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Thursday, October 22, 2009

A few questions on the pound for pound rankings

Let me pose a quick question.

If—and this is a big if—Manny Pacquiao loses to Miguel Cotto in their November 14 clash, will Floyd Mayweather Jr. overtake him in the Ring Magazine’s pound for pound rankings?

Well, Floyd is perched just one place below Pacquiao at number two so the answer is most certainly a resounding yes, regardless of whether Pacquiao loses by decision or knockout, or even if he draws with Cotto.

But wait, maybe I am asking the wrong question here. Perhaps the question should be, "What is Floyd doing there at number two, anyway?"

A lot of boxing writers were quick to sing Floyd’s praises soon after he demolished the smaller and older Juan Manuel Marquez in their 12-round tiff a month ago. On the one hand, some were awed by Floyd’s speed and skill and how he outclassed and outgunned the pugilistic master that is Marquez, the same Marquez that gave Pacquiao all he could handle in the course of two scintillating fights wherein the Mexican failed to chalk up a single win notwithstanding. Others, on the other hand, were amazed at how Floyd seemed to quickly dust off the rust he accumulated in the course of two years of retirement as easily as he could mouth off gibberish, spew out venom, and dole out trash talk when promoting one of his fights.

I must say that I wasn’t exactly blown away by Floyd’s performance. In my opinion, he should not have shot up to number two as quickly as he did just by beating the best lightweight in the world who is at least a couple of weight divisions below him. Especially since Floyd, who already had the size advantage coming into the fight, even failed to make the weight.

With the loss, Marquez has dropped to number five, just below Shane Mosley and Bernard Hopkins who occupy three and four spots respectively.

Floyd’s win should have elevated Mosley to number two. Floyd should have occupied third place at the most. Fighting and beating Mosley, the best welterweight in the world (or even better, moving up in weight and challenging and defeating the number one Jr. Middleweight in the world, Paul Williams) would have put him at second at the least and maybe even first at the most.

What is this hullabaloo, you may ask, about the pound for pound rankings anyway, specifically the Ring Magazine pound for pound rankings (with the Ring Magazine titles thrown into the mix)? Does it matter?

If you are a boxer it most certainly would matter if you are ranked by the Ring (its list by which for years now, has been the established standard for ranking fighters pound for pound) equally and probably even more so than acquiring one or more of the alphabet titles that proliferate these days.

It’s a seemingly simple equation, really: a fighter fights and beats the best fighters in his division or goes up in weight and racks up wins against good fighters heavier than him, then, theoretically, he makes the list. He goes on and puts up better performances, and he moves up the list. I would like to emphasize the word "theoretically" here because it seems that Floyd, in my view at least, has not done enough yet to warrant a second place ranking on the list.

If the pound for pound list matters and the Ring Magazine titles matter to the boxers, then it’s safe to say that it should be just as valued by the promoters too. In fact, not a few boxing promotions have been staged with the words "pound for pound" bandied about and with the Ring Magazine titles at stake. It just adds to the drama surrounding the fight, and more drama means more tickets sold.

Having said that, isn’t it imperative that the rankings reflect the most hardworking and courageous fighters on the planet? And by hardworking and courageous, I don’t mean ducking dangerous opponents and handpicking ones that are perceived to be less of a threat.

Also, isn’t it better that, since Golden Boy Promotions recently acquired the Ring Magazine, the former should try to prove that there are no shenanigans involved with regards to ownership?

Well, regardless, perhaps I’m barking up the wrong tree here. In the beginning of this piece I asked a rhetorical question: If Manny Pacquiao loses to Miguel Cotto in their November 14 clash, will Floyd Mayweather Jr. overtake him in the Ring Magazine’s pound for pound rankings?

Well, in that case, I guess I don’t have anything to worry about.

Source: http://www.8countnews.com/news/125/ARTICLE/2004/2009-10-21.html

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