As boxing gears up for 2009, Inside Fights takes a look at the top 10 pound-for-pound fighters in the sport, as well as a short list of boxers that you can’t miss.
Inside Fights Pound-for-Pound Rankings
1. Manny Pacquiao – “Beating Marquez at 130, KOing Diaz at 135 and stopping De La Hoya at 147 is out of this world. Pacquiao is without a doubt the best active fighter on the planet.” – Corey Willinger
2. Joe Calzaghe – “Retirement may be looming for Calzaghe but he kept his undefeated record intact by getting off the canvas to beat both Roy Jones Jr and Bernard Hopkins.” – Trent Pusey
3. Juan Manuel Marquez – “A single point might be all separating he and Pacquiao at the moment, but he rebounded well from his split decision loss by knocking out Casamayor to become the man at 135 while waiting for a third fight with Pacquiao.” – CW
4. Bernard Hopkins – “His domination of Kelly Pavlik reminded us that B-Hop is still a force at 43. Close losses to Calzaghe and Jermain Taylor put Hopkins in the 4 spot.” – TP
5. Israel Vazquez – “Still recovering from his trilogy with Rafael Marquez. Has a vast array of quality opponents ready for him when he returns. Wins over any could move him up the list.” – TP
6. Paul Williams – “Looking dominant at three different weights simultaneously is the very definition of pound-for-pound. Williams just needs the relevant opponents to step up and face him in order to rise in the rankings, which is not in his control.” – CW
7. Chad Dawson – “This undefeated light heavyweight has wins over Tomasz Adamek, Glen Johnson, and Antonio Tarver. A rematch with Tarver is set for March and Dawson should give him more of the same treatment.” – TP
8. Jermain Taylor – “Taylor doesn’t get enough respect for only losing to one man (Pavlik) twice, though many, including myself felt he won the rematch. He still holds two close wins over Hopkins without ever seeming to reach his full potential as a fighter.” – CW
9. Antonio Margarito – “He’s a tall welterweight with an endless motor and a granite chin. Margarito got off to a slow start against Paul Williams but looked unstoppable against Miguel Cotto. He has a big fight with Shane Mosley later this month.” – TP
10. Kelly Pavlik – “Pavlik is being written off for his one-sided drubbing at the hands of Hopkins, but he still has a solid resume with the wins over Taylor and can really solidify his place in boxing by taking on Abraham in the near future in what should be a classic middleweight showdown.” – CW
Others receiving votes: Rafael Marquez, Arthur Abraham, Miguel Cotto.
In addition to our top pound-for-pound fighters, Inside Fights would also like to present a list of five boxers that you can’t miss. No matter the opponent, these are the fighters that bring it every time. Go out of your way to watch these guys:
Trent’s “Can’t Miss” Fighters
1. Israel Vazquez
2. Manny Pacquiao
3. Miguel Cotto
4. Antonio Margarito
5. Juan Manuel Lopez
Corey’s “Can’t Miss” Fighters
1. Manny Pacquiao
2. Israel Vazquez
3. Paul Williams
4. Antonio Margarito
5. Tomasz Adamek
Finally, each month we will present our selection for the best matchup. If you only watch one fight this month, this is what we recommend for you.
January Fight To Watch
Antonio Margarito vs. Shane Mosley
January 24th on HBO
Disagree with any of our selections? Leave a comment below.
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