Buzzing on Yahoo Sports:

Clear No. 1 at several classes

Kevin Iole
Yahoo Sports

I run into a lot of people who tell me they used to be boxing fans. They like the sport, they say, but not the way it's run.

And then, invariably, they complain that there are too many champions and it's far too difficult to keep track of them.

While it's true that the sanctioning bodies are a large part of what is wrong with boxing — How is it that there is no WBC championship at stake, but the WBC has a rule that allowed it to take a sanction fee from Joe Calzaghe's purse on Saturday? — it's easier now than it has been for a long time to realize who the champion is in each division.

There are more unification bouts now than there have been in years and so there are more fighters who have won either the undisputed belt (that means one who has won the WBA, WBC, WBO and IBF belts) or have multiple sanctioning body titles and are clearly the best in their division and are recognized as such.

Some of the fighters no longer have all of the belts they won in the ring, thanks in many cases to sanctioning body chicanery, but it doesn't prevent the public from recognizing the proper champion.

At heavyweight, it's obvious that the best in the division is WBO-IBF champion Wladimir Klitschko. David Haye won that distinction in the cruiserweight division when he knocked out Enzo Maccarinelli in March. Calzaghe reigns at both super middleweight and light heavyweight. Kelly Pavlik claimed recognition at middleweight when he knocked out Jermain Taylor last year.

There is no obvious champion at super welterweight. At welterweight, Floyd Mayweather Jr., the top vote getter in every month of the existence of the Yahoo! Sports poll of the world's best boxers, is the man.

There are also clearly recognized champions at 140 (Ricky Hatton), 135 (Nate Campbell), 130 (Manny Pacquiao), 122 (Israel Vazquez) and 108 (Ivan Calderon).

If you aren't counting, that's 11 obvious champions in the 17 weight classes. Now, you don't have any reason to complain you don't know who is who. With that, let's get to the April Top 10. There were no changes in the top five, but the bottom five was shuffled quite a bit.

Bernard Hopkins dropped from No. 6 to No. 9 after his loss to Calzaghe on Saturday in Las Vegas. Pavlik and Rafael Marquez each moved up a spot, to Nos. 7 and 8, respectively. For Marquez, it was the second consecutive month he's moved up, even though he lost his last fight and hasn't fought since.

And new to the poll is Calderon, who replaced Winky Wright at No. 10. Voters cited Wright's inactivity as a major concern for moving him out of the rankings.

1. Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Points: 177 (16 of 18 first-place votes)
Record: 39-0 (25 KOs)
Title: WBC and The Ring welterweight champion.
Last outing: TKO 10 over Ricky Hatton on Dec. 8
Previous ranking: 1
Up next: Rematch in September vs. Oscar De La Hoya=
Analysis: Calls are mounting for Mayweather to face No. 4 Miguel Cotto.

2. Manny Pacquiao

Points: 151 1/2
Record: 46-3-2 (35 KOs)
Title: WBC and The Ring super featherweight champion
Last outing:
W12 over Juan Manuel Marquez on March 15
Previous ranking: 2
Up next: June 28 in Las Vegas vs. David Diaz
Analysis: Shooting for world title in fifth different weight class.

3. Joe Calzaghe

Points: 142 (2 of 18 first-place votes)
Record: 45-0 (32 KOs)
Title: WBA, WBC, 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: 3
Up next: Nothing scheduled, but possibly Nov. 15 against Roy Jones Jr.
Analysis: Made a big statement against Hopkins.

4. Miguel Cotto

Points: 127
Record: 32-0 (26 KOs)
Title: WBA welterweight champion
Last outing: TKO 5 over Alfonso Gomez on April 12
Previous ranking: 4
Up next: July 26 vs. Antonio Margarito
Analysis: Deserves shot at No. 1 Floyd Mayweather Jr.

5. Juan Manuel Marquez

Points: 107 1/2
Record: 48-4-1 (35 KOs)
Title: None
Last outing: L12 to No. 2 Manny Pacquiao on March 15
Previous ranking: 5
Up next: Nothing scheduled
Analysis: Needs to win a fairly big fight to gain a rematch with Pacquiao.

6. Israel Vazquez

Points: 87
Record: 43-4 (31 KOs)
Title: WBC and The Ring super bantamweight champion
Last outing: W12 over No. 8 Rafael Marquez on March 1
Previous ranking: 7
Up next: Nothing scheduled
Analysis: Why not do it a fourth time with Marquez?

7. Kelly Pavlik

Points: 75
Record: 33-0 (29 KOs)
Title: WBC, WBO and The Ring middleweight champion
Last outing: W12 over Jermain Taylor on Feb. 16
Previous ranking: 8
Up next: June 7 in Atlantic City, N.J., vs. Gary Lockett
Analysis: Biggest challenges are at higher weights.

8. Rafael Marquez

Points: 43
Record: 37-5 (33 KOs)
Title: None
Last outing: L12 to No. 6 Israel Vazquez on March 1
Previous ranking: 9
Up next: Nothing scheduled
Analysis: Probably belongs at bantamweight, where he'd be dominant.

9. Bernard Hopkins

Points: 31
Record: 48-5 (32 KOs)
Title: None
Last outing: L12 to No. 3 Joe Calzaghe on April 19
Previous ranking: 6
Up next: Nothing scheduled
Analysis: Retirement may be in the offing.

10. Ivan Calderon

Points: 16
Record: 31-0 (6 KOs)
Title: WBO and The Ring junior flyweight champion
Last outing: W12 over Nelson Dieppa on April 5
Previous ranking: NR
Up next: Nothing scheduled
Analysis: Brilliant boxer lacks sorely in power.

Others receiving votes: Cristian Mijares 13; Chris John 10; Winky Wright 8; Ricky Hatton 6; Mikkel Kessler 3; Dave Haye 3; Antonio Margarito 2; Shane Mosley 2; Oscar De La Hoya 2; Chad Dawson 1; Arthur Abraham 1; Nonito Donaire 1.