Top three pound-for-pound fighters
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 Sept. 27.
1. MANNY PACQUIAO
Record: 53-3-2, 38 KOs
Hits: Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez have stoked their rivalry through two terrific fights and two controversial decisions -- a draw in their 2004 featherweight title fight and a Pacquiao split-decision win in their 2008 junior lightweight championship fight. Now, at long last, they will meet again, in a fight that should -- hopefully -- result in a definitive ending that closes the book on their series. If their Nov. 12 HBO PPV fight is half as good as the first two, it will be pay-per-view money well spent.
Misses: Ideally, Pacquiao and Marquez would meet at junior welterweight, where it would seem to be a fairer fight for Marquez, rather than welterweight, where Marquez has fought only once, losing to Floyd Mayweather Jr. Pacquiao is perfectly capable of making 140 pounds, but he obviously doesn't want to give Marquez that benefit.
2. FLOYD MAYWEATHER JR.
Record: 42-0, 26 KOs
Hits: Mayweather, a future Hall of Famer, made a much-anticipated and welcome return to the ring on Sept. 17 -- it was his first fight in 16 months -- and dominated Victor Ortiz, drilling him in the fourth round to win yet another world title. Let's hope Mayweather doesn't take another year-plus off again.
Misses: Some are upset because Mayweather fired the two-punch combination that knocked Ortiz silly while the latter had his hands down and wasn't looking at Mayweather after referee Joe Cortez restarted the fight following a timeout necessitated by Ortiz's intentional head-butt. (Those people don't quite grasp the fact that the fight had restarted and the cardinal rule of boxing is to protect yourself at all times.) Mayweather's verbal attack on HBO commentator Larry Merchant during their postfight interview was also wholly uncalled for and just plain childish.
3. SERGIO MARTINEZ
Record: 47-2-2, 26 KOs
Hits: Anytime Martinez, one of the classiest boxers and people in the business, gets into the ring -- which he will do against relatively unknown Darren Barker (23-0, 14 KOs) of England on Oct. 1 -- it is a good thing for the sport. Martinez, the 2010 fighter of the year -- courtesy of a bloody decision over Kelly Pavlik to win the middleweight crown followed by the knockout of the year against Paul Williams in their rematch -- has generally been in entertaining fights in recent years and never ducks anyone.
Misses: Barker is a 26-to-1 underdog, which means there are very low expectations for a serious fight against Martinez, who lacks name opponents at 160 pounds to bring him greater glory. That is one reason he says he would go all the way down to 150 pounds to get Manny Pacquiao or Floyd Mayweather Jr. into the ring or up to as heavy as 164 pounds to try to make a catchweight fight with one of the top super middleweights.
Click here for Nos. 4-20.
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- Weight increased for Alvarez vs. Angulo fight
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