After Felix Trinidad's brilliant demolition of Ricardo Mayorga Oct. 2, boxing's pound-for-pound ratings welcomed a new entrant.
An updated list:
1. Bernard Hopkins: The undisputed middleweight champ did what was expected of him Sept. 18, stopping undersized Oscar De La Hoya to stretch his 160-pound reign to 19 defenses. It's hard to believe the “Executioner” is 39 years old, because he shows no signs of slipping. Next for Hopkins could be a showdown with Germany's Felix Sturm, a solid 160-pounder who showed good skill in losing a controversial decision to De La Hoya June 5.
2. Floyd Mayweather: “Pretty Boy” Floyd hasn't fought since May 22, when he pounded out a tough decision over a determined DeMarcus Corley. Mayweather is fighting more flat-footed these days, presumably to enhance his nonexistent box office appeal. Could meet resurgent Arturo Gatti in Mayweather's only chance at headlining a pay-per-view show.
3. Felix Trinidad: “Tito” is back, better than ever. His bludgeoning of Ricardo Mayorga Oct. 2 was a masterpiece, and the eighth-round knockout thrust Trinidad right back into the big money sweepstakes. Talk of a rematch with the recently-defeated De La Hoya has already surfaced, though word is the “Golden Boy” will drop to junior middleweight and maybe even welterweight. But Trinidad-De La Hoya 2 is huge money. If not, BHop-Tito 2 is one of the best fights in boxing.
4. Antonio Tarver: Tarver probably needs to get in the ring soon if he has any hopes of capitalizing on his May 15 shocker over Roy Jones Jr. And if you want to be really skeptical, the “Magic Man's” one punch knockout may have lost some luster after Jones' one-punch KO loss to limited Glencoffe Johnson Sept. 25. But there is no denying that Tarver is one of the premier talents in the game.
5. Erik Morales: Whether you think “El Terrible” is slowing down or not, the fact is that he continues to win. And provide exciting fights in the process. His July 31 slugfest with Carlos Hernandez was a microcosm of his thrilling career, and Morales will probably better that when he meets archrival Marco Antonio Barrera Nov. 27 in a rubber match. Winner gets bragging rights forever.
6. Manny Pacquiao: Pacquiao was rumored to be fighting Barrera in a rematch of last year's surprise victory for “Pac-Man”, but negotiations fell through. Now, suddenly, he is without a dance partner. The fight most would like to see is a rematch with Juan Manuel Marquez, but negotiations for that seem to be going nowhere as well. Whatever happens, Pacquiao needs to get back in the ring soon.
7. Marco Antonio Barrera: Barrera pretty much answered the question “is he washed up” with a beautiful boxing display against Paulie Ayala in June. Granted, Ayala is no Pacquiao, but Barrera looked like the “Baby-Faced Assassin” of old. It set up a rubber match with Morales perfectly. It will happen Nov. 27 in Las Vegas.
8. Winky Wright: The rematch with Shane Mosley in November could be nothing but bad for him, since he's expected to win and couldn't possibly look better than he did in the original. Needs a fight against a Hopkins, De La Hoya or Trinidad desperately – though that isn't his call. He is willing, but highly skilled, a southpaw and not marketable. Neither Trinidad nor De La Hoya will be anxious to step in ring with him. Hopkins may be willing. It would be a great fight.
9. Oscar De La Hoya: De La Hoya's appeal probably took a bit of a hit in his one-punch KO loss to Hopkins. But he's still a money machine, and a rematch with Felix Trinidad would probably register as the second-highest grossing non-heavyweight fight of all time. Just behind Trinidad-De La Hoya 1. And proved against Hopkins that he can still fight.
10. Juan Manuel Marquez: Engaged in the May classic against Manny Pacquiao, but, like Pacquiao, hasn't done much since then. Recorded a snoozer victory in the main support to Hopkins-De La Hoya, but, apparently, needs a real challenge to inspire him. When on, has ability to beat Pacquiao, Morales and Barrera.
On the brink: Diego Corrales, Jose Luis Castillo, Cory Spinks, Kostya Tszyu