Avila’s Pound for Pound List: January 2011

PacquiaoMargaritoWeighIn_Villasenor_4It’s a new year and there are some new names on this list. Of course not everyone will agree but this is how I see it:

1. Manny Pacquiao (52-3-2, 38 KOs) – Pacquiao’s only 32, but the Filipino super fighter is running out of opponents. Sugar Shane Mosley looks to be next in line. After Shane the Pacman will have to look elsewhere. There are not many options unless he fights an Andre Berto, Timothy Bradley or Sergio Martinez. But those guys are too dangerous for too little money. That’s where Floyd Mayweather needs to step in. The Las Vegas welterweight brings the most money to the table, but he’s also the only one capable of possibly dethroning the king.

2. Floyd Mayweather (41-0, 25 KOs) – At 33, Mayweather still has enough juice in those reflexes to beat any of the other welterweights or junior middleweights in the world. His problem is the Nevada court system. Can he beat the charges that continue to mount up against him? Until Mayweather is cleared in court don’t expect him to fight Pacman. It would be a great fight but legal entanglements could wash that fight aside. Will he still have enough after that to contend with Pacman?

3. Bernard Hopkins (51-5-2, 32 KOs) – Soon to be 46 years old on January 15, the ageing but masterful fighting Hopkins will once again jump in the ring against a young stud full of promise. Hopkins drew with Jean Pascal on Dec. 18 in the Canadian fighter’s hometown of Quebec. Now it looks like the money is right and Hopkins and Pascal will do it again. Hopkins is truly one of the all time greats of boxing. He proves it over and over again. A lot of people don’t realize how good he is.

4. Juan Manuel Marquez (51-5-1, 37 KOs) – His rallying from a knockdown against boxing’s exciting Michael Katsidis was exhilarating. Both boxers gave a clinic on how to fight with technique and excitement. The fans went crazy over the battle that Marquez won by his superior skills. But Katsidis made him work for it. Now Marquez is set to meet with former Mexican hero Erik Morales in April. It’s a bout that should have happened 10 years ago. But Mexican fans will love it.

5. Sergio Martinez (46-2-2, 25 KOs) – Maravilla’s one-punch knockout of Paul Williams puts him in “The Punishers” former spot on these rankings. At 35, Martinez does not have a lot of time to prove his worth. The big win over Williams provides him one big shot at big money and fame. Picking the right opponent is very important for Martinez who has few options. Still, he has plenty of speed and guile left to make money and create havoc in the middleweight and super middleweight division.

6. Timothy Bradley (26-0, 11 KOs) – The Palm Springs resident at 27 has beaten a number of former undefeated fighters and world champions. Now he faces young stud Devon Alexander who lobbied long for this fight. Sometimes its not good to get what you wish. Bradley has the style to pierce the Alexander defense that resembles Lamont Peterson. But that’s based on paper analysis. They’re fighting in the ring on Jan. 29 in Michigan. It should be good.

7. Andre Ward (22-0, 13 KOs) – Ward, 26, is blessed with super speed and agility that enabled him to stay undefeated. Two years ago he became a well-skilled technician in the ring to accompany that athletic ability. Now he’s a very dangerous fighter and should win the Super Six Super Middleweight Classic. Ward is one of three Northern California boxers that are on this list.

8. Robert Guerrero (28-1-1, 18 KOs) – Lefthanders with speed and power like 27-year-old Guerrero are feared for many reasons. First, as a southpaw he already has an advantage. When you add speed and power to that you have a very formidable prizefighter. Guerrero also has gained new boxing skills every year since becoming a professional and it shows as he moves up various weight divisions. He’s the second Northern Californian on this list.

9. Nonito Donaire (24-1, 16 KOs) – Sometimes Nonito Donaire is just too good for his own good. What boxer out there wants to compete against someone like the Filipino Flash? His performance against the Ukrainian Vladimir Sidorenko was nearly picture perfect. Can anyone beat Donaire? Next up is another pound for pound fighter Fernando Montiel. That will be a great fight. Donaire is the third Northern Californian on this list. It used to be that Southern California bred all of the state’s boxing talent. No More. The north has arrived.

10. Paul Williams (39-2, 27 KOs) – Williams, 29, may have lost in devastating fashion but it doesn’t mean his career is over. The tall gangly volume puncher has a lot left and a lot of opponents. The loss may have opened up more doors for Williams who was avoided like old cheese. Somebody out there must want to fight Williams. Anyone care to be first?

11. Fernando Montiel (43-2-2, 33 KOs) – The 31-year-old Mexican speedster from Los Mochis, Mexico disappears then reappears like Houdini. Several times he’s been counted out but then returns with a big win. Like Nonito Donaire he’s an electrifying fighter who can end a fight with startling finality. His win over Hozumi Hasegawa exemplified that with an exclamation point.

12. Amir Khan (24-1, 17 KOs) – After one heck of a fight with Marcos Maidana and surviving an onslaught that few others could, Khan showed that he’s more than just speed and talk. He’s got heart too. There were numerous opportunities for Khan to give up but he absorbed Maidana’s best shots and in the end was ruled the winner. He’s also on the pound for pound list.

Honorable mention:

Abner Mares – He reminds me of Marco Antonio Barrera circa 1999. He has all of the tools.

Rafael Marquez – His loss to Juanma due to a bad arm proved he has something left.

Giovanni Segura – Beating Ivan Calderon was a big moment in his career.

Wladimir Klitschko – He avoided James Toney for 10 years. What kind of champion is that? Now it’s too late. There was a lot of money on the table back in 2004 but he spurned it.

Miguel Cotto – Losing to Pacman is no shame. Can he get another big win?

Lucian Bute – The Romanian-Canadian is a solid fighter who needs a marquee fight.

Yuri Gamboa – Too bad Gamboa hasn’t fought Caballero. Otherwise he would be high up on the list.

Comment on this article


-Condor :

The fact that Vitali Klitschko is not even HM destroys the credibility of this list. In fact, VK is arguably #1 P4P, as he's hands-down the most dominant fighter in his division, and has been for years. How many rounds has he lost since Lewis almost 8 years ago? Granted, the guy's style isn't the most crowd pleasing, but that's not how you determine the P4P best fighter. If that was the case, then the late, great Diego Corrales and Arturo Gatti would have been atop the list. The chasm between VK and his competition is wider -by miles- than anyone else.

-Condor :

Are you being facetious when you say Wladimir Klitschko AVOIDED James Toney for 10 years? If you're being serious, then Editor Woods should send you in for a urinalysis. Immediately. The ignorance of that statement is alarming, it really is. Even when WK was going through that chinny period, Toney -who has absolutely NO power whatsoever at heavyweight- wouldn't have been able to bloody his nose, let alone hurt him. Klitschko would have had James Toney eating through a straw had they ever met.

-Radam G :

Anybody in the know knows that the K-bros/docs did indeed duck Toney at the advice of the great boxing guru Manny Steward. Manny ain't a punk or coward. He would gladly tell anyone about how dangerous that Toney was for the Klitschkos. A great trainer uses prevention in protecting his charge. For he is a boxing trainer, not a fire fighter. I too believe that Toney would have toast and roast the arses of the K-bros/docs a few years ago. Ducking ain't bad! A true warrior knows when to duck and how to make that buck. This game is a reality that is stranger than fiction. Holla!

-MisterLee :

Floyd should be booted on purely on inactivity. I mean sure, the guy on one hand has the biggest paycheck and fight in his life sitting on the backburner while he makes his close ones like eggs and beats the yolk, and sure he could have cleaned out 147, b/c as he said, he's back b/c he "missed the fans" and "he knows there's a long line of fighters waiting for him, and he'll take them one at a time"... however, first one has to be a blown up lightweight over 35, then the next, tho i was fooled, has to be a an ex champ over 35, and floyd knows nobody what he does, he'll be second to pacquiao until he actually fights him, so he's basically backed into a corner, and is lashing out on his close ones. If there ever was a chicken, he does chicken right. And pac may would be a great fight, i can't call the winner, but i'd say it'd be good enough for 2-3 fights, thus them making over 100 million dollars, being able to respect each other after the fight, and it'll be monuments good for boxing, since even the commoner knows who they are. But i also see pac fighting 2 more big fights, then quitting. too bad too bad. but yeah i always felt andre ward was a complete fighter, and he's only getting better. Holler! holler at radam the roast and frank, happy new year!!!

-the Roast :

@Condor, you have to be right. If Wlad avoided Toney he did him a big favor. Toney would have been crushed IMO.

-Condor :

@Roast. You're absolutely right. I know there's a lot of venom toward the Klitschkos, I understand that completely, but to suggest that either one of them avoided James Toney is laughable, it really is. Hmmm, so WK ducked Toney and instead fought a then undefeated and INFINITELY more dangerous Samuel Peter? Wladimir absolutely was going through a rough patch then (Sanders and Brewster), but even still, Toney simply wouldn't have had the power to keep WK off of him. He would have put James Toney to sleep, and Vitali would probably have killed him, literally (the Briggs bludgeoning would have been child's play in comparison). And again, even if one bitterly loathes these guys, it's impossible to ignore their unquestioned dominance. They're both top 5, and Avila not recognizing such hurts his credibility. I mean really, Paul Williams gets KO'd and is 10, and you can count on one hand the amount of ROUNDS VK has lost over the last 5 years, and he's not even HM?? And I love Hopkins as much as the next guy, but he comes off of a loss and he's 3? Sure, a disputed loss, but he was knocked down twice. Yes, the first one was bogus, but then he should have righted that wrong by NOT being knocked down again. After the 2nd knockdown, he needed to do what Marvin Hagler used to do: Bring his own judges into the ring and score a KO (or at least a knockdown or two).

-Radam G :

It's GREAT that the K-bros/docs have loyal, loyal fans and fanfaronades, but the truth is what it is. Just Twitter Manny Steward, Max Kellerman, Kevin Iole, Dan Rafael, USA Today, HBO Boxing, the Ring Magazine, and umpteen boxing authorites and magazines, just to name a few. It is HARDCORE BOXING KNOWLEDGE of the K-bros/docs ducking James "Lights out" Toney a few years ago by the advice of great boxing guru Manny Steward. [I guess somebody ought to start laughing. After all, around that time both brothers/doctors lost. Doc VK quit on light-punching Chris Byrd and Doc WK was kayoed by Byrd's first cousin -- Brewster (name may be wrong or misspelled).] TRUTH, TRUTH that the K-bros/docs are the best heavies around in the weakest division of all times. Nobody is faulting them for that. Nobody blamed Rocky Marciano and Larry Holmes for coming around when the division was weak. Though it was not as weak as it is nowadays. The K-bros/docs could not wear Holmes's jockstraps [lmao] or Marciano's boxing boots. [Da suckas feet are too freakin' big. Talking about discovering "Bigfoot," lmfao! Dat sucka probably has bad feet and is putting pee pee on them like Doc W.K. puts on his bad hands. I've always wonder why nobody has ever caught Bigfoot, lol.] We all have opinions, so don't get hyper-mad or go ballistic. To each his own. "Avila" is a very solid, solid boxing scribe, who is from a family of boxers with a lineage of a 100 YEARS. Being a boxer-turned-baseball player and lover, he is a breathing, walking Queensberry's Rule boxing dictionary and encyclopedia, and his credibility stands as tall as the mountaintop of Mount Everest. I think I even saw a gaint status of him up there. [Just joking my arse off. Hahaahahahaha! Life is a bytch, then you die and take an eternal dirt nap. That is if you don't get your cremation shower on.] Holla!

-the Roast :

Condor, Wlad is mos def underated by the GP. He was chinny in the past but he has adjusted and become a dominant champ.

-Condor :

I neither like nor dislike the Klitschkos, just call it like I see it. These guys -especially Vitali- simply dominate their competition like no other fighter today. For Vitali Klitschko not to make Avila's top-19 simply lessens his credibility (in my eyes). Even the most ardent Klitschko hater would acknowledge his place in the top 19. A little perspective on Vitali. He retired on his stool against Byrd due to a torn rotator cuff. The fight wasn't even close. VK was winning by a landslide when he chose to quit. Against Lewis, he was winning the fight prior to the cut, and his status was actually elevated in defeat. But yes, both are losses. It's hard to fight at the elite level and not lose. There isn't a more dominant champion than VK in the world today (just ask Shannon Briggs and Cris Arreola, two reasonably respected guys, what they think of VK after sharing the ring with him). The only way I'd ever believe that either K ducked Toney is if they came out and said it. These guys have never ducked anyone (Mayweather, for example, has a reputation for ducking legitimate opposition, and rightfully so; the K's have no such reputation). So the only guy they ever ducked was the lightest hitting heavyweight of note in the last 30 or so years? JT was a joke at heavyweight. Even the chinny version of Wlad would have smiled at James' Sunday best.

-#1 PacFan :

The fact that Vitali Klitschko is not even HM destroys the credibility of this list. In fact, VK is arguably #1 P4P, as he's hands-down the most dominant fighter in his division, and has been for years. How many rounds has he lost since Lewis almost 8 years ago? Granted, the guy's style isn't the most crowd pleasing, but that's not how you determine the P4P best fighter. If that was the case, then the late, great Diego Corrales and Arturo Gatti would have been atop the list. The chasm between VK and his competition is wider -by miles- than anyone else.
You mean to put a Heavyweight on top of the P4P list? Get out of town, this division is the weakest of them all. The K bros do dominate but against whom? Be real here there's no comp on this division.

-Radam G :

I'm not going to get into anybody's grill and talk jive about his eyesight. Pretty and prefection are in the eyes of the beholder. No GREAT champion in any era has ever quit on his stool. [Great pugilists are always saved from themselves or knocked cold or pass out from heat or exhaustion.] But than again, they knew how to properly punch. Back in the day, they fought hundreds of bouts and never torn a rotator cuff. Those suckas even fought in 45-to-100 round bouts. [Tearing the rotator cuff usually come from that bullshyt nowadays nonsense of that media-called up jab -- all arm. Nowadays mistrained amateur boxers do that junk a lot, and with inexperience trainers, they bring it to the pros. That is a bunch of crap. Why nowadays pro boxing doesn't have an up cross? My Bad! I musta' fo'got! I've seem Doc V.K. throw something that looks like an up right cross. And now one knows why dat bad-hands sucka uses his son pee pee on his handwraps, lmfao! Besides Doc V.K. is plenty lucky that he hasn't gotten too many competent referees. He back hands in the upper motiion -- totally illegal. You cannot backhand sideway or upper in boxing -- in the pros or amateurs. In Germany, Doc. V.K. gets away with murder. In the United States, the refs don't let the doc get away with that jive. My boy Cris Arreola went fat-arse, lazy-arse and dumb-arse on me, and let the opportunity of a lifetime slip away. Doc V.K. got his movement on, because the ref was watching for da doc's sneaking up backhands. Great boxers, with those fast-arse hands give an optical illusion of that media so-called up jab. A darn, properly, thrown jab is straight as an arrow with serious body -- or like the oldtimers say BOOTY -- in it! ("Put some booty in that jab," they'd scream.) The closest thing in todays boxing reality to a jive "up jab" is an uppercut jab. People who don't know boxing, just as the people who don't know magic, don't know how the optical illusion is perform by the pugilist or the magician.] In recent times and nowadays, boxers spar hundreds of sessions and never tear a rotator cuff. Tearing one is because of throwing arm punches -- inproper to the max. Thank God that the K-bros/docs got taught correct professional punching late in their careers. Nonetheless, Big bro, Doc VK slips back into bad habits in a New York minute. How lucky he is that the division is so weak that no fighter know how or has caused ton of injuries to his arms and shoulders with that arm-punching jive. Greats like Joe Frazier, Jack Dempsey, Rocky Marciano and even small heavyweight John Fitzsimmon were notorious for using the tricks of the trade to force shoulders out of sockets of arm punchers. Also to do what light-punching Chris Byrd caused Doc V.K. -- a torn rotator cuff. For da credible (in my 20-5, not 20-20 eyesight) Superbureau chiefy David-Double-A, I think that he is generous to the K-bros/docs. Bert Sugar doesn't rank them in his top 100 of heavyweight bums of all times. Matter of fact, he once said that "the jury is not still out on the [K-bros/docs], the d*mn jury has run away LAUGHING! Some fighters just can't get da LUV. "This IS IT" about this piece. Time to move on. Holla!