Doghouse Boxing's Top 20 Pound-for-Pound Fighters
As Ranked by Brandon Estrict for DoghouseBoxing.com (Feb 28, 2009) Photo © German Villasenor  
1. Manny Pacquiao (Super Lightweight – 140 lb.)
Heir to Floyd Mayweather, spot further solidified with domination of De La Hoya, retirement of Calzaghe.

2. Juan Manuel Marquez (Lightweight – 135 lb.)
Recent stoppage of lineal champion Casamayor in first bout at lightweight, along with close fight with Pac-man last year, clearly deserving of number two on my list.

3. Bernard Hopkins (Light Heavyweight – 175 lb.)
Fought about even with Calzaghe (formerly number 2 on my list) though in a losing effort, went on to dominate previously unbeaten Kelly Pavlik.

4. Israel Vasquez (Super Bantamweight – 122 lb.)
Took two out of three in an epic trilogy with rival Rafael Marquez, three and four on this list are all but interchangeable though I slightly favor Hopkins.

5. Shane Mosley (Welterweight – 147 lb.)
With Naazim Richardson now chief second, a rejuvenated Sugar Shane looked awesome in dismantling of former WBA champ, Antonio Margarito.

6. Rafael Marquez (Super Bantamweight – 122 lb.)
Stock has actually risen while losing two out of last three bouts! See his trilogy with Vasquez, above, one of the best all-around fighters out there.

7. Ivan Calderon (Light Flyweight – 108 lb.)
Supremely talented, lack of power costs him well-deserved recognition. May be the purest boxer in the game today.

8. Paul Williams (Junior Middleweight – 154 lb.)
True definition of pound-4-pounder, has won fights by KO in 3 weight classes within the last year. Physical dimensions are unreal, and will be a tough match-up for anyone.

9. Ricky Hatton (Super Lightweight – 140 lb.)
Only loss to the top fighter in the sport at the time, still a huge attraction and thoroughly outclassed Malignaggi who had been competitive with Cotto.

10. Vic Darchinyan (Super Flyweight – 115 lb.)
May be the hottest fighter in the sport right now with crushing wins over Mijares and Arce. Continues to show improvement and will continue to climb this list as long as he performs.

11. Kelly Pavlik (Middleweight – 160 lb.)
Recently rebounded from lop-sided loss to Hopkins, stopping Rubio. Still the top Middleweight in the world.

12. Antonio Margarito (Welterweight – 147 lb.)
Controversy be damned, still the only man to stop Cotto and (arguably) Cintron. Until it is proven that he indeed used loaded gloves for those fights, he should still be recognized.

13. Chad Dawson (Light Heavyweight – 175 lb.)
Awesome talent, will someday be on top of the boxing world. Followed up close fight with Johnson by dominating former lineal Champ Tarver and is still improving.

14. Miguel Cotto (Welterweight – 147 lb.)
Only loss to Margarito has him outside of the top 10, has since stopped Jennings. Will continue to climb as he fights on and presumably reasserts himself as the top dog in the division. Mosley rematch, Berto or Clottey fights stand as excellent opportunites.

15. Arthur Abraham (Middleweight – 160 lb.)
Continues to dispose of all comers in convincing fashion. Excellent boxer/puncher, would like to see his level of opposition pick up.

16. Celestino Caballero (Super Bantamweight – 122 lb.)
3-0 (3) in 2008, including stoppage win over previously unbeaten IBF Champ, Steve Molitor. After Vasquez and Marquez, division’s finest along with up and coming and soon to-be p4p’er, the dynamic Juan Manuel Lopez.

17. Nonito Donaire (Flyweight – 112 lb.)
Good, good fighter who had a wonderful rise to prominence after stopping Darchinyan. Needs to step up activity.

18. Mikkel Kessler (Super Middleweight – 168 lb.)
Another solid boxer/puncher, supremely skilled and with Calzaghe gone, is the class of the division at the moment.

19. Jermain Taylor (Super Middleweight – 168 lb.)
Took all comers at Middle, and aside from Pavlik, found a way to get the win. Looked strong in his debut in this division, looks to establish himself at the top in 2009.

20. David Haye (Heavyweight)
In terms of sheer talent, the best Cruiser-Heavyweight out there. Size and chin issues may be undoing against the Klitshcko’s, but his ability and blend of power and speed make him a viable threat.

ON DECK:

Floyd Mayweather – Reclaims top spot with victory, if he returns.
Winky Wright – Perennial p4p’er, has been inactive. Next fight will sort things out.
Joshua Clottey – Is one quality win away from cracking the list.
Joe Calzaghe – As is case with Mayweather, re-enters list if he decides to un-retire.
Juan Diaz – Cracks list with win over Marquez this Saturday, 2/28.
Chris John – Talented, American exposure, better opponents will tell the story.

NEXT(THE FUTURE):
Timothy Bradley
Juan Manuel Lopez
Yuriorkis Gamboa
Andre Dirrell
Erislandy Lara
The Peterson Brothers

Send all thoughts and comments to Brandon at BEstrict@hotmail.com, or Myspace.com/BEstrictboxing


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