My Updated Top Ten Pound for Pound Fighters

Scott is soon going to assemble an overall Bad Left Hook pound-for-pound top ten list. I thought I would go ahead and offer my personal take on it now since there aren't any more fights that will affect the list this year. Look for the overall list with all of the Bad Left Hook contributors' combined rankings soon.

Follow me below the fold for my personal list with comments on each boxer.

1.    Floyd Mayweather Jr.

His punching accuracy is unparalleled. His speed is rivaled only by Mosley at his best. As a result of his family background, he has the ring intelligence of a much older boxer. He's strong enough to maintain some authority at 147. And he's unbeaten. The opposition he has faced is underrated, his only recent lackluster opponent being Sharmba Mitchell. Retirement bullshit aside, he has signed the biggest fight of his career and his toughest challenge yet in De la Hoya. Mayweather is lucky that character is not a criteria in P4P lists. But it it's not.

2.    Manny Pacquiao

Pacquiao is the most exciting fighter in the sport, coming off the most impressive win of his career. His trilogy with Morales has already been enshrined as one of the greatest rivalries of all time. Incredible speed, even more incredible power, and ever-improving ring savvy. Roach has done his job. Pacquiao has done his. It's a great thing for the sport when its most beloved figure in the world is also one of the top three pound-for-pound best.

3.    Winky Wright

Like Mayweather and Pac-man, Wright has sealed his status as one of the top pound-for-pound boxers in the world with a recent dominating win. Winky Wright has the most effective defense in the sport. He also has the best chin of any boxer in my P4P list, and may be second only to James Toney in this regard among elite fighters. He is also one of the sport's hardest trainers and has incredible endurance. Of all of my top ten P4P fighters, I believe he has had the best career opposition. I will never bet money against Winky Wright.

After that, it gets harder.

4.    Marco Antonio Barrera

Eight time world champion Barrera ought to be on everyone's P4P list. I agree that he may be rounding the bend as a fighter, but his last fight was a clinic against Juarez--not much more exciting, but also no less overwhelming than Mayweather's win against Baldomir. Another ring general of the highest order with a star-studded list of elite opponents, Barrera has the P4P distinction of giving his fans not one but two of boxing's great recent trilogies.

5.    Jermain Taylor

With his dominating win over Kassim Ouma, Jermain Taylor replaces Joe Calzaghe at the number five spot. Nevertheless, if and when Taylor moves up in weight and they meet, I pick Calzaghe to win in a tremendously competitive match. Indeed, Taylor vs. Calzaghe is the fight I most want to see right now. Taylor's athleticism is the equal of any boxer in the sport and will allow him to dominate all but the very best. He has the strength, speed, and counter-punching ability to be an all time great. But early mistakes against Ouma suggest Taylor still has some maturing to do in terms of ring savvy.

6.    Joe Calzaghe

Inarguably, the greatest European boxer in the sport today, Joe Calzaghe's undefeated record hides a somewhat questionable roster of opponents. Nevertheless, what he did to Lacy may have been the single most impressive fight of 2006. A strong, smotheringly aggressive boxer at the peak of his game, Calzaghe needs to fight someone like Kessler, Taylor, or Hopkins very soon.

7.    Shane Mosley

Of opponents that he might actually fight, Shane Mosley probably has the best chance of beating Floyd Mayweather Jr. His rival in speed and perhaps even his superior in terms of putting together combinations, Shane Mosley has the talent to beat anyone, if he can bring his A-game. It remains to be seen if his crushing victory against Vargas was due more to a return of the old Shane Mosley or Vargas' continuing downward spiral.

8.    Bernard Hopkins (but not as a heavy)

With Hopkins officially unretired and looking at a jump up to heavyweight, I'm bringing him back in at number eight. But it's hard to assess. If I must judge him as a P4P heavyweight, then he shouldn't be here, but if I judge him at the weight of his last fight, he makes it for sure. What hasn't already been said about B-hop? He is surely in the twilight of his career, but his last win was a doozy, and I won't send him off until he either loses or quits for good.

9.    Miguel Cotto

With his "liver punch of the year" award firmly in tow, Miguel Cotto enters my P4P list for the first time at number nine. Many of us here at Bad Left Hook expected Quintana to give Cotto trouble, but Cotto completely outclassed him with both skill and strength. Indeed, Cotto may be the most powerful top ten puncher in this P4P, in relation to his weight. I am adding Cotto to the list despite the fact that he just moved up to 147. He was just that impressive. Compare this to Hatton's attempt against Collazo to move up. The least experienced boxer on my list, Cotto is the hottest young fighter going right now.

10.    Oscar de la Hoya

Give Oscar his due. Look at the opposition he has faced. Look at his last fight. Look at his next fight. De la Hoya deserves to be in the top ten. I am putting him over Hatton because Hatton should continue to be categorized based on the weight he last fought at, and Hatton is not top ten P4P at 147. At 140, we can talk.

Honorable mentions: Hatton (as I just said), Israel Vasquez, Rafael Marquez, Castillo, and, in theory, Wonjonkam.

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