Bad Left Hook Lightweight Rankings
|1||Juan Manuel Marquez
The 135-pound division remains one of the sport's best. Floyd Mayweather's return finally beefs up welterweight to somewhere near its public reputation, but lightweight has more potentially explosive matchups, and it all starts with the man at the top. Juan Manuel Marquez won the RING championship from Joel Casamayor about a year ago. Little did we know then he'd go on to fight Mayweather in 12 months.
The loss to Mayweather doesn't affect his standing here. The stoppage wins over Casamayor and fourth-ranked Juan Diaz are still highly impressive, and someone will have to knock him off his perch at 135 to take that spot from him. Though Marquez appears to prefer a potential 140-pound fight with Ricky Hatton, it seems more likely he'll be facing No. 6 Michael Katsidis, who was very impressive beating Vicente Escobedo on the Mayweather-Marquez undercard.
Second-ranked knockout machine Edwin Valero might need to return to the rings of Venezuela and Japan to fight again. Top Rank's investment in Valero has been a waste thus far, as he's fought just once, knocking out Antonio Pitalua in April. Legal and visa issues, along with his medical history, are keeping him out of the ring, but his stubbornness over opponents and paydays is no help, either.
No. 3 Joan Guzman will face No. 5 Ali Funeka on November 28, with Golden Boy promoting. Oscar and Co. signed Guzman, whose career has been really rocky and in many ways a waste of his outstanding talent. Sometimes it's easy to forget he's 33. The tall, rangy Funeka will test a should-be-rusty Guzman, who hasn't fought since last December. His last outing before that was November 2007, and before that, December 2006.
Seventh-ranked Rolando Reyes hasn't fought since April, when he stunned Julio Diaz with a fourth-round TKO. He's won five in a row since a 2006 loss to Jose Luis Castillo. Miguel Acosta, No. 8, burst into the top ten with his own stunning upset, a ninth round knockout of Urbano Antillon in July. He looks likely to face 130-pound titlist Humberto Soto on the Cotto-Pacquiao undercard.
Namibian Paulus Moses stepped up in competition this year, beating Yusuke Kobori in Japan on January 3, then Takehiro Shimada in Namibia on July 25. American prospect-slash-contender Anthony Peterson checks in at No. 10. He's the brother that goes "FWAH!"
On the Outside: David Diaz and Jesus Chavez will go to war this Saturday in Chicago. It's last chance for romance for both guys, probably ... Antonio DeMarco has had a really good year, and looks to close it out on a high note with a Halloween night fight against Jose Alfaro ... John Murray is the top Brit contender ... Marco Antonio Barrera is as shot as shot can be, and has very little to offer at this weight ... Vicente Escobedo fought hard against Katsidis, and on a different night with a few breaks, that fight may have turned out differently ... Joel Casamayor is not ranked, as he's been inactive for over a year now ... Miguel Vazquez took the "0" from Breidis Prescott on ESPN2 in July ... After missing Lightweight Lighting, world-ranked trash talker Jorge Barrios returned in August, and looks to get back in the ring again in November ... Chances are Urbano Antillon will bounce back and spend a lot of time on top ten rankings lists in his career