There really is no art or science in creating a boxing pound-for-pound (P4P) list. Generally, there is a strong consensus as to the top 3 or 4 in the sport, but the remainder is subjective guesswork. How else could some guy from Thailand be ranked over Miguel Cotto, Carl Froch, Yuriorkis Gamboa, and Lucian Bute? Be as it may, according to the average taken of the top 6 credible P4P lists, here are your top 10 fighters for October 2011:
- No. 10 – Some guy from Thailand.
- No. 9 – Bernard Hopkins. There has to be something said for the man who has become the oldest champion in the history of the sport and who is still ranked as a top 10 P4P fighter. Some may argue that his ranking today, however, does not exist on a recent activity, but rather a career body of work. Regardless, B-Hop deserves to be ranked. At 46, Hopkins’ fight schedule is better than many on this list, and he is in final preparation for his meeting with Chad Dawson on October 15th.
- No. 8/7 (tie) – Wladimir Klitschko and Timothy Bradley. As far as Klitschko, the guy was just born in the wrong time period. His predecessors existed in the heavyweight golden age. How would Klitschko have fared against Mike Tyson, Muhammad Ali, George Foreman, Evander Holyfield, Riddick Bowe, or Larry Holmes? That’s for history to judge, but for now, he is a top 10 P4P fighter on division dominance alone. As for Bradley, Joel Casamayor? A shot 40 year old is the best you can do?
- No. 6 – Andre Ward. Personally speaking, S.O.G. should be in the top 5. Ranking number 5 below consistently so high is becoming ceremonial, number 4 fights every two years’ish, and number 2 doesn’t own enough wins over quality opposition. If Ward can defeat Froch in December, then voters need to consider who besides number 1 on this list is willing to fight anyone put in front of him.
- No. 5 – Juan Manuel Marquez. Mexican fighters have a tendency, well like most fighters, to stick around after the fat lady has sung, changed out of her plus-sized sequined gown, and parked herself at Golden Corral. Next month will prove precisely such when he meets the number 1 P4P fighter in the world.
- No. 4 – Floyd Mayweather, Jr. He’s baaaack. With his “win” over Victor Ortiz two weeks ago, Mayweather has now requalified for P4P consideration. It’s interesting that he has come in so low, but consider that many lists have not updated yet. Next month, he will likely reclaim his home at number 2.
- No. 3 – Nonito Donaire. The Filipino Flash fights Omar Navraez later this month. He will win and fans will still wonder why, at the age of 28, we haven’t seen more. The reality is that he is becoming the Klitschko of the bantamweight division—a great fighter with no opposition. A move up in weight is inevitable if he’s expected to be the next Manny Pacquiao.
- No. 2 – Sergio Martinez. It is long forgotten that Martinez was once stopped by Antonio Margarito. What’s not forgotten is that he has not been dominated since—losing only once to Paul Williams. The problem with Martinez, if being repetitive is allowed, is that he is becoming the Klitschko of the middleweight division. Fight Darren Barker tonight, vacate the titles tomorrow, and move up to super middleweight on Monday.
- No. 1 – Manny Pacquiao. Even though the great one did not necessarily look like himself against Shane Mosley, he dominated him. This means that even a 90% Pac is still the best fighter in the world. Don’t expect a loss to kick him out of the top spot—that’s just not going to happen. Manny Pacquiao will retire as the current top P4P fighter in the world and as one of the greatest fighters of all time. Such will be true regardless of whatever happens with Floyd Mayweather, Jr.