Welcome back boxing fans! I, CJ Vick, would like to introduce my tri-annual power rankings.
Every three months I will study and interpret the current landscape of the pugilist craft. These rankings are objective and the truth. I also wish to point out that it is absolutely insane to have weekly rankings like ESPN or even monthly rankings like ding magazine.
What is the point updating pound for pound rankings if the combatants are only active maybe two or three times a year.
If a boxer is considered a top-tier fighter, he usually fights two to three times a year depending on an array of mitigating factors such as age, health, and promoters. The point is that by assembling pound-for-pound lists every three months there is a good chance that there may be something to actually update(imagine that ESPN!)
In closing, I wish to say that this is a win/loss sport. It is a black and white situation, plain and simple.
Each man is judged by his own merit, and he if starts to slip, we as real fight fans must call it what it is.
Lastly, I may catch some heat for this, but due to my own personal bias and the simple fact they are short on high profile promotions, I won’t be including 108 pounders in my power rankings.
See you next week for reaction to the HBO PPV card this weekend. If you don’t know what I am talking about don’t feel bad...many people are in your boat
The Top 10
1. Floyd Mayweather Jr (39-0, 25 KOs)
I know he is not active, but anyone who has cable has seen this man’s work ethic don’t think for a second that this man is not working on his craft in his spare time which by the way is ALL the time.
Just because we don’t see Floyd box does not mean he has stopped boxing. Besides with Mr. Manny’s prospective victory over a spent Oscar gives him the perfect reason to rake in another 20 million. Oh yeah just in case you find the $7 million in jewels that were taken from Joy Sinclair’s room, make sure you return it!
He has come out and said that he will issue a $100,000 finders fee...right so I am going to give you $7 million and get $100,000 in return…no doubt “money.”
2. Manny Pacquiao (47-3-2, 35 KOs)
I have heard time and time again that this man is the number one. A case can be made for sure, but his skill set is not on par with the man above of course we will have the chance to see that notion through to its conclusion.
Manny is an awesome force of nature with a Prince Hamed type of popularity in his native country.
At some point in the last year, Manny made the choice that he wants to be the preeminent fighter of his generation. When he beats Oscar in December, and then decimates a shot Ricky Hatton in May, the stage will be set.
3. Wladimir Klitschko (51-3, 45 KOs)
In Boxing’s most glamorous division, he is a very real unified title holder.
His passive style is awful, but he has avenged his once tainted rep with a string of wins be it against peach cans or not.
I give him his respect, although his style mixed with no-name opponents has our poor friend Wald in danger of being ignored by history.
The time has come for him to clean up the division, not dust it. When is HBO going to admit that he is great for the boxing community, but not the American viewing public? Nevertheless, he is the unified heavyweight champion so I can't keep him out of the top three.
4. Joe Calzaghe (45-0, 32 KOs)
I am catching heat from my boys for putting Joe down to four, but lets keep it real—this man did not start fighting stiff competition, in my opinion, until he met Mikkel Kessler in the Super Middleweight unification.
So that would mean that has only fought 2 fights against established champions, and while he outclassed Kessler, he was exposed in some ways by the ageless, funless Bernard Hopkins.
Again I have to follow the principles of ranking someone, and while I think he is ripe for a fall he checks in at number four simply because he currently holds belts in two different weight classes.
I believe he is the only man in boxing that can say that. I guess HBO's Jim Lampley was right there is "no one in boxing just like Joe Calzaghe."
5. Kelly Pavilk (34-0, 30 KOs)
I will be in attendance October 18th to see America’s bright new confident champion.
The only reason he is not higher is based on merit. He has to pay some dues and register some big time wins against big time prize fighters NOT big time talents such as Jermain Taylor or Edison Miranda.
The kid has it all, and at this rate he will have it all before it’s all said and done.
My one problem with the Ghost is his ducking of Arthur Abraham. Outside of that, he is a real golden boy in skill, not name.
He will see a different kind of animal next month and how he reacts will go a long way towards defining him as a fighter right now. Good luck Kelly.
6. Paul Williams (34-1, 25 KOs)
This man is 6 foot 2 with a stiff jab and an endless work rate. He avenged his only loss in spectacular fashion.
He beat Margarito, who is the linear champion, and which is highly arguable.
Williams is a dangerous two time champion who is having a hard time lining up opponents. He should take it as a compliment because the sky is the limit for this kid as long, as he can avoid brain farts like the egg he laid against Carlos Quintana.
Moving forward, he has been compared to Thomas Hearns, which is crazy, but his ambition to campaign at higher weights could give him titles in several classes like The “Hitman.”
7. Chris John (41-0, 22 KOs)
I know what you're thinking: who is that?
Let me break it down for you boxing fans, this man is simply one of the longest tenured champs in boxing.
He has held and defended the WBA featherweight title since 2003, and he is undefeated.
John is from Indonesia and is largely unheralded, but his merit is to be respected.
His lone blemish is a draw, so he is not perfect but he is as close to perfect in boxing as you can get.
My problem with this guy is that he has no ambition to go after big money fights in the states although he did BEAT Juan Manuel Marquez, who for crazy reasons, is seen as a top five fighter by respected boxing scribes.
The point is, until someone proves otherwise this guy is the goods and it's time he got paid. I should also point out that Mr. Manny Pacquiao cleaned up at featherweight but didn’t seem to chase this fight. That should tell you something about Chris John.
8. David Haye (21-1, 20 KOs)
The former unified Cruiserweight champion is in the midst of trying to burst onto the boxing scene. He has a nice head start.
He made the traditionally lackluster division worth following and asking about.
He isn't a dancer or a technician—he comes to knock you OUT. Haye is moving to heavyweight and thank god, boxing needs it.
He is confident and a little cocky, but good! The fact that he is promoted by Golden Boy means that he needs two wins at heavyweight to be in line for a title shot.
Maybe three, but with his drawing potential and Oscar's check book, two solid wins in any fashion will net this guy a mandate for a title shot.
I am very excited about what this Heavyweight prospect could bring to the sport. He lost to Brit Journeyman Carl Thompson early in his career, but since then has been a straight wrecking machine.
9. Sergio Mora (21-0,1, 5 KOs)
I know…how can I rank this guy in the top ten? Because I am using the formula that should be used; although he only has fought 21 fights, he has not lost, and he is the WBC 154 pound champion.
He has a little glamour to him based on the contender and just had a bit of a watershed moment in his conquest of Vernon Forest.
Mora is someone that people will pay to see if he can get through this rematch. We must give him his respect if he comes out of this fight unbeaten.
He opted to fight a mandatory against a dangerous veteran a second time even though he had three big money fights on the table at different weights.
He seems to be a good guy, and his record can not be refuted. Neither can his world champion status. I see him fighting at middleweight, and if the money is right super middleweight.
A fight with Jermain Taylor has been discussed for years should Jermain claim a piece of the Super Middleweight title in a fight makes sense.
10. Juan Lopez (22-0, 20 KOs)
One of boxing’s youngest brightest stars continues his rise to superstar status. This guy is fire in a bottle.
A smooth, quick boxer, who, is going to supplant Miguel Cotto as the best fighter from the great island of Puerto Rico. He also hits like a truck and has an infectious personality that can be seen in his style and interviews.
I can't wait for him to campaign at higher weights and with Bob Arum’s zest for loot that step shouldn't be far away. A good thing for him to do would be to clean up at Super Bantamweight (he already has the WBO title in tow) and then market himself to fight a Humberto Soto or Juan Diaz. That is a couple of years from now, but hey, its fun to speculate.
Why They Did Not Crack the Top 10
Oscar De La Hoya (39-5, 30 KOs)
Please…he got tattooed by a guy that has no pop in his punches and seemed diminished for the first time that I can remember.
"The Golden Boy" has lost every fight that could elevate him to becoming a great fighter going on 9 years now. He can bring them out, no doubt, but his loss total coupled with no world title makes it impossible to justify putting him in the top ten.
Bernard "B-Hop" Hopkins (48-5-1, 32 KOs)
He looked…well old, to be frank, in his last fight. He got hit more then ever and that is alarming for him to say the least. Too many losses and no world title, I guess it’s a “Golden” theme this go round.
Miguel Cotto (32-1, 26 KOs)
His loss was so bad that it really hurt him and his status.
He isn't going to fight for the rest of the year, which is nothing short of a shocker.
He is really emotionally scarred by the loss. I liken it to Rocky getting knocked out by Mr T in part three. Not only was Rocky physically beat up, but it took him months to get his head right.
This is no different.
He needs a peach can, and then a title fight to get his "mojo" back. Until then, no world title means he is on the outside looking in.
I am sure I am missing someone and feel free to step up and comment, however this is boxing as it stands today, Sept. 9, 2008. You might not like what I have to say but based on my formula it is the truth.
These are the top ten fighters in the game today and I will argue with anyone who says otherwise. They are champs with great records and impeccable credentials.
This is always subject to change but take these guys in, they are the best that this great sport has to offer. If you don’t recognize some of the names its okay, look em up because they are doing work right under your nose. Until next week kids.