Inside Fights Boxer Rankings – June 2009

Floyd Mayweather Jr returns from “retirement” and is up for inclusion in our pound-for-pound rankings. He left as the undisputed pound-for-pound king but that was a year ago. Does he reclaim his spot atop the rankings or will he find his throne occupied?

Inside Fights Pound-for-Pound Rankings

1. Manny Pacquiao
Last Month: 1
Manny has done far too much in Floyd’s absence to lose his spot at the top of the pound-for-pound rankings. He’s beaten the same fighters Floyd beat but in more impressive fashion. – Trent Pusey

2. Floyd Mayweather Jr
Last Month: NR
I may be in the minority here, but I have a hard time ranking anyone ahead of an undefeated five-division champion who has seldom struggled with an opponent his entire career. How Pacquiao and Mayweather defeat common opponents is irrelevant considering their styles are almost complete opposites – one mostly offensive and one mostly defensive. – Corey Willinger

3. Juan Manuel Marquez
Last Month: 2
Marquez has a huge fight with Mayweather Jr in July. A win for Marquez would be big but don’t bank on it. Floyd selects his fights very carefully. – TP

4. Bernard Hopkins
Last Month: 3
Hopkins still wants to fight, but he just can’t seem to find an opponent. Dawson is looking to fight Glen Johnson and nothing materialized with Tomasz Adamek. Time is certainly a factor. – TP

5. Paul Williams
Last Month: 4
The man who knows no weight class continues to look for a big fight and a chance to prove he’s one of the best in the sport. Three divisions continue to hide from him. – CW

6. Israel Vazquez
Last Month: 5
Vazquez is finally coming back after sitting out with a detached retina since his epic trilogy with Marquez. He may never be the same, but he’s willing to give it a try, which will guarantee at least one more exciting fight from him. – CW

7. Shane Mosley
Last Month: 6
Mosley has plenty of options for his next fight. He wants Pacquiao and says he is willing to fight below 147 lbs in order to get him. Mosley will fight anyone so he won’t have trouble finding someone else if Pacquiao doesn’t happen. – TP

8. Chad Dawson
Last Month: 7
Dawson didn’t look as good against Tarver in their second fight, but how could he, given how dominant he was the first go-around? He’s supposedly in talks to fight Glen Johnson, which is great news. Their first fight was close and controversial, so the rematch is necessary for Dawson to silence some critics. – CW

9. Miguel Cotto
Last Month: 9
Cotto gets his first real test post-plaster later this month against Joshua Clottey. A decisive victory puts Cotto back in the mix atop the welterweight division as well as the pound-for-pound ranks. – TP

10. Arthur Abraham
Last Month: 8
Abraham has been told he’s getting Kelly Pavlik by December or January. It’s about time. Meanwhile, Pavlik wastes his time with Sergio Mora. – CW

Dropped Out: Rafael Marquez

June Fights to Watch

Corey’s Pick: Miguel Cotto vs. Joshua Clottey
June 13th on HBO

My pick for the fight to watch this month is the clash between Cotto and Clottey for Cotto’s WBO welterweight title. I think their styles make for a good, competitive fight all the way. Cotto is still in bounce-back mode since the beating Margarito gave him last year (as unfair as it probably was) and looking to land a megafight this year. Clottey’s finally getting the big fight he’s complained about not getting for years. I don’t expect either guy to back down because neither can afford to given the stakes. Bank on a New York City brawl that tests the will of both men, and don’t expect anyone to come out a loser after it’s all said and done.

Trent’s Pick: Wladimir Klitschko vs. David Haye
June 20th on HBO

I don’t like agreeing with Corey all the time. I did it last month and I’m sure we’ll be on the same page for July, so I’d like to point out another fight to watch this month even though Cotto/Clottey is the one I’m most looking forward to.

Wladimir Klitschko takes on David Haye in June and this fight has already gotten personal. Haye showed up to their press conference wearing a T-Shirt depicting David Haye holding the decapitated heads of the Klitschko brothers. Haye is wasting little time in calling out the top two heavies in the division. Moving up from the cruiserweight division worked for Evander Holyfield, but Haye doesn’t have Holyfield’s chin. He’ll need to stop Wladimir and if he can somehow manage to do that, it sets up an even bigger fight with Vitali Klitschko. If the pieces fall into the right places, it could create a lot of excitement in a stagnant heavyweight division.

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