Boxing - Rankings: Broner and Mares gain ground after big wins

The emergence of several quality young boxers has made the bottom half of the Yahoo! Sports boxing rankings as competitive as they have been since their 2007 inception.

Boxing - Mares to challenge Ponce De Leon

View photo

Abner Mares of Mexico

The October Top 10 remained the same except for Juan Manuel Marquez changing places with Nonito Donaire.

The interesting battle, though, was for 10th, which Carl Froch has held since May. Froch, the IBF super middleweight champion, stopped Yusef Mack in the third round of a dominant performance on November 17, doing his part to keep his ranking.

But lightweight Adrien Broner and super bantamweight Abner Mares are closing the gap fast. Each had extraordinarily impressive wins – Broner stopped Antonio DeMarco in the eighth to win the WBC lightweight title, while Mares decisioned Anselmo Moreno to retain his belt – and suddenly are worthy of serious consideration for the Top 10.

I've been voting for Froch in 10th, but changed my opinion in light of Mares's solid win over Moreno, a highly skilled and vastly underrated opponent. Froch lost his biggest fight, to No. 2 Andre Ward, in one-sided manner. Mares won his going away, beating back a serious challenge.

Mares has also been on a great roll. In addition to Moreno, he's racked up quality wins over Joseph Agbeko (twice), Eric Morel and Vic Darchinyan.

Broner also made a statement with his win over DeMarco. He clearly is talented enough not only to make the Top 10, but to be one of its fixtures near the top. But the issue from Broner's standpoint is that DeMarco was the best opponent he's faced by far. He doesn't have the depth of quality opposition that either Froch or Mares have.

Though I went with Mares over Froch, the 28 who voted in the poll this month went for Froch by a solid margin. My own vote was, in order, for Floyd Mayweather Jr., Andre Ward, Manny Pacquiao, Sergio Martinez, Nonito Donaire, Juan Manuel Marquez, Vitali Klitschko, Wladimir Klitschko, Timothy Bradley and Abner Mares.

With that, here are the latest Yahoo! Sports boxing top 10 rankings:

1. Floyd Mayweather Jr.

2. Andre Ward

3. Manny Pacquiao

4. Sergio Martinez

5. Juan Manuel Marquez

6. Nonito Donaire Jr.

7. Wladimir Klitschko

8. Timothy Bradley

9. Vitali Klitschko

10. Carl Froch

Others receiving votes: Miguel Cotto, 19; Abner Mares, 16; Adrian Broner, 12; Chris John, 4; Guillermo Rigondeaux, 3; Gennady Golovkin, 2; Roman Gonzalez, 2; Brian Viloria, 2.

View comments (2)