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2009 Ring Fan Poll: Mayweather makes Comeback of the Year

22
Dec

COMEBACK OF THE YEAR VOTING RESULTS

Floyd Mayweather Jr.: 42 percent
Amir Khan: 37 percent
Paulie Malignaggi: 17 percent
Robert Guerrero: 4 percent

Note: These are not the official RING awards. Those will be announced next month in the magazine.

Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s return to boxing was akin to a king reclaiming his throne.

When he “retired” as an active boxer after stopping Ricky Hatton on Dec. 8, 2007, he was universally considered the No. 1 fighter in the world pound for pound. When he returned, he fully intended to prove nothing had changed.

And he more or less succeeded when he met Juan Manuel Marquez on Sept. 19 in Las Vegas, 21 months after the Hatton fight.

Marquez, the No. 2 fighter pound for pound at the time, was too small and too slow for Mayweather. Still, “Money” clearly demonstrated that he had lost none of his natural gifts — particularly that amazing speed — or once-in-a-generation skills.

The Mexican, who had given Manny Pacquiao hell in two fights, couldn’t touch Mayweather and was virtually shut out as a result. Few fighters were ever more effective after such a long layoff.

And just as important, his return stirred the fans. Whether they love him or hate them, they came out in droves to see him. The fight generated 1.05 million pay-per-view buys, clear evidence that Mayweather remained a major attraction.

Thus, Mayweather narrowly beat out Amir Khan for the Comeback of the Year award.

During his time off, however, a rival emerged to challenge Mayweather both in terms of his ability and drawing power — Pacquiao.

The Filipino icon ascended to the top of the pound-for-pound rankings because of a string of spectacular victories. And, in the opinion of most experts, not even Mayweather’s convincing victory could unseat Pacquiao.

Pacquiao also outperformed Mayweather at the box office, albeit barely. His showdown with Miguel Cotto on Nov. 14 generated 1.25 million pay per view buys.

Fortunately, the battle for supremacy has really just begun: Pacquiao and Mayweather are tentatively scheduled to meet on March 13 to determine who really is the top fighter in the world.

On that night, assuming nothing prevents it from happening, we’ll see how successful Mayweather’s comeback truly is.