Well let’s get right into it…Jermain Taylor surprised the hell out of me and Bernard Hopkins thought he was in a fifteen round fight, so we re-shuffle the pound-for-pound list. Or most of it at least. Again.
1. Floyd MayweatherAdd the smokeshow Pretty Boy put on versus Arturo Gatti to the fact that Hopkins clearly isn’t the man he once was and we have a new pound-for-pound king. Clearly when you get to the top three or four guys on any pound-for-pound list the space between each ranking is exceptionally small, we are arguing over slices and grains of greatness that separate these men. But even a few grains better is measurable and so Hopkins tumbles from the top making way for one of the most exciting fighters to watch as well as the most talented to take over the number one spot. Mayweather also has pound-for-pound quality gonads for even suggesting he could challenge Winky Wright for his Junior Middleweight title. And you know what? If he could carry the weight of 154maybe even come in weighing 150don’t think it’s impossible. The Pretty Boy is just that good.
2. Winky WrightAfter Saturday night it was clear, to this writer at least, that maybe the best middleweight in the world right now weighs one hundred fifty-four pounds. No way could Hopkins fight as casually as he did versus Taylor against a guy like Winky Wright. And Jermain Taylor would have all the problems he had with Hopkins versus Winky, plus The Wink is a southpaw and he fights every round like he has something to prove. It would be a shame to see Hopkins leave the sport without ever facing Wright but if it never happens maybe settling for a Wright-Taylor fight wouldn’t be so bad.
3. Erik Morales ok, this seems like it doesn’t make sense to keep Morales above Barrera, since Barrera has beaten him 2 of 3 timesbut Morales has a convincing win over the conqueror of MAB plus wins over Hernandez and Chavez the two other top guys at 130. Just curious, but do you think a guy like Morales would ever coast through rounds the way Hopkins did versus Taylor? Not likely.
4. Marco Antonio Barrera he beat Morales convincingly but was fading badly late. Looked awesome in mismatch with Fana, needs to face Pacman or Marquez to hold spot on this list in this time of the p4p pissing contest.
5. Diego Corrales he’s still riding the wave of victory from his win in the instant classic thriller with Castillo. Not that it really matters much but how Corrales didn’t win the best boxer ESPY is beyond me; my guess is that the win over DeLaHoya edged Hopkins in the voting. Corrales fights a rematch with Castillo this fall and it’s very likely that fight will pick up right where the last one left off.
Tied at 6. Bernard Hopkins & Jermain TaylorI figured the old man would handle Taylor easy and even though I scored him the 7-5 winner in rounds, Hopkins didn’t look like the best fighter on earth on Saturday night. The talent is way too rich in this list to expect an effort like Hopkins made versus Taylor won’t cost a fighter seriously in how they stack up against the world’s best. For Jermain Taylor, the win, however it was or wasn’t scored, proved the kid from Arkansas deserves to be mentioned with the best in the sport. A rematch will settle everythingassuming it’s more decisive for whoever wins.
8. Manny Pacquiao
9. Juan Manuel Marquez
10. Jose Luis Castillo
11. Ricky Hattonthe talent above him on this list is way too brilliant to permit him entrance to their ilk coming off that bruising and brutish performance with Tszyu. Look, he won and he excelled in the moment he most needed to. But there was far too much rough stuff permitted in the Hatton friendly MEN arena. Hatton beat a serious undisputed and consistent champion in Tszyu, but the win was the first serious test of his career and far too rough on the marquis of Queensbury rules to allow him any higher position than eleventh.
12. Antonio Tarverproved in his rematch with Glencoffee Johnson that when he’s ready and in shape for a fight he deserves mention with the world’s very best. If Taylor can’t fight a rematch with Nard this fall it may end up being Tarver who gets the fight with Hopkins. Why Hopkins would do such a thing is just plain crazy in this writer’s opinion. If a younger, stronger middleweight could upset him what is a much stronger, albeit not quite as much younger, light heavyweight going to do to him?
13. Kostya Tszyurough and borderline tactics aside, Hatton still used a tremendous amount of pressure to wear down and bust up the Thunder from Down Under. If he continues boxing and lets hope he does, Tszyu has a good chance in a rematch if held in the US or Australia or anywhere other than Manchester.
And the rest of the P4P crew worth mentioning, in no particular order are: Zab Judah, Rafael Marquez, Ivan Calderon, Antonio Margarito, Jorge Arce, Jean Marc Mormeck, Glencoffe Johnson, James Toney, Joel Casamayor, Oscar Larios, Martin Castillo, Joe Calzaghe.
Maybe we’ll add Jeff Lacy in there too should he win on August 6, and it’s damn tempting to add Vernon Forrest too. If there’s someone with the style, skills and heart to beat the Wink it just might be The Viper.
And yes, thinking like that is jumping way ahead to a future pound for pound column, but aren’t these lists designed for assumption and supposition?
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