We've got one big change this week in the welterweight division, and a couple minor changes here and there.
Headline says it all: There's a new No. 1 in the division, and it is undefeated Floyd "Money" Mayweather, who bumps up from No. 2 after Manny Pacquiao struggled on Saturday night to eke out a razor-thin, passionately-debated majority decision win over lightweight champion Juan Manuel Marquez.
This is not meant to be some big shot at Pacquiao, for those who aren't regular readers and don't realize we try our very best to not play into the "WHO DO YOU LIKE, FLOYD OR MANNY, IT CAN ONLY BE ONE BECAUSE THE OTHER IS EVIL!" crap. These are two great fighters.
But Mayweather hasn't had a fight like Manny had last night, and even though Floyd is older than Manny, one has to wonder if Pacquiao's greater number of career fights, and more important his greater number of tough fights where he took damage haven't made Manny, physically, a little older than Floyd.
Right now, I just can't see keeping Manny ranked No. 1 in the division. Doesn't compute for me. The top dog is Floyd.
As for Marquez, I've chosen to keep him ranked at lightweight, where he remains No. 1 and the recognized Ring Magazine champion. (By the way, I've toyed with the idea of making a totally pointless Bad Left Hook Blog World Championship and starting with everything vacant, and then "sanctioning" championship fights as they come along. This would not at all be meant to be taken very seriously, but if a magazine can do it, why can't anyone? Maybe someday I'd even send out belts. It'd be as legit as the WBB.)
I don't know if Marquez will go back to 135, where there isn't a lot waiting for him unless he were to fight Erik Morales, who wants to move down in weight and go for a title in a fifth weight class, or unless he wants to face Brandon Rios, which would be a very attractive fight for fans. He may try for a fourth fight with Pacquiao, try to pick up a different belt at 140 (or 147, I guess), or even retire at age 38 feeling he's got nothing more to prove. But for now he stays where he's been. If I ranked him at welterweight, I think I'd put him No. 3. I don't necessarily believe he'd beat a 165-pounds-on-fight-night Victor Ortiz (the current No. 3), but then that's a whole other ordeal.
Mike Alvarado (32-0, 23 KO) is in after his stirring comeback knockout of Breidis Prescott on Saturday, which knocks old Zab Judah out of the rankings. If they went head-to-head, I'd pick Alvarado to crack Judah and then some bizarre ending where Judah, in his own mind at least, saves face and is "cheated." Plus I think Alvarado's win over Prescott, who has improved this year and in my mind deserved a win in September over Paul McCloskey, is better than any win of Zab's since 2005. I mean, I know Zab "beat" Lucas Matthysse and all...
Eloy Perez's stay at No. 10 lasted a week. He didn't lose or fight or anything, but I've bumped Diego Magdaleno in after checking out his easy points win on Friday night over Emmanuel Lucero. Neither of them have exactly proven world class status, but the division is thin and it's one where potential and skill can weigh heavily. Right now I think Magdaleno is better than Perez.