A good friend recently expressed how excited he was to be able to show his sons what was expected to be, according to the spin, a great heavyweight fight in Wladimir Klitschko v David Haye. The hour was good for those of us who reside on the East Coast and, albeit not ABC’s Wide World of Sports, was shown on HBO. This friend grew up like a lot of us where boxing was a sport passed down. We loved it because our fathers did.
His text message after David Haye did his best Shane Mosley impression was “this is why boxing has lost the mainstream.” That’s somewhat of an overreach given that the non-event drew a soccer-style crowd, but not an overstatement. Boxing is already lost to most and will continue to hemorrhage its fan base every time a David Haye enters the ring. It’s perhaps not Haye’s fault though. The media hyped him into something more than he ever was. In short, it was Barnum & Bailey meets boxing in 2011. The only good news is that it wasn’t on pay-per-view.
That taint aside, there are fighters who pride up and many of them are your top 10 pound-for-pound (P4P) fighters for July 2011. They are:
- No. 10 – Giovani Segura. As most of you don’t know, Segura fought in Mexico last month and scored a first round knockout. As most of you don’t want to know, the win was over some guy with a 7-5-1 record. This is what happens to the chap who slapped Ivan Calderon twice? Nice management team bro.
- No. 9 – Some guy from Thailand.
- No. 8 – Bernard Hopkins. When was the last time you looked forward to a B-Hop fight? Doesn’t matter because most of us look forward to them now and Hopkins faces Chad “Not So Bad” Dawson in October. Visit Facebook here, add yours truly as a friend, and place your Dawson bet (LEGAL DISCLAIMER: this is not a solicitation for illegal gaming, but rather a simple bragging rights “wager” among friends).
- No. 7 – Wladimir Klitschko. The guy fought proud last weekend. Yes, he jabbed excessively, but he also threw the right with more conviction and frequency. Definitely not the most entertaining fighter in the world, but he doesn’t need to be. A win is a win and he certainly tried to give fans a good show.
- Nos. 5 and 6 (tie) – Andrew Ward and Timothy Bradley. Ward meets Carl Froch in October to close out the World Boxing Classic and is a legitimate P4P fighter. Bradley fought in January and almost seven months later has nothing lined up. Not good for a guy who is easy to forget.
- No. 4 – Juan Manuel Marquez. Marquez is holding on to number 4 pretty solidly, but the trend is going south. He faces number 1 below in November, which is the dream that came true—at the wrong weight class. Look for this hall of fame slam dunk to continue to slip. No shame in that because everyone does and he is one of the best of all time.
- No. 3 – Nonito Donaire. Nothing scheduled as of now, but it’s not a bad idea to get this guy into the ring more often. He may be at the “yeah, I’ll watch that dude” phase of his career; however, he is miles from the “yeah, I’ll pay extra to watch that dude” category.
- No. 2 – Sergio Martinez. Sergio is set to fight some cat named Darren Barker from the UK in October. Let’s hope the undercard is solid.
- No. 1 – Manny Pacquiao. A unanimous pick among all credible websites monitored. He is, however, performing his encore and the fat lady is fine tuning her vocal chords. Manny is set to roll rubber match against Marquez in November.