The Top Ten Fighters On Earth

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The Top Ten Fighters On Earth
(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

I have missed you boxing fans. It has been much to long since I last dipped my toes into the unmatched passion of bleacher report fandom.

After the massive feed back I received last time I wanted to make sure that I did not cut any corners and attempt any short cuts. I have sat back over the last couple months boxing fans watching the game take shape. 

I laughed when Paul Will proved me right. I gasped when Manny sent Richard into temporary Paralysis, I cheered when Cory Spinks despite a smattering of hometown Boo’s found it within himself to win yet another JR middleweight strap, and I buzzed when FMJ confirmed what has been rumored for months.

It has been 6 months since I last rated the Top ten fighters in the world. Much has moved and shaked since. No matter what anyone says these are objective rankings. This is it my fight brothers.

In case you have been wondering what the true top ten are in boxing fear not. Upon watching a colossal amount of fight tape I have yet again come up with a true account of the boxing landscape.

This list is devoid of generalizations and Heart felt politics.  Strap in good luck I will see you on the other side

 

10. Vakhtang Darchinyan, 32-1, 26 knock outs

Mighty Mouse comes to mind when I watch this fireball perform.  He has swagger that would make hulk Hogan jump for joy. I think he may be the most confident fighter on earth right now.

To be honest I have never been too eager to include fighters so small into my rankings due to the lack of real tangible seat selling names. That ends now. HBO however seems to share my previous view because Vic Remains in boxing witness protection with Showtime. Vic’ style and charisma make for a potential huge draw given the right circumstances.

He is flawed as a pure boxer which is understandable because he is a pure puncher. He absolutely laid waste to Christian Mjarries. 

Straight murdered him. He is the only champion in boxing that holds all of his respective divisional belts but his problem is there is no one of note for him to fight.

He can knock out all the pedestrian alphabet titleholders he wants until he can match up with a big name at a higher weight he will remain on the second tier of P4P fighters but make no mistake. The cannibal from the land of the Kangaroos is getting ever close to true super stardom.

 

9. Edwin Valero   25-0,  25 knockouts

On a day when the Terminator franchise breaks us off with the newest installment I am going to break you guys off with some information on the man they call ‘El Terminator.

This hurricane of a fighter may have unmatched passion in the ring and that includes Pacman. His Knock out ratio is something out of FIGHT Night career mode.

Twenty-five wins and 25 knockouts and that’s it. He is in my mind the true current light weight world champion because it’s a safe Bet that JMM wont be venturing to the 135 pound weight class ever again so at this moment the man at 135 is the aforementioned.

A cruel twist of fate stalled this stallion’s career but now that he is being cleared to box again I truly believe that this man might not be stopped until he moves up in weight.

I don’t see anyone below 140 pounds that would last 3 rounds with the liquidator. I would like to mention that while I am fascinated with this Monster he seems to be somewhat of a head case.

He recently turned down 200,000 dollars to fight a chopping block opponent on FMJ/JMM Pay per view undercard. He thumbed his nose at it because he wants “bigger fights”. How the f@@k does he think fights like that happen? You have to take those undercard showcase fights when you’re building up your public profile.

Outside of that Jackass move I wish to warn all Jr welterweights and welterweights out there…..There is a truth machine brewing  in our midst and his name is Edwin Valero


8. Waldimir Klitschko   55-3,  46 knockouts

I have watched Vlad Slide down my rankings. I don’t know if it’s because he is such a boring incumbent or if its because he lacks a defining win of relative relevance. I would say it’s a little of both.

I may get stung for this but what has he done? In the only three times he has been tested he lost twice and escaped a third time. He would rather fight mandatories then search for a true dangerous opponent.

Haye while having tasteful hand speed and a mouth for the ages does not really serve as a true heavyweight litmus test. A win over David Haye would serve as personal retribution not as career defining vindication.

Vlad for his part has improved as a Craftsman but at heart does not really have a lust for combat. He is the Universally recognized heavy weight champion so yes that means something but it certainly means less then it did 35 years ago. 

Vlad is the ultimate paradox…a big strong soft heavyweight champion who no matter what he does may go down as the worst heavyweight champion of all time

 

7. Juan Manuel Lopez  25-0,  25 knockouts

When I touted this man as a P4P fighter last September haterade rained down upon me from all of my friends and some of my fellow writers. How you like me now? I said he would rise to the P4P status, he did, I said he would supplant His fellow countrymen Miguel Cotto as the hottest fighter on the island, he did.

Confirmation of my prognostication came when I watched the crowd in PR go nuts when the WBO super bantamweight champ walked down to ringside. I have rarely seen such a potent mix of astute defense and calculated brutal offense.

He is the ultimate perfectionist. I actually speak Spanish and every time Juan returned to his corner during his most recent bout he always was asking what he could do better. “Am I jabbing enough”,” Am I moving my head enough?” 

He was dominating the fight in all phases just mugging his man and all he can think about is any flaws that may be on display. He has the talent, work ethic and the fortitude. He just does not seem to have the wind at his back. He currently fights in a division that is so bare with talent it makes him seem like Jack f%%%kin Dempsey.

He has to move up in weight or his career will remain in neutral. He has Bob arum and Russ green burg on his side so the future holds hope for Junama but this writer is beginning to get annoyed with the lack of love that people are giving this Spark plug of a world champion


6. Bernard Hopkins  49-5,  32 knockouts

I was very close to omitting Hopkins for this list due to some fight making decisions that he has made in recent weeks. His behavior during talks with cruiserweight world champ TA was stressful to say the least. He had the perfect curtain call to end his distinguished career.

Instead he gave TA a low-ball offer and robbed us all of a huge summer promotion. I must say that at age 44 I think it is beyond time for this freak of nature to hang em up, however, How can I argue against his eminent return after bearing first hand witness to his last boxing excursion.

At this point and I have this from hard-core gamblers…When B-Hop returns he would be a betting favorite over anyone between 168 and 200 pounds. That is mind blowing for a fighter that is chronically inactive and 44 years old.

That could an over reactions to his hell bent destruction of Kelly Pavlik, whatever the case may be he remains the best light heavy weight in the world and for my money would beat anyone at 168 or 200….with ease


5. Juan Manuel Marquez  50-4  37 knockouts

Dinmita has talked himself into a real fight. I am not sure if he had a shot of 151 or if he was hype off his awesome knockout victory of Juan Diaz. Whatever the chemical imbalance JMM decided to call out FMJ.

Much to the chagrin of this writer, "Money" accepted the challenge and the biggest fight of the summer is set. This fight was not amongst my calls a year ago but in hindsight it was the perfect fight at this point in time.

Juan god bless him seems to think he can actually win. Outside of this newest promotion it is simply dumb to pick against JMM. He has a rare ability that Jermain Taylor would give his left nut for…the ability to adjust. I have watched time and time again this chess player take in,size up, and get rid of unsuspecting opponents.

JMM has underrated power for a “little” man and has serene timing on his counters shots. He is with out a doubt the second best counter puncher in boxing. He has boxing intuition that his fellow country men EM and MAB lacked. While being an advocate of not being hit while hitting he from what I can tell does not mind getting hit.

I think he is a legendary warrior who believes in himself and in this game of boxing that combination can prove to be unbeatable. The problem is his next opponent is not Juan Diaz, he will not be there to be hit, he will not tire, he will not lose focus, he is going to throw more junk at JMM then the star ship enterprise could muster.

I hope he is ready.


4. “Sugar” Shane Mosley    46-5,  39 Knockouts

The current welterweight world champion has been missing in action. I cannot blame him.  In destroying AM with a clever mix of the Philly shell and classic sugar the Stud from Cali has cemented himself as a great fighter.

He does not need FMJ or Manny to define him. He has defined himself in convincing fashion. I have heard from people who have seen that he is even more in tune with the Philly shell and seems to be on the road to creating a style of fighting that is completely new to the sport of boxing.

The biggest question for Shane is where does he go now? Cotto who has no balls ducked him; Manny wants nothing to do with Shane Mosley. FMJ as we all know currently has a full dance card. Where does this leave Shane?

It leaves him in the dark for now. You have to assume that if Cotto wins that Manny will sign to fight him for reasons that we will get into later So there goes that Pay Day.

If you are Shane you are praying that that Cotto does in fact lose SO the only person left for Manny to fight this year is Shane. FMJ/MP will take place in 2010 so for Shane that is the golden ticket that is being dangled from the heavens at the moment.

I think that with shane’x mix of counterpunching, speed, and shocking power that Manny may be the betting underdog if a super fight was to take place in November.

I hope it works out for Shane. Ever since I interviewed him I have rooted for him to make it back to the top. A punch here and some luck there he will have his chance

 

3. Manny Pacquiao   49-3, 37 knockouts

I may be in the minority on this. But that’s only because I am a firm believer in the truth. The truth is Manny is a fearsome creation that seems to be improving with every second that passes and seems to get hungrier with each mountain he climbs. He outside of FMJ is the most focused fighter in the sport.

He has found a way to expand his skill set without losing his fire to hurt human beings in the ring. What I saw on may 2nd was outrageous movement head and feet. I saw a man slipping punches while landing jarring right hooks.

I saw a man that was not afraid to use his jab despite the danger of a Hatton left hook. I saw a complete fighter that will stop at nothing to become the best in the world.  He right now is HBOS’s number one fighter but he is not the world’s best fighter and here is why. He has fought three sitting ducks in a row. 

I want you to take his last three opponents and I could name 10 fighters that could do the same thing. Diaz was a joke, Oscar a shadow of his old self, and of course Ricky Hatton who went after manny like it was a bar fight.

These wins were against Taylor made comp that really could not throw anything back at Manny. Manny has been given the HBO throne so for now we will let him bask in his glory but with his growing ego and expectations Manny biting off more then he can chew seems more and more like a distinct possibility and with the world craving $/Pac that possibility is starting to take shape.My best friend and fellow boxing fan DH thinks that Pacman is the best fighter in the world, here is what I think

I think manny is a credit to boxing, I think he is among the worlds most exciting fighters, but anyone that would say he would beat the two men below in the ring are either crazy or starved for attention

 

2. Floyd Mayweather Jr.  39-0  Who cares how many knockouts he is perfect

I cannot believe this day has come. I never thought the day would come in which I would rank FMJ anything but first... We can get into that a little further down but this is something new for me let me tell you. Boxing’s biggest draw is back and not a moment too soon. 

On may 2nd when he announced that he was coming back it seemed like boxing got a jolt in the arm. It was like a long lost sibling had come home from being kidnapped. Even though they hate Floyd’s guts the commentators over at HBO could not hide their giddiness during the telecast.

I think that we may be standing on the cusp of a golden age in the Welterweight division. Assuming FLOYD manhandles JMM in July and then shuts it down for the year his next 3 fights could look like this Cotto, Mosley, Valero.

I don’t need to say much more then that. As for why I put him above Manny. Well the main reason is that FMJ has fought at a higher level for a longer amount of time and has yet to be beaten, Manny has been stopped twice to the body and knocked out very much the same way he knocked out Hatton.

Manny has proven to have vitality in the ring where as pretty boy has not. When they do meet in the ring I would like to leave you with two things to think about

1.  The perfect foil for a Southpaw for the last 100 years is the straight right hand and you could argue Floyd has the purest right hand in this history of boxing.

2.MManny does not do well with cerebral fighters, he is much more effective against spent fighters like Oscar or organized freight trains like Ricky

 

AND THE KING OF THE BOXING RING IS.......

1. Paul Will  37-1, 27 knockouts

About 3 months ago I wrote that Paul WILL was the biggest threat to Floyd ‘s vacated position. I would like to now revise that statement. Paul Will is the biggest threat in boxing period. His length, strength, and athletic ability are beyond comprehension for his weight class of 154 pounds.

He has infinite work rate for a man his size and he seems to hit even harder now then he did at 147. Paul Will ‘s offensive wheelhouse is staggering. He can throw the right jab, the right cross, left to the body, right to the body, strafing uppercuts, side to side movement, and most of all a 6 foot 3 frame with a 72 inch reach.

This is not a heavy weight I am talking about but a former welterweight. And don’t jump the gun just yet fans. He still may drop to 147 for the right name and pay check. He is physically unmatched in the sport of boxing. He does not have an equal. You would have to make him the betting favorite over anyone at 147,154,160 and 168. 

He has a chance to become stalwart of the game for at least 6 to 8 years it just depends on his focus and how he handles success. The good news for Paul is he has already suffered his hic up so its not as of he has an unrealistic view of himself.  The question is now what.

I think a unification (even though Paul is an interim champ) with WBC 154 pound champ Sergio Martinez is a great fight and a solid test. I don’t see Sugar,FMJ,JMM, or MP calling out PW.

Cotto got asked about Paul last week and you know what he said? “No way too big” But that’s actually BS though because Paul would drop down to Welterweight for a Cotto fight in a heartbeat.

And let me remind you he would only be dropping one weight class. Boxing writers ,some fans, and a lot of people in boxing TV try to paint Paul Will as being to heavy for those men I have just mentioned. Not so.

He was a welterweight and all of those men have designs on fighting at or just under 147 pounds this year yet NONE of them want Paul…go ahead try to finesse the answer to that question but your wasting your time. Paul Will is king and the soft behavior towards him is proof of why

 

Man! It feel good to be doing what we all love doing fans. I am glad to be back in the bleacher report fold and I look forward to great fights and the stories that precede them. 

I will be around and in touch so if you have a beef with my top ten good I like people with differing opinions but remember that if you don’t know what your talking about you may get fried…. happy hunting (=

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