Commentary

The top three pound-for-pound fighters

Updated: June 16, 2010, 10:58 AM ET
By Dan Rafael | ESPN.com

Who is the world's best fighter regardless of weight class? See my top 20 below.

And don't forget to check out the divisional rankings, which are updated weekly.

For a list of the current champions in all weight classes, click here.

Note: Results are through June 15.

1
Manny Pacquiao

Welterweight titlist
Age: 31 | Record: 51-3-2, 38 KOs

Hits: When Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather tried to negotiate a March fight during December and January, the talks ultimately blew up over a single deal point -- they could not agree on a cutoff date for blood testing, which Mayweather had insisted upon, in advance of the fight. Now Pacquiao has reconsidered. He has made it clear that he wants to fight Mayweather and publicly declared that he has agreed to the 14-day cutoff window that Mayweather was agreeable to last time. It is a step in the right direction and shows Pacquiao is willing to compromise in order to make the biggest fight in boxing.

Misses: Not a word to say as long as he fights Mayweather in the fall.


2
Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Welterweight
Age: 33 | Record: 41-0, 25 KOs

Hits: For years, all we wanted to see was Mayweather face a legitimate top welterweight foe. Not only did he finally do it when he fought Shane Mosley in May, but Mayweather weathered an early storm and looked sensational as he rolled to one of the most dominant victories in his outstanding career. Mayweather talked the talk and finally walked the walk. Now bring on Pacquiao.

Misses: Does anyone really believe the recent comments from Mayweather suggesting he is headed for another long layoff or retirement? Please. Enough with that nonsense. But if -- a big if -- Mayweather really does retire again, nobody can possibly argue that he isn't blatantly ducking Pacquiao.


3
Paul Williams

Middleweight
Age: 28 | Record: 39-1, 27 KOs

Hits: Williams and his handlers have maintained for the past few years that Williams could fight at middleweight, junior middleweight or welterweight, where he is a former two-time titleholder. Now, after all the talk, Williams' promoter, Dan Goossen, says "The Punisher" will indeed return to 147 to fight in the fall. Not sure who he will face, but Williams is determined to at least prove he can still fight at welterweight, the idea being to put himself in the mix for a big fight with the likes of Pacquiao or Mayweather. Both of those bouts are unlikely to take place, but Williams is going to do his best to put the pressure on them, and you have to respect that.

Misses: Although Williams got the win against Kermit Cintron in May after a bizarre ending in which Cintron flew out of the ring, Williams didn't look all that good during the three-plus rounds that the fight lasted. Maybe the war Williams had with Sergio Martinez in December took something out of him?


Click here for Nos. 4-20. Insider