Ranking The Best Fighters In The World

Ranking The Best Fighters In The World

1 . Manny Pacquiao

Welterweight 52 3 2 (38)
Last Year s Ranking: 1
Status Report: As most of us expected, Pacquiao made mincemeat out of Antonio Margarito, who not so long ago everyone was calling the most feared fighter in the world. It wasn t Pacquiao s most impressive achievement of the past year; the bludgeoning of Miguel Cotto (KO 12) in November of 2009 gets the nod there, and getting points too is the shutout he pitched against the highly competent if reluctant Joshua Clottey (W 12). Along with everyone else we would have preferred the year ended with a superfight against the next guy on this list, but you can t have everything. As it is, Pacquiao comes awfully close.
Future: Shane Mosey on May 7. Despicable.

2 . Floyd Mayweather

Welterweight 41 0 (25)
Last Year s Ranking: 2
Status Report: It s hard to maintain a ranking as high as this fighting just once in all of 2010, but Mayweather did it. How? By completely out classing Shane Mosley. And he did it by standing right in Mosley s grill, more or less, and out fighting him. That Mayweather was rocked in the second round and came back to dominate every second of every round thereafter

3 . Sergio Martinez

World Middleweight Champion/Junior Middleweight 46 2 2 (25)
Last Year s Ranking: 71
Status Report: If our math is right, Martinez jumped about 3,000 rungs since last year s analysis, which might be a record. Either way, it s deserved. He fought Williams to a standstill in the first match

4 . Juan Manuel Marquez

World Lightweight Champion 52 5 1 (38)
Last Year s Ranking: 5
Status Report: Not many thought Marquez was really as bad as he looked in his loss to Mayweather near the end of 2009, but when he took off a full 10 months before getting in the ring again you had to wonder. But there he was again in July, handing poor Juan Diaz another boxing lesson (W 12), and then taking apart the spirited and very tenacious Michael Katsidis (KO 9) in another defense of the straight up lightweight world title. We don t know how much longer Marquez can be Marquez, but this much should already be decided: he has a room reserved in Canastota.
Future: Marquez, who may face fellow future hall of famer Erik Morales in April, seems as hungry and ambitious now as he ever has. Call him a late bloomer.

5 . Nonito Donaire

Junior Bantamweight 23 1 (15)
Last Year s Ranking: 6
Status Report: Donaire obliterated Wladimir Sidorenko (KO 4) on December 4, his third fight of 2010

6 . Pongsaklek Wonjongkam

World Flyweight Champion 76 3 1 (40)
Last Year s Ranking: 41
Status Report: If all the very good fighters in the world went to work as frequently as Wonjongkam does, we d see high quality fights every weekend, and not just in the last two months of the year. Wonjongkam fought four times since last year s analysis, beating Rodel Tejares (KO 6), undefeated Japanese star Koki Kameda (W 12), Rey Migrino (KO 1), and Suriyan Por Chokchai (W 12). Wondering if that justifies a 34 point jump? Look at it this way: the Kameda fight was big, and Wonjongkam was overdue for a promotion. This year he gets it.
Future: Wonjongkam s arch nemesis, Daisuke Naito, lost to Kameda in 2009 and is 36 years old so another match with him is probably unlikely. A rematch with Kameda isn t out of the question.

7 . Fernando Montiel

WBC Bantamweight Titleholder 44 2 2 (34)
Last Year s Ranking: 21
Status Report: Who would have thought that the guy who froze against Mark Johnson in 2003 would now be among the very best fighters in the world? Probably nobody but Montiel himself. Here he is anyway, with four good wins in 2010 propelling him into the top 10. Victories over Ciso Morales (KO 1), Hozumi Hasegawa (KO 4), Rafael Concepcion (KO 3) and Jovanny Soto (KO 2) get him here. Ah, who are we kidding? It was the win over Hasegawa, which also rid Montiel of the stink left from his suspicious technical draw against Alejandro Valdez in 2009.
Future: Is scheduled to face fellow tiny pound for pound entrant Nonito Donaire on February 19 in a wonderful 118 pound matchup.

8 . Wladimir Klitschko

World Heavyweight Champion 55 3 (49)
Last Year s Ranking: 20
Status Report: This is for everyone who thinks THE RING discriminates against heavyweights, foreign born and otherwise. For the first time in about forever, a heavyweight is so demonstrably better than the stiffs he s facing that we have no choice but to assume his genius and rank him among the very best in the game. Certainly, 2010 victims Eddie Chambers (KO 12) and Sam Peter (KO 10) would agree.
Future: Though he s now 34, Klitschko shows no signs of slipping and appears as motivated as ever, even if an abdominal injury forced him to pull out of a fight with one Dereck Chisora. There is talk that he and David Haye are close to signing. We ll believe that when we see it.

9 . Timothy Bradley

Junior Welterweight 26 0 (11)
Last Year s Ranking: 30
Status Report: Another big jump, but Bradley did something in 2010 nobody else on this list did: beat two undefeated guys in consecutive fights and signed to fight another. Bradley s wins over Lamont Peterson (W 12) and Luis Carlos Abregu (W 12) would have gotten him here well enough. Both demonstrated his versatility, skills and level of conditioning. The guy s a machine. But when he agreed to face rising star Devon Alexander, we found out something else about him. He s fearless. And that never hurts.
Future: Bradley and Alexander will meet on January 29 in Michigan. We like Bradley to win that one big. After that look for a match with another upper level 140 or 147 pounder, possibly Amir Khan.

10 . Juan Manuel Lopez

Featherweight 30 0 (27)
Last Year s Ranking: 29
Status Report: Bob Arum s latest Puerto Rican star convinced Rafael Marquez to quit in one of the year s best slugfests (KO 8) topping off a fine year indeed for JuanMa. His victories over the very good Steven Lueveno (KO 7) and Bernabe Concepcion (KO 2) were not without anxious moments here or there, but this is an exceptionally talented kid just vulnerable enough to keep us on the edge of our seats.
Future: Lopez is scheduled to defend his belt on April 16 in Puerto Rico, probably against Philadelphia prospect Teon Kennedy, but the fight everyone hopes happens in 2011 is a showdown with Yurorkis Gamboa. The reality: not until Arum is good and god damned ready.