Ring Ratings Update
Manny Pacquiao (right) clocks Miguel Cotto with a left en route to taking the Puerto Rican titleholder's 147-pound belt on Saturday. Pacquiao's dominating 12th-round stoppage was so impressive that THE RING Editorial Board installed him as the magazine's No. 1-rated welterweight contender. Photo / Craig Bennett-Fightwireimages.com
Manny Pacquiao did more than solidify his place atop every credible pound-for-pound list with his breathtaking domination of Miguel Cotto on Saturday in Las Vegas.
He did more than win an unprecedented seventh title in a seventh weight class with his 12th-round stoppage of the proud Puerto Rican beltholder.
Pacquiao, who went toe to toe with Cotto in the thrilling first four rounds of the bout and twice dropped the bigger man, proved that he could deliver and take a welterweight punch.
THE RING’s Ratings Panel of boxing journalists from around the world and the magazine’s Editorial Board were so impressed with Pacquiao’s second showing above 140 pounds (the first was his one-sided beating of Oscar De La Hoya last December) that they installed the fabulous Filipino as the No. 1-rated welterweight.
The move put Pacquiao (50-3-2, 38 knockouts) ahead of former Cotto-victim and current beltholder Shane Mosley.
Mosley (46-5, 39 KOs), who lost a unanimous decision to Cotto in November of 2007, was dropped to the No. 2 spot in THE RING’s welterweight rankings.
Floyd Mayweather, the former RING welterweight champ who debuted at No. 2 following his comeback rout of lightweight champ Juan Manuel Marquez in September, dropped to the No. 3 spot.
Cotto (34-2, 27 KOs) was pushed back to No. 4.
“Manny Pacquiao’s TKO of Miguel Cotto drew a wide array of suggestions from THE RING Ratings Advisory Panel,” said Nigel Collins, Editor-in-Chief of THE RING magazine, “and the majority felt that Pacquiao deserved the top spot. The Editorial Board agrees.
“Shane Mosley (No. 1 last week) has only fought three times at welterweight since he lost the 147-pound title to Vernon Forrest in 2002, winning a decision over Luis Collazo, losing a decision to Cotto, and stopping Antonio Margarito. Mayweather (No. 2 last week) has never faced a true welterweight anywhere as good as Cotto or Margarito, and in his only fight since his lengthy layoff he faced a blown-up lightweight.”
Cotto’s loss to Pacquiao did not affect his pound-for-pound rating in THE RING. The magazine still ranks Cotto No. 7, which means the top four welterweights are also in THE RING’s pound-for-pound Top 10.
The last time so many welterweights were considered to be among the elite of the sport was during the late 1990s, when De La Hoya, Pernell Whitaker, Felix Trinidad and Ike Quartey were the game’s top 147-pound fighters.
De La Hoya fought all three of his contemporaries before the turn of the century, going 2-1 in a series of very close 12-round bouts. In 2000, he risked his one-loss record against then-undefeated Mosley, losing a competitive split decision.
De La Hoya, who held THE RING’s pound-for-pound No. 1 spot on and off during the late ’90s, never came close to that mythical ranking again following his loss to Mosley, but The Golden Boy cemented his status as the biggest star in the sport.
Pacquiao and Mayweather (40-0, 25 KOs) are both on the verge of taking De La Hoya’s place as boxing’s main attraction and crossover success.
Will the two boxing marvels, Nos. 1 and 2 on most pound-for-pound lists (including THE RING’s), take a page from De La Hoya’s book and risk their current status by fighting each other in the showdown that fight fans — and even mainstream sports fans — want to see?
And if they do fight each other, will the winner of Pacquiao-Mayweather have the confidence and courage to take on Mosley, THE RING’s No. 3 pound-for-pound player who takes on No. 7-rated welterweight Andre Berto on Jan. 30?
The boxing world certainly hopes so.
THE RING RATINGS UPDATE
Firat Arslan (No. 5 last week) exits because he has been inactive for more than a year. Arslan’s departure moves up everybody rated No. 6 or below last week one position each. The void at No. 10 is filled by Russian standout Grigory Drodz (32-1, 23 KOs).
Pacquiao enters at No. 1 after stopping Cotto. Pacquiao’s arrival bumps down everybody rated last week one place each and forces out Vyacheslav Senchenko (No. 10 last week).
Pacquiao will retain his championship status for the time being. If he decides to stay at welterweight, THE RING would recognize a bout between whoever the Nos. 1 and 2 junior welterweight contenders are at the time Pacquiao relinquishes the title.
Doug Fischer can be reached at [email protected]