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Boxing pound-for-pound: March 2011

It has taken some time to get some sort of logic around the pound-for-pound (P4P) rankings published here; however, the “experts” have taken a step forward for March 2011. The most significant reason, while unfortunate, is booting the BBC from the lists analyzed. The BBC used to be a staple for P4P rankings, but no longer so—doesn’t even publish one. In its place for the foreseeable future will be proboxing-fans.com, which addition maintains the full roster of 7 published P4P lists to average, admire, and criticize. The added benefit of this move is that Pongsaklek Wonjongkam is no longer ranked. Hallelujah! Here are the men who are:

  • No. 10 – Juan Manuel Lopez. Juanma should be ranked higher because he is one of few who are acceptable to battling the elite of the division. While Orlando Salido is not necessarily the best test for him at this juncture, Salido is a solid stand-in until the promoters can get out of the way and make the fight with Yuriorkis Gamboa.
  • No. 9 – Bernard Hopkins. “Popkins” hasn’t been ranked here since June 2010. His ranking then was criticized, but his performance against Jean Pascal in December was incredible. While he was robbed of a win, the two are scheduled to tee it up again it May.
  • No. 8 – Timothy Bradley. The guy looked pretty solid against Devon Alexander in January; however, his justification as a top 10 pound-for-pound fighter may be a little premature. According to BoxRec, Bradley has a fight set for July against an opponent who has not yet been named.
  • No. 7 – Andre Ward. Ward will outbox Arthur Abraham in May and he will win the World Boxing Classic—a tournament that was a great thing for boxing. Now the SHOWTIME event is nothing more than a barrier to making the best fights available at super middleweight.
  • No. 6 – Wladimir Klitschko. Wlad hasn’t gone the distance in a fight since 2008. Then again, he’s only fought five times since earning that lopsided decision over Sultan Ibragimov. Regardless, major American broadcasters have lost interest in Dr. Steelhammer and will likely continue the trend until he faces David Haye or his brother (not happening).
  • No. 5 – Nonito Donaire. Crazy good! Some of us wrongly believed that Fernando Montiel would have tested Donaire a bit last month, but that certainly didn’t happen. On the short list of “who will replace Manny Pacquiao” is Nonito Donaire. He’s better than this number 5 ranking.
  • No. 4 – Juan Manuel Marquez. Pound-for-pound voters were stuck in a Bernard Hopkins-Sugar Shane Mosley rut for about as long as it took humans to evolve out of the Cro-Magnon era. The sense is that Marquez is getting the same treatment, which is more of a pound-for-pound emeritus vote. Go with Brandon Rios or step up for Amir Khan because the Manny Pacquiao dream is over.
  • No. 3 – Sergio Martinez. Granted the rankings this month do not reflect how voters will treat Martinez after his dismantling of Serhiy Dzinziruk last Saturday, but the best argument that can be made is that he deserves to be number 2. The skill level hints that he has number 1 potential; however, the resume is not yet developed enough to pull ahead of the reigning pound-for-pound champion.
  • No. 2 – Floyd Mayweather, Jr. The name sounds vaguely familiar.
  • No. 1 – Manny Pacquiao. There is still a lot of criticism around the fact that Manny is fighting Shane Mosley in May, but get over it. It’s a better fight than another dance with Marquez and number 2 above doesn’t want a piece. There is nobody left! The man is the P4P champion and he will be until he loses or retires.

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