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Pound For Pound; the Debate Continues

The successful return of “Tito Trinidad’ and the destruction of “El Matador’.
The crystal clear demise of Roy Jones Junior.
Oscar DLH gets knocked out for the first time.
Hopkins solidifies his legacy.
James Toney makes a comeback only to go back on injured reserve.
thumb hopkins Pound For Pound; the Debate Continues

Kostya Tszu is coming back versus Shambra Mitchell. What does it all mean???
A lot has happened since the first “Pound for Pound - The Debate Rages On’ and I felt an update was warranted. The Debate Continues!!!

1. BERNARD HOPKINS -- 44-2-1 (32 KOs) 1 NC
Can anyone think of a more dedicated, single minded psychopath than Bernard Hopkins? Love him or hate him, but you have to admire him. After all he did do it “His Way”. Assuming he gets his 20th defense at middleweight his most exciting fights may be yet to come. (Like Tarver, RJJ, Toney, Lacy, Calzaghe, DLH, Mosley, or Winky)

2. FLOYD MAYWEATHER JR. -- 32-0 (21 KOs)
Wins over Genaro Hernandez, Diego Corrales, Jose Luis Castillo, Carlos Hernandez and Jesus Chavez over the past 6 years are impressive. What may be even more impressive is the way he’s been avoided at junior welterweight since graduating from lightweight. His only solution may be to skip it altogether and go after a comparatively weaker welterweight division. He still seems to be the heir apparent to Hopkins mythical throne. The one fight he seems destined to make before going to welterweight is an Arturo Gatti fight. Assuming he has his way that is………

3. ERIK MORALES -- 47-1 (34 KOs)
48 fights as a professional at only 27 years old? Only the second three weight division champion in history from Mexico? Marco Antonio Barrera, Daniel Zaragoza, Paulie Ayala, Junior Jones, Jesus Chavez and Wayne McCullough? He owns wins over all of those ex-champions, but the question remains: When will he garner the respect of the entire boxing community that I am bestowing to him here? A rematch win with MAB coupled with unification at super featherweight may be the only answer. His willingness to fight all comers, penchant for exciting fights, and warriors mentality are unmatched by any single man on this list.

4. Felix Trinidad - 42-1 (35 KOs)
He burst back on the scene and if his most recent performance is any indication, he may want to try to avenge his only career loss. (Versus number 1 on this list) He has met and defeated perhaps the most impressive list of fighters in boxing today. Trinidad’s win over Mayorga indicates that he has lost little or nothing since his 2 year hiatus. In fact future performance may prove the layoff to be beneficial both mentally and physically for Tito. A few more quality wins versus world class opponents could land him in the top two or three very soon. Rematches versus ODLH, Bernard Hopkins, and Fernando Vargas or the winner of Mosley-Wright are real possibilities. Viva La Puerto Rico! Viva Tito!

5. MANNY PACQUIAO -- 38-2-2 (29 KOs)
A win versus MAB earned The Ring Championship for Pacquiao at featherweight. But perhaps the manner in which he took it stands out most and his disputed draw versus fellow “Pound per Pounder’ Juan Manuel Marquez merely reinforces the fact that Pac Man is the most explosive fighter on this or any list. The rematch with Marquez will propel the winner into the upper echelon of this list. Future bouts with Morales, Barerra, and perhaps a move to 130 altogether promise some very entertaining future bouts.

6. WINKY WRIGHT -- 47-3 (25 KOs)
Solid southpaws with technical skills are typically avoided and that has been the case throughout Winky’s career. When he met and defeated Shane Mosley, Winky showed why he has been ignored by the top fighters in his weight class. Along with Hopkins and Juan Manuel Marquez, he is one of the most technically proficient fighters on this list and may be the only fighter at middleweight or south that has a legitimate chance of beating Hopkins.

7. JUAN MANUEL MARQUEZ -- 43-2-1 (33 KOs)
A better technical boxer there may not be and JMM proved he has the heart to along with the skills when he managed to arise from three first round knockdowns versus Manny Pacquiao. The winner of the rematch finds himself firmly entrenched in the top ten while the loser finds himself struggling to stay on. An overdue bout with MAB would promise some great future action.

8. DIEGO CORRALES -- 39-2 (32 KOs)
One of the few fighters who claim they are willing to die in the ring and truly mean it. His only true loss came at the hands of FMJ at junior lightweight. Corrales was down 5 times in the fight and when his father threw the towel in upon the 5th , he almost fought his Dad as well. Diego is a true warrior whose skills will only continue to mature with his marriage to Joe Goosen as his trainer. His only other loss was a technical stoppage to Joel Cassamayor in a fight which he seemed to be taking control of. He avenged that loss showing reclaimed boxing skills versus Cassy. He also managed to dismantle the previously undefeated Acelino Freitas in August. Both opponents have appeared on the occasional pound for pound lists in the past. In all, he has defeated 4 current or past title holders in his career. Unification at 135 or a rematch with FMJ are big upcoming possibilities.

9. ANTONIO TARVER -- 22-2 (18 KOs)
KO win versus longtime pound for pound champ RJJ was enough to land him in the top ten alone, but with only 24 fights including losses to both Jones and Eric Harding (another fight he avenged), he hasn’t done enough to be a top 5 fighter. Glen Johnson repeated his feat versus RJJ and in some ways may have cheapened Tarver’s win. Future fights versus Glen Johnson, Hopkins, or at heavyweight could help raise his profile further. Like Roy and Glen Johnson he is in his middle 30’s and because of that must start pushing for the big fights to happen soon.

10. OSCAR DE LA HOYA -- 37-4 (29 KOs)
I can't really drop DLH completely off of my list after his loss to #1. He showed tremendous fortitude getting in the ring with an animal like Hopkins all the while knowing that he would be giving up size, power, and strength. He was fighting well until being dropped by a picture perfect liver shot. If it took a challenge like that for him to be 100% prepared, perhaps retirement is the best option. While it can be argued that he hasn’t won his last three fights, his choice of opposition and competitive performances are enough to keep him here for now. If he decides to keep on fighting a win is likely necessary to keep him on this list. Possible future match-ups include rematches versus Mosley, Trinidad, Vargas, and Hopkins.

* James Toney left off the list because of recurring injury problems and recent surgery.
** Kostya Tszu left off until he gets back into the ring and pending his performance after missing so much time to injury. If proved healthy he should return to the top ten very soon.

About Sal Urciuoli

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