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Avila’s Pound for Pound List 2012

BY David A. Avila ON January 24, 2012
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MayweatherOrtizFinalPC Blevins2Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao have been in the news lately, mostly regarding a possible mega showdown.

It doesn’t appear the top fighters pound for pound will meet in the ring this year but we can tabulate this year’s current and best prizefighters pound for pound. A number of changes have taken place down near the bottom of the Top 12 list.

Toward the end of the year Giovani Segura was beaten soundly by Brian Viloria and Amir Khan was beaten controversially by Lamont Peterson. The new addition to the list is a heavyweight.

Here is the list:

1.) Floyd Mayweather (42-0, 26 KOs) – The Las Vegas prizefighter known as “Money” may not engage in the ring very often but, in those moments he jumps in, the arenas fill up and it becomes a real prizefight. As a pay-per-view attraction Mayweather, 34, attracts more than 1 million buys and as an actual boxer he’s a defensive wizard. When it comes to winning a fight he knows the moment to fire rapid combinations and how to set up opponents. The knockout win against a very strong Victor Ortiz and the dominating win over a fellow boxing wizard Juan Manuel Marquez two years ago prove he’s number one.

2.) Manny Pacquiao (54-3-2, 38 KOs) –  Pacman had extreme difficulty against Mexico’s Juan Manuel Marquez and Mayweather had a rather easy time. That’s the difference between Pacquiao and Mayweather and it’s the reason they won’t be fighting each other very soon. Not that Pacman would try to avoid Money, it’s mostly his promoter that doesn’t want to risk his marketability with a possible loss. It makes more sense for Pacman to fight Miguel Cotto, Juan Manuel Marquez, Brandon Rios or even Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. for sure wins. But the world wants the Filipino superstar to fight Mayweather and that’s a long shot for 2012.

3.) Bernard Hopkins (52-5-2, 32 KOs) – The “Executioner” just turned 47 years old and most consider him the light heavyweight champion of the world. Though his last fight ended bizarrely as a technical knockout loss against Chad Dawson, it was overturned and ruled a No Contest. That still leaves some questions for Hopkins and what he plans to do next. During the last press conference he mentioned several times the end is near. Just who will he fight remains the big question. Boxing has been his whole life and his technical prowess in the ring will be talked about long after he retires.

4.) Juan Manuel Marquez (53-6-1, 39 KOs) – Just when most experts were saying “Dinamita” was going to get smoked he surprised them all and actually gathered their backing after losing controversially against Manny Pacquiao. The Mexico City boxing wizard proved perplexing in his last fight and though he moved up in weight he showed he could carry it well and not lose quickness. At most Marquez is a lightweight or junior welterweight, but the pure intelligence he shows in the ring allows him to compete against bigger and stronger guys. He’s a marvel.

5.) Timothy Bradley (28-0, 12 KOs) – Now that “Desert Storm” has left his contract problems behind he can tend to his business as one of the most under-rated prizefighters in the world today. If there is anyone who can challenge Mayweather or Pacquiao it’s Bradley. He’s strong enough to move up to junior middleweight and fast enough to hit and not get hit in return. Most opponents look at his knockout numbers and scoff before exchanging punches. But once they feel what he can do they shrink away. Bradley can do it all. Now who will be the one to step up against the junior welterweight champion?

6.) Sergio Martinez (48-2-2, 27 KOs) – The southpaw middleweight has it all: speed, cunning, power and intelligence. What he doesn’t possess is a large following. Outside of boxing and some female fans who’ve seen his photos, Martinez flies under the radar of popularity mostly because of his recent opponents. Sure, the European middleweights are ranked, but Darren Barker, Serhiy Dzinziruk and Matthew Macklin are not going to gain a fighter many fans in the United States. He’d be better off fighting former champion Sergio Mora or moving up in weight and tackling Lucian Bute. If Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. doesn’t want to tangle there are others.

7.) Robert Guerrero (29-1-1, 18 KOs) – Guerrero, 28, is the best choice to make a competitive fight Floyd Mayweather. Sure, you could put Saul “Canelo” Alvarez in there but he doesn’t have the technical know-how of Guerrero. Not at the moment. The best fight that the fans deserve is Guerrero versus Mayweather. The Gilroy prizefighter has all of the tools including youth and a southpaw stance. He’s captured world titles as a featherweight, junior lightweight and was interim lightweight champion.

8.) Nonito Donaire (27-1, 18 KOs) – Very few prizefighters have the entire package like “The Filipino Flash.” Donaire, 29, can show dazzling speed, super ring intelligence and awkward but effective boxing skills. What sets him apart from anyone on this list is his crackling knockout power. When Donaire cracks somebody clean they’re not getting up without assistance. Next for the former flyweight, junior bantamweight and bantamweight world champion is a test at junior featherweight. Don’t be surprised if he blows past his next opponent and meets new WBA titleholder Guillermo Rigondeaux.

9.) Andre Ward (25-0, 13 KOs) – The super middleweight world champion has all of the boxing tools necessary for a long run as an elite fighter, especially in the intelligence department. That’s where he separates himself from the others. Once upon a time Ward, 27, was strictly an at-arms-length kind of boxer who ran around the ring and seldom punched and never fought inside. Those days are long gone. Now Ward can fight inside even more effectively than from the outside. He’s a beast at 168-pounds. 

10.) Wladimir Klitschko (56-3, 49 KOs) – “Dr. Steelhammer” will never fight his older brother Vitali Klitschko so we’ll never know the true heavyweight world champion. This aside, Wladimir has the technical prowess and is younger so if any Klitschko deserves to be on this list it’s him. Because he seldom fights in the U.S. the heavyweight division has been ruined for the past several years as a gate attraction. That should end this year when rumors persist that Klitschko, 35, will be meeting Southern California’s Chris “The Nightmare” Arreola.

11.) Amir Khan (26-2, 18 KOs) – Though “King Khan” was deemed the loser by decision last December it was atrocious scoring and refereeing that gave the fight to Lamont Peterson. Khan drops a bit on this list because he could have ended the fight earlier but just didn’t finish the job. With his amazing speed and surprising power Khan can rebound very quickly. A match against Mayweather seems like a good course of action for this year if Guerrero or Alvarez doesn’t materialize. 

12.) Paul Williams (40-2, 27 KOs) – The tall left-handed Williams has only two losses yet the boxing world has deemed him over and done. With his height and reach the prizefighter known as “the Punisher” still deserves an opportunity to show what he can do on the big stage. Fighting other southpaws has proven to be a major weakness in his game, but let’s see what happens against a right-hander. Williams next match comes against Nobuhiro Ishida from Japan. That’s the guy who knocked out James Kirkland in Las Vegas. Good test.

Honorable mention:

Vitali Klitschko, Lucian Bute, Abner Mares, Chad Dawson, Miguel Cotto, Brandon Rios, Chad Dawson.

Fights on television

Fri. ESPN2, 6 p.m., Ruslan Provodnikov (20-1) vs. David Torres (21-2-2).

Comment on this article

Radam G says:

No spit or sh*t from me. I respect everybody's opinion. And I expect for Money May to always be able to run the greatest P4P number one con in the world for as long as he stays clear of Da Manny and keep fighting da finished and da greeny. Holla!

MisterLee says:

I agree with Bradley, and how pple are underrating him (in much the same way that Ward was and still is being underrated (after all his work, and a broken hand, he's still "ducking" Bute). However, I don't know how Guerrero is higher than Martinez (who has fought some intense opposition) or even Ward (who has fought the stiffest competition and came out the most unscathed). Also, I don't understand how Khan can be in the top 12 when Peterson beat him, and even if you didn't score it for him, he beat Khan up. And I don't know why Lara isn't placed higher than Williams b/c he beat Williams up. Anyway, my top 10 in some order but no particular order: 1.) Donaire 2.) Mayweather 3.) Pacquiao 4.) Marquez 5.) Ward 6.) Martinez 7.) Bhop 8.) Bradley 9.) Either or both Klitschko Brothers 10.) Cotto

boxplatino.com says:

How on earth is Floyd whose last 4 fights (in a span of 4 years) were against Hatton, a Lightweight Marquez who went to Welter, an almost 40 yr old Mosley, and Victor Ortiz rated as #1? I dont get it.

I would have Ward who cleared the Super Middleweights beating everyone in clear fashion at the #1 spot.

Same thing with Donaire, the guy has beaten 2 guys in a spectacular fashion: Montiel and DArchynian... and that is it. He is beating Flyweights in catchweights (Narvaez and Tyson MArquez) but nothing else.

I think these lists are based on popularity rather than on skills and level of opposition.

the Roast says:

I have a problem with Williams at 12. He is a deadman walkin. Donaire at 8 is too low. Ward at 9 too low. Geurrero..?? Give me a phucking break. Mayweather is too inactive to give him the top spot. Pac, Floyd, Ward, Sergio, Donaire are the top five. The rest do not matter. Top TSS posters, B-Sug, RadamG, Mortcola, Dino, Condor, Ultimo, CavemanLee, Ali, Robert Curtis, F4JC....

amayseng says:

wow when is this list from?

floyds last fight was not a quality win due to the sucker punch one two knockout, also he lost 2 of the 4 rounds of that fight to ortiz, he didnt look very good, off footwork, missing and whiffing punches. sure he had a great round 3 with good right hands.

pacman at 2? hmm, didnt look too good against jmm last fight, although jmm is a stellar skilled fighter, who honestly should be checked for peds, because he looked like a beast physically at 38 years old, more muscle then he has ever possessed, a bit questionable.

bernard should be top 3 i agree because he beat the legit lhw champion 2 times in a row with the second fight a boxing lesson and should have gotten two knockdowns scored with the ref missing it.

ward should be up as well, he just cleaned out the smw division in a tournament, the most difficult eliminator there is in sports.

i would rate martinez ABOVE floyd and manny, seriously he has had better quality opposition in the last two years than them both, pac is a stud but he brought dlh down, cotto down, clottey was a statue and margacheato didnt have concrete, although pac destroyed him..

you should be listed due to your quality opposition and wins.. look at boxrec and compare resumes as of late, you should be listed by your resumes, not by how skilled you are and hypothetical thoughts. top 3 to be shuffled

1 sergio
2 ward
3 hopkins
4 pac
5 floyd

vinnieq says:

Great Top 6.

Haven't watched enough Martinez and Bradley to know whether they should be further up..
I like the fact that Hopkins, Marquez are in top 4. Makes sense if you're rewarding intelligence and skill appliance...

Money Jay says:

Floyd should be #1, he's the biggest draw and name in the sport, with out a loss! He was pitching a shut out against the younger, stronger Victoria secret ortiz, and if the head butt didn't happen, she woulda been tko'd by the 8th...now Andre Ward isn't getting any justice on this list, the kid is a beast, he should at least be top 5..

ali says:

1.Mayweather
2.Pac
3.Donaire
4.Ward
5.Marquez

riverside says:

Avila,
Money may or pac in the one and two spots. Hopkins way too high in the list, Good props for TB, he seems to find a way too always win! Guerrerro is more like in the twenty's slots not top ten. Paul williams?

Radam G says:

This will be the year that Money May sinks, as his uncles did back in da day. That's my PREDICTION! And I'm sticking with it. Nobody can fight once a year for four years and believe that he is still that great and can rule. Expect for Money May to get a beatdown in the way that my boy Hector "Macho Time" Camacho put it on my boy Sugar Ray Leonard. Holla!

MisterLee says:

My favorite posters are Radam, The Roast, B-Sug... I have to think more about others. I'm honestly only on here a few times a week, so I miss a lot. Any new prospects? Where's EGGGS????

Condor says:

My top 5 P4P are Vitali, Wladimir, Floyd, Manny, and Ward (Donaire's right on the cusp). But I'm like Ron Paul, a strict constructionist. P4P isn't about favorites, drawing power, who bleeds the most, or who provides the most action. If it was, Arturo Gatti -RIP- would be a P4P all time great. It's simple. It's about skill, and the gap that exists between a fighter and his respective opposition. People that malign the opposition are unreasonable and without merit (especially with regard to the K's; then get off the couch and kick their *** for a guaranteed 8 figures). Anyway, here's the cream of the crop in my eyes right now.

"B" says:

I am so tired of talking ab


out maybes and whos on what list. i have said all i want to say lol. But Ohh wait....(Radam G) I think i just say Manny walk by a minute ago; if you hurry maybe you can carry his bags, kiss his ring , and then ( for your sake I hope) collect your check for being Pacman fanclub president for this fiscal period. I will be waiting for your well-caculated and pro Manny jibberish retort . Lol

Radam G says:

Whatever, B for _____! HATER! LATER! Give a life and quit hatin' on brains and class. Holla!

lawdy says:

If there is a fight between manny and floyd, I dont know what will happen. Several years ago manny hands down. Now toss up. The longer this fight is out in limbo the more it favors floyd. Floyd has a style and skill set that will allow him to fight and beat elite fighters for several years still. He could be a bernard hopkins. Manny relies on athleticism speed and power to overwhelm opponents. He will lose this as he ages making him vulnerable. I am a huge pacman fan but thats fact, and floyd knows it too.

MisterLee says:

I vote the troll "B" to moderated off the Forum. That was an emotional and antagonistic message with no content or substance, and the attack wasn't even boxing related...

Hidalgo says:

Mayweather does not belong on the P4P list. He doesn't fight regularly. He won his last fight by sucker punch. His fight before that he fought old, washed-up, roid-less Mosley. Before that he fought a Marquez who is normally two sizes smaller than him, and Mayweather cheated on his weight fo that fight. These are not the traits--should not be traits--of a P4P boxer. Floyd is the most hyped and one of the most talked about boxers in the sport today, but he is no P4P best. He hasn't proven it yet.

Hidalgo says:

I ask the exact same question, boxplatino.com. Floyd has done nothing in the last four years to prove he deserves any P4P rating. It's all hype. The biggest problem I have with him being on the list is that he does not fight regularly. And he usually picks his fights for money value rather than picking the best and most challenging opponent. Floyd is supposedly #1 P4P. Fine, why did he pick #0 P4P Ortiz to fight? Answer: easy win, easy money. That's it. Floyd is no P4P boxer.

mortcola says:

Honorable mention for Vitali? The most purely dominant fighter in boxing today? Paul Williams is better, and good but middle of the pack Guerrero is better? You must be kidding.

Radam G says:

Wow! I must surely DITTO Hidaglo. He makes a great, great case for the Money May HYPE. Money May is about da moola, not the FIGHT. I must say rightly so, because the game is called prizefighting, not pridefighting or even rank fighting. And with all that said, I must say that Money May is a manipulating genius.

He has fooled ton of fight experts, wannabe experts and pseudoexperts into giving him props for being a great bullsh*tologist, master optical illusionist and in the way of the late, great -- but not that great -- Sugar Ray Robinson, masterful pugilistic con man, who could get on his duck, but still be called the best ever, he had all the luck. Money May is all that and a bag of chips nowadays. He doesn't have to do _____, but he will still get all the prays. Holla!

dino da vinci says:

@Radam. On the subject of Ray Robinson and Floyd Mayweather, Jr.

Yes, Ray ducked some opponents. He, like Floyd, was a real risk/reward type businessman. However, he DID fight enough great fighters to prove you could argue him for the number one slot. My opinion, had he fought Murderer's Row, he'd have a couple of extra losses (and, of course, even more wins) on his ledger. But he did do enough. Look at the weight advantages he allowed LaMotta every time they fought. And Jake was no walk in the park. Floyd, different story. Doesn't fight often, doesn't fight best available opponent, and even with that said, you'd have a hard time arguing he doesn't deserve the top slot on the imaginary list. (Well, not you of course, but you know what I mean).

I believe Floyd will continue to pick his spots carefully, knowing that he allowed all-time legendary status slip away. And there is nothing that can be done about it now. He doesn't have Ray's resume, and can't get there now.

Radam G says:

Back then, all fighters allowed large weight limit, DDV. And, unlike the boxing wiz Willie Pep, SRR fought cab drivers, bellboys, and meatpackers to inflate his record. Lil' Floyd is reflection of SRR. People have selected research and inattention. Holla!

amayseng says:

hidalgo is right.

floyd is the most skilled and talented fighter, but like i mentioned as well he doesnt have the quality resume and wins to be top lb 4 lb

Radam G says:

Dino da Vince, I did a quick pull of the real spit in archives of SRR and added to my above scribble. Check it out. Holla!

Shoulder Roll Defense says:

The pull counter, "shoulder roll" expounded illustrates why Floyd Mayweather is in a league by himself. True boxing fans know that the essence of the "sweet science" is hit, but not get hit. Who does that better than "Pretty Boy" aka "Money Mayweather"? My P4P list is as follows:

1. Floyd Mayweather

2. Andre Ward

3. Nonito Donaire

4. Sergio Martinez

5. Manny Pacquiao

6. Wladimir Klitschko

7. Vitali Klitschko

8. Bernard Hopkins

9. Timothy Bradley

10. Yurkois Gamboa

Condor says:

Wlaker Smith fought Jake LaMotta twice in the same month (with another fight in between), and at a HUGE weight 15 pound weigt disadvantage (he asked for no catchweight). There's tons of hatred here for Ray Robinson, but I'm always irked by it (it stems to his being an evil guy, a serial ducker, a pure punk). No, I'm with Ray Robinson. A guy that shits his pants at the thought of fighting a dangerous opponent does NOT fight Jake LaMotta TWICE IN THE SAME MONTH!

brownsugar says:

Rigondeaux,... Ward,.... Floyd,.... Pac,.... Vitali,..... Gamboa,.... Martinez,..... Bradley,... Donaire.

dino da vinci says:

@SRD. Where's JMM?

Radam G says:

Oh, YES! Money May is quite convincing with his optical illusions. He fights non-threating chumps. So upside his noggin or torso, he needs not worry about the lumps. And the con that he put on his fanboys, groupies and nuthuggers is simply amazin!' And to accept his bullsh*otology, he has 'em blazin!'

Dat's my boy. Off doze suckas born ev'y minute, make dat money. Ain't life such a joy. To the Money May "Big Boy Mansion," deze suckas are supplyin' da sweet, sweet HONEY! Much power to a guy, who whups his babies' momma's arse, stay outta jail, get on his DUCK, and still has the best of LUCK! With his fly way of having his way, he can be P4P until doomsday. Staying away from Da Manny, he doesn't even have to pray. His fantasy of destroying Da Manny, Stanks -- I mean Yanks -- believing that ____, they just want it to stay. And on da Bobfather, they put da blame. But Money May knows that on his Lil' Floyd's money-luvin' a$$, Da Manny will serve some deadly game. Holla!

Bursting bubbles of invincibility, some people just cannot take. They rather carry on the great fake.

Shoulder Roll Defense says:

@SRD. Where's JMM?


I don't think that Marquez defeated Pacquiao during their last fight, I scored it a draw. He is an elite fighter that has regressed to a degree. Although he defeated Michael Kastidis 3 fights ago, he was dropped and hit a lot. I can't think of one fighter on my list that I would replace him with. However, he definitely is a future hall of famer. There is a chance that he will be moving up in weight to face Lamont Peterson. In his current state, I pick Peterson to win this fight by decision!

Radam G says:

SRD may just be spot on about the hyper-boxing, head-butting Peterson taking down the crybaby Marquez. I can see it occurring.

Bradley and Peterson are both dome blasters, but is Peterson is more stealth with his use of the head-butting trick of the trade. Holla!

dino da vinci says:

I don't think that Marquez defeated Pacquiao during their last fight, I scored it a draw. He is an elite fighter that has regressed to a degree. Although he defeated Michael Kastidis 3 fights ago, he was dropped and hit a lot. I can't think of one fighter on my list that I would replace him with. However, he definitely is a future hall of famer. There is a chance that he will be moving up in weight to face Lamont Peterson. In his current state, I pick Peterson to win this fight by decision!


Fair enough. I would like to point out that the little fella moved up in weight and possibly scored a draw. JMM has never gotten the love he deserves. It happens.

edsa says:

You compare Meyweather and Pacman in their fight against Marquez and then you make conclusion that Meyweather is the no. 1 P4P. Also you make us believed that Meyweather KO Ortiz fair and square.
What about comparing Oscar fight, who dominate the fight convincingly and their fight against Hatton, again how easy Pacquiao demolished both as compare to Meyweather. You forget the facts that Meyweather comes fightnight against Marquez as middleweight while Marquez as light welterweight.

boxplatino.com says:

"Floyd should be #1, he's the biggest draw and name in the sport, with out a loss!"

Yeah no losses because he is fighting Baldomir, Mosley, Lightweight Marquez and Victor Ortiz. COme on! Who is his Hagler or Leonard? Castillo? give me a break

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