The voters in the monthly Yahoo! Sports Top 10 rankings are making it clear to fighters, promoters and managers that they expect to see the best fighters face each other.
Miguel Cotto moved two slots in the poll, bypassing Bernard Hopkins and Juan Manuel Marquez, after his impressive victory over Shane Mosley in their bout for the WBA welterweight title on Nov. 10 at Madison Square Garden in New York.
And WBA-WBO-IBF lightweight champion Juan Diaz entered the poll in a tie for 10th after his impressive stoppage of Julio Diaz on Oct. 13 in suburban Chicago.
The message is clear: Win big and you'll be rewarded. Joe Calzaghe, who scored a unanimous decision over Mikkel Kessler in a super middleweight unification title bout on Nov. 3 in Cardiff, Wales, also benefited. He remained No. 3, but closed the gap on both No. 1 Floyd Mayweather Jr. and No. 2 Manny Pacquaio.
A new voter to the poll this month is Brian Doogan, the veteran boxing columnist for The Sunday Times in London and the European correspondent for The Ring magazine.
Below are the results of the fourth monthly Yahoo! Sports Top 10 poll:
1. Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Points: 157 (13 of 16 first-place votes)
Record: 38-0, 24 KOs
Title: WBC welterweight champion
Last outing: Won split decision over Oscar De La Hoya on May 5 to win WBC super welterweight title.
October poll: 1
Up next: Faces No. 8 Ricky Hatton on Dec. 8 in Las Vegas.
Analysis: A runaway No. 1 in each of the poll's four appearances.
2. Manny Pacquiao
Points: 136 (2 of 16 first-place votes)
Record: 45-3-2, 35 KOs
Title: Ranked No. 1 in the WBC, WBA, WBO and No. 3 in the IBF
Last outing: Won unanimous decision over Marco Antonio Barrera on Oct. 6 in Las Vegas.
October poll: 2
Up next: Undecided, but likely to face either No. 6 Juan Manuel Marquez for WBC super featherweight title or David Diaz for WBC lightweight title.
Analysis: Perhaps the most exciting fighter in the top 10.
3. Joe Calzaghe
Points: 122 (1 of 16 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 to retain WBO belt and win WBA-WBC belts.
October poll: 3
Up next: Eyeing a 2008 fight against No. 5 Bernard Hopkins.
Analysis: Super Joe made big impression with his win over Kessler.
4. Miguel Cotto
Record: 31-0, 25 KOs
Title: WBA welterweight champion
Last outing: Won unanimous decision over Shane Mosley on Nov. 10 to retain WBA welterweight title.
October poll: 6
Up next: Undecided
Analysis: A big-money fight against either No. 1 Floyd Mayweather Jr. or Oscar De La Hoya could be in the offing for 2008.
5. Bernard Hopkins
Record: 48-4-1, 32 KOs
Last outing: Won unanimous decision over No. 10 Winky Wright on July 21.
October poll: 4
Up next: Likely to face No. 3 Joe Calzaghe in early 2008
Analysis: Hopkins has expressed interest in a Calzaghe fight, so it's likely to occur.
6. Juan Manuel Marquez
Record: 48-3-1, 35 KOs
Title: WBC super featherweight champion
Last outing: Retained title with unanimous decision of Rocky Juarez on Nov. 3.
October poll: 5
Up next: Hoping for rematch with No. 2 Manny Pacquiao in 2008.
Analysis: Badly needs a career-defining fight, such as one with Pacquiao.
7. Israel Vazquez
Record: 42-4, 31 KOs
Title: WBC super bantamweight champion
Last outing: Regained title by stopping Rafael Marquez in sixth round of potential Fight of the Year bout on Aug. 5.
October poll: 8
Up next: March 1 vs. Rafael Marquez.
Analysis: Traded places in poll with No. 8 Ricky Hatton.
8. Ricky Hatton
Record: 43-0, 31 KOs
Title: IBO super lightweight champion
Last outing: Stopped Jose Luis Castillo in four rounds on June 23.
October poll: 7
Up next: Faces No. 1 Floyd Mayweather Jr. on Dec. 8 in Las Vegas.
Analysis: Will move way up should he upset Mayweather.
9. Kelly Pavlik
Record: 32-0, 29 KOs
Title: WBC-WBO middleweight champion
Last outing: Won middleweight title by knocking out Jermain Taylor in seventh round on Sept. 29.
October poll: T9
Up next: Rematch vs. Taylor at catch weight of 166 (titles not at stake) on Feb. 16 in Las Vegas.
Analysis: A series of big-money fights looms in 2008
10. (tie) Winky Wright
Record: 51-4-1, 25 KOs
Title: Ranked No. 5 at middleweight by WBC and WBO
Last outing: Lost unanimous decision to No. 5 Bernard Hopkins on July 21 in Las Vegas.
October poll: T9
Up next: Nothing scheduled
Analysis: Things don't look good for a significant fight for Wright.
10. (tie) Juan Diaz
Record: 33-0, 17 KOs
Title: WBA-WBO-IBF lightweight champion
Last outing: Retained WBA-WBO belts and won IBF belt with a ninth-round TKO of Julio Diaz on Oct. 13 in Hoffman Estates, Ill.
October poll: Unranked
Up next: Nothing scheduled
Analysis: Wins over Acelino Freitas and Julio Diaz are making believers of many.
Others receiving votes: Rafael Marquez, 12; Paul Williams, 10; Wladimir Klitschko, 9; Chad Dawson, 7; Ivan Calderon, 7; Shane Mosley, 3; Mikkel Kessler, 2; Jermain Taylor, 2; Marco Antonio Barrera, 1; David Haye, 1.