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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Rankings: Floyd’s mouth roars

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By Kevin Iole

Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. continue to hold the top two spots in the Yahoo! Sports boxing rankings. And it continues to seem as if they’ll never meet each other.

The two men agreed on virtually every aspect of a bout, including a date, a site, a name (Mayweather-Pacquiao in the U.S., Pacquiao-Mayweather internationally) and, most importantly, money.

Mayweather even agreed to a Pacquiao demand of a $10 million per pound penalty for any weight over 147 pounds. But they couldn’t agree on random, Olympic-style drug testing and the bout fell apart.

Mayweather gave a revealing interview with his hometown newspaper, The Grand Rapids Press, in which he suggested that he’ll no longer agree to a 50-50 money split.

Instead of meeting each other, as sports fans were demanding, Mayweather is fighting Shane Mosley on May 1 in Las Vegas, while Pacquiao faces Joshua Clottey on March 13 in Arlington, Texas.

Both fights are on pay-per-view, but the Mayweather-Mosley fight is expected to far outdo it in sales. The Pacquiao-Clottey fight, which is at Cowboys Stadium, will draw perhaps as many as three times as many fans, though the Mayweather-Mosley gate will be larger due to substantially higher ticket prices.

But if Mayweather-Mosley, which has stronger name value between both fighters, does better on pay-per-view than Pacquiao-Clottey, the likelihood of a Mayweather-Pacquiao fight ever occurring diminishes greatly. The sides had quickly agreed on terms before, with each man guaranteed $25 million plus a share of the pay-per-view proceeds.

Mayweather, though, will be watching the numbers intently. And if Mayweather and Pacquiao each win, agreeing to financial terms won’t be as easy as it was the first time. “Instead of 20 or 25 (million dollars), he may have to drop to 15, or 17,” Mayweather told Mayo. “And you know me, they may have to throw that extra five or 10 on mine, and we can rock and roll. Take it or leave it.”

And Mayweather also told Mayo that he won’t compromise any longer on the drug testing issue. He agreed to halt testing 14 days out from the fight as they were attempting to reach a deal, but Pacquiao wanted 24 days.

Now, Mayweather says, there will be no cutoff or there will be no fight. “I gave him a chance, up to 14 days out,” Mayweather said. “But my new terms are all the way up to the fight. They can come get us whenever, all the way up to the fight, random drug test. That’s what it is.”

And so it seems that the question of deciding who is best between Pacquiao and Mayweather will be decided by words and polls, and not by punches in the ring. With that, let’s take a look at this month’s rankings:

1. Manny Pacquiao
Points: 279 (27 of 28 first-place votes)
Record: 50-3-2 (38 KOs)
Title: WBO welterweight champion
Last outing:: TKO12 over Miguel Cotto on Nov. 14

Previous ranking:: 1
Up next: vs. Joshua Clottey on March 13 in Arlington, Texas
Analysis:Fans still eager for bout with Mayweather

2. Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Points: 252 (1 of 28 first-place votes)
Record: 40-0 (25 KOs)
Title: None
Last outing:: W12 over No. 6 Juan Manuel Marquez on Sept. 19
Previous ranking:: 2
Up next: May 1 fight vs. No. 4 Shane Mosley in Las Vegas
Analysis: The game’s best defensive fighter

3. Paul Williams

Points: 186
Record: 38-1 (27 KOs)
Title: WBO junior middleweight champion
Last outing:: W12 over Sergio Martinez on Dec. 5
Previous ranking:: 4
Up next: Nothing scheduled
Analysis:Can be a factor at 147, 154 and 160

4. Shane Mosley

Points: 184
Record: 46-5 (39 KOs)
Title: WBA welterweight champion
Last outing:: TKO9 over Antonio Margarito on Jan. 24, 2009
Previous ranking:: 3
Up next: May 1 vs. No. 2 Floyd Mayweather Jr. in Las Vegas
Analysis: Will fight on 17-month layoff.

5. Bernard Hopkins

Points: 127
Record: 50-5-1 (32 KOs)
Title: None
Last outing:: W12 over Enrique Ornelas on Dec. 2
Previous ranking:: 5
Up next: vs. Roy Jones Jr. on April 3 in Las Vegas
Analysis:Fight with Jones to settle old score.

6. Juan Manuel Marquez

Points: 115
Record: 50-5-1 (37 KOs)
Title: WBA, WBO lightweight champion
Last outing:: L12 to No. 2 Floyd Mayweather Jr. on Sept. 19
Previous ranking:: 6
Up next: Nothing scheduled
Analysis: Inexplicably declined super lightweight title bout with Amir Khan.

7. Chad Dawson

Points: 89
Record: 28-0 (17 KOs)
Title: Interim WBC light heavyweight champion
Last outing:: W12 over Glen Johnson on Nov. 7
Previous ranking:: 8
Up next: Nothing scheduled
Analysis: Hasn’t faced fighter younger than 39 in more than two years

8. Arthur Abraham

Points: 81
Record: 31-0 (25 KOs)
Title: None
Last outing:: TKO12 Jermain Taylor on Oct. 17
Previous ranking:: 7
Up next: March 6 vs. Andre Dirrell in Rancho Mirage, Calif.
Analysis: Co-favorite in Super Six tournament.

9. Wladimir Klitschko
Points: 45
Record: 53-3 (47 KOs)
Title: IBF, WBO heavyweight champion
Last outing:: TKO9 over Ruslan Chagaev on June 20
Previous ranking:: 9
Up next: March 20 vs. Eddie Chambers in Dusseldorf, Germany
Analysis: Extremely gifted big man

10. Juan Manuel Lopez

Points: 26
Record: 28-0 (25 KOs)
Title: WBO featherweight champion
Last outing:: TKO7 over Steven Luevano on Jan. 23
Previous ranking:: 10
Up next: Nothing scheduled
Analysis: Eyeing showdown with Yuriorkis Gamboa for featherweight supremacy.

Others receiving votes: Ivan Calderon, 30; Timothy Bradley, 24; Miguel Cotto, 18; Vitali Klitschko, 15; Israel Vazquez, 12; Nonito Donaire, 10; Sergio Martinez, 10; Celestino Caballero, 9; Yuriorkis Gamboa, 9; Chris John, 7; Hozumi Hasegawa, 3; Andre Ward, 1.

Voting panel: Raul Alzaga, Primera Hora; Ron Borges, Boston Herald; Steve Cofield, Yahoo! Sports; Dave Cokin, ESPN Radio 1100, Las Vegas; Andrew Eisele,; Scott Fyfe, Sunday Post, Scotland; Thomas Gerbasi,; Lee Groves,; Thomas Hauser, Seconds; Keith Idec, Herald News, New Jersey; Kevin Iole, Yahoo! Sports; Michael Katz, Gaming Today; Scott Mallon, Asian Boxing News; Rich Marotta, Fox Sports Net; David Mayo, Grand Rapids Press; Franklin McNeil, Newark Star Ledger; Gunnar Meinhardt, Die Welt; Robert Morales, Los Angeles Daily News; Marty Mulcahey,; Kieran Mulvaney, Reuters; Brett Okamoto, Las Vegas Sun; Santos Perez, Miami Herald; Martin Rogers, Yahoo! Sports; Michael Rosenthal, Ring; Tim Smith, New York Daily News; T.K. Stewart,; Paul Upham, Seconds; John Whisler, San Antonio Express News.


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