Pound-for-pound rankings: Bradley moves up the list
Minutes after his win over Juan Manuel Marquez on Oct. 12, Tim Bradley declared unequivocally where he thinks he belongs on boxing's pound for pound lists.
"I have to be considered top three in the world now," Bradley said. "There is Floyd Mayweather, there is Andre Ward and there is Tim Bradley."
Bradley certainly made a strong case to move up, beating Marquez -- No. 3 on September's pound-for-pound list -- by split decision. Though not as crowd pleasing as Bradley's brawl with Ruslan Provodnikov last March, Bradley outthrew (562-455) and out-landed (168-153) Marquez, according to CompuBox, in a fight between two of boxing's best counterpunchers.
So what's a win over Marquez worth? Here's SI.com's latest pound-for-pound list
1. Floyd Mayweather, 45-0-0
The inimitable Mayweather claimed win No. 45 -- along with a check for $41.5 million -- with another lopsided win, this time over Saul Alvarez on Sept. 14. Facing a younger, bigger opponent, Mayweather was masterful, showcasing his trademark elusiveness and connecting on more jabs (138) than in his previous two fights. Mayweather says he will return to the ring in May, with the most likely challengers being unified junior welterweight champion Danny Garcia or popular Brit Amir Khan
2. Andre Ward, 26-0-0
It has been a forgettable year for Ward, who missed the first half with a shoulder injury and has been on the shelf in the second due to a conflict with HBO over his next opponent. Both sides finally settled on Edwin Rodriguez, a limited but television-friendly fighter who Ward will face on Nov. 16.Ward would love a matchup with Top Rank cash cow Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. If that doesn't happen, Ward's future may be at light heavyweight.
3. Manny Pacquiao, 54-5-2
Pacquiao has been quiet since being knocked out cold by Marquez in December, but he will return against Brandon Rios in Macau on Nov 24. If he bounces back, a rematch with Bradley or a showdown with the winner of Mike Alvarado-Ruslan Provodnikov could loom next year.
4. Sergio Martinez, 51-2-2
Martinez looked ordinary in a decision win over Martin Murray, and members of his team have acknowledged that Martinez's time in the sport is limited. Still, one bad win doesn't diminish what Martinez has accomplished. A knee injury, though, will keep Martinez out of the ring until early next year, when he could be in line for a lucrative showdown with Miguel Cotto.
5. Wladimir Klitschko, 60-3-0
For years, Alexander Povetkin was considered Wladimir Klitschko's most skilled potential opponent. After Klitschko's whitewashing of Povetkin -- a fight in which Povetkin was knocked down four times -- it's fair to wonder if there is any contender that can give Klitschko much of a fight. Behind a potent jab, Klitschko dominated, once against establishing himself as the best heavyweight in boxing. A mandatory title defense against Kubrat Pulev could be next.
6. Juan Manuel Marquez, 55-7-1
If Manny Pacquiao is an ideal opponent for Marquez, Bradley is one of the worst. The counterpunching Marquez struggles against fighters with a similar style (see Mayweather, Floyd) and against Bradley, Marquez had to be the aggressor more often than he likely would have liked. Marquez hardly embarrassed himself though, and at 40 there are still plenty of possibilities for him.
7. Nonito Donaire, 31-2-0
Donaire struggled in a loss to Guillermo Rigondeaux in April, blaming an injured shoulder and improper preparation. Shoulder surgery has sidelined Donaire since, but he will look to bounce back in November in a rematch against Vic Darchinyan.
8. Guillermo Rigondeaux, 12-0-0
Is Rigondeaux, at times, hard to watch? Yes. Is he effective? Yes there, too. In April, Rigondeaux was brilliant in outpointing Donaire, moving in and out, potshotting Donaire with blurring speed. After some tense negotiations with HBO -- which showed little interest in bringing Rigondeaux back -- the super bantamweight champion will face Joseph Agbeko in December.
9. Tim Bradley 31-0-0
Say what you want about Bradley-Pacquiao, but Bradley now officially owns wins over Pacquiao, Marquez and Devon Alexander and was in a Fight of the Year candidate against Ruslan Provodnikov. Bradley made a guaranteed $4.1 million to fight Marquez and is in line for another big payday against Pacquiao, Brandon Rios or Mike Alvarado sometime next year.
10. Abner Mares, 26-1-0
Mares's rise up the pound-for-pound ladder came to a crashing halt in August, when hard-hitting Jhonny Gonzalez flattened him in the first round. Mares's success against elite opponents -- from the Showtime bantamweight tournament to quality wins over Anselmo Moreno and Daniel Ponce De Leon -- keeps him from slipping too far, and he will get a chance to avenge his loss, quickly: Mares exercised his rematch clause and will likely fight Gonzalez again in the next few months.
11. Gennady Golovkin, 27-0-0
Golovkin wiped out veteran title challenger Matthew Macklin last month, a one sided domination that ended with one of the most crushing body shots in recent memory. In the amateurs, the pros and probably in street fights as a kid, Golovkin has dominated. He is powerful and skilled, and its hard to see too many of the current 160-pounders hanging with him. He will face his biggest punching opponent to date on Nov. 2, when he defends his middleweight belt against Curtis Stevens.
12. Danny Garcia, 27-0-0
Too young? Ask Erik Morales. Too one-dimensional? Check with Amir Khan. Can't box? Ask Zab Judah? No chin? Go see Lucas Matthysse? Garcia has made a habit of quieting his critics, most recently with a win over Matthysse on Sept. 14. The unified junior welterweight champion, Garcia says he is headed to 147 pounds, where a fight with Mayweather could be in the offing.
13. Carl Froch, 31-2-0
Froch won an entertaining slugfest against Mikkel Kessler in May, positioning himself as perhaps the most appealing 168-pounder out there. Froch brings a huge British fan base and a truckload of TV money, and there are no shortage of options (Ward, Kessler, Bernard Hopkins) for him to fight. First, a mandatory title defense against countryman George Groves in November.
14. Roman Gonzalez, 35-0-0
The junior flyweight star continues his romp through the sport, wiping out Francisco Rodriguez Jr. in seven rounds. There has not been a huge market for fighters in Gonzalez's weight class(es), but at 26, Gonzalez could make new fans, quickly. Gonzalez will try to best his 14th Mexican opponent when he takes on Oscar Blanquet in November.
15. Adrien Broner, 27-0-0
The outlandish Broner irritates many with his out-of-the-ring antics, but there's no denying his talent. Last June, Broner climbed two weight classes to claim a welterweight belt with a decisive decision over Paulie Malignaggi. There are shades of Mayweather in Broner -- most notably his shoulder roll defense -- and an aggressive style that has made him television-friendly. Next up: A showdown with Argentine slugger Marcos Maidana in December.