Margarito forces way into rankings

Margarito forces way into rankings
By Kevin Iole, Yahoo Sports
July 28, 2008

Kevin Iole
Yahoo Sports
Antonio Margarito's brilliant performance on Saturday in his 11th-round knockout victory over previously unbeaten welterweight champion Miguel Cotto landed him a spot in the Yahoo! Sports top 10 pound-for-pound rankings for the first time in the poll's one-year history.

Margarito moved into sixth place, landing on 20 of the 21 ballots cast by the vote of boxing experts, in a month in which the rankings were completely shaken.

For the record, I voted for, in order, Manny Pacquiao first, followed by Joe Calzaghe, Juan Manuel Marquez, Israel Vazquez, Kelly Pavlik, Margarito, Cotto, Rafael Marquez, Cristian Mijares and Ivan Calderon.

The rankings have a distinct Top Rank flair, as the top 10 includes five fighters (Pacquiao, Pavlik, Margarito, Cotto and Mijares) either fully or partially promoted by Hall of Famer Bob Arum's company.

We waited to conduct the July poll so as to be able to include the results of the Cotto-Margarito fight in the voting. We'll have a quick turnaround, as the next poll will come out in mid-August.

And, for what it's worth, middleweight Winky Wright is no longer eligible because it's been more than a year since he's fought.

1. Manny Pacquiao
Points: 206 (17 of 21 first-place votes)
Record: 47-3-2 (36 KOs)
Title: WBC lightweight champion
Last outing: TKO9 over David Diaz on June 28
Previous ranking: 1
Up next: Potential Dec. 6 bout vs. Oscar De La Hoya
Analysis: Improvement of right hand makes him clearly No. 1.

2. Joe Calzaghe
Points: 177 (4 of 21 first-place votes)
Record: 45-0 (32 KOs)
Title: WBA, WBO and The Ring super middleweight champion and The Ring light heavyweight champion
Last outing: W12 over No. 9 Bernard Hopkins on April 19
Previous ranking: 2
Up next: Nov. 8 in New York vs. Roy Jones Jr.
Analysis: Familiar refrain: Had to pull out of Sept. 20 date with Jones because of hand injury.

3. Juan Manuel Marquez
Points: 162
Record: 48-4-1 (35 KOs)
Title: None
Last outing: L12 to No. 1 Manny Pacquiao on March 15
Previous ranking: 4
Up next: Sept. 13 vs. Joel Casamayor in Las Vegas
Analysis: Outstanding boxer with all-around skills

4. Israel Vazquez
Points: 132
Record: 43-4 (31 KOs)
Title: WBC and The Ring super bantamweight champion
Last outing: W12 over No. 7 Rafael Marquez on March 1
Previous ranking: 5
Up next: Nothing scheduled
Analysis: Strong, powerful and has a great chin.

5. Kelly Pavlik
Points: 121
Record: 34-0 (30 KOs)
Title: WBC, WBO and The Ring middleweight champion
Last outing: TKO3 over Gary Lockett on June 7
Previous ranking: 6
Up next: Oct. 18 vs. No. 9 Bernard Hopkins in Atlantic City, N.J.
Analysis: Punching power is perhaps best in boxing.

6. Antonio Margarito
Points: 111
Record: 37-5 (27 KOs)
Title: WBA welterweight champion
Last outing: TKO11 over No. 8 Miguel Cotto on July 26
Previous ranking: NR
Up next: Nothing scheduled
Analysis: Phenomenal chin allows him to keep barreling ahead.

7. Rafael Marquez
Points: 63
Record: 37-5 (33 KOs)
Title: None
Last outing: L12 to No. 4 Israel Vazquez on March 1
Previous ranking: 7
Up next: Nothing scheduled
Analysis: Highly underrated as a boxer.

8. Miguel Cotto
Points: 59
Record: 32-1 (26 KOs)
Title: None
Last outing: TKO by 11 to Antonio Margarito on July 26
Previous ranking: 3
Up next: Plenty of rest
Analysis: Fought brilliantly for most of the fight against Margarito, but found a bigger and stronger opponent.

9. Bernard Hopkins
Points: 40
Record: 48-5 (32 KOs)
Title: None
Last outing: L12 to No. 2 Joe Calzaghe on April 19
Previous ranking: 8
Up next: Oct. 18 vs. No. 5 Kelly Pavlik in Atlantic City, N.J.
Analysis: Game's most crafty fighter.

10. Cristian Mijares
Points: 24
Record: 35-3-2 (14 KOs)
Title: WBA and WBC super flyweight champion
Last outing: W12 over Alexander Munoz on May 17
Previous ranking: 10
Up next: Aug. 30 vs. Chatchai Sasakui in Monterrey, Mexico
Analysis: Highly regarded boxer.

Others receiving votes: Ivan Calderon, 21 1/2; Paul Williams, 8; Chris John, 7; Ricky Hatton, 5; David Haye, 4; Mikkel Kessler, 4; Juan Manuel Lopez, 3; Fernando Montiel, 2 1/2; Oscar De La Hoya, 2; Shane Mosley, 1; Daniel Santos, 1; Robert Guerrero, 1; Arthur Abraham, 1.

  • See also: Last month's rankings

    Kevin Iole covers boxing and mixed martial arts for Yahoo! Sports. Follow him on Twitter. Send Kevin a question or comment for potential use in a future column or webcast.

    Updated on Monday, Jul 28, 2008 3:38 pm, EDT

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