Boxing's Current Top 10 Best P4P Fighters in the Sport
The discussion that always seems to draw contention between boxing fans is of course the mythical pound-for-pound rankings. What these rankings assert is who are the best fighters in the world, regardless of the weight class that they fight in.
There has been some movement as of late in and around the top ten, with some young, up-and-coming fighters poised to break in, while some older guys are on their way out of the rankings. So, here is a list of the current p4p top ten fighters in the sport of boxing.
Saul "Canelo" Alvarez
Yuriorkis Gamboa (Due to inactivity that is set to extend for quite some time.)
10. Vitali Klitschko
Despite being 40 years of age, Vitali Klitschko is still going strong and is coming off an impressive February fight with Dereck Chisora. Klitschko's record currently sits at 44-2 (40 KO's), and hasn't lost a fight since his 2003 brawl with Lennox Lewis.
Based off of his current form, Vitali could probably fight for at least two more years while still retaining his dominance. However, it appears that politics may be calling, and the Ukranian star may be retiring from the ring sooner rather than later.
His upcoming September matchup against the undefeated but inexperienced Manuel Charr should be an easy win for Klitschko, and if it ends up being the last bout of his career, he will walk away remembered as one of the most dominant champions of his era.
9. Timothy Bradley
Most p4p lists will place Tim Bradley, 29-0 (12 KO's), higher than the No. 9 spot, but quite frankly after his "victory" over Manny Pacquiao, I'm inclined to drop Bradley a couple of spots lower than most. Honestly I wasn't one bit impressed by Bradley—he was utterly dominated and outclassed by Pacquiao. I think the Pac Man took his foot off the gas and went easy on him for the last few rounds, figuring he had the fight in the bag.
Bradley did fight through two foot injuries, and he showed a lot of courage in doing so, but he was exposed. Bradley showed he is a very good fighter, but will never be a great fighter. He'll beat most 140- and 147-pounders, though. I'm hoping that he'll finally fight Amir Khan later this year, a fight that should've happened in 2011.
That would be a great fight.
8. Miguel Cotto
Despite his defeat on May 5th to Floyd Mayweather, Cotto fought a terrific fight and pushed Mayweather to the absolute limit. Cotto was able to force Floyd to fight, something he's seldom had to do in his career. Cotto showed he still has a lot left to give, which is why he is currently sitting as the No. 8 fighter in the sport.
Cotto, who is 37-3 (30 KO's) could potentially fight Canelo Alvarez later this year. That would be an action-packed battle, and would be a classic Mexico vs. Puerto Rico showdown. Whoever Cotto fights, it will be entertaining for the fans.
7. Wladimir Klitschko
Wladimir Klitschko's record currently sits at 57-3 (50 KO's). Despite being 36, Klitschko has showed no signs at all of slowing down and looks as good as ever. Klitschko has been totally dominant in his current title reign, seldom losing a round. He's going to be very difficult for anyone to beat at this stage.
Up next for Wlad is a July 7th matchup against American Tony Thompson in Switzerland. It's a rematch of their 2008 fight, in which Thompson gave Klitschko a good scrap and a lot of problems before getting knocked out in the 11th round. While Klitschko will likely win, it should be a good heavyweight fight.
6. Nonito Donaire
I've ranked Nonito Donaire, 28-1 (18 KO's), a tad lower than others because although he hasn't lost a fight in more than 11 years, Donaire has looked less than stellar in his past couple of fights. While the style of opponent wasn't exactly suited to make Donaire look good, he hasn't scored a highlight reel knockout that we like to see from him in quite some time.
Donaire is one of the more physically gifted fighters in the world, as his natural talent for fighting is abundantly clear. Donaire has a July 7th date with Jeffrey Mathebula, in which they will unify their super bantamweight titles. Hopefully, Donaire will look good and he can be bumped up the p4p rankings.
5. Juan Manuel Marquez
Juan Manuel Marquez, 54-6-1 (39 KO's), is still one of the most technically brilliant and intelligent fighters in the sport despite the fact that he turns 39 later this year. Marquez still has shown the ability to out-think his opponents and make necessary adjustments mid-fight in order to get the victory. Marquez hasn't really shown any decline in his physical or mental skills, which is truly amazing for a fighter pushing 40.
Up next for Marquez is a potential fourth bout with Manny Pacquiao. It depends on whether or not Pacquiao decides to exercise his rematch clause with Bradley. Personally, and I think a lot of people would agree, a Bradley rematch it pointless because Pacquiao clearly won the fight. So, if a Mayweather deal can't be reached, bring on Marquez for November 10th.
4. Andre Ward
While Andre Ward, 25-0 (13 KO's) may not be the most exciting fighter in the world to watch, he's certainly one of the most effective. Ward boxes brilliantly, as he utilizes the jab perfectly and has excellent head and upper-body movement, making him very difficult for his opponents to hit cleanly. Ward's a great all-around fighter, and is at the top of his game right now.
Ward won Super Six Tournament, which is a rather impressive feat considering the opposition he's had to face. Now that he's set to face Chad Dawson in November, Ward will have undergone one of the toughest six-fight stretches in recent years, outside of fellow Super Six member Carl Froch, whose last eight match ups have been ridiculous in terms of sustained difficulty.
If Ward can convincingly beat Dawson, it'd just be another notch on his belt of champions that he's defeated. Ward is a great fighter, and could be dominant for years to come.
3. Sergio Martinez
Sergio Martinez, who has a fantastic record of 49-2-2 (29 KO's), has been a very difficult phenomenon to understand. Martinez didn't walk into a boxing gym until age 20, and in recent years has become one of the best fighters in the entire world. Martinez also appeared to gain more punching power in his mid-to-late 30's than he had when he was 25. He's a freak—that's probably the best way to put it.
Fighting out of a southpaw stance, Martinez keeps his hands low, inviting his opponents to throw punches, giving Martinez opportunities to counter and make his opponents pay for missing. His speed and reflexes are amazing for a guy who just turned 37 this year. Up next for Martinez is a matchup with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., a fight that Martinez has wanted for what seems like an eternity.
Martinez should wipe the floor with Chavez, and he'll make a lot of money doing it, as he'll be headlining his first ever PPV card, along with Chavez on September 15th.
2. Manny Pacquiao
Manny Pacquiao, 54-4-2 (38 KO's) is coming off of what has to be one of the most controversial decisions in boxing history. Pacquiao out-fought, out-landed, and outclassed a game but overmatched Timothy Bradley, and shockingly was on the wrong end of the decision. It was a horrible job by the judges and unfair to everyone involved, including the fans.
Pacquiao, despite the loss, looked really good against Bradley, perhaps the best he has since he knocked out Miguel Cotto in 2009. Pacquiao will still beat everyone from 140-154 pounds, besides maybe Marquez and Mayweather. However, he's still a tremendous draw and will likely fight a few more times before retiring and going into politics full-time.
Hopefully, he'll fight Mayweather before he hangs up the gloves for good, but we all know how their negotiations have gone in the past. Stay tuned to see what happens when Floyd gets out of jail.
1. Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Floyd Mayweather has earned the right to call himself the No. 1 p4p fighter in the sport of boxing. Mayweather has done nothing but win his entire career, and against Miguel Cotto he was finally in a real fight. Mayweather had to bite down on his mouthpiece and really slug it out with Cotto, which is something he hasn't had to do much of in the past.
While Mayweather doesn't use his legs as much as he has in the past, it's making him into a more crowd-pleasing, exciting fighter. It's unclear if he'll fight again in 2012, but I fully expect him to fight in 2013, 2014, 2015, and maybe even beyond. As long as the money is there, it's going to be really difficult for the man they call "Money" Mayweather to step away from the sport any time soon.
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