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Floyd sits pretty atop boxing poll

Kevin Iole
Yahoo Sports

Floyd Mayweather Jr. solidified his place atop the Yahoo! Sports boxing rankings with his 10th-round stoppage of Ricky Hatton on Saturday.

It did not, though, come without a price. Mayweather said Thursday that he was in great pain throughout his training camp and that he needs a long rest to allow back, elbow and hand injuries to heal.

Mayweather said Thursday by telephone from New York, where he was taping a segment for HBO's rebroadcast of his fight with Hatton, that he injured his elbow during sparring with Carlos Baldomir.

He further added that his upper back was hurting, which limited his mobility.

"Boxing has taken one hell of a toll on me and my body is breaking down now," the 30-year-old Mayweather said, five days after his 39th professional fight. "I'm not the same now as when I was younger. My body is telling me the time is getting close when I can't do this any more."

He said he needs a long vacation and wouldn't commit to fighting again at all. While he stopped short of saying he's going to retire, he said he won't fight unless his body feels better than it does now.

He praised his most logical next potential opponent, WBA welterweight champion Miguel Cotto, but wouldn't commit to facing the Puerto Rican star at some point.

"I don't have to beat anyone to prove anything about my skills and my talents, because my credentials speak for themselves," Mayweather said. "Cotto is a good, young fighter; a good, young champion. I have nothing negative to say about him. He has had some nice wins. There are a lot of good, young fighters out there. He's definitely one of them, maybe one of the best."

Mayweather said he had the television turned down in his locker room before the fight and said he wasn't aware the largely British crowd was so resoundingly booing the U.S. national anthem.

A member of the 1996 U.S. Olympic team, Mayweather said he could hear the crowd booing but wasn't sure what it was about. When he learned of it after the fight, he said he was upset.

"It brought tears to my eyes," he said. "I was on the Olympics. I represented my country. This victory, more than any other I've had, I fought for my country. I had my country on my back. I was respectful toward Ricky Hatton and all of his fans, but that was totally disrespectful to this country. I'm pretty sure Ricky Hatton would tell you that was wrong, too. It bothers me they did that."

The top seven spots in the rankings remained as they were in November. Hatton dropped out and the fighters who were below him moved up a notch.

1. Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Points: 198 (18 of 20 first-place votes)
Record: 39-0 (25 KOs)
Title: WBC welterweight champion
Last outing: Stopped Ricky Hatton in the 10th on Dec. 8
Last month’s ranking: 1
Up next: Nothing scheduled
Analysis: Clearly the most complete and most gifted fighter in the world

2. Manny Pacquiao

Points: 171 (1 of 20 first-place votes)
Record: 45-3-2 (35 KOs)
Title: None
Last outing: Won a unanimous decision over Marco Antonio Barrera on Oct. 6
Last month’s ranking: 2
Up next: Fights No. 6 Juan Manuel Marquez on March 15 in Las Vegas
Analysis: Continues to face top opposition

3. Joe Calzaghe

Points: 159 (1 of 20 first-place votes)
Record: 44-0 (32 KOs)
Title: WBA, WBC, WBO super middleweight champion
Last outing: Won unanimous decision over Mikkel Kessler on Nov. 3
Last month’s ranking: 3
Up next: Negotiating for spring bout with No. 5 Bernard Hopkins
Analysis: A win over Hopkins would greatly raise his profile among American fans.

4. Miguel Cotto

Points: 122
Record: 31-0 (25 KOs)
Title: WBA welterweight champion
Last outing: Won unanimous decision over Shane Mosley on Nov. 10
Last month’s ranking: 4
Up next: Nothing scheduled
Analysis: Fans are beginning to clamor for a 2008 match with Mayweather

5. Juan Manuel Marquez

Points: 92
Record: 48-3-1 (35 KOs)
Title: WBC super featherweight champion
Last outing: Won unanimous decision over Rocky Juarez on Nov. 3
Last month’s ranking: 6
Up next: Faces No. 2 Manny Pacquiao on March 15 in Las Vegas
Analysis: Vastly underrated boxer

6. Bernard Hopkins

Points: 91
Record: 48-4 (32 KOs)
Title: Light heavyweight champion
Last outing: Won unanimous decision over No. 10 Winky Wright on July 21
Last month’s ranking: 5
Up next: Negotiating for spring bout with No. 3 Joe Calzaghe
Analysis: Could move into third-spot with win over Calzaghe

7. Israel Vazquez

Points: 60
Record: 42-4 (31 KOs)
Title: WBC super bantamweight champion
Last outing: Stopped Rafael Marquez in probable Fight of the Year on Aug. 5 in Hidalgo, Texas
Last month’s ranking: 7
Up next: Fights rubber match with Marquez on March 1
Analysis: The best of the lower weight fighters (under 126)

8. Kelly Pavlik

Points: 58
Record: 32-0 (29 KOs)
Title: WBC, WBO middleweight champion
Last outing: Won middleweight title with seventh-round TKO of Jermain Taylor on Sept. 29
Last month’s ranking: 9
Up next: Rematch with Taylor on Feb. 16 in Las Vegas
Analysis: Hardest puncher in the top 10

9. Juan Diaz

Points: 32
Record: 33-0 (17 KOs)
Title: IBF, WBA, WBO lightweight champion
Last outing: Unified belts with ninth-round TKO of Julio Diaz on Oct. 13
Last month’s ranking: T10
Up next: Considering bout with mandatory challenger Michael Katsidis
Analysis: Volume puncher always delivers an exciting show

10. Winky Wright

Points: 24
Record: 51-4-1 (25 KOs)
Title: None
Last outing: Lost unanimous decision to No. 5 Bernard Hopkins on July 21
Last month’s ranking: T10
Up next: Nothing scheduled
Analysis: Waiting in the wings if negotiations for a Hopkins-Calzaghe fizzle

Others receiving votes: Ricky Hatton, 17; Ivan Calderon, 14; Rafael Marquez, 13; Wladimir Klitschko, 12; Paul Williams, 11; Chad Dawson, 6; Chris John, 5; Cristian Mijares, 5; Shane Mosley, 3; Mikkel Kessler, 2; Jermain Taylor, 2.