Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Boxing Bulletin Pound For Pound Top 15

It's time again for The Boxing Bulletin to update our pound for pound list.

There have been some significant changes to the our top 15 since last time, although as expected, Manny Pacquaio remains #1. The new junior-welterweight champion solidified his lofty status with his brutal demolition of our previous #14 ranked fighter, Ricky Hatton.

Photo © Ray Kasprowicz

Have a look...

Since the publication of our previous list on March 2nd, we've added two new members to The Boxing Bulletin P4P panel - our new British Scene writers, Dave Oakes and Matt Chudley. With two new lists being submitted, there was a little more volatility to our rankings than would normally be expected over a two month period.

1. Manny Pacquiao (KO 2 over Ricky Hatton - May 2)

The Pac-Man continues to amaze. His recent blowout of Ricky Hatton not only keeps his place on the top of this list, but it makes you realize just how special he really is. The scary part is, the new Jr. Welterweight Champion still in his prime.

2. Juan Manuel Marquez (vs Floyd Mayweather - July 18)

Every time Pacquiao does something out of this world, Marquez looks even more brilliant. Though he doesn't hold an official victory over Manny, there was little to choose between the two over 2 fights. Next is the former #1 P4P fighter, Floyd Mayweather.

3. Bernard Hopkins

Bernard Hopkins just refuses to go away. The wily predator isn't what he was in his prime, but he's still got enough fight in him to spoil anyone's plans. Rumors of a showdown with Carl Froch have been floating round, and with a win, Hopkins could add a Super Middleweight belt to his collection.

4. Shane Mosley (up 2)

This might be blasphemous to some, but Sugar Shane looked like the older Middleweight version of Sugar Ray Robinson against Antonio Margarito in January. While the win raised him to #4 on our list, it probably made it a little harder to find an opponent.

5. Paul Williams (up 2, UD 12 over Winky Wright - April 11)

Everyone is talking about Williams as the next big thing after his shutout win over Winky Wright. He seems to have it all. Speed, effortless combinations, high work-rate, some slick moves, solid chin, and most importantly, a real fighter's mentality, make Williams a formidable opponent for anyone from 147-168.

6. Ivan Calderon (up 2, vs Rodel Mayol - June 13)

"Iron Boy" is classic "hit and don't get hit". The diminutive defensive genius from Puerto Rico beats opponents with smart feet as much as with quick, accurate hands.

7. Vic Darchinyan (up 4, vs Joseph Agbeko - July 11)

Darchinyan is a unique offensive machine. His sledgehammer left hand comes from his ankles and when it lands flush, the results are devastating. He is scheduled to make his Bantamweight debut against a very tough assignment in "King Kong" Agbeko in July.

8. Chad Dawson (up 2, vs Antonio Tarver - May 9)

"Bad Chad" has all the athleticism a top fighter needs to go with an impressive maturity and patience that makes him a very difficult guy to keep up with. The rematch with Tarver will do nothing for his standing, but it's the first time an HBO audience will get a chance to see the man who many feel is the future of P4P.

9. Miguel Cotto (vs Joshua Clottey - June 13)

Cotto's life has been in disarray since he was beaten by Antonio Margarito last year. He recently split with his uncle and trainer, and it seems like he would like to be the man calling the shots in his career. We'll see how that works out against Joshua Clottey in June.

10. Nonito Donaire (up 3, TKO 4 over Raul Martinez - April 9)

It's almost like Donaire came out of nowhere to shut Darchinyan's mouth with a nasty one punch KO in 2007. Since then he has knocked out 3 credible fighters, but Vic was able to leap ahead on this list with his knockout of highly rated Christian Mijares. Unfortunately, a rematch seems unlikely at this point, but if Nonito keeps winning, he won't need it.

11. Fernando Montiel (up 1, vs Eric Morel - June 27)

Montiel is here based mostly on his promise and a shocking stoppage of respected Martin Castillo last year. He's recently move up to Bantamweight in search of another big fight.

12. Juan Manuel Lopez (NEW, TKO 10 over Gerry Penalosa - April 25)

Lopez has been on a tear. Before stopping Gerry Penalosa, many had questions about the dynamic youngster from Puerto Rico. Not because he was struggling, he just wasn't giving us much to look at while blowing opponents away. Now we know he can really put his foot on the gas when he needs to. This is no front-runner.

13. Mikkel Kessler (up 2)

Kessler is still seen as the top Super Middleweight in the world, but hasn't had an opportunity to show it lately. His career is currently completely stalled because of some managerial disputes. A true shame because 168 is completely loaded with good fighters.

14. Glen Johnson (NEW)

"The Road Warrior" still can't find a fight. We're giving the former Light Heavyweight Champion a little P4P credit for pushing Dawson to the limit. Many feel he won that fight, but he's used to that. A deal with Cruiserweight King, Tomasz Adamek was in the works, but has since fallen apart because of the TV networks. It's infuriating as a fan.

15. Celestino Caballero (NEW, SD over Jeffrey Mhatabula - April 30)

Caballero is one of those physical freaks of nature who enjoys a significant height and reach advantage over all of his opponents at 122 lbs. He's also a bit of an enigma in that he can sparkle one moment and look very average the next. A move up to Featherweight is likely, as he recently expressed his difficulty making weight. At his best, he's something of a nightmare.

Just missing the cut...
David Haye, Kelly Pavlik, Hosumi Hasagawa, Arthur Abraham & Lucian Bute
Also receiving votes...
Ricky Hatton (previously #14), Joan Guzman, Juan Diaz, Chris John & Carl Froch
Dropped out due to inactivity...
Israel Vasquez (previously #4) & Rafael Marquez (previously #5)

To make our top 15, a fighter must have had at least 1 bout during the previous 12 months.


dread said...

Do you guys watch any boxing? Is Dan Rafael writing for you now? Seriously. Vitali and Wlad waaay more deserve to be in there than Glen Johnson. Those guys are dominant. Dawson will probably get beat by the Dud this weekend.

Off the top of my head I can think of a half dozen guys more deserving without resorting to the big Ukranians -- Naito, Hasegawa, Pongwong, Abraham, Kaovichit, sheesh.

Andy said...

The last 2 names on our list could have easily been switched around with a couple of fighters that just missed the cut. It was razor close, with very little separating the vote totals.

I think the rational behind the Glen Johnson vote is his "loss" to P4P player Chad Dawson. It's a fight most of us felt he deserved to win.

That said, I absolve myself of blame for this balls-up, as I left the Road Warrior off my ballot.

Lee Payton said...

If Glen got that decision, then what? Top 10?

Abraham had better start letting his hands go if he wants on our list.

I had Glen at 15.

David Haye will make his debut once he flattens Wlad in 2 or so.

dread said...

You barely have Dawson in your top 10. Why would beating Dawson put Johnson in the top 10? Johnson doesn't have a quality win since, well, I don't remember his last quality win.

And what happens when Haye gets beaten pillar to borssht? Will Wlad get a whiff or the top 15? Or will his quality get adjusted to "sucks like the rest of the heavies" so the BB can keep its irrational heavy hate going?

Lee Payton said...


I'll take ring results over the decision of judges every time. Dawson's class is undeniable, and the fact that The Road Warrior pushed him to the brink earns him some P4P cred. The fact that he can't get a fight doesn't count against him either.

As for Wlad, his forgettable reign is coming to an end. He hasn't fought anyone worth a damn in years. The most boring KO artist in the history of the sport is about to be replaced by a watchable heavyweight. I've already started the celebration!!

dread said...

Deal. When Wlad wins in spectacular fashion (or not) you put him at #8 p4p.

Tho, I think Vitali matches up better with Haye than Vlad does -- he has a better chin and is less susceptible to getting beaten to the punch because of his rock and fire style. But Haye beating Wlad and getting in with Vitali would make for one heckuvan interesting heavyweight showdown for sure.

Too bad it won't happen. Instead, there will be a feature article about how Haye matches up with Adamek.

Michael Nelson said...

Looking at his record, no, nothing about Johnson jumps out as top 15. But I have Glen Johnson on my list just based on his performances and "intangibles".

1) He's 40 years old and still whoopin ass. Nobody other than Hopkins can say that.

2) One of the top 3 chins of the last decade. Has hardly even been hurt in his career, and the TKO loss to Hopkins was just the ref saying you're getting beat up and let's be real, you're not gonna knock this dude out. Also, he doesn't get cut, busted up, or complain about broken hands after the fact. Just an uniquely tough guy.

3) He beat Dawson on my card.

4) The majority of "losses" that I've seen weren't losses at all. It was judges giving credit to a guy throwing more punches while getting beat up.