We only had three of our staff members voting this time around, but it was time to update anyway. We may have something again late next month, and we're now just over a week away from Mayweather/de la Hoya, which is truly going to be the boxing event of the year. We'll have even more on that fight and other upcoming bouts soon, but for now, enjoy the updated BLH P4P top ten.
1. Floyd Mayweather, Jr. (30 points, 3 first-place votes, 37-0)
MM: "Floyd hasn't fought since the last update, and no one has done anything so impressive as to merit dethroning him. Floyd stays at the top by default. The most talented fighter you'll ever see who almost never produces an exciting fight."
SC: "I actually think Oscar is going to beat Floyd. There's just this weird aura around this fight where de la Hoya is starting to seem like Rocky or Jim Braddock or something, which is kind of ridiculous considering what Oscar's already done and who he still is. But de la Hoya has struggled against elite fighters (Mosley, Hopkins, Trinidad) over his career, and Mayweather is definitely in that company. So even though I am of the probably stupid opinion that Oscar beats Floyd on May 5th, you can't get around that Floyd is No. 1 pound-for-pound, and it would be a huge upset for him to lose."
BB: "I ranked him first in December and I don't think he has done anything to really deserve to fall. Now talk to me after the Oscar bout and maybe things will have changed."
2. Manny Pacquiao (27 points, 44-3-2)
MM: "Still the most exciting fighter in the sport, Solis wasn't much of a challenge, and Pacquiao, at least early in the fight, didn't give his best performance. Still, when he needed the knockout he got it with seeming ease. Everyone wants to see a rematch with Marquez, and with these two, we'll likely get it."
SC: "Pacquiao has gone past just being exciting and seriously leapfrogged into great fighter status. Pacquiao/Marquez II would be as anticipated as any non-superstar fight could be. I have to think we'll see it next year, as long as Marquez beats Barrera in a possible rematch between those two."
BB: "Same as Floyd. Manny added a KO win over Solis since the last BLH rankings came out. He does what he should, and that's all you can ask from a fighter."
3. Winky Wright (21 points, 51-3-1)
MM: "Wright hasn't been active since our last update, and he stays at number three by default. Still the best defense in the sport, and now, with his more aggressive style, Winky's finally showing his awareness that fans love punches, lots of punches."
SC: "I love Winky, but I'm having a hard time convincing myself to pay money to see him fight Bernard Hopkins. That one has snoozefest written all over it."
BB: "Winky falls if for no other reason than both Marquez's having big wins. He hasn't done anything wrong. The fight with Hopkins seems like a good matchup for Wright in my eyes."
4. Jermain Taylor (19 points, 26-0-1)
MM: "Inactive since the last update, Taylor replaces Barrera at number four after Barrera's recent lost to Marquez. One of the most physically gifted and talented fighters in the sport, I still have questions about his maturity and ring savvy."
SC: "I like Taylor. I really do. But Edison Miranda is entirely right: If/when Taylor beats Spinks, he'll have certainly proven that he's the best light middleweight in the world after that win and the one over Ouma. Unfortunately, Taylor's walking around as the middleweight champion. Fighting guys like Ouma and Spinks is not going to prepare Taylor for the onslaught of Miranda or Kelly Pavlik down the line. It may, however, prepare him just fine for Joe Calzaghe."
BB: "The May fight against Cory Spinks isn't exactly the fight I would most like to see Taylor take, but it is what it is and he has faced some tough competition and has never lost. That's worthy of the top 5 in my book."
5. Rafael Marquez (15 points, 37-3)
SC: "Loved him before, love him even more now. A magnificent fighter, and I almost wanted to jump him to No. 3 over Winky, but you have to consider Winky's schedule, which is pretty much unrivaled. The fight with Vazquez was shaping up really nicely, as I had it a draw at the time of Vazquez's retirement from the bout. I can't wait to see those two go at it again, and it wouldn't shock me if Vazquez were able to knock Marquez out this time. They match up in such a way that you almost can't get a bad fight. I had to drop Vazquez from my list because there's only so many spots, but he's still lurking."
6. Juan Manuel Marquez (14 points, 47-3-1)
MM: "With his controversial win over Barrera, Juan Manuel Marquez enters my list at number eight. I thought he won with or without the bogus knockout, but the point is certainly debatable. One of the most exciting fighters in the sport coming off a likely fight of the year."
SC: "At first I thought I had it as a one-point win for Barrera. I actually had it a draw after re-calculating, something not unfamiliar to Barrera decisions. Marquez is a great fighter, one of the best in the sport. He was almost undoubtedly the best featherweight in the world, so seeing him move up to super featherweight was nice. There wasn't much left on the table at 126. Marquez has gotten himself into the spotlight with the big win, and he deserves that. But now he has to keep himself there, and that's not going to be easy. Whether it's Marquez/Barrera II or Marquez/Pacquiao II up next for him, he's going to be in the ring with a bull again. Frankly, you've got to love his willingness to fight the best."
BB: "Barrera may be getting older, but that win still means something in my book."
7. Shane Mosley (13 points, 44-4)
MM: "With his demolishment of Luis Collazo, Mosley moves up to the five spot. It's hard to say for sure, but it sure looks like Mosley is back to his old ways, after his disappointing losing streak. He's the most likely candidate to beat Floyd Mayweather and the only boxer who rivals PBF's hand speed."
SC: "It's great to see the old Shane Mosley back. If Mayweather beats Oscar, this is the only guy that could give him a real fight, unless Floyd wanted to try going to 160 (which he will not, because that would be stupid). Mosley would challenge Floyd by mirroring him like no one else can. I don't think we'll ever see it, because I don't think Floyd wants it."
BB: "5 straight wins since the back to back losses to Wright in '04. I think Mosley might have a little something left."
8. Joe Calzaghe (10 points, 43-0)
MM: "Still the most proven European boxer in the sport today, Joe Calzaghe's undefeated record hides a questionable roster of opponents. With the memory of his Lacy triumph fading in the minds of boxing fans, Calzaghe needs to step up to fight Kessler, Taylor, or Hopkins. If he faces only Manfredo-quality opposition before the next update, I'll likely bump him down."
SC: "Fight Kessler. Fight Taylor. Fight Hopkins. Fight SOMEBODY. Preferably, fight Kessler and prove that your 168-pound title reign of a decade isn't something of a snort-worthy affair. I'm not as forgiving as Matt is -- I've already bumped Calzaghe down to the 10th spot, and I had to convince myself to be nice to keep him there. He's good, but there's a shady side of Calzaghe and Frank Warren that has almost entirely avoided top-flight competition for years now. They continue to do it, and it's past old. Manfredo not only wasn't a viable challenger, he's not even a super middleweight."
BB: "Sure Manfredo Jr. didn't belong in the same ring as Joe. But in those cases all you want to see is the better fighter dominate. Joe did that, and I'm not going to hold the matchmaking against him."
9. Bernard Hopkins (9 points, 47-4-1)
MM: "Hopkins is officially active and officially not moving up to heavyweight. That means no one has an excuse not to include him in their PFP lists. What hasn't been said already about B-Hop?"
SC: "Don't know if he can beat Winky if he fights like he did against Tarver, because Winky's defense is too good. Don't know if that fight will be worth watching at all, despite that we're talking about two of the best fighters in the world, even at advanced ages. Hopkins was great last we saw him, but I'm a little cautious now. Tarver wasn't the right guy to challenge Hopkins, who fights too smart to be rattled by a guy like Tarver. He pretty much has to be ranked, but I think this'll be the final time, too."
10. Marco Antonio Barrera (4 points, 63-5)
MM: "There is no shame in his loss to Marquez, but he did lose, and so Barrera drops from four to nine on my list."
SC: "A great, great fight with Marquez. I still can't say enough about that battle. Barrera is still a top fighter. There's no way he could survive Pacquiao at this stage, but anyone else? Sure."
Honorable Mentions: Miguel Cotto (3 points), Ricky Hatton (1 point)