Neutral Corner Top 10, Mayweather No. 1
Floyd Mayweather Jr. remains at the top spot on the Neutral Corner after an impressive win over Miguel Cotto. Andre Ward is still No. 2. You just can’t deny him after winning the Showtime Super Six World Boxing Classic championship. Manny Pacquiao stays at No. 3, while Sergio Martinez and Nonito Donaire round out the top five. There was some movement in the bottom five as Canelo Alvarez and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. came in at No. 8 and No. 10, respectively. Juan Manuel Marquez and Amir Khan dropped out.
1. Floyd Mayweather Jr., welterweight (43-0): After an impressive unanimous-decision victory over Miguel Cotto, the “Money” man is without a doubt No.1. Mayweather, 35, is currently serving a 90-day jail sentence after pleading guilty to assault, but that shouldn’t throw off his fight schedule.
2. Andre Ward, super middleweight, (24-0): Putting Andre Ward at No. 2 wasn’t the most popular decision, but the Neutral Corner is convinced Ward is the second-best p4p fighter in the world. Sorry Many Pacquiao, sorry Sergio Martinez, but Ward had defeated an impressive string of fighters in a three-year span. He’s beaten Arthur Abraham, Sakio Bika, Allan Green, Mikkel Kessler and Carl Froch in succession. There isn’t a fighter on this list whose list of opponents comes close to that. He’ll fight Chad Dawson on September 8 in Oakland.
3. Manny Pacquiao, welterweight, (54-4-2): Pacquiao’s No. 3 ranking has nothing to do with his controversial loss to Tim Bradley, because he was third in our last list last January. The rematch for Pacquiao-Bradley is tentatively set for November 10. A dominating win could certainly lead to changes on thislist.
4. Sergio Martinez, middleweight, (49-2-2): Martinez earned this ranking with dominating wins over Kelly Pavlik, Paul Williams, Serhiy Dzinziruk, Darren Barker and Matthew Macklin. Martinez will get the chance he’s been waiting for on September 15 when he takes on Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. It’s a fight that could finally get him the recognition he’s been seeking.
5. Nonito Donaire, super bantamweight, (28-1): Donaire, the WBO super bantamweight champ, dominated Omar Andres Narvaez last October and was actually the WBO and WBC bantamweight champ. He gave up both belts and moved up to super bantamweight for a shot to fight Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. He was successful in his big, scoring a split-decision win to capture the WBO super bantamweight belt. He’ll take on Jeffrey Mathebula on July 7 at the Home Dept Center in Carson, Ca.
6. Wladimir Klitschko, heavyweight, (56-3): Klitschko, the IBF, WBO and WBA champ dominated Jean Marc Mormeck with a fourth-round knockout last March and will take on Tony Thompson in Switzerland on July 7. Yes, there is a dearth of talent in the heavyweight division, but you can’t argue with Klitschko’s results.
7. Yuriorkis Gamboa, Featherweight, (21-0): Gamboa hasn’t been active since a win over Ponce de Leon at the Boardwalk Hall last September 10. Rumors that he was going to fight Rocky Juarez last March were just that, rumors.
8. Canelo Alvarez, junior middleweight (40-0-1): Alvarez has been nothing short of brilliant. He dominated Ryan Rhodes, Alfonso Gomez, Kermit Cintron and Shane Mosley in succession over the last year. The 21-year-old has become an icon in Mexico and will further etch his name in stone if he can take out Victor Ortiz on September 15.
9. Timothy Bradley, welterweight, (29-0): Sorry, but the Neutral Corner just can’t justify moving Bradley up on this list. His “win” over Pacquiao was a farce, so we can’t give him credit for it. That notwithstanding, Bradley is still a quality fighter, he’s still undefeated and still has beaten an impressive list of boxers.
10. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., middleweight (46-0): A fighter with Chavez Jr.’s name and record would normally be a little higher on a p4p list. But Chavez Jr.’s lack of quality opponents has bothered the Neutral Corner for some time. His seventh-round TKO of Andy Lee was impressive, especially when you consider Chavez Jr., the WBC middleweight champ, was actually trailing on all three judge’s scorecards. He has a golden opportunity to move up on this list when he takes on Sergio Martinez on September 15.