Rankings: More than wins and losses

Kevin Iole
Yahoo Sports

Perhaps the results of the March Yahoo! Sports poll of the world's top 10 boxers will serve as a reminder to television executives.

Rafael Marquez was ranked 10th in the February poll, lost his fight in March and managed to move up to ninth.

Several voters, in voting for both Rafael and his older brother, Juan Manuel Marquez, remarked that they were moving the boxers up because of their brilliant, albeit losing performances.

Rafael Marquez was beaten by Israel Vazquez on March 1 at Carson, Calif., in what at the time seemed a cinch to be named the 2008 Fight of the Year. But two weeks later, older brother Juan Manuel dropped a heartbreakingly close decision to Manny Pacquiao in a fight that may have superseded the March 1 classic.

The lesson is that the fans and media want to see quality fights. If the fighters compete and put on a great show, losses won't be held against them. The television networks far too often put winning and having a championship at the top of their priority lists.

It's time to rearrange that thinking. It doesn't matter if a bout is for a title or not, as long as it's competitive and promises good action. Make those kinds of bouts, and people will watch.

There were a few changes at the bottom of the top 10. Juan Diaz dropped out after his loss to Nate Campbell in their lightweight title fight on March 8 in Cancun, Mexico. Diaz' manager, Willie Savannah, plans to ask that the fight's result be overturned on the grounds that there were no pre- and post-fight drug tests.

Savannah needs to know that the public watched and saw for itself the way Campbell dominated Diaz down the stretch. Whether or not Diaz gets the title back upon appeal won't matter a bit to a true fan of boxing.

Campbell was the winner and will be recognized as such by the public regardless of what the outcome of Savannah's protest may be.

Rafael Marquez moved up from No. 10 to No. 9 and Winky Wright moved back into the poll in the 10th position.

1. Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Points: 268 (25 of 27 first-place votes)
Record: 39-0 (25 KOs)
World 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: May have more trouble with Big Show at Wrestlemania XXIV than with any boxer.

2. Manny Pacquiao

Points: 229 1/2 (1 of 27 first-place votes)
Record: 46-3-2 (35 KOs)
World 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: Pacquiao's power makes him dangerous at all times

3. Joe Calzaghe

Points: 209 (1 of 27 first-place votes)
Record: 44-0 (32 KOs)
World title: WBA, WBC, WBO and The Ring super middleweight champion
Last outing: W12 over Mikkel Kessler on Nov. 3
Previous ranking: 3
Up next: April 19 in Las Vegas vs. No. 6 Bernard Hopkins
Analysis: As complete a fighter as there is in boxing

4. Miguel Cotto

Points: 166
Record: 31-0 (25 KOs)
World title: WBA welterweight champion
Last outing: W12 over Shane Mosley on Nov. 10
Previous ranking: 4
Up next: April 12 in Atlantic City, N.J., vs. Alfonso S. Gomez
Analysis: The most devastating body puncher in boxing

5. Juan Manuel Marquez

Points: 136 1/2
Record: 48-4-1 (35 KOs)
World title: None
Last outing: L12 to No. 2 Manny Pacquiao on March 15
Previous ranking: 5
Up next: Nothing scheduled
Analysis: Sturdiness of chin cost him against Pacquiao again

6. Bernard Hopkins

Points: 131
Record: 48-4 (32 KOs)
World title: The Ring light heavyweight champion
Last outing: W12 over No. 10 Winky Wright on July 21
Previous ranking: 6
Up next: April 19 in Las Vegas vs. No. 3 Joe Calzaghe
Analysis: Calzaghe may be his toughest test to date

7. Israel Vazquez

Points: 127
Record: 43-4 (31 KOs)
World title: WBC and The Ring super bantamweight champion
Last outing: W12 over Rafael Marquez on March 1
Previous ranking: 7
Up next: Nothing scheduled
Analysis: There is no more exciting fighter to watch

8. Kelly Pavlik

Points: 91
Record: 33-0 (29 KOs)
World 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: The middleweight division's Big Bopper

9. Rafael Marquez

Points: 39
Record: 37-5 (33 KOs)
World title: None
Last outing: L12 to No. 7 Israel Vazquez on March 1
Previous ranking: 10
Up next: Nothing scheduled
Analysis: Best super bantamweight fighter not named Vazquez

10. Winky Wright

Points: 19
Record: 51-4-1 (25 KOs)
World title: None
Last outing: L12 to No. 6 Bernard Hopkins on July 21
Previous ranking: NR
Up next: Nothing scheduled
Analysis: Financial demands standing in way of a big fight.

Others receiving votes: Ivan Calderon 16; Chris John 13; Ricky Hatton 12; Cristian Mijares 9; David Haye 5; Kermit Cintron 4; Wladimir Klitschko 3; Mikkel Kessler 2; Oscar De La Hoya 2; Arthur Abraham 1; Nonito Donaire 1; Juan Diaz 1.