Fans have been hoping to see Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather face off since the Bush-Cheney administration still held power in Washington D.C. They've been the two top fighters of the past decade and it's no surprise that they top this ranking.
But this is a list packed with Hall of Famers. Fighters who win the Boxing Writers Association Fighter of the Year honors are usually coming off the kind of career-defining years that place their names into conversations about all-time stars.
Because Pacquiao was a multiple winner I've cast the net all the way back to 2001 to fill the list out to 10.
Nicknamed "The Road Warrior," Glen Johnson has fought and won against the best of his generation at super middleweight and light heavyweight. Even as he has reached his mid-40s in the past few years, he has remained a formidable stepping stone.
Johnson had a career-defining year in 2004. He started by winning the vacant IBF light heavyweight title by decisioning Clinton Woods. He then KO'd Roy Jones Jr. in Round 9, when doing so still meant something. He finished the year by beating Antonio Tarver by split decision.
Vernon Forrest was murdered in 2009. As a boxer he was an accomplished amateur and professional, winning world titles at welterweight and junior middleweight.
As a member of his community, Forrest was noted for his charity work on behalf of people with developmental and psychological disabilities. He was widely recognized as one of the sport's good people.
Forrest took his career to the next level in 2002, when he beat future Hall of Famer Shane Mosley in back-to-back fights.
Ricky Hatton is among the most exciting and popular fighters of the past decade. The two-division world champion from Manchester, England, has been a part of some of the sport's most high-energy events.
Hatton's breakout year in the sport was 2005. In June he won the IBF light welterweight title from Kostya Tszyu when Tszyu failed to answer the bell for Round 12. At the time Tszyu was regarded as a top pound-for-pound fighter.
In November of that year Hatton solidified his standing at 140 pounds by knocking out Carlos Maussa for the WBA strap.
Sergio Martinez's autobiography defies belief. After a promising career as a soccer player in his native Argentina, he took up boxing at 20 and somehow managed to learn quickly enough to become an all-time great.
Still, the late start delayed Martinez's march to the top. When he finally broke out big time in 2010 he was already 35.
That year Martinez captured the middleweight lineal world title by beating Kelly Pavlik by decision in April. That November he solidified his hold on the belt and his status as Fighter of the Year when he avenged his 2009 loss to Paul Williams with a stunning Round 2, one-punch KO.
Nonito Donaire has won world titles in four divisions, from flyweight to super bantamweight. He has recorded some of the most dramatic stoppages of the past decade.
He was the runaway candidate for Fighter of the Year last year, when he faced a quartet of world champions who were all ranked within the top 10 at 122 pounds.
In February 2012 Donaire captured the vacant WBO super bantamweight title by beating Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. by split decision in a fight that wasn't actually even close.
In July he added the IBF title to his collection by decisioning the nearly six-foot tall Jeffrey Mathebula. In October he stopped Japanese star Toshiaki Nishioka.
Donaire capped off the year in December with an exciting stoppage of Jorge Arce.
James Toney has led one of the most colorful careers of any fighter in his generation. As a young middleweight and super middleweight he was an elite talent and world champion.
As a short, overweight heavyweight, he has still had enough talent to outbox some of the best in the world, even into his 40s. Toney is also by far the greatest boxer in recent years to compete in mixed martial arts.
In 2003 James Toney proved just how great he was, regardless of weight class. In April he became a three-division world champion, capturing the IBF cruiserweight belt with a bruising decision victory over Vassiliy Jirov that ranks among the best fights of the past decade and the best of all time at cruiserweight.
In October Toney moved up to heavyweight and beat the top American heavyweight of his generation, Evander Holyfield, by TKO in Round 9.
Thanks to the Showtime Super Six, Super Middleweight tournament, Andre Ward has been able to clean out his division more thoroughly than any champion in recent years. The tournament format allowed him to beat the best of the best between 2009 and 2011.
He didn't even have a close fight during the entire tournament.
In 2011 he culminated his triumphant run through the tournament with back-to-back, one-sided decisions over Arthur Abraham and Carl Froch.
Bernard Hopkins has spent the past decade redefining what it is possible for a professional athlete to do as they age. Even as he approaches 50, Hopkins continues to compete and win at world-class level.
But in an earlier era, Hopkins was among the most dominant middleweight champions of all time. And 2001 was the year when he established his tight grip on the 160-pound crown.
Hopkins had captured the IBF version of the belt in 1995 and made 11 successful defenses heading into his April 2001 showdown with WBC champion Keith Holmes. Hopkins unified the belts with a unanimous decision.
Perhaps Hopkins' signature moment as a professional came at Madison Square Garden in September, just weeks after the tragic attack on the Twin Towers. Facing undefeated, three-division world champion Felix Trinidad in front of what was essentially a hometown crowd, Hopkins shined.
He out-fought the Puerto Rican great all night and closed him out with a TKO in Round 12.
One of most important stories of the past decade in boxing has been Manny Pacquiao's exciting and triumphant climb up the weight classes.
Just how good he has been can be seen at a glance when looking at the list of Fighter of the Year winners. Pacman has won in three different years.
In 2006 Pacquiao started the year in January with a Round 10 TKO over Erik Morales, avenging a 2005 loss to the Mexican legend. In the November rubber match Pacquiao stopped Morales by Round 3 KO. In between he stopped tough veteran Oscar Larios.
In 2008 and 2009 Pacquiao put together one of the great runs in recent times. In March 2008 he won his second fight with his greatest rival, Juan Manuel Marquez, by split decision.
In June he stopped David Diaz in Round 9. In December he made Oscar De La Hoya quit on his stool after eight brutal rounds.
In May 2009 Pacquiao recorded one of his most iconic knockouts, putting Ricky Hatton to sleep in Round 2. He closed out the year in November with a brutal Round 12 TKO of Miguel Cotto.
Floyd Mayweather has been the top pound-for-pound fighter of his era. He is a leading candidate to win Fighter of the Year honors this year, after notching completely one-sided decisions over Robert Guerrero and Saul Alvarez.
But 2007 was the year when he truly took over as the top name in the sport. In May of that year he faced Oscar De La Hoya in a fight that would set pay-per-view records.
The intelligent De La Hoya fought a smart tactical battle against Mayweather, but I still don't see how judge Tom Kaczmarek came down in favor of the Golden Boy, 115-113. I don't really think the fight was ultimately that close, and I saw it the same way Chuck Giampa did, 116-112 for Mayweather.
In December 2007 Mayweather once more took part in a major boxing event, as he faced then unbeaten, two-division world champion Ricky Hatton.
The wildly popular Hatton was followed across the Atlantic by thousands of his fans and the MGM Grand in Vegas temporarily looked and sounded like the home pitch for a Manchester City game. Mayweather kept his own "0" safe, recording a Round 10 TKO of the tough Brit.