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Boxing pound-for-pound: is Manny Pacquiao still number 1?

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We’ve added a new site to the average this month, which brings the total number of boxing pound-for-pound (P4P) lists monitored to a cool seven. Naturally, not all of these sites update on a convenient monthly basis; therefore, take this ranking for what it is. Regardless, here are your top 10 fighters (or 11) for November 2011 according to the “experts” from around the world:

  • Nos. 11 and 10: Giovani Segura and Bernard Hopkins (tie). Segura benefits from being ranked by two out of eleven lists and Hopkins benefits by delayed voting. In the “what have you done for me lately” world of boxing, it is probably Segura who deserves to occupy this spot exclusively. Not that the public has really been exposed to him, but by record alone he should be ranked higher than the pay-per-view flop that recently starred B-Hop.
  • No. 9: Some guy form Thailand.
  • No. 8: Timothy Bradley. Coming in just under the wire for being a victim of the Mayweather Rule, Bradley is set to face Joel Casamayor next Saturday. Yawn. Bradley’s career should be studied in promoter school as an example of how not to develop a fan base. A very solid argument can be made that he belongs at the donkey end of the top 20 P4P fighters.
  • Nos. 7 and 6: Wladimir Klitschko and Andre Ward (tie). One thing about Steelhammer is that the dude is not afraid to get into the ring. Next up is Jean Marc Mormeck in December. Who is Mormeck? He’s some old Frenchie who is going to feel “Champ-pain” all the way to an early knockout. Ward has the tougher test by meeting Carl Froch next month, which will officially end the World Boxing Classic tournament. Doesn’t it seem like an entire generation has grown up for as long as the SHOWTIME tournament has taken to reach what will be a fantastic conclusion? This one will likely be fight of the year.
  • No. 5: Juan Manuel Marquez. Okay, the guy drinks his own urine and gets destroyed by Floyd Mayweather, Jr. The guy gets off the golden Slurpee and he’s going to get destroyed by Manny Pacquiao next weekend. Retire dammit!
  • No. 4: Floyd Mayweather, Jr. Don’t read too much into May being ranked fourth. One of the lists monitored has not updated since the Victor Ortiz debacle; however, he is not a unanimous number 2. By this time next month, he will likely retake his place as the consensus second best P4P fighter in the world. According to BoxRec, Floyd has a May 5th fight date with a TBD opponent. Interesting that number 1 below will also be ready from a scheduling perspective. Will it happen? See below.
  • No. 3: Nonito Donaire. Flash blanked Omar Narvaez last month in a fight that was as satisfying as colonoscopy. Donaire was there to throw, mostly, but Narvaez had no interest to engage. At 28, and as stated last month, it’s well beyond time for this guy to prove that he deserves to be ranked this high. He likely does, but it’s time to push quality of opposition and move up in weight. Nobody cares about bantamweight championship straps anyway.
  • No. 2: Sergio Martinez. There is no question that Martinez is a great fighter; however, it’s probably time to start evaluating him on a BCS strength of schedule basis. He ripped Kelly Pavlik a year and a half ago, and he scored knockout of the year against Paul Williams about a year ago. This year he’s faced Serhiy Dzinziruk and Darren Barker. Frankly, in retrospect, Pavlik and Williams are closer to bad soap sold by HBO than true quality of opposition. Regardless, both fighters are the best that Martinez could have probably hoped for at the time. Again, those fights were over a year ago. Martinez is not helping his P4P cause (not that he cares) by coasting against the likes of Dzinziruk and Barker. Like most of the fighters on this list, Sergio needs to step it up.
  • No. 1: Manny Pacquiao. Pacquiao is the consensus number 1 fighter in the world to everyone but Floyd Mayweather, Jr. He will remain so to close the year barring some freak occurrence on November 12th. As such, the speculation is that he is the “little man” that the Mayweather mouthpieces refer to for the May 5, 2012, fight date. If Pacquiao loses to Marquez, then Mayweather will need to crunch the numbers. Unless Pacquiao is completely dominated, then a Pacquaio-Mayweather fight may still be financially justified.

The speculation is that Mayweather wants one last enormous check before he commits to his shuffleboard game. The problem is that he would like the check without ending his career on a loss—especially a knockout loss. This money-record dilemma has to have Mayweather in conflict. Inside he knows that he must face Pacquiao. Every elite fighter knows that, while they can’t fight everyone, there are always opponents who will define a career. Pacquiao is the opponent for Mayweather with Oscar De La Hoya coming in at distant second.

Interestingly, Manny doesn’t need Floyd for a similar purpose because history, as being written today, has Floyd avoiding him. Nobody can face the unwilling. Regardless, it’s worthless to continue to speculate about this thing now because there are a variety of ways that this fight will never happen. Let’s get past November 12th before we turn the heat up.

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