got the VERY popular and well liked Manny Pacquiao who is the recognized current and ACTIVE P4P king. Should Floyd deliver a successful return bout he could potentially make the argument that he’s still #1 and it would be hard to dispute his claim. He’s never lost and if he ends up fighting Juan Manuel Marquez and beats him in grander fashion than Manny did then I think you have to acknowledge him as #1. Let’s say Manny beats Hatton, Floyd already knocked Ricky out.. The determining factor will have to be JMM. In my opinion, this is a very real issue and one that probably can only truly be settled in the ring!

The Ring Magazine will almost have to acknowledge Floyd Mayweather Jr as their #1.

Since Mayweather has been away the boxing landscape has changed. Paul Williams has given up trying to get any matches in the welterweight division and has moved up. Antonio Margarito has disappeared under a black cloud after a one sided thrashing delivered by the great “Sugar” Shane Mosely. And, Manny Pacquiao has emerged as the best “active” fighter in the world. Today’s landscape with the removal of Williams and Margarito appears to be perfect for Floyd. The size issue in fighting the really big welters is gone and the “hot” fighters are now more Mayweather’s size. Everybody in the welterweight division seems beatable and if Floyd beats JMM impressively he will be the favorite to beat them all including Manny Pacquiao. Unless he’s slipped over the last 16 months which would be hard to believe if you knew just how much of an obsessive gym rat Floyd is then the next 12 months may be even more profitable then his last 6 of the first go around.

Floyd’s in a good position. A DAMN good position!

There’s no question that Manny deserves his current status but would he have achieved it if Floyd had not retired? He would obviously have been in the conversation but would the Ring Magazine actually been able to justify it? A quick check of the records leads me to believe that they could not. From 2005 to the time that Floyd retired Manny fought Erik Morales three times losing their first encounter, Hector Velasquez who was 42-10-2, Oscar Larios 56-4-1, Jorge Solis 33-0-2 and a well past his prime Marco Antonio Barrera 63-5. After Floyd retired Manny became the P4P king almost by default. During Mayweather’s retirement Manny fought Juan Manuel Marquez 48-3-1, David Diaz 34-1-1 and of course Oscar De La Hoya 39-5. Manny is a four weight division champion where as Floyd is a five weight division champion. I’m not sure beating Ricky Hatton a fighter Floyd has already beaten will justify the P4P title for Pacquiao.

This is truly a unique set of circumstances and I’m sure it’s one that will divide boxing fans right down the middle. Let’s be frank here. Floyd wasn’t exactly the most satisfying fighter in the world to watch and Manny most certainly is. Floyd is a technical wizard where as Manny is an action fighter with technical skills. Floyd is the fighter people love to hate and will pay to see in the hopes that someone will shut his mouth and Manny is the fighter that delivers an exciting performance almost every time out. So, what are the determining factors in being recognized as the P4P king? A fighter’s technical skill or his popularity? If the standard is technical skill then can we really ignore Mayweather? I’m not a big fan of all the nonsense and his antics and honestly I haven’t missed that at all but I’m a realist and can’t ignore that the man is a great fighter who is capable of doing things that set him apart from his contemporaries. That’s the bottom line!

Should Manny beat Ricky as many expect and Floyd dispatches Juan Manuel Marquez as I absolutely expect then the only way to settle this thing is to fight!

However, before that fight takes place the ranking can only look one way.

Floyd Mayweather Jr #1 and Manny Pacquiao #2!

(Please feel free to contact P.H. Burbridge via email at with any comments or feedback.)

Article posted on 21.04.2009

Bookmark and Share

previous article: News: Shawn Estrada; Burkinshaw-Robinson; Sundance Square Fight Night

next article: Putting Ghana on the Boxing Map

If you detect any issues with the legality of this site, problems are always unintentional and will be corrected with notification.
The views and opinions of all writers expressed on do not necessarily state or reflect those of the Management.
Copyright © 2001- 2015 - Privacy Policy l Contact