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By Francisco Cairol: It's not the best time to do a pound for pound list seeing that some current boxers on the list have important fights that they could lose but I'll go out on a limb update in a couple of months if needed.
1.) Manny Pacquiao - He's my number one based on quality of opposition, mainly Morales, Barrera & Juan Manuel Marquez. I guess since the all time pound for pound man Sugar Ray Robinson was a technical Marvel it has been hard for magazines and experts to give credit to effective slugging. Not that the original Sugar Ray couldn't slug it out, quite the contrary, but he was very slick and technical. Manny Has improved his game and is less of a one handed fighter with better balance. Having said that I have a gut feeling he is going to have more trouble with Barrera than expected. I think he might even lose. If he blows Barrera away easily I'll happily eat some crow but i think that Barrera has one last great fight in him and that Manny might have more distractions than usual and that's saying a lot.
2.) Floyd Mayweather Jr. - First of all, let me say I am not a fan of his style and specially not his personality but i got to recognize his talents. The thing is he has Roy Jones Jr., like ability and cautiousness and it's sad because ring wise he could be as great as Sugar Ray Leonard (No way he could be like Ray personality wise. It's just not in him). Fighting Hatton next is a step in the right direction. If Hatton can apply some great pressure, we might have a fight in which the Pretty Boy can really showcase his talents.
3.) Juan Manuel Marquez - One of the best technical boxers from Mexico ever. After being Down 3 times and almost out in the first round against Pacquiao he went on to fight evenly with Manny on his way to a well deserved draw. Has a controversial Loss at featherweight against Chris Johns and somewhat controversial win against Barrera in his last fight. This writer thinks he won that one. If both he and Pacquiao beat their next opponents there should be an immediate rematch.
4.) Ivan Calderón - Many might read this and say..who? The Current flyweight champ ia completely underrated treasure. What he lacks in Size and power he makes up in speed and defense. His last and best career win was against hard punching flyweight champ Hugo Cazares in what was a very exciting and close fight where He had to get off the canvas. Rematch anyone?
5.) Bernard Hopkins - The ageless wonder was last seen beating Winky Wright in a very close fight. I think people have been somewhat unfair In terms of that fight. While It wasn't anywhere near a fight of the year contender it was competitively fought and entertaining. As for Hopkins he still is a master of his craft and dangerous for anybody between 160 to 175 pounds.
6.) Israel Vasquez & Rafael Marquez - A tie. They're tied one a piece in two awesome slugfests....so how can you pick one over the other? I'll Just wait for the third installment.
7.) Joe Calzaghe - According to some, his standing here is in danger because he is facing Kessler in his next fight. I think Joe will be able to pull it off but doesn't seem like a sure thing at all. Kessler is undefeated and dangerous. Will He take Joe's title and his place in the list? Can't wait to find out.
8.) Ronald "Winky" Wright - Sure he looked a little lackluster and sluggish against Hopkins but he still came very close to beating him. I think he defeated Jermain Taylor but he shouldn't have taken his foot off the gas in the last Round against Taylor. Or Hopkins for that matter. Come to think of it He's the anti Jermain Taylor. Where Taylor seemingly will get every close round, and some not so close it seems like Wink's will lose every somewhat close round. Where to next? Back to Middleweight?
9.) Miguel Cotto - His chin is somewhat suspect but his heart, body punching, will to win and his ability to wear down opponents assures him a place in this list. Will Next face what many see as his toughest test in Shane Mosley.
10.) Joel Casamayor - my surprise pick. Even tough he's a bit long in the tooth i think he's very underrated. Just look at that resume. Corrales, Prime Jose Luis Castillo, prime Acelino Freitas. His defeats were all close and could have gone either way. Nobody has been able to clearly beat him. He is not particularly exciting or spectacular but is an unbelievably solid technician and crafty, some would say dirty, boxer puncher.
On the Outside Looking in - these are five fighters who could crack the list shortly:
1.) Kelly Pavlik - He Has pound for pound power & tenacity for sure.
2) Paul Williams - The freakishly tall Williams would probably give any welterweight a run for his money but needs to beat a few more quality opponents like Margarito before he gets on the list.
3.) Ricky Hatton - My gripe with Hatton is that his best wins were against great fighters who were past their prime. Still he did what he had to. If he beats Mayweather he's definitely top three material.
4.) Joan Guzman - The former super bantamweight champion and current super featherweight champion may not have brought his power with his move up in wight but he has the skills to give any of the top super featherweights fits if not outright beat them.
5.) Edwin Valero - Totally untested except for his fight with Mosquera who was far from a slouch. Needs to fight some names in order to really be considered a contender ot the list but his freakish power probably gives him a chance against anybody in the 130 pound division.
Bonus -Pound for Pound in excitement:
Israel Vasquez & Rafael Marquez - Can't mention one without the other
Manny Pacquiao - Of course!
Michael Katsidis - Seems unable to be in a bad fight.
Kelly Pavlik - Watch his fight against Taylor and Miranda.
Did I miss anyone? Let me know!