The remainder of June has a relatively light fight schedule, but the agenda will heat up again in July. That being said, the list below will likely remain constant until August or longer; however, there is some likelihood that Carl Froch will be nudging the top 10 pound-for-pound (P4P) and may well finally crack into it (The Queensberry Rules has him at number 6).
Until then, according to self-proclaimed boxing experts and pundits from around the world, here are your top 10 P4P fighters for June 2011:
- Number 10 – Giovani Segura. American fans have not had much exposure to Segura, which is unfortunate. The little man can throw, has never been knocked out, and avenged his only loss by knocking out Cesar Canchila in March of 2009. Oh yeah, he also knocked Ivan “Iron Boy” Calderon—twice!
- Number 9 – Bernard Hopkins. What do say about a guy who is much more entertaining now than during his reign as middleweight champion? At 46, B-Hop is not only a top P4P fighter, but he now owns George Foreman’s former title as the oldest man to win a boxing title. Don’t expect him to slow down any time soon.
- No. 8 – Some guy from Thailand. Until this guy wins a fight that matters, he will remain nameless here.
- No. 7 – Timothy Bradley. The good news is that boxing networks like the guy. The bad news is that Amir Khan and Marcos Maidana have arguably larger fan bases. Old dudes like Zab Judah, who will face Khan next month, and Erik Morales are still hanging around too.
- No. 6 – Andre Ward. Ward is a spectacular fighter and the early favorite to defeat Carl Froch to win the Super Six: World Boxing Classic. Naturally, Froch has other plans and will give him all he can handle for 12 full rounds. Whatever the outcome, Ward-Froch has Fight of the Year written on it and a great match to close SHOWTIME’S gift to boxing fans.
- No. 5 – Wladimir Klitschko. Dr. Klitschko finally gets his shot at David Haye next month. This assumes of course that Haye doesn’t find a way to back out. Both men have questionable chins, so don’t expect this one to go the distance. Wlad is a slim favorite, but let’s call it a coin toss.
- No. 4 – Juan Manuel Marquez. Marquez is going to regret what he wished for in November when he finally gets the rubber match against Manny Pacquiao. The catch weight is all wrong for Marquez and Pacquiao will be looking to prove a point after his blah, blah win over Shane “I Don’t Want To Fight” Mosley. Don’t look for this one to be anywhere near as good as the first two. Marquez may even get handed his first knockout loss.
- No. 3 – Nonito Donaire. With his absolute destruction of Fernando Montiel in February, Donaire’s stock keeps rising and the networks love him. As such, he has number 3 locked down for the near future. If No. 2 suffers a loss, then we may well have a Filipino dominated top 2 P4P situation before the year is out.
- No. 2 – Sergio Martinez. According to BoxRec, Martinez is looking to get something going in October. The Ring reports that Martinez wants Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. Junior simply isn’t ready for Martinez (and never will be); therefore, Sergio should look to test the money at super middleweight or make a catch weight fight at 164lbs. Martinez would likely be favored over Arthur Abraham, Mikkel Kessler, and Glen Johnson—all three being better resume enhancers than Chavez, Jr.
- No. 1 – Manny Pacquiao. Without question, Pacquiao commands the same level of respect inside the ring that is not unlike Mike Tyson. As such, he gets opponents like Shane Mosley and Joshua Clottey who just want to survive. De La Hoya, Hatton, Cotto, and have too much pride to run—all three did not go the distance either. In November, Juan Manuel Marquez will not run, but his speed at welterweight, or lack thereof, ensures that Pacquiao will dominate him. The only thing making this one interesting is what kind of health issues will Pacquiao bring into the ring, if any, and whether the deadly accurate Marquez can effectively counter the speed again. Not likely.