Holiday greetings boxing fans! This Boxing writer wishes all those who tune in a Merry Christmas and all that jazz. I Want to first say thank you to the many fans, promoters, and people in boxing who have commented on me and my team's work in this past year. We are planning big things for 2009 and we already have the ball rolling on covering fights and reporting news exclusive to bleacher report in the coming year.
I come to you my friends to bring you the newest edition of my tri annual power rankings as well as my year end awards for the greatest sport on earth. In order to understand my rankings you must first understand the formula. To see this formula simply refer to my First power rankings I published in September as I don't have the time to go through it twice.
I wish to point out that Super Joe from the Wales has been forever banished from my rankings due to his comments "Boxing is a dying sport." Yeah Joe tell that to the 1.4 million people that tuned in for the "dream match" while well under 300,000 people tuned in for the "battle of the super powers."
I hope you fans enjoy this Holiday double I am offering up and as the fight scene crystalizes in the coming weeks I will keep you informed on what fights I will be covering and blogging from. Until then fans be well and stay safe
Tri Annual Power Rankings December 19th 2009
1. Floyd Mayweather (38-0)
The best fighter in the world is biding his time...There has been alot of conflicting reports on just what is going on in camp Mayweather but the bottom line is evident...Mayweather is eyeing the winner of this single elimination tournament that has taken shape in the last year. By the way I called it
2.Manny Pacquaio (48-3)
I know why number two after his watershed moment. I will get into this later in this article but we need to keep perspective and not get carried away with what happend two weeks ago. In my rankings three months ago I stated, "Once Manny decimates a spent oscar."
Again I was right but the point is that Oscar was and is spent. I knew it and now everyone does therefore just how impressive is it that he beat up on a shot old fighter? It wasn't. He beat the biggest "name" in the sport and thats what driving the "Manny is the best in the world bandwagon" right now
3.Wladimir Klitschko (52-3)
As I said before this situation is hurting boxing. I don't think Wlad realizes just how much Americans hate watching him fight. Not just because he is always beating on hapless hopless American challengers, Its more because he is not a polarizing figure, he doesn't not appear on sportcenter or nike commercials.
He is the most boring dude in sports right now but he is the unified heavyweight champion. What a paradox....It hurts me to say it because I hear that he is a great person...there has not been a more irrelevant world heavyweight champion since Larry Holmes.
4.Paul Williams (36-1)
Since I touted this man one of the most dangerous men on the planet he has not let me down. He registered two wins, impressive wins, in TWO different weight classes while being a alphabet welterweight title holder. Astonishing. He barely broke a sweat in his one round trip to middle weight and then Distroyed Verno Phillps On route to a 154 pound interim title(the concept of the interim title and the role it is taking in boxing disgust me). Paul is in the drivers seat for big money fights I just hope someone with a name has the you know what to engage him.
5.Chris John (42-0)
As usual the Indonesian sensation scored a victory in his most recent bout and with his resume and the fact that he has held the WBA Featherweight title for six years next year means that he is super ripe to get super payed.
The problem is two fold though....one, no one wants to go to his native country to fight him, two, he some what strays from really gettting tested and I think the big lights of vegas make him unsure to some degree. Never the less it is time so we as boxing fans can only hope he bites the bullet.
6.Benard Hopkins (49-5)
I will stick my foot in my mouth on this one. I would have never believed that father time could shoot up my rankings with such haste but after being an eye witness October 18th I must say you can not have a top ten with out Bernard Hopkins. There is more to follow about Mr Hopkins so we will focus on him later in the piece.
7.Juan Manuel Marquez (49-4)
Three months ago I was close but opted not to put him My top ten because of Chris John and Manny already occupying spots at around the same weight. But after thinking about it and watching his fight with Joel Cass I can no longer in good honesty not have this man in the top 10.
He cemented his hall of fame induction by seizing Linear Lightweight Championship(which is nothing to sneeze at) and putting Manny on notice that he is not out of the woods yet. I hear he is going to fight Juan diaz which is ok I guess but there has to be better fights then THAT out there right?Remember....Manny is being hailed as the best fighter in the world but according to Ding magazine he is not even the best fighter in the lightweight division
8.Juan Manuel Lopes 24-0
What a monster. Since I dubbed him "fire in a bottle" all he has done is produce two first round knockouts. I mean brutal knock outs. This man has not seen the second round in three fights at a world championship level. The only reason I dont rank him higher is because he needs to establish a more solid line of credit before I see him as a top tier P4P fighter
9.Chad Dawson (27-0)
The young vibrant light heavy weight champion steps onto the big stage next year. He recently finalized a two fight deal with HBO the first of which will be a yawner against Antonio Tarver. I am glad he is finally getting his shine after years in boxing witness protection with Showtime.
Speaking of the Showtimers how steamed are they at HBO. They spent butt loads (at least 8 to ten million dollars) of cash putting Tarver and dawson on the same cards building up to their clash and then HBO comes right in and takes over...unreal
10.Ricky Hatton (45-1)
I keep doubting the hitman but quietly he has gotten his career back on track. Although he was sluggish on Versus last May he was very fun to watch in his de facto 140 pound unification with Paulie Malignaggi (who by the way fought so soft that night...he is a disgrace to boxing) He looked sharp and appears motivated to right the wrong in his career. His diet and his lack of head movement is what makes me nervous and I can see Manny smashing him on May 2nd.
CJ Vicks Year End Awards
Prospect of the Year
Alfredo Angulo (13-0)
By far the most impressive up and comer I saw this year. He is in so many words a bigger Antonio Marg. He has an work rate that see him throw 100 punches a round and his commitment to body punching almost ended a man's life earlier this year.He is also technically well schooled and very eclectic with his punch distribution.
He is a rough tough super welterweight that is going to win win win. Did I mention he spars with Antonio Marg as well? Next up a showcase fight against the affable Ricardo Mayorga and then hopefully this star can find his place in the sky.
Fight of the year
Manny Pacquaio vs JMM for the WBC Super featherweight title
March 15th 2008: Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, Nevada
Now fans that really know boxing wil try and argue with me that the fight 14 days before this was the fight of the year but thats hog wash. This fight had it all. Since their disputed draw in their first fight boxing had clamored for this match and they didn't let us down.
Manny physically imposed his will more often then not but Juan pushed manny to limits he has not seen as a fighter even in defeat. The picture perfect left hand shot that put JMM on the seat of his pants was the difference. I as many others feel that JMM won the fight but thats another story for another day
Fighter of the year
Benard Hopkins (49-5)
I know how can this be? Well after thinking about it and looking at the year in true retrospect its not even close. If you look at the who people are fighting you can get a good sense how good they really are. In the year 2008 hopkins took on the toughest comp in the sport and came out a winner. I feel as many others do that he beat super Joe in april...landed the louder meaner effective blows.
He did not get the decision but he was not BEATEN. He then dismantled Kelly Pavlik with relative ease. Joe was the undefeated unified super middle weight champion of the world and Mr. Pavlik was the in his prime undefeated unified middle weight champion. No one in boxing has defeated tougher comp this year then Mr Hopkins. I present to you the fighter of the year
Ps...Manny did not win because he lost to JMM in my mind...beat a paper champion at 135 pounds...and then beat a fighter past his prime...not cuttin it Manny sorry.
Random thoughts to end the year
-Cheers to the channel versus. They have been providing excellent boxing action for fans free of charge and it is paying dividends.More and more fans flock to their broadcasts and boxing officially has a new venue for World class cards.
-Poor Oscar...I called it but that does not mean I enjoyed it.
-How bout sugar shane? When I interviewed him I told him he was a class act and a hall of famer(check the interview on you tube) then I come to find out he is a cheater...I won't slam him because I did look up to him but it killed me to hear that.
-Cotto needs to be impressive in the first part of 2009,because, HBO not picking up his come back fight is a clear sign that people in the industry see him as damaged goods
-How funny was the track altercation on HBO's 24/7? I was dyin watching that.
-I want to personally thank Jack Loew for granting me interviews and being extremely graceful to me and my team at the Hopkins/Pavlk promotion.
-I want to thank the man who filmed all my interviews Dave burns and my tech crew in New Jersey headed by John Ness.
Ok boxing fans I am back to what I do for a while but I will appear again soon to provide some updates and fill you guys in on what fights we will be covering for bleacher report in the new year...take care and happy holidays!