Stock Up, Stock Down for Each Top 10 Pound-for-Pound Fighter

Steve Silverman@@profootballboyFeatured ColumnistMarch 7, 2013

Stock Up, Stock Down for Each Top 10 Pound-for-Pound Fighter

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    If you're not moving up, you're falling behind.

    That's true in boxing and in the game of life. There is no standing still. Even if you remain in your current position, somebody is always gaining on you.

    In this piece, we look at the top 10 pound-for-pound fighters in the world and examine if their stock is going up or down.

    We don't expect this piece to settle any arguments, but perhaps it will start a few.

10. Adrien Broner, Stock Up

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    The arrow is pointing up for lightweight Adrien Broner, at least slightly.

    Broner (26-0-0) is moving onward and upward because he is an undefeated fighter who was 3-0 in 2012.

    He defeated overmatched Gavin Rees earlier this year.

    Broner did not appear to take Rees seriously and clowned through the early rounds. Broner needs to show more respect for himself, his opponent and his profession for him to move up further on the pound-for-pound ladder.

9. Bernard Hopkins, Stock Down

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    Bernard Hopkins (52-6-2) is one of the great fighters of his generation, but he is clearly on his way out.

    Hopkins, 48, jumps back into the ring March 9 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn vs. Tavoris Cloud, an undefeated fighter.

    Hopkins lost his only fight in 2012 and is nearing retirement. The Executioner has an old man's savvy and counterpunching ability in the ring, but guile and ring generalship will only take a boxer so far against brilliant, young athletes.

8. Carl Froch, Stock Down

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    By the end of March, the arrow could be pointing up for Carl Froch (30-2-0) if he can defeat Mikkel Kessler in their rematch.

    Froch lost a close but unanimous decision to Kessler in 2010, and he lost a more one-sided decision to Andre Ward in 2011.

    While he won twice in 2012 over Lucian Bute and Yusaf Mack, neither opponent represented a major test for Froch.

    He gets a chance to impress his critics against Kessler.

7. Manny Pacquiao, Stock Down

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    Many observers no longer list Manny Pacquiao (54-5-2) on their list of the top 10 pound-for-pound fighters.

    They have plenty of evidence. Pacquiao was robbed of a victory when judges somehow gave Timothy Bradley a split decision last year. Then, Pacquiao got knocked out cold by rival Juan Manuel Marquez in December.

    However, Pacquiao is still a substantial fighter. He was winning his fight against Marquez and had avenged an earlier knockdown in the fight with one of his own. He was dominating the sixth round until he got hit with the right hand that in the final seconds of the round that put him to sleep.

    Saying Pacquiao was winning the sixth round is probably like saying the Titanic was getting the best of the North Atlantic until it hit that iceberg.

    But the feeling here is that Pacquiao can still fight impressively, and if he gets a fifth chance against Marquez, he'll get a better result.

6. Nonito Donaire, Stock Up

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    Nonito Donaire (31-1-0) is a superior fighter with excellent skills who is coming off a very impressive year in 2012.

    Donaire won all four of his fights, including a third-round knockout of Jorge Arce in December.

    Donaire should get tested when he meets Guillermo Rigondeaux in April in New York City, but Donaire will not lose that fight. Donaire is still climbing the charts and should become one of the best fighters in the world.

5. Wladimir Klitschko, Stock Down

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    Wladimir Klitschko (59-3-0) is the best heavyweight fighter by a wide margin.

    His brother Vitali Klitschko is probably the only one who could test him, and that fight will never happen.

    Klitschko is being cheated by the lack of competition, because great heavyweights can never get their due unless they put on a knockout display like Mike Tyson or they have superior competition, much the way Muhammad Ali had with Joe Frazier.

    Klitschko, 36, still has all the skills and is probably quite underrated when it comes to the all-time best heavyweight fighters.

    At this point in his career he does not have a rival who can push him and that's why his stock is going down.

    But just slightly.

4. Sergio Martinez, Stock Up

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    Sergio Gabriel Martinez (50-2-2) has had a stellar career. Even at the age of 37, he looks sharp, consistent and finds a way to improve in each fight.

    Martinez was 2-0 in both 2011 and '12. In his fight against Julio Cesar Chavez in September, Martinez dominated every round until the 12th when Chavez hurt Martinez and knocked him down.

    However, even that was a good showing for Martinez because he handled the desperation attack and managed to hang on.

    Martinez should be able to handle Martin Murray in April when they meet in Argentina.

3. Juan Manuel Marquez, Stock Up

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    Juan Manuel Marquez (55-6-1) is coming off the biggest victory of his career.

    His December knockout of Manny Pacquiao was a spectacular display of Marquez's strength and power. It also showed his professionalism.

    Pacquiao had appeared to seize control of the bout even though Marquez had registered a strong knockdown early in the fight. Pacquiao registered his own knockdown and was dominating the sixth round. But Marquez hung in there, saw his opening and hit Pacquiao with the hardest punch of his career.

    Marquez, 39, doesn't have much left to prove. He has not retired and he could have a fifth fight with Pacquiao.

2. Andre Ward, Stock Up

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    Andre Ward (26-0-0) is the heir apparent to Floyd Mayweather as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world.

    Ward, 29, is a sensational super-middleweight who moves well, figures out his opponent and then systematically takes him apart.

    His fight against "Bad" Chad Dawson was a one-sided beating. Ward took apart Dawson by knocking him down three times before the fight was stopped in the 10th round.

    Ward is a scintillating and smart fighter who is only getting better.

1. Floyd Mayweather, Stock Down

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    Floyd "Money" Mayweather (43-0-0) is one of the greatest fighters of his or any other generation.

    Mayweather, 36, has disposed of most of his opponents with ease. While he has been criticized for not making a fight with Manny Pacquiao when both men were at their peak, it's still difficult to downgrade Mayweather for his ring performance.

    Mayweather probably has one or two great fights left in him, if he wants to take them.

    He has a tough fight scheduled with Robert Guerrero in May, and that fight should let Mayweather know how much longer he should remain in the ring.