Boxer Power Rankings: September 2010
September is usually the time that boxing exits the slower late summer months and gets revved back up with a number of big fights.
Sadly, that's not the case this year. For a variety of reasons, several enticing bouts haven't materialized, and others have been pushed back further into the fall.
That means there may not be a lot of movement in the BoxingWatchers.com power rankings over the next few weeks.
But props still go out to the pugilists who have been performing at a high level, and they deserve to be recognized.
If you haven't seen our rankings before, bear in mind that they don't attempt to determine who's the best boxer pound-for-pound.
Instead, they attempt to evaluate who has been the most impressive most often over the last three years.
The factors that go into a boxer's score are activity, decisiveness of wins (with more points for a KO than a decision, as well as negative points for any losses) and the recent winning percentage of his opponents.
The hypothetical perfect score is 36, but anything over 15 is excellent.
With that said, let's get to this month's list!
10. David Haye: 12.16
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Few boxers are as polarizing as the Hayemaker.
The British bomber brings an air of excitement to the heavyweight scene with his power and his trash talk, but he's created just as much frustration thanks to his seeming unwillingness to fight Wladimir or Vitali Klitschko...despite calling them out.
Since he's on the smaller side of the sport's largest weight class, some boxing pundits have been speculating about the possibility of Haye matching up against Tomasz Adamek.
Until then, fans will just have to content themselves with seeing him fight the likes of Audley Harrison.
To his credit, Haye is 5-0 over the last three years, with four of the five wins coming by knockout.
9. Felix Sturm: 13.12
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The WBA middleweight titleholder keeps chugging along in his native Germany, recently making Giovanni Lorenzo his latest victim.
Sturm is 6-0-1 since October 2007 and hasn't lost at all for more than four years.
U.S. fans have only had one glimpse of Sturm, when he came to Las Vegas to fight Oscar De La Hoya in 2004.
Many observers thought he jabbed his way to victory, but the decision went against Sturm, and he hasn't been back to the States since.
8. Andre Ward: 13.64
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With Floyd Mayweather sounding uninterested in fighting in the U.S. any time soon, Ward could take another step toward becoming the face of American boxing.
Since the beginning of the Super Six World Boxing Classic, he's gone from promising but unproven talent to tournament favorite.
One of the few things that hasn't come easily to Ward is selling tons of tickets, and rumors have been flying that his upcoming bout with Andre Dirrell has been delayed because of trouble figuring out where to hold it and actually make money.
Don't expect any of this to bother Ward, though, as he's racked up a 9-0 record since late 2007.
7. Andre Berto: 14.20
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Here's a boxer with an unusual problem: he's too good for the top names in the sport to fight without at least a little concern, but he hasn't established himself as a big enough draw to be used as the hook for a major fight card himself.
That leaves Berto without an obvious next fight. He's already beaten most of the welterweights who are a step below the elite level, yet Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather haven't shown any interest in scheduling him as an opponent.
Berto has been good at staying patient and taking care of whoever does get put in front of him, going 7-0 with four KOs over the past three years.
6. Wladimir Klitschko: 15.47
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Despite repeated criticism of his opponents and his overly cautious style, Klitschko simply keeps ruling the roost in the heavyweight division.
He's won four in a row by knockout, and he'll be favored to make it five when he takes on Samuel Peter this coming weekend.
When Wlad decides to let his big right hands fly, the results can be spectacular.
Eddie Chambers found that out the hard way back in March, but many fans resented having to wait through 12 fairly unexciting rounds to get to that point.
5. Lucian Bute: 16.55
Getting left out of the Super Six hasn't hurt Bute's stock at all.
In fact, a case could definitely be made that he's the best super middleweight in the world after going 6-0 with five knockouts since October 2007.
Montreal loves Bute, and he's given the loyal fans something worth watching almost every time out.
He has a fight coming up in October against Jesse Brinkley, but you can't help but feel like even bigger things await him in 2011.
4. Vitali Klitschko: 16.86
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It's very possible that Vitali could be atop this list if he had been active for the first year of the current three-year rolling period.
As it is, he's managed to go 5-0 with four KOs in just the last two years against mostly top competition (sorry Albert Sosnowski, that doesn't include you).
No one is too enthusiastic about his next fight with Shannon Briggs, but it's not like the current heavyweight division provides many compelling options.
At this point, only a bout with his little brother or David Haye would earn Vitali much of a buzz.
3. Manny Pacquiao: 17.10
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Yes, he's got another job now. But Pacquiao is still a must-see attraction when he steps in the ring, even if that dream match-up with Floyd Mayweather remains elusive.
Pacquiao has taken some flack for signing to fight disgraced Antonio Margarito in November, and he actually brought more heat on himself for saying he felt like Margarito must have known about the loaded hand wraps that set off a firestorm of controversy.
Don't expect that to knock him off his game in November, as Manny is one of the best in the business at putting distractions aside come fight night.
2. Fernando Montiel: 22.61
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Montiel's name doesn't always get mentioned during discussions about the top Mexican boxers, but it probably should.
All he's done over the past three years is go 8-0-1, winning world titles in two different weight classes along the way.
What Montiel needs most is a signature fight or a juicy rivalry. Until he finds one, he'll likely continue to be one of the sport's most underrated performers.
1. Juan Manuel Lopez: 23.92
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Juanma lives his boxing life on the edge. He's been in trouble more times in his past three fights than you'd expect for a guy with his talent, yet he's managed to come out on top each time.
Exciting fights aren't a component of these scores, but Lopez still rates the No. 1 spot thanks to his accomplishments.
Since October 2007, he's a perfect 10-0 with an eye-popping nine wins by stoppage.