For the regular readers of this column, it is understood that the monthly pound-for-pound (P4P) list published here is not our own. Rather, this P4P list represents the average of several reputable third party lists in order to have a broader consensus as to the top 10 fighters in the world. Well friends, we’re done (mostly). While we will still use the averages to establish one of the most comprehensive P4P lists on the net, it’s time to stop giving credit to fighters who have not fought in the past 12 calendar months.
While this change had no impact on the results for April 2011, it will next month. That disclaimer made, here are you top 10 fighters for April 2011:
- Nos. 10/9: Pongsaklek Wonjongkam and Bernard Hopkins (tie). Yes, Wonjongkam is back. Folks, what the fridge is going on with this guy? Three lists have him ranked and one has him ranked as high as number 6. He is like Thailand’s version of Butterbean without the obesity. His last fight was a six rounder and it took him 5 rounds to TKO a guy with a 1-2-0 record. To list him as a top 10 fighter is boxing malpractice.
As for B-Hop, he deserves to be ranked—at least as a top 15—and his rematch with Jean Pascal is set for May 21st. The question is not who is the better fighter, but rather when will age finally present itself? Who cares what the judges said in December because Hopkins won that fight. Whatever the outcome last month, please Lord Baby Jesus do not let there be a rubber match!
- No. 8: Juan Manuel Lopez. Thirty wins, twenty-seven knockouts—enough said. Juanma should be ranking higher, but don’t look at a win over Orlando Salido to make much of a difference. Until he fights Yuriorkis Gamboa, nothing really matters--much.
- No. 7: Timothy Bradley. You know, the guy probably deserves to be somewhere on this list. His resume is fine, but he just has zero buzz and his fights are not memorable. Also, is he truly better on a pound-for-pound basis than Miguel Cotto, Lucian Bute, Andre Ward, and the aforementioned Gamboa?
- No. 6: Wladimir Klitschko. Fine.
- No. 5: Juan Manuel Marquez. Marquez’s pace is slowing, which is evidence that urine therapy is not quite the elixir that it is supposed to be.
- No. 4: Nonito Donaire. Nobody has stood in front of Donaire for 12 rounds since 2009. Pacquaio, Jr. he is not though, well not yet anyway, but who cares because he’s absolutely one of the best in the sport.
- No. 3: Sergio Martinez. It’s almost weird to think that this guy has only won three out of his last five fights, but the last three were pure P4P glory. Who knows how long he gets to ride the fame though because there is absolutely nobody at 160 or 154 who will test him. The best move for Martinez is a job transfer to 168 or a catch weight fight with Cotto.
- No. 2: Floyd Mayweather, Jr. Floyd last fought on May 1, 2010. As he doesn’t have a dance (of the boxing variety) scheduled, he will lose P4P status next month. P4P voters also have him slipping a bit. Yahoo! has him listed at number 3 and BoxingScene.com dropped him to number 4. The reality is that P4P rank is not about a body of work. It is about contemporary achievement. This is why Martinez is ranked and Mayweather shouldn’t be. To use the body of work angle, we’d have to consider other inactive fighters. Activity within the prior 12 months is a completely acceptable minimum threshold for P4P eligibility.
- No. 1: Manny Pacquiao. With everyone speculating as to the “what’s next” move for Manny, he does have a future hall of famer in front of him in May. Okay, point taken. As long as Pacquiao doesn’t get hit with something stupid, namely Shane Mosley’s right hand, then this one will end by way of stoppage. Mosley was fine handling a retreating Floyd Mayweather, Jr.; however, Sugar Shane crumbled when Floyd stood his ground. Manny never retreats and Mosley is simply too long in the tooth to effectively react to the onslaught. What’s next for Pacquiao? Don’t be surprised if it’s retirement.