By Kevin Iole, Yahoo Sports
August 9, 2007
The inaugural Yahoo! Sports boxing pound-for-pound top 10 poll is out, with no surprises at the top.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. was a near-unanimous choice of the elite 10-member panel, getting nine first place votes to top the list.
Manny Pacquiao, who was the 2006 Fighter of the Year, was a clear second choice.
Pacquiao got the first-place vote that didn't go to Mayweather, was second on eight ballots and third on another.
Mayweather, Pacquiao and Joe Calzaghe are the only fighters who were named on all 10 ballots.
The question is how much the poll will change by the end of the year, because so many fighters who are on the list or who narrowly missed making it are scheduled to meet.
Mayweather, for example, will take on unbeaten Brit Ricky Hatton on Dec. 8. Hatton didn't make the top 10, but he came in 12th.
WBA welterweight champion Miguel Cotto, who was voted sixth, will meet No. 10 Shane Mosley in November. Pacquiao will face Marco Antonio Barrera, who came in 14th in the voting.
The poll members who voted, in addition to myself, are Tim Smith of the New York Daily News; George Willis of the New York Post; Tim Graham of the Buffalo News; Ron Borges of HBO.com; Chuck Johnson of USA Today; Carlos Arias of the Orange County Register; Keith Idec of the Herald News/The Record in New Jersey; Robert Morales of the Los Angeles Daily News and Kieran Mulvaney of Reuters.
I want to add a couple of voters in Europe, at least one in Latin America and one in Asia for future polls to make it a truly world-wide poll. For more information on the pollsters, go here.
We awarded 10 points for a first-place vote, 9 for a second and so on, down to one point for a 10th-place finish.
So, proudly, here's the first Yahoo! Sports boxing top 10 pound-for-pound poll, in descending order:
10. Sugar Shane Mosley
Record: 44-4, 37 KOs
Status: Interim WBC welterweight champion.
Up next: Fights No. 6 Miguel Cotto for WBA welterweight title in New York on Nov. 10.
2007 results: W12 over Luis Collazo on Feb. 10 to win WBC interim welterweight title.
Analysis: Once considered the pound-for-pound best, Mosley rebounded from back-to-back losses to Winky Wright in 2004 by winning his last five fights.
9. Israel Vazquez
Record: 42-4, 31 Kos
Status: WBC super bantamweight champion.
Up next: Nothing decided, but a rubber match with Rafael Marquez is likely.
2007 results: TKO by 7 by Marquez on March 3 to lose WBC super bantamweight title; TKO 6 over Marquez on Aug. 4 to regain WBC super bantamweight title.
Analysis: Voters were impressed by his war with Marquez and his ability to overcome a loss suffered when a nose injury prevented him from breathing.
8. Winky Wright
Record: 51-4-1, 25 Kos
Status: Middleweight contender
Up next: Nothing certain, but plans a return to middleweight.
2007 results: Lost unanimous decision to Bernard Hopkins in a July 21 light heavyweight bout.
Analysis: Wright would have been No. 2 or No. 3 on this list in January, but is now just 1-1-1 in his last three fights. It's not a good trend.
7. Jermain Taylor
Record: 27-0-1, 17 KOs
Status: WBC, WBO middleweight champion
2007 results: Retained title with unimpressive split decision over Cory Spinks on May 19.
Up next: Fights mandatory challenger Kelly Pavlik in a battle of power punchers on Sept. 29 in Atlantic City.
Analysis: Taylor has a lot to prove, but Pavlik is a perfect style for him and the fight figures to be a shootout.
6. Miguel Cotto
Record: 30-0, 25 KOs
Status: WBA welterweight champion
2007 results: Defended his title twice with TKOs in the 11th, against Oktay Urkal on March 3 and against Zab Judah on June 9.
Up next: Defends his title against No. 10 Sugar Shane Mosley on Nov. 10 in New York.
Analysis: If he defeats Mosley, he is in line to face Mayweather next year in the modern-day version of Leonard-Duran.
5. Bernard Hopkins
Record: 48-4-1, 32 KOs
Status: Light heavyweight champion
2007 results: Scored impressive W12 over No. 9 Winky Wright on July 21.
Up next: Nothing scheduled, unlikely to fight until 2008.
Analysis: Hopkins is as good as ever at 42.
4. Juan Manuel Marquez
Record: 47-3-1, 35 KOs
Status: WBC super featherweight champion.
2007 results: Won title by scoring impressive victory over Marco Antonio Barrera on March 17.
Up next: Defends his title against Rocky Juarez on Sept. 15 in Las Vegas.
Analysis: Marquez has been underrated much of his career, but he's out of the shadows after whipping Barrera.
3. Joe Calzaghe
Record: 43-0, 32 KOs
Status: WBO super middleweight champion.
2007 results: Stopped overmatched challenger Peter Manfredo Jr. in third round on April 7.
Up next: Meets unbeaten Mikkel Kessler for the WBA-WBC-WBO super middleweight belts on Nov. 3 in Cardiff, Wales.
Analysis: Calzaghe is a brilliant boxer with surprising power and has the potential to move up if he gets past Kessler.
2. Manny Pacquiao
Points: 90 (one first-place vote)
Record: 44-3-2, 35 KOs
Status: Super featherweight contender
2007 results: Scored an eighth-round knockout of Jorge Solis in a tuneup fight on April 14.
Up next: Has a rematch with Marco Antonio Barrera set for Oct. 6 in Las Vegas.
Analysis: The fast-handed Filipino is popular because of his aggressive style, but faces a big challenge in Barrera in his next outing
1. Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Points: 99 (nine first-place votes)
Record: 38-0, 24 KOs
Status: WBC welterweight champion
2007 results: Won WBC super welterweight title by winning split decision over Oscar De La Hoya on May 5
Up next: Will meet super lightweight champion Ricky Hatton on Dec. 8 in Las Vegas.
Analysis: Mayweather is the best in the business and the Hatton fight will be a one-sided affair that will prove that point.
Others receiving votes: Wladimir Klitschko, 12; Ricky Hatton, 11; Juan Diaz, 10; Marco Antonio Barrera 8; Rafael Marquez 7; Chad Dawson 6; Oscar De La Hoya 5; Mikkel Kessler 5; Kelly Pavlik 2; Chris John 2; Junior Witter 2; Vernon Forrest 1; Paul Williams 1.
That's what the professionals think. Now tell us what you think. Go to the Yahoo! Sports MMA/Boxing Experts Blog and give us your Top 10.
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 Thursday, Aug 9, 2007 8:11 pm, EDT
Email to a Friend | View Popular