Boxing Power Rankings: The Top 10 Pound for Pound Boxers in the World

Adam DenmanContributor INovember 24, 2010

Boxing Power Rankings: The Top 10 Pound for Pound Boxers in the World

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    Boxing pound for pound list is based on the best fighter in the world disregarding weight class, and the competition these boxers fight throughout their career. Anytime these complete fighters step through the ropes, they're the favorite to win under any circumstance. A complete fighter is based upon skill level such as ring generalship, footwork, defense, and offensive output. These boxers are measured upon what they have accomplished in the ring regardless of weight class, and the most accomplished fighter of the present time. These fighters also fight the top competition at an elite level while rising up the ranks, winning championships, and defending their belts successfully.

1). Manny

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    Pacquiao punching Ricky Hatton.Al Bello/Getty Images

    After negotiations fell through with Floyd Mayweather once again, Manny moved up in weight to challenge for the vacated WBC Light Middleweight Title against Antonio Margarito.  Manny fighting for his eighth world title in different weight classes, and ended up outclassing, and demolishing the former welterweight champion over 12 brutal rounds by combination punching. On fight night, Manny was outweighed by 17 pounds, had a major disadvantage on reach and height, but he proved speed was the major advantage. Manny also knocked Ricky Hatton out in the 2nd round, made Oscar Delahoya quit on his stool, forced the ref stop the fight against Miguel Cotto, and outpointed Joshua Clottey earned him fighter of the year honors in 2008 to 2009. Other noteable wins are: Erik Morales, Marco Antonio Barrera, David Diaz and Juan Manuel Marquez. Pacquiao is an easy first ballot hall of famer, and started  his career at 105 pounds. He has beat the best of the best at numerous weight classes, but sooner or later someone will be just to big for the pound for pound king. 

    So what IS NEXT for Pacquiao? Hopefully Floyd Mayweather! Other potential fights are another against Miguel Cotto, an underserving Shane Mosley, Andre Berto, or Sergio Martinez. 

    Recomendations: Sergio Martinez is just too big and strong for Pacquiao, even though he is the better fighter, it's more risk than reward.

2). Floyd

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    The former pound for pound king dominated and dismantled Shane Mosley over  12 rounds but got hurt in the second round with an enormous right hand. Since his victory on May 1, 2010 he has been inactive but faces tax evasion and also has recent domestic violence charges against him filed by his ex-girlfriend Josie Harris including a restraining order. Negotiations with Manny Pacquiao fell through for a November fight, and his next fight is unknown. Mayweather has dominating victories over the late Arturo Gatti, Diego Corrales, a brutal knockout of Ricky Hatton,decision win over Juan Manuel Marquez and a split decision victory to Oscar DeLahoya. Many writers, experts, and fans feel that Mayweather has dodged some of the better opponents throughout his career in fear of losing his undefeated record. Over the years, Mayweather has lowered his punch output averaging 42 punches around, but has mastered the art of the sweet science with flawless defense and precision accuracy. Floyd Mayweahter is a five-division champion, starting his career at lightweight, and fighting up 154 pounds. Mayweather has two wins over Jose Luis Castillo when Castillo was in his prime, and if you watch the fight on YouTube, you will see that the judges caused a controversial  decision that Castillo should've been awarded the victory. In the rematch, Mayweather clearly deserved the victory and proved he was the better fighter.

    Other noteable wins: Shamba Mitchell, Zab Judah

    Whats NEXT for MAYWEATHER? The only fight that matter, and it's against the current pound for pound king, Manny Pacquao. No other fight really matters!

3). Sergio Martinez

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    His first fight with Paul Williams that turned into an instant classic with both fighters trading knockdowns in Round 1, and landing punch after punch against each other thoughout the 12 round affair. A very close fight that should've won the fight of the year honors, ended in a controverial loss for Martinez but the judges favored Paul Williams volume punching instead of Martinez's one punch at a time tactic. In April of 2010, Sergio fought Kelly Pavlik for the WBC Middleweight crown, and bloodied the champion over 12 rounds.Martinez became the new middleweight champion and defended in a rematch against Williams this past Saturday night. This time Sergio didn't leave it up to the judges, and knocked out Paul Williams in the secound with a beautiful left hook. Martinez wasn't really known until his fights with Williams and Pavlik, and is rising up the pound for pound charts quickly. His awkard style with fighting with his hands down, and throwing one or two punches at a time that have a lot of power behind them. In 44 wins, he only has 25 by way of knockout, but he throws very short and crisp punches.

    Who IS NEXT for Sergio? Manny Pacquiao or a 3rd fight with Paul Williams, Maybe a rematch with Kelly Pavlik, or a unification bout with Felix Sturm. 

4). Juan Manuel Marquez

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    Juan Manuel Marquez has always been one of the best counter punches in the sport, and just when you think he is losing, he comes back with firepower in both fists. In his first fight with Manny Pacquiao, Marquez was floored 3 times in the first round, and it looked as if it was going to be a rough night for the champion. Throughout the next eleven rounds, Marquez put on a boxing clinic and when Pacquiao would come with 3 to 4 punch combinations, Marquez would counter with 4 to 5 punch combinations landing at will. At the end of the fight, the bout was ruled a draw, and many observers saw the ruling as controversial, and felt that he should've gotten the win. A few years later, they fought in a rematch, once again close but this time Pacquiao knocked Marquez down once, and proved to be the one point deficit that Pacquiao needed to win. In 2009, Marquez fought in the fight of the year winner against Juan Diaz where he was pressured for the first 3 or 4 rounds, and was getting hit hard. By the fifth round, Marquez settled in and countered at will with uppercuts and hooks that bothered Diaz. In the ninth round, Marquez floored Diaz with an uppercut that he never saw coming, and couldn't get up from it.  At the end of the fight, Marquez called out Mayweather for a future fight, and he got his wish. In September of 2009, Marquez moved up in weight to the welterweight class, and was dominated through twelve rounds by the bigger and stronger Mayweather. In 2010, Juan Manuel Marquez fought a rematch with Juan Diaz but this time beat him decisively in a Unanimous decision win. Marquez currently holds the Ring Magazine Lightweight Championship belt, the WBO belt, WBA belt, and the IBO belt. His next fight is this upcoming week against Michael Katsidis, a tough Australian veteran that fights like an action figure and this fight should be explosive.

    Noteable Wins: Juan Diaz twice, Joel Casamayor, Marc Antonio Barrera, Rocky Juarez, Manuel Medina

    If Marquez wins, what's next for him? Another rematch with Pacquiao? Maybe he will move up in weight to fight the likes of Timothy Bradley or Devon Alexander.

5). Andre Ward

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    Andre Ward has climbed up the ranks of the P4P list while fighting in Showtime's Super Six Tournament for the Super Middleweight division. Before the tournament started, Ward fought Edison "Pantera" Miranda and it was his biggest step up in class at that time. Over 12 rounds, he purely dominated his opponent, landing combinations to the body and head. Miranda had no answer for Ward's speed, and skill. Ward won a gold medal at the 2004 Summer Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. While having only 19 professional fights before joining the Super Six Tournament, and many people thought that it was to early for Ward to challenge these veterans. In his first match in the Super Six, he competed against Mikkel Kessler who was the favorite to win the tournament, and Kessler came into the fight with a (42-1) record with 32 knockouts. The fight was for the WBA Super Middleweight title that Kessler held before the fight, and lost it fighting Ward. Throughout the fight, Ward pressured Mikkel Kessler and landing combinations at will with lead lefts, and rights that caused Kesslers face to become swollen. Kessler's eyes were so cut and swollen, that the referee had to stop the fight in the eleventh round because there was no reason for Mikkel to continue to take such punishment. In the second stage of the tournament, Ward faced off against Allan Green, a very strong southpaw with only one loss and has power in both hands. Once again, Ward pressured him against the ropes, and threw punches to the body and head. Allan Green could never find his groove in the fight and didn't win one round throughout the entire fight.

    Next fight for Ward: Ward vs. Sakio Bika, November 26th, 2010 for the WBA Super Middleweight Title.

    Ward is the leader in the tournament, and has become the favorite to win the entire thing now.

    Ward currently is in contract with showtime, and his 8 months are currently tied up fighting some of the fighters that advance to the next stage of the tournament such as Arthur Abraham, Carl Froch, or Glen Johnson.


6). Paul

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    Al Bello/Getty Images

    Paul Williams was orginally higher on many lists but dropped due to his knockout lose to Sergio Martinez. Williams has fought many fighters in the past few years, and had redeemed his only lose until losing to Martinez this past Saturday night. In their first fight with Martinez, Williams started slowly but midway thru the 4th round, he started putting his punches together and pulled out the victory by throwing combinations. Williams has defeated the lies of Antonio Margarito by using combination punching and Winky Wright by just throwing nonstop shots from all different angles. Williams fight in May of 2010 against Kermit Cintron was stopped in the 4th round as both fighters got tangled up and Cintron fell out of the ring ontop of a table. Cintron was unable to continue, and the judges went to the scorecards. Going to the scorecoards before the complete of the 4th round usually deems the fight as a no contest. In California, the rule is that they go to the scorecoards at the complete of the 3rd round, and WIlliams got a split decision victory. Everyone wants to see how Williams responds to his first knockout loss in his career.

    What's next for the most avoided fighter in boxing? A third fight with Sergio Martinez possibly, a fight against Kelly Pavlik, or a possible showdown at a lighter weight.

7). Wladimir Klitschko

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    The heavyweight division over the last ten years has declined dramatically and there isn't very much of a challenge throughout the division. Wladimir Klitschko has ruled the division over the past 6 years, and hasn't lost since 2004. Throughout his last 13 fights, only 2 have gone the distance while the others have been mostly knockouts or stopped by the referee for different reasons. In his last fight against Samuel Peter, Wladimir Klitschko dominated the fight with his jab and straight right hand. In there first encounter, Peter floored the champion 3 times but Klitschko did enough to still earn the victory. The fight before that Klitschko fought the one boxer that many believed to give him to toughest challenge but Eddie Chambers walked away as many others did and that was flat on his back. The heavyweight division is running out of options, and Klitschko keeps fighting boxers that don't deserve a shot at the title and he is taking them out one by one. Vitali Klitschko also holds a belt in the heavyweight division but the brothers have said numerous times that they would never fight each other under any circumstances. Wladimir Klitschko holds the IBF, WBO, and IBO heavyweight belts, and his brother holds the WBC heavyweight belt voiding a unification bout until someone else wins it. David Haye is the WBA heavyweight champion of the world, and Klitschko enemy number one on the hit list. The only fights that matter in the heavyweight division currently are Wladimir Klitschko vs. David Haye, or Wladimir Klitschko vs. Tomasz Adamek.

    Wladimir Klitschko next fight: 12/12/2010 vs. Dereck Chisora


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    At the age of 45, Bernard Hopkins is still fighting and at the top of the light heavyweight division. If their is one fighter that has never been beaten convincingly it has been "The Executioner." Bernard Hopkins made 20 successful title defenses of the Middleweight belt, and lost two questionable bouts to Jermain Taylor. Many fans, writers, and people at ringside believed that Hopkins pulled out the first fight against Taylor but the second one I have to say he lost by 2 rounds. Hopkins than moved up to the light heavyweight division by dethroning Antonio Tarver in a one sided fight and claimed the light heavyweight belt. Hopkins fought the undefeated Joe Calzaghe for the undisputed champion at that weight class, once again in a controversial loss the decision didn't go his way even though many believed he pulled out the win. Since that fight, he dominated the undefeated Kelly Pavlik and the win showed that Hopkins still had the ability to dominated a younger fighter. Hopkins is a tricky fighter with great defense, and resembles the old classic boxers from years ago thats why they label him a "throwback" fighter. One thing about Hopkins is even though he has never been dominated in the ring, sometimes he fights dirty and his fights aren't all that entertaining. Against Pavlik, Hopkins looked twenty years younger by showing speed, elusive footwork, and precision punching. In April of 2010, Hopkins fought Roy Jones Jr. in a rematch 16 years in the making and it had to be the sloppiest fight that I've ever watched. The fight was filled with holding, punching below the belt, and dirty boxing. In December, Hopkins will fight the linear champion in the division Jean Pascal to claim the light heavyweight championship once again. Pascal resembles a young Roy Jones Jr. but with less talent. My prediction is another Hopkins win by timing his right hand, and hitting Pascal as he leaps in with hooks.

    With victories over Antonio Tarver, Roy Jones Jr., Felix Trinidad, Oscar DeLahoya, Winky Wright, Kelly Pavlik, and Glen Johnson, Hopkins easily has a Hall of Fame resume.

    What's next for the future hall of famer? A fight with Jean Pascal, than maybe a rematch with Calzaghe if he comes out of retirement or a move up to the heavyweight division to prove his legacy even more.

9). Timothy Bradley

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    With his points victory over Junior Witter in Nottingham, England, Bradley captured the WBC light welterweight title and many were surprised that he was able to get the close decision overseas. Since his victory, Bradley has a dominating victory over Edner Cherry where he was outclassed with speed, and versatility. Bradley was tested in his battle against Kendall Holt where Bradley tasted the canvas twice. Early in the fight, Holt connected with an enormous left that floored his opponent and Bradley waited until the count of 8 to recooperate. The fight started to become one sided, with Bradley using his hand speed to hit Holt whenever he found the openings. In the 12th round, moments before the fight ended Holt landed a straight punch on Bradley's chin that dropped him again, and Bradley escaped with a points victory. His next opponent Nate Campbell moved in weight to fight Bradley and moments into the second round, a cut formed over Campbell's eye and just kept getting worse. Bradley dominated the first 3 rounds, and the cut was ruled that a punch landed that caused it to open. Replays showed that an accidental headbutt caused the cut, the fight was stopped beacause Campbell said he couldn't see, and Bradley was given the victory. The California Athletic Commission a few months later, turned the decision into a no contest because of the replays showed a headbutt caused the cut to open up. Bradley would later defend his belt against the unbeaten Lamont Peterson, and once again it was Bradley's footwork and speed that would dominate the fight. His stamina, agility, and cardio were second to none. Peterson started to get tired in the later rounds due to Bradley's pressure, and Bradley took advantage of that. Bradley won the fight by UD, and extended his record to (25-0) and 11 KO's. Bradley moved up in weight to fight a bigger and stronger welterweight in Carlos Abregu, but Abregu didn't have to skill to match Bradley's speed and movement. Bradley walked away with the decision victory once again.

    His next fight: Bradley will be squaring off against fellow undefeated champion Devon Alexander in a fight that signify the true champion of the light welterweight division. The fight should be held in a neutral site but somehow the fight will be in Alexander's backyard of St. Louis, Missouri.

10). Juan Manuel Lopez

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    The tenth and final spot was a toss up but I had to pick Juan Manuel Lopez. Lopez fights in the featherweight division, and he is a very powerful fighter. In 30 victories, he has 27 knockouts. That's a pretty good ratio in knockout percentage for a guy with speed and power. He has fought stiff competition thoughout his career and has knocked out the top guys in the division. Over his last 19 fights, he has knocked out or had the ref stop the fight in 17 of those bouts. The once feared, and powerful Daniel Ponce de Leon who knocked out most of his opponents, didn't last a round with Lopez. Lopez landed a barrage of punches and the fight was stopped very quickly. Gerry Penalosa a very durable fighter with a long career, stepped up in weight to fight Lopez, and took everything Lopez had to offer. Even though Lopez was landing at will with power punches, Penalosa wouldn't go anywhere. Trainer Freddie Roach didn't want his fighter taking anymore punishment and stopped the fight before it could get any worse. Rogers Mtagwa is the only fighter that gave Lopez problems and just when you thought Lopez controlled the fight, Mtagwa would come back with a flurry of his own. Lopez had to dig down deep, and used his heart to finish the bout by pulling out a close decision. Steven Luevano, another big name in the division with a lot of talent, was dominated throughout the entire fight with Lopez and was knocked out in the seventh round. In his most recent fight, Lopez was fighting Rafael Marquez and it was supposed to be his toughest fight to date. His opponent Marquez just came off 4 grueling matches with Israel Vasquez, and had the talent to provide Lopez with a very hard fight. Marquez has an iron chin, fast hands, and a long reach that would help leave Lopez at bay and than fire shots from the outside. Lopez found away around that reach, and landed cominations throughout the entire fight. Before the 9th round began, Marquez didn't answer the bell and didn't want to continue.

    HIS NEXT FIGHT: The only fight that matters in the featherweight division is Lopez against Yuriokis Gamboa. Gamboa is of Cuban descent and a former Olympian that turned pro a few years ago and fought for a world title in his 15th professional fight. Gamboa is (19-0) with 15 knockouts, and it's the battle of the best 2 fighters in the division. Gamboa makes mistakes though because thoughout the bouts he gets overconfident and leaves his hands down with no defense. In a few of his fights, Gamboa has tasted the canvas and is lucky one day a heavy puncher is going to knock him down, and keep him down.


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    There were many boxers that could've have reached the P4P top 10 rankings, here are a list of the honorable mentions:

    11). Lucian Bute

    12). Vitali Klitschko

    13). Miguel Cotto

    14). Nonito Donaire

    15). Fernando Moniel

    16). Andre Dirrell

    17). Andre Berto

    18). Chad Dawson

    19). Rafael Marquez

    20). Chris John