Travis Marks: Boxing’s Best - My Pound for Pound List

27.06.06 - By Travis Marks: It is now the mid point part of the year and it’s time to make up my pound for pound list. Most of the top fighters have fought at least once and whereas as some have performed brilliantly some have been sub par. Everyone one has their own criteria and there is no right or wrong on how to make up a list such as this because this is purely based of subjectivity.

In creating my list I consider a few things. The most important ingredient to me is the level of performance. I am in more impressed by boxers who impose their will on others and dominate most of the fight. Long term success is very important. Knee jerk reactions are all too commonplace nowadays. Fighting on a high level for a sustained period of time is more impressive to me than that one big performance out of nowhere..

I also put emphasis on aesthetics. Boxing is an art form. Throwing punches the correct way, using superior movement, footwork, strong defense are all important to me. While each fighter has their own style and they paint their own picture it’s essential for them to avoid from looking sloppy. I acknowledge every fight won’t be a masterpiece but that should be the aberration and not the trend.

Record also plays a big role. A great winning percentage is always a good barometer of how good a fighter is. However, if a fighter has an incredible record without any big names on it then he will not be considered. Conversely if he has a few losses but he showed his skill and worth in those losses but came up on the short end of the stick the negative impact is lessened. Also a top fighter’s record should not be filled with knockout losses and inordinate amount of knockdowns.

The record also goes hand in hand with level of competition. While I see level of competition as important I don’t make it the be all and end all. I would give credit for a fighter taking on tough opponents but said boxer should be able to distinguish himself in those fights. If a boxer looks lousy or just average against superior competition then he can’t be elevated too highly on the list even in a win.

Significant accomplishment rounds out my criteria. Beating a great fighter, winning multiple world titles, or moving up in weight and excelling, positively affect ranking. With all that said here is my pound for pound list:

1. “Pretty Boy” Floyd Mayweather Jr. 36-0 (24 KO’s)

The most complete boxer out there. Rarely loses rounds. He ranks this high because not only has he won all of his bouts but he outclasses his opponents along the way. His only sub par performance which came in a win in his second fight at 135 against Jose Luis Castillo was rectified when he schooled Castillo in their rematch. The only thing critics can take a shot at with him is his level of opposition. When a boxer dominates opponents in the way that he does it’s easy to say that they are not testing themselves. Age will be Floyd’s conqueror. He’s too good right now for anyone to beat him.

2. Manny “Pacman” Pacquaio 41-3-2 (32 KO’s)

Explosive exciting fighter who imposes his will on his opponents. Knocking out Barrera and Morales is an incredible feat. Controversial draw against Juan Manuel Marquez kept him completing a complete sweep of the top three Mexican featherweights. It remains to be seen how long he can last with the reckless style, nevertheless its fun to see him in action.

3. Ronald “Winky” Wright 50-3-1 (25 KO’s)

Best Jab in the business. Defense is superb. Wright is a technically sound as anyone this side of Floyd Mayweather Jr. Brought the fight to the bigger and stronger undisputed middleweight champion Jermain Taylor and a case can be made for him winning the fight. His domination of both Trinidad and Mosely has him high on this list.

4. Bernard “The Executioner” Hopkins 47-4-1 (32 KO’s)

For many years stayed away from the higher weights instead choosing to feast on the superstars from the lower weights. Reluctance to move up was ammunition for his detractors. His one-sided domination of Tarver proved many wrong. He rides off to the sunset on a high note that sadly most pugilists don’t enjoy. His record 20 straight defenses of the middleweight title will never be broken.

5. Joe “Pride Of Wales” Calzaghe 41-0 (31 KO’s)

Dominated a young strong bull in Jeff (Left Hook) Lacy. That victory added legitimacy to his gaudy undefeated pro record that has lasted 15 years. Clearly the performance on the year so far, Calzaghe should look to add another big name on his resume but sadly it appears that might not happen because of injuries.

6. Rafael Marquez 35-3 (31 KO’s)

For knocking out two great champions, Tim Austin and Mark Johnson he deserves to be in the top ten. Having the biggest punch pound for pound and dismantling his opponents has him up this high. He needs another big named opponent pretty soon.

7. Jose Luis Castillo “El Temible” 54-7-1 (47 KO’s)

Excellent fighter who has lost a lot of his luster for failing to make weight against Diego Corrales two times in a row. That does not diminish his proficiency in the ring. Mayweather says the best thing about him is his intelligence in the ring. Most would say it’s his left hook. Has a lot of work to do be forgiven within boxing circles.

8. Diego “Chico” Corrales 40-3 (33 KO’s)

The ultimate warrior, Diego Corrales is a boxing fans dream. He has prodigious power and a tremendous heart. Those two assets make up for his absent chin. His comeback victory against Castillo was one of the more remarkable efforts in sports history. He literally got off the deck to knock his man out. There is a downside to fighting so many wars and that’s physical and psychological damage. Hopefully Corrales gets out before he suffers permanent damage.

9. Miguel Angel Cotto 27-0 (22 KO’s)

Miguel Cotto hurts people. He may be flawed as a fighter. His defense is not the greatest and he has been rocked on occasion but he always wins and he beats people up. While his punches don’t has the devastating affect as Pacquaio, Marquez and Corrales in seems like his opponents just feel more pain after he’s done. He beats everybody at welter with the exception of Floyd.

10. Jermain “Bad Intentions” Taylor

Going 2-0-1 against Bernard Hopkins and Winky Wright should place him high on every pound for pound list. But Jermain Taylor did not distinguish himself in any of those fights. He may have very well won all three fights but against Hopkins it was Bernard’s inactivity that powered Jermain success more than anything. Taylor fought better against Wright but still is just too green to be ranked high on this list. He has a lot to improve on and when he does he will be unstoppable.

Just Missing the Cut:

11. Marco Antonio Barrera – On the downside of career. Looked worn and beaten after the fight with Juarez.

12. Ricky “The Hitman” Hatton – Great wins in 2005 but elite is not the word that comes to mind while watching him fight.

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Article posted on 27.06.2006

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