Year-End Boxing Champions for 2009
It was a healthy year for boxing in 2009, with two fights -- Floyd Mayweather vs. Juan Manuel Marquez and Manny Pacquiao vs. Miguel Cotto -- attracting more than 1 million pay-per-view buys for the first time in a decade. Here's a look at the sport's six recognized champions at year's end.
Wladimir Klitschko, Heavyweight
Klitschko stopped top contender Ruslan Chagaev on June 20 to add the <i>Ring</i> magazine title to his IBF and WBO belts. The ninth-round TKO before 61,000 fans at Germany's Veltins-Arena marked the 11th consecutive victory for Klitschko, who hasn't lost in more than five years.
Tomasz Adamek, Cruiserweight (200 pounds)
The durable Pole made two successful defenses of his IBF cruiserweight title, against Johnathon Banks in February (TKO 8) and Bobby Gunn in July (RTD 4), before moving up to heavyweight to meet compatriot Andrew Golata in Lodz, Poland. Adamek won by fifth-round TKO.
Kelly Pavlik, Middleweight (160 pounds)
Dogged by a staph infection on his left hand, the undisputed middleweight champion was forced to cancel two fights with Paul Williams in 2009. Following a routine title defense against mandatory challenger Marco Antonio Rubio on Feb. 21, Pavlik spent 10 months in waiting -- the longest layoff of his career. With the WBC and WBO threatening to strip his titles because of inactivity, Pavlik returned to stop Miguel Espino on Dec. 19.
Manny Pacquiao, Jr. Welterweight (140 pounds)
SI.com's Fighter of the Year became undisputed king of the 140-pounders on May 2 with a vicious second-round knockout of Ricky Hatton. With the victory, Pacquiao became the first boxer in history to win the lineal championship in four weight classes. The Filipino southpaw next moved up to welterweight on Nov. 14 and earned a piece of the 147-pound title with a 12th-round TKO of Miguel Cotto.
Juan Manuel Marquez, Lightweight (135 pounds)
Already the <i>Ring</i> lightweight champion after last year's victory over Joel Casamayor, Marquez consolidated power in the 135-pound division with a Feb. 28 knockout of Juan Diaz for the WBA, IBF and WBO belts. Moving up nearly three divisions for a Sept. 19 superfight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. at a catchweight of 144, Marquez dropped a lopsided decision but retained his lightweight titles.
Ivan Calderon, Jr. Flyweight (108 pounds)
Calderon made two defenses of the 108-pound title against Rodel Mayol, with both fights ending prematurely on accidental headbutts. Calderon retained the title on a technical draw on June 13, before defeating Mayol in the Sept. 12 rematch on a technical decision.