Rankings: Ageing top 10 could get even older
Boxing is a young man’s game, though someone apparently forgot to tell Evander Holyfield.
But there are plenty of graybeards in the Yahoo! Sports top 10 in January and it’s as likely as not that the rankings will continue to be dominated by older men.
Six of the top-10 men are older than 30, and three of those men will have another birthday before they fight again. Even No.5 Andre Ward, the baby of the group at 26, will have another birthday before action in the Super Six World Boxing Classic resumes.
There are also veterans lurking on the edge of the top 10 who could significantly increase its average age. Bernard Hopkins turned 46 earlier this month and fell just shy of overtaking Fernando Montiel for the 10th spot. If Montiel fails to defeat Nonito Donaire Jr. in their bantamweight showdown on February 19 in Las Vegas, it’s almost certain Hopkins will vault back into the top 10.
World Boxing Council heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko, who fights Odlanier Solis on March 19 in Germany, finished 14th in the voting. He will turn 40 in July and could be in the top 10 by that point if there are any upsets.
And that’s not to mention Shane Mosley, who fights top-ranked Manny Pacquiao on May 7 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Mosley is 39 and would go from being unranked to, almost certainly, high in the top 10 should he upset Pacquiao.
It’s very possible that by July, there could be as many as eight 30-year-olds and, perhaps, three 40-year-olds gracing the top 10.
It’s a young man’s game, but the old folks aren’t going quietly.
1. Manny Pacquiao
Points: 299 (29 of 30 first-place votes)
Record: 52-3-2 (38 KOs)
Title: WBC super welterweight champion & WBO welterweight champion
Last outing: W12 over Antonio Margarito on Nov. 13
Previous ranking: 1
Up next: May 7 vs. Shane Mosley in Las Vegas
Analysis: Fans up in arms over choice of Mosley as opponent
2. Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Points: 248 (1 of 30 first-place votes)
Record: 41-0 (25 KOs)
Last outing: W12 over No. 10 Shane Mosley on May 1
Previous ranking: 2
Up next: Nothing scheduled
Analysis: Legal woes put fight career in jeopardy
3. Sergio Martinez
Record: 46-2-2 (25 KOs)
Title: WBC middleweight champion emeritus
Last outing: KO2 Paul Williams on Nov. 20
Previous ranking: 3
Up next: March 12 vs. Sergiy Dzinziruk
Analysis: Near-unanimous pick as 2010 Fighter of the Year
4. Juan Manuel Marquez
Record: 52-5-1 (35 KOs)
Title: WBA, WBO lightweight champion
Last outing: TKO9 over Michael Katsidis on Nov. 27
Previous ranking: 4
Up next: April 9 vs. Erik Morales in Las Vegas
Analysis: Deserved shot to fight Pacquiao
5. Andre Ward
Record: 23-0 (13 KOs)
Title: WBA super middleweight champion
Last outing: W12 over Sakio Bika on Nov. 27
Previous ranking: 6
Up next: Vs. Arthur Abraham, date TBA
Analysis: Now the clear favorite to win the Super Six
6. Wladimir Klitschko
Record: 55-3 (49 KOs)
Title: IBF, WBO heavyweight champion
Last outing: TKO10 over Samuel Peter on Sept. 11
Previous ranking: 5
Up next: April 30 vs. Dereck Chisora in Germany
Analysis: Unification fight with David Haye looking bleak
7. Juan Manuel Lopez
Record: 30-0 (27 KOs)
Title: WBO featherweight champion
Last outing: TKO8 Rafael Marquez on Nov. 6
Previous ranking: 7
Up next: April 16 vs. Orlando Salido in Puerto Rico
Analysis: Powerful puncher, entertaining style
8. Timothy Bradley
Record: 26-0 (11 KOs)
Title: WBO super lightweight champion
Last outing: W12 over Luis Carlos Abregu on July 17
Previous ranking: 9
Up next: Jan. 29 vs. Devon Alexander in Pontiac, Mich.
Analysis: Win over Alexander could move him into top five
9. Nonito Donaire Jr.
Record: 25-1 (17 KOs)
Title: Interim WBA super flyweight champion
Last outing: TKO4 over Volodymyr Sydorenko on Dec. 4
Previous ranking: 8
Up next: Vs. No. 10 Fernando Montiel on Feb. 19 in Las Vegas
Analysis: Dynamic puncher developing all-around game
10. Fernando Montiel
Record: 44-2 (34 KOs)
Title: WBC-WBO bantamweight champion
Last outing: KO2 Jovanny Soto on Dec. 10
Previous ranking: 10
Up next: Vs. No. 9 Nonito Donaire Jr. on Feb. 19 in Las Vegas
Analysis: Showdown with Donaire will establish world’s best bantamweight
Others receiving votes: Bernard Hopkins, 35; Lucian Bute, 34; Paul Williams, 27; Vitali Klitschko, 20; Yuriorkis Gamboa, 17; Pongsaklek Wonjongkam, 14; Devon Alexander, 10; Miguel Cotto, 9; Chris John, 5; Andre Berto, 4; Tomasz Adamek, 3; David Haye, 2. Carl Froch, 1; Amir Khan, 1; Anselmo Moreno, 1.
Voting panel: Raul Alzaga, Primera Hora; Al Bernstein, Showtime; Ron Borges, Boston Herald; Damian Calhoun, Orange County Register; Steve Cofield, Yahoo! Sports; Dave Cokin, ESPN Radio, Las Vegas; Gareth A. Davies, London Telegraph; Andrew Eisele, About.com; Steve Farhood, Showtime; Scott Fyfe, Sunday Post, Scotland; Thomas Gerbasi, BoxingScene.com; Carlos Gonzalez, Primera Hora; Lee Groves, BoxingScene.com; Thomas Hauser, Seconds Out; Keith Idec, Herald News, New Jersey; Kevin Iole, Yahoo! Sports; Michael Katz, Gaming Today, Las Vegas; Scott Mallon, Boxing Digest; Rich Marotta, Fox Sports; Gunnar Meinhardt, Die Welt; Marty Mulcahey, MaxBoxing.com; Kieran Mulvaney, Reuters; Santos Perez, Miami Herald; Martin Rogers, Yahoo! Sports; Cliff Rold, Boxingscene.com; Lem Satterfield, Fanhouse.com; Tim Smith, New York Daily News; Don Steinberg, Wall Street Journal/Philadelphia Inquirer; Dave Weinberg, Press of Atlantic City; George Willis, New York Post.