Based on recent resume, career accomplishments and overall skill, here is the list of boxing’s current pound for pound best. (These lists are always open for debate, so feel free to make comments and offer up your own lists):
1) Manny Pacquiao (Welterweight): 50-3-1 (38 KOs)
Was there any doubt? Manny has firmly established himself atop the list of elites with blow-out wins over Miguel Cotto, Ricky Hatton and Oscar De la Hoya. Even before his recent marquee wins, Pacquiao was a solid top three or four pick on many pound for pound lists. Seven titles in seven divisions is a mighty accomplishment indeed.
2) Floyd Mayweather Jr. (Welterweight): 40-0 (25 KOs)
When Mayweather returned to boxing after a twenty month layoff, some critics scoffed at the idea of him facing converted lightweight, Juan Manuel Marquez , as his first challenge. The criticism didn’t disappear after Mayweather totally dominated Marquez, but no amount of raised eyebrows can erase the fact that Mayweather is a five division world champ and one of the most skilled boxers of this generation.
3) Bernard Hopkins (Light Heavyweight): 50-5-1 (32 KOs)
“The Executioner” just celebrated his 45th birthday and is still an active, elite world class fighter. After a career of championship excellence which saw him unite all four world titles at middleweight and capture the lineal light heavyweight title, Hopkins continues to excel, most recently against pound for pound entrant, Kelly Pavlik, and tough Mexican fringe contender, Enrique Ornelas
4) Shane Mosley (Welterweight): 46-5 (39 KOs)
Counted out and marginalized by the boxing media, 38-year old Mosley has spent the last three years proving the critics wrong. With a close loss to Miguel Cotto and dominant victories over Luis Collazo, Ricardo Mayorga and Antonio Margarito, “Sugar” Shane has earned back his spot at the top of the list of elites.
5) Juan Manuel Marquez (Lightweight): 50-5-1 (37 KOs)
Looking past his most recent loss to Mayweather at a weight well above his comfort zone, Marquez is still the lineal lightweight champion and was the last fighter to give Manny Pacquiao a serious run for his money. Recent career wins over Juan Diaz, Joel Casamayor and Rocky Juarez affirm the fact that Marquez is right where he belongs on this list.
6) Paul Williams (Jr. Middleweight): 38-1 (27 KOs)
“Boxing’s Most Feared Man” has been traveling up and down three weight classes in order to find fighters willing to take him on. The freakishly tall southpaw with the monster work rate has had major wins at welterweight, jr. middleweight and middleweight. Kelly Pavlik’s recent reluctance to fight Williams is just par for the course. “The Punisher” continues to be in search of that one defining bout to cement his legacy.
7) Wladimir Klitschko (Heavyweight): 53-3 (47 KOs)
The Klitschko Brothers take a lot of grief, and younger brother, Wladimir, seems to be the target of most of it. The fact of the matter, though, is that Wlad has done everything expected of a a world champion. He has faced the division’s top rated fighters and has looked dominant in doing so. His most recent domination came against fellow belt holder and top five heavyweight, Ruslan Chagaev.
8.) Chad Dawson (Light Heavyweight): 29-0 (17 KOs)
“Bad” Chad has not filled any arenas, nor has he set TV ratings on fire, but he is simply one of the finest pure boxers in the sport today. Dawson holds decisive wins over the best light heavyweights who would fight him. Antonio Tarver, Glen Johnson and Tomasz Adamek are a combined 5-0 against Dawson and that puts him among the sport’s current elite.
9) Vitali Klitschko (Heavyweight): 39-2 (37 KOs)
The older Klitschko brother has been totally dominant since he came back from retirement in 2008. He has nabbed the WBC strap and has beaten a wide variety of fighters and styles from the brute force of Chris Arreola to the well-schooled technique of Juan Carlos Gomez.
10) Timothy Bradley (Jr. Welterweight): 25-0 (11 KOs)
“Desert Storm” has proven to be one of the gutsiest champions in the sport by taking risky fights and coming out on top. 2009 saw Bradley take on fellow jr. welterweight champ, Kendall Holt, in a unification bout, tough-as-nails veteran Nate Campbell and hungry, young challenger, Lamont Peterson. Bradley performed excellently in all three bouts and has finally broken into the list of the sport’s elite.
Honorable Mention:Ivan Calderon (Needs to step up his schedule and level of opposition), Kelly Pavlik (Can he pick up the pieces after a horrid 2009?), Nonito Donaire (Has the skill, but lacks the resume), Miguel Cotto (Can he recover after two devastating beatings in the last year and a half?), Chris John (Longevity and class make him an honorable mention)