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Tuesday, July 21, 2009


There has been precious little to report in terms of action on the world 'pound-for-pound' beat in recent weeks after several high profile fights were either scrapped or re-scheduled.

Former 'pound-for-pound' top dog Floyd Mayweather was forced to shelve a proposed comeback bout with current 'P4P' number two Juan Manuel Marquez due to injury, but happily those two are still set to go at it in September.

British fans were left reeling when David Haye pulled out of his big world heavyweight title challenge with Wladimir Klitschko in Germany and that fight now looks dead in the water with Haye instead setting his sights on a fight with Klitschko's elder brother (and WBC champion) Vitali.

Wladimir did box in June and he looked plenty impressive as he dominated the previously undefeated Ruslan Chagaev over nine, brutally one-sided rounds.

Klitschko kept his southpaw opponent on the end of a ramrod jab all night long and he looked incredibly comfortable all night.

It was workmanlike rather than inspiring from the 33-year-old, who is the IBF and WBO champion (Chagaev was WBA boss but his belt was not on the line) and whose record now stands at 53-3.

Klitschko has been on the 'pound-for-pound' periphery for a number of years now but while he is seriously popular in Germany his safety-first approach to business doesn't endear him to a wider audience.

He gets an honourable mention in our latest list but desperately needs a big performance in a marquee fight to crack our top 10.

Vic Darchinyan had been knocking on the 'pound-for-pound' door but that door was closed, possibly forever, by Joseph Agbeko recently.

IBF bantamweight boss Agbeko stood up to Darchinyan's best shots before pulling away to record a deserved points win over the Armenian-Aussie, who was chasing the KO all night against a teak tough African and paid the ultimate penalty.

Darchinyan remains a world class puncher and talker but he has suffered two defeats in big fights in recent years and at 33 it's difficult to see where he goes from here.

One fighter who is moving in the right direction however is Juan Manuel Lopez, who chalked up win number 26 when he stopped a game but outgunned Olivier Lontchi in Atlantic City recently.

It wasn't vintage 'Juanma' but the big-hitting 26-year-old was still way too good for his Cameroon opponent, who was pulled out after nine one-sided rounds.

Lopez is eyeing up a super-bantamweight unification fight with Israel Vazquez in 2010 and if he can come through that he'll improve on his current ranking of nine on our list.

The big 'pound-for-pound' news of the month of course is the announcement that Manny Pacquiao is going to box Miguel Cotto in Las Vegas in November.

Pacquiao, a multi-weight world champion from 112 to 140 pounds, is on a roll after fine wins over Oscar De La Hoya and Ricky Hatton.

He's at the peak of his powers but clearly only wants to be involved in big fights from here on in and they don't come much bigger than Cotto.

The Puerto Rican has recovered well since losing to Antonio Margarito last year and a win over the 'Pac Man' would go a long way towards restoring his own reputation in the game.

With that fight, plus the recently announced super-middleweight tournament involving the likes of Mikkel Kessler, Carl Froch, Arthur Abraham and Andre Ward to look forward to the next few months should be truly captivating for fight fans everywhere.

Sportinglife.com pound-for-pound world top 10:

1 - Manny Pacquiao

2 - Juan Manuel Marquez

3 - Miguel Cotto

4 - Bernard Hopkins

5 - Shane Mosley

6 - Chad Dawson

7 - Israel Vazquez

8 - Paul Williams

9 - Juan Manuel Lopez

10 - Kelly Pavlik

Honourable mentions: Wladimir Klitschko, Juan Diaz, Mikkel Kessler, Joan Guzman and Ivan Calderon.

Source: http://www.sportinglife.com/boxing/news/story_get.cgi?STORY_NAME=boxing/09/07/21/manual_091934.html

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