Dear Oleg and Samuel, I hope you were both watching the fight last Saturday night as Israel Vazquez and Rafael Marquez showed what real prizefighting is supposed to look like.
Please don’t resemble the heavyweight farce exhibited by Wladimir Klitschko and Sultan Ibragimov two weeks ago.
After witnessing one of the greatest fights, greatest three fights for that matter, what comes next?
Marquez and Vazquez left many in the crowd breathless.
Now that we know the winner between the two Pound for Pound fighters it’s time to update a new list. Here we go.
Dropped from the new list are Jermain Taylor and Ricky Hatton, who, though courageous in their bouts, must be scrapped in favor of two others like Miguel Cotto a newcomer to this list after beating Shane Mosley.
A new element has been added to determine the listings. In the past, the rankings were decided solely on wins, losses, fighting skills and quality of opponents. One new consideration will be the excitement and entertainment factor of a boxer. A primary reason for this new element was watching the heavyweight fight between Wladimir Klitschko and Sultan Ibragimov. Their mutual refusal to exchange or take chances proved another factor is needed.
Fans expect and deserve to see great fights from anybody mentioned on this list:
Pound for Pound list
1. Floyd Mayweather (39-0, 25 KOs) – It took a check left hook to keep Floyd Mayweather on this list. If he had proceeded to pot shot Hatton to victory there would have been a new fighter at the top of this list. One other thing about Mayweather is he does not hold. He can stand in front of an opponent and slip, block and counter with the best in the sport.
2. Manny Pacquiao (45-3-2, 35 KOs) – Pacman won by decision against Marco Antonio Barrera but what’s very impressive is he’s one fight away from capturing the trifecta against Mexico’s terrible trio of Barrera, Erik Morales and Juan Manuel Marquez. Pacman is boxing’s most exciting fighter hands down. Just a slip from Mayweather and in goes Pacman to the top spot.
3. Israel Vazquez (43-4, 31 KOs) – El Magnifico powered through near defeat the way real champions do. His remarkable victory reminded me of the late Diego Corrales willing his way to victory in his first fight with Jose Luis Castillo. Israel Vazquez is finally getting his due after years of fighting beneath the notice of boxing fans. He is one of the best today.
4. Kelly Pavlik (33-0, 29 KOs) – His back-to-back performances against former Pound for Pound fighter Jermain Taylor nailed him down as one of the premier prizefighters at any weight division. Few expected Pavlik to win a boxing battle. But for 12 rounds he pounded his way to victory behind a bazooka jab and some belly busting punches. He never stops moving forward. He’s like a Terminator.
5. Bernard Hopkins (48-4-1, 32 KOs) – The Executioner was supposed to retire three years ago but here he is fighting yet another fighter considered one of the best fighters in the world in Joe Calzaghe. Though many fans consider him boring, those who admire his technical proficiency sit in awe as he makes each and every opponent fight at his pace, not their’s. Bernard Hopkins is the Ezzard Charles of our day and a master boxer.
6. Joe Calzaghe (44-0, 32 KOs) – The Welsh fighter has been undefeated forever it seems, but sadly he’s never fought another elite boxer in his entire professional career. Sure he’s battled with some tough and talented fighters, but Hopkins represents the first time Calzaghe steps in the ring against a fighter considered one of the best in the world. Can’t wait.
7. Juan Manuel Marquez (48-3-1, 35 KOs) – Now it’s big Poison’s turn to do what little Poison almost did, beat a fellow Pound for Pound fighter. Marquez has the technical prowess and the mental aptitude to match punches with the hurricane fury of Pacquiao. It’s going to be great on March 15 in Las Vegas. Don’t miss it.
8. Miguel Cotto (31-0, 25 KOs) – Beating Shane Mosley, let alone surviving 12 rounds with the former Pound for Pound fighter, catapults Cotto to the list. I must confess I was one of the doubters but you can’t beat Mosley, Paul Malignaggi and Zab Judah on luck. Those wins proved that aside from being a strong punishing fighter, he’s also one of the more intelligent boxers with his ability change up if something doesn’t work.
9. Juan Diaz (33-0, 17 KOs) – In the beginning when he first captured a lightweight title he was considered the weakest of the titleholders in the 135-pound division. Now he’s considered the best and though he doesn’t punch as hard as the others, his stamina and punch output surpass anybody he’s faced. He has a big test this weekend with Nate Campbell.
10. Rafael Marquez (37-5, 33 KOs) – Rarely will you see a defeated fighter give such a great showing and keep his reputation intact. Little Poison nearly beat Israel Vazquez and proved once again he’s one of the elite fighters in any division. That jab and his combinations are precise and deadly. He’s beaten several elite fighters in his career.
11. Winky Wright (51-4-1, 25 KOs) – Winky is another of those fighters you just can’t beat convincingly. In recent times Wright has become more aggressive and less defensive and he’s done it effectively. Plus, he’s not afraid to fight anyone in the world. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Winky fight a heavyweight.
12. Joan Guzman (28-0, 17 KOs) – Guzman is slick, quick and ready to slip anybody’s combinations with the fluidity of mercury. The Dominican dandy recently turned off a few fans recently in his fight against Mexico’s Humberto Soto, but I’m willing to give him another crack to prove his ability. Next up is Scotland’s Alex Arthur in the glens. It should be interesting.
Cristian Mijares, Ricky Hatton, Ivan Calderon, Junior Witter, Jermain Taylor, Shane Mosley, Oscar De La Hoya, and Vernon Forrest.
Fights on television
Fri. ESPN2, 6 p.m., Thomas Mashaba (20-1-4) vs. Cristobal Cruz (35-11-1).
Fri. Telefutura, 8 p.m., Rogers Mtagwa (22-12-2) vs. David Martinez (18-3-1).
Sat. HBO, 6:30 p.m., Oleg Maskaev (34-5) vs. Samuel Peter (29-1); Juan Diaz (38-0) vs. Nate Campbell (31-5-1).
Sat. Showtime, 9 p.m., David Haye (20-1) vs. Enzo Maccarinelli (28-1).
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV