Eastside Boxing’s Year End Pound For Pound List

30.12.04 – By Matthew Hurley: Making year end lists on any subject is either viewed as a vain pursuit by some arrogant know it all or an easy way to piss some people off and get some kind of a discussion going. Usually I don’t pay too much attention to lists, particularly when it comes to my two passions – boxing and music – but I have to admit that I do read them and I do curse and condemn the writers of such drivel… and then find myself making my own list to counter theirs (a writer’s arrogance). We all have our opinions and since the boxing world is in a quiet mode for the next month or so I figure it’s time I finally lay my cards on the table and rank my top ten fighters as of this moment.

Pound For Pound

1. Bernard Hopkins – Floyd Mayweather can bitch and complain all he wants, but until someone either beats the middleweight champion or Father Time and retirement takes him out Hopkins deserves this ranking.

2. Floyd Mayweather – The junior welterweight may be the most talented fighter on the planet, but in moving up division by division he is at risk of finding himself facing off against a fighter who could conceivably knock him around and then out with one punch. And that fighter resides at number 3.

3. Kostya Tszyu – The undisputed junior welterweight king came back from a near two year absence because of serious injuries and proceeded to knock out Sharmba Mitchell with precise and ferocious ease. Arguably the hardest puncher in boxing, a match up with Mayweather in 2005 would be a “fight of the year” candidate.

4. Manny Pacquiao – The Filipino whirlwind is set for a rematch with Juan Manuel Marquez and should he get by the underrated featherweight a possible rematch with Marco Antonio Barrera looms. A potential pier six brawl with Erik Morales has also been talked about. Whatever happens Pacquiao will provide many thrills in 2005.

5. Winky Wright – For so long has this junior middleweight southpaw been avoided that his wins over Shane Mosley caught some off guard. But boxing fans always knew how tough and troublesome a fighter he is. Should he beat Felix Trinidad in their proposed match up he will move further up the list.

6. Marco Antonio Barrera – The “Baby Faced Assassin” seemed to be a spent force after getting mugged by Manny Pacquiao but he came back against arch nemesis Erik Morales in the fight of the year to prove there’s still bark and bite in the old dog yet. A win over Pacquiao in a rematch would solidify his standing as one of the best fighters of the last ten years.

7. Erik Morales – “El Terrible” came oh-so-close to beating Barrera in their rubber match, but an inexplicable lull in the first six rounds cost him. The three time titlist wants Pacquiao but don’t be surprised if a fourth bout with Barrera is set up for the summer.

8. Juan Manuel Marquez – Always in the shadow of his Mexican countrymen, Barrera and Morales, Marquez drew with Pacquiao after a near disastrous first round in which he hit the canvas three times. But his resilience and classic boxing skills turned what looked to be a blowout into a fight of the year candidate. His rematch with Pacquiao will either elevate his standing or tuck him away further in the shadows.

9. Glen Johnson – The “Road Warrior” was 2004’s fighter of the year. First he beat Clinton Woods, then Roy Jones and then staked his claim as the best light heavyweight in the world with a win over Antonio Tarver. Enough said.

10. Diego Corrales – Corrales came back after a prison sentence and jumped right back into the mix. A loss to Joel Casamayor because of a vicious cut lip was avenged in the rematch and then he stalked Acelino Freitas around the ring until he cut him down and forced him to quit. A rematch with Floyd Mayweather is a must.

Divisional Ratings:


1. Vitali Klitschko

2. Chris Byrd

3. John Ruiz

4. Hasim Rahman

5. James Toney

6. Andrew Golota

7. Monte Barrett

8. Jameel McCline

9. Fres Oquendo

10. Lamon Brewster

Light Heavyweight

1. Glen Johnson (champion)

2. Antonio Tarver

3. Dariusz Michalczewski

4. Roy Jones

5. Clinton Woods

6. Paul Briggs

7. Fabrice Tiozzo

8. Julio Gonzalez

9. Thomas Ulrich

10. Rico Hoye


1. Bernard Hopkins (champion)

2. Howard Eastman

3. Felix Sturm

4. Felix Trinidad

5. Jermain Taylor

6. Robert Allen

7. Maselino Masoe

8. Kingsley Ikeke

9. Sam Soliman

10. William Joppy

Junior Middleweight

1. Winky Wright (champion)

2. Kassim Ouma

3. Verno Phillips

4. Javier Castillejo

5. Travis Simms

6. Daniel Santos

7. Rodney Jones

8. Kofi Jantuah

9. Bronco McKart

10. Alejandro Garcia


1. Cory Spinks (champion)

2. Antonio Margarito

3. Zab Judah

4. Kermit Cintron

5. Thomas Damgaard

6. Oscar De La Hoya (division has yet to be determined)

7. Shane Mosley (division has yet to be determined)

8. Teddy Ried

9. Michele Piccirillo

10. Cosme Rivera

Junior Welterweight

1. Kostya Tszyu (champion)

2. Arturo Gatti

3. Floyd Mayweather

4. Vivian Harris

5. Miguel Cotto

6. Ricky Hatton

7. Sharmba Mitchell

8. DeMarcus Corley

9. Lovemore Ndou

10. James Leija


1. Jose Luis Castillo

2. Diego Corrales

3. Joel Casamayor

4. Juan Lazcano

5. Julio Diaz

6. Juan Diaz

7. Acelino Freitas

8. Javier Jauregui

9. Artur Grigorian

10. Julian Lorcy

Junior Lightweight

1. Marco Antonio Barrera

2. Erik Morales

3. Jesus Chavez

4. Carlos Hernandez

5. Yodsanan Nanthachai

6. Jorge Barrios

7. Cassius Baloyi

8. Mike Anchondo

9. Robbie Peden

10. Mzonke Fana


1. Manny Paquiao

2. Juan Manuel Marquez

3. Injin Chi

4. Scott Harrison

5. Rocky Juarez

6. Manuel Medina

7. Zahir Raheem

8. Michael Brodie

9. Chris John

10. Spend Abazi

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