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Details about  Muhammad Ali 0.999 Pure Gold Clad Coin The Champ Sporting Hero Legend Winner US

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Muhammad Ali 0.999 Pure Gold Clad Coin The Champ Sporting Hero Legend Winner US
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Muhammed Ali
The Greatest of All Time
0.999 Pure Gold Clad Coin

Uncirculated Commemorative Coin

Has an Image of "The Greatest" Mohammed Ali and his name and the words "The Champ"

The Back of the coins has his gloves and the words "The Greatest of All Times"

The coin is 40mm in diameter, weighs about  1 oz.

Comes in air-tight acrylic coin holder

A Beautiful coin and Magnificent Keepsake Souvenir of  a True Legend

In Excellent Condition

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Muhammad Ali (born Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr.; January 17, 1942) is an American former professional boxer,[1] philanthropist[2] and social activist.[2] Considered a cultural icon, Ali was perhaps one of the most idolized, vilified and complex public figures of the 20th century.[3][4]

Originally known as Cassius Clay, Ali changed his name, after joining the Nation of Islam in 1964, the same year his friend Malcolm X would leave, subsequently converting to traditional Islam; Ali would follow suit in the '70s. In 1967, three years after Ali had won the World Heavyweight Championship, he was publicly vilified for his refusal to be conscripted into the U.S. military, based on his religious beliefs and opposition to the Vietnam War – "I ain't got no quarrel with them Viet Cong... No Vietcong ever called me nigger" – one of the more telling remarks of the era.[5]

Widespread protests against the Vietnam War had not yet begun, but with that one phrase, Ali articulated the reason to oppose the war for a generation of young Americans, and his words served as a touchstone for the racial and antiwar upheavals that would rock the 60's. Ali's example inspired Martin Luther King Jr. – who had been reluctant to alienate the Johnson Administration and its support of the civil rights agenda – to voice his own opposition to the war for the first time.[6]

Ali would then be arrested and found guilty on draft evasion charges, stripped of his boxing title, and his boxing license was suspended. He was not imprisoned, but did not fight again for nearly four years while his appeal worked its way up to the U.S. Supreme Court, where it was eventually successful.

Ali would go on-to become the first and only, three-time Lineal World Heavyweight Champion.

Nicknamed "The Greatest," Ali was involved in several historic boxing matches. Notable among these were three with rival Joe Frazier, which rank among the greatest in boxing history, and one with George Foreman, where he finally regained his stripped titles seven years later. Ali was well known for his unorthodox fighting style, which he described as "float like a butterfly, sting like a bee", and employing techniques such as the Ali Shuffle and the rope-a-dope.[7] Ali had brought beauty and grace to the most uncompromising of sports and through the wonderful excesses of skill and character, he had become the most famous athlete in the world.[8] He was also known for his pre-match hype, where he would "trash talk" opponents, often with rhymes.

In 1999, Ali was crowned "Sportsman of the Century" by Sports Illustrated and "Sports Personality of the Century" by the BBC.[9][10]

Professional boxing record

56 Wins (37 knockouts, 19 decisions), 5 Losses (4 decisions, 1 TKO), 0 Draws[1]

Res. Opponent Type Round, Time Date Age Location Notes

Loss Trevor Berbick Decision (unanimous) 10 (10) December 11, 1981 39 years, 328 days  Nassau, Bahamas

Loss Larry Holmes TKO (Corner Stoppage) 10 (15) October 2, 1980 38 years, 259 days  Las Vegas, NV Match was for WBC Heavyweight title.

Win Leon Spinks Decision (unanimous) 15 (15) September 15, 1978 36 years, 241 days  New Orleans, LA Won WBA Heavyweight title;

Vacated title on 1979-09-06

Loss Leon Spinks Decision (split) 15 (15) February 15, 1978 36 years, 29 days  Las Vegas, NV Lost WBA/WBC Heavyweight titles

Win Earnie Shavers Decision (unanimous) 15 (15) September 29, 1977 35 years, 255 days  New York City, NY Retained WBA/WBC Heavyweight titles

Win Alfredo Evangelista Decision (unanimous) 15 (15) May 16, 1977 35 years, 119 days  Landover, MD Retained WBA/WBC Heavyweight titles

Win Ken Norton Decision (unanimous) 15 (15) September 28, 1976 34 years, 255 days  The Bronx, New York Retained WBA/WBC Heavyweight titles

Win Richard Dunn TKO 5 (15) May 24, 1976 34 years, 128 days  Munich, West Germany Retained WBA/WBC Heavyweight titles

Win Jimmy Young Decision (unanimous) 15 (15) April 30, 1976 34 years, 104 days  Landover, MD Retained WBA/WBC Heavyweight titles

Win Jean-Pierre Coopman KO 5 (15) February 20, 1976 34 years, 34 days  San Juan, Puerto Rico Retained WBA/WBC Heavyweight titles

Win Joe Frazier TKO 14 (15), 0:59 October 1, 1975 33 years, 257 days  Quezon City, Philippines "The Thrilla in Manila";

Retained WBA/WBC Heavyweight titles

Win Joe Bugner Decision (unanimous) 15 (15) June 30, 1975 33 years, 164 days  Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Retained WBA/WBC Heavyweight titles

Win Ron Lyle TKO 11 (15) May 16, 1975 33 years, 119 days  Las Vegas, NV Retained WBA/WBC Heavyweight titles

Win Chuck Wepner TKO 15 (15), 2:41 March 24, 1975 33 years, 66 days  Richfield, OH Retained WBA/WBC Heavyweight titles

Win George Foreman KO 8 (15), 2:58 October 30, 1974 32 years, 286 days  Kinshasa, Zaire "The Rumble in the Jungle";

Won WBA/WBC Heavyweight titles

Win Joe Frazier Decision (unanimous) 12 (12) January 28, 1974 32 years, 11 days  New York City, NY Retained NABF Heavyweight title;

Vacated title later in 1974

Win Rudi Lubbers Decision (unanimous) 12 (12) October 20, 1973 31 years, 276 days  Jakarta, Indonesia

Win Ken Norton Decision (split) 12 (12) September 10, 1973 31 years, 236 days  Inglewood, CA Won NABF Heavyweight title

Loss Ken Norton Decision (split) 12 (12) March 31, 1973 31 years, 73 days  San Diego, CA Lost NABF Heavyweight title

Win Joe Bugner Decision (unanimous) 12 (12) February 14, 1973 31 years, 28 days  Las Vegas, NV

Win Bob Foster KO 7 (12) November 21, 1972 30 years, 309 days  Stateline, NV Retained NABF Heavyweight title

Win Floyd Patterson TKO 7 (12) September 20, 1972 30 years, 247 days  New York City, NY Retained NABF Heavyweight title

Win Alvin Lewis TKO 11 (12), 1:15 July 19, 1972 30 years, 184 days  Dublin, Ireland

Win Jerry Quarry TKO 7 (12), 0:19 June 27, 1972 30 years, 162 days  Las Vegas, NV Retained NABF Heavyweight title

Win George Chuvalo Decision (unanimous) 12 (12) May 1, 1972 30 years, 105 days  Vancouver, Canada Retained NABF Heavyweight title

Win Mac Foster Decision (unanimous) 15 (15) April 1, 1972 30 years, 75 days  Tokyo, Japan

Win Jürgen Blin KO 7 (12), 2:12 December 26, 1971 29 years, 343 days  Zurich, Switzerland

Win Buster Mathis Decision (unanimous) 12 (12) November 17, 1971 29 years, 304 days  Houston, TX Retained NABF Heavyweight title

Win Jimmy Ellis TKO 12 (12), 2:10 July 26, 1971 29 years, 190 days  Houston, TX Won vacant NABF Heavyweight title

Loss Joe Frazier Decision (unanimous) 15 (15) March 8, 1971 29 years, 50 days  New York City, NY "The Fight of the Century";

Match was for WBA/WBC Heavyweight


Win Oscar Bonavena TKO 15 (15), 2:03 December 7, 1970 28 years, 324 days  New York City, NY Won NABF Heavyweight title;

Vacated title in 1971

Win Jerry Quarry TKO 3 (15) October 26, 1970 28 years, 282 days  Atlanta, GA

Win Zora Folley KO 7 (15), 1:48 March 22, 1967 25 years, 64 days  New York City, NY Retained WBA/WBC Heavyweight titles;

Stripped of titles on 1967-04-28

Win Ernie Terrell Decision (unanimous) 15 (15) February 6, 1967 25 years, 20 days  Houston, TX Retained WBC Heavyweight title,

Won WBA Heavyweight title

Win Cleveland Williams TKO 3 (15) November 14, 1966 24 years, 301 days  Houston, TX Retained WBC Heavyweight title

Win Karl Mildenberger TKO 12 (15) September 10, 1966 24 years, 236 days  Frankfurt, West Germany Retained WBC Heavyweight title

Win Brian London KO 3 (15) August 6, 1966 24 years, 201 days  London, England Retained WBC Heavyweight title

Win Henry Cooper TKO 6 (15), 1:38 May 21, 1966 24 years, 124 days  London, England Retained WBC Heavyweight title

Win George Chuvalo Decision (unanimous) 15 (15) March 29, 1966 24 years, 71 days  Toronto, Canada Retained WBC Heavyweight title

Win Floyd Patterson TKO 12 (15), 2:18 November 22, 1965 23 years, 309 days  Las Vegas, NV Retained WBC Heavyweight title

Win Sonny Liston KO 1 (15), 2:12 May 25, 1965 23 years, 128 days  Lewiston, ME Retained WBC Heavyweight title

Win Sonny Liston TKO 7 (15) February 25, 1964 22 years, 39 days  Miami Beach, FL Won WBA/WBC Heavyweight titles;

Stripped of WBA title on 1964-06-19

Win Henry Cooper TKO 5 (10), 2:15 June 18, 1963 21 years, 152 days  London, England

Win Doug Jones Decision (unanimous) 10 (10) March 13, 1963 21 years, 55 days  New York City, NY

Win Charley Powell KO 3, 2:04 January 24, 1963 21 years, 7 days  Pittsburgh, PA

Win Archie Moore TKO 4 (10), 1:35 November 15, 1962 20 years, 302 days  Los Angeles, CA

Win Alejandro Lavorante KO 5 (10), 1:48 July 20, 1962 20 years, 184 days  Los Angeles, CA

Win Billy Daniels TKO 7 (10), 2:21 May 19, 1962 20 years, 122 days  New York City, NY

Win George Logan TKO 4 (10), 1:34 April 23, 1962 20 years, 96 days  New York City, NY

Win Don Warner TKO 4, 0:34 March 28, 1962 20 years, 70 days  Miami Beach, FL

Win Sonny Banks TKO 4 (10), 0:26 February 10, 1962 20 years, 24 days  New York City, NY

Win Willi Besmanoff TKO 7 (10), 1:55 November 29, 1961 19 years, 316 days  Louisville, KY

Win Alex Miteff TKO 6 (10), 1:45 October 7, 1961 19 years, 263 days  Louisville, KY

Win Alonzo Johnson Decision (unanimous) 10 (10) July 22, 1961 19 years, 186 days  Louisville, KY

Win Duke Sabedong Decision (unanimous) 10 (10) June 26, 1961 19 years, 160 days  Las Vegas, NV

Win LaMar Clark KO 2 (10), 1:27 April 19, 1961 19 years, 92 days  Louisville, KY

Win Donnie Fleeman TKO 7 (8) February 21, 1961 19 years, 35 days  Miami Beach, FL

Win Jim Robinson KO 1 (8), 1:34 February 7, 1961 19 years, 21 days  Miami Beach, FL

Win Tony Esperti TKO 3 (8), 1:30 January 17, 1961 19 years, 0 days  Miami Beach, FL

Win Herb Siler KO 4 (8) December 27, 1960 18 years, 345 days  Miami Beach, FL

Win Tunney Hunsaker Decision (unanimous) 6 (6) October 29, 1960 18 years, 286 days  Louisville, KY

Muhammad Ali


Boxing at the 1960 Summer Olympics · Muhammad Ali versus Sonny Liston · Fight of the Century · Ali-Frazier II · The Rumble in the Jungle · Thrilla in Manila


Ali (film) · I Am the Greatest: The Adventures of Muhammad Ali · "Muhammad Ali" (song) · When We Were Kings · The Greatest (film) · Muhammad Ali Heavyweight Boxing · Foes of Ali · Superman vs. Muhammad Ali


Cassius Marcellus Clay, Sr. (father) · Odessa Grady Clay (mother) · Rahman Ali (brother) · Veronica Porsche Ali (wife) · Laila Ali (daughter) · Angelo Dundee (cornerman) · Drew Bundini Brown (trainer and cornerman) · Ferdie Pacheco (Personal Physician & cornerman) · Joe E. Martin · Archie Moore (trainer)


Clay v. United States · Muhammad Ali vs. Antonio Inoki · Muhammad Ali Center · Sufism · Malcolm X

[hide]v · d · eSports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year

1954: Roger Bannister · 1955: Johnny Podres · 1956: Bobby Morrow · 1957: Stan Musial · 1958: Rafer Johnson · 1959: Ingemar Johansson · 1960: Arnold Palmer · 1961: Jerry Lucas · 1962: Terry Baker · 1963: Pete Rozelle · 1964: Ken Venturi · 1965: Sandy Koufax · 1966: Jim Ryun · 1967: Carl Yastrzemski · 1968: Bill Russell · 1969: Tom Seaver · 1970: Bobby Orr · 1971: Lee Trevino · 1972: Billie Jean King & John Wooden · 1973: Jackie Stewart · 1974: Muhammad Ali · 1975: Pete Rose · 1976: Chris Evert · 1977: Steve Cauthen · 1978: Jack Nicklaus · 1979: Terry Bradshaw & Willie Stargell · 1980: U.S. Olympic Hockey Team · 1981: Sugar Ray Leonard · 1982: Wayne Gretzky · 1983: Mary Decker · 1984: Edwin Moses & Mary Lou Retton · 1985: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar · 1986: Joe Paterno · 1987: Bob Bourne, Judi Brown King, Kipchoge Keino, Dale Murphy, Chip Rives, Patty Sheehan, Rory Sparrow, & Reggie Williams · 1988: Orel Hershiser · 1989: Greg LeMond · 1990: Joe Montana · 1991: Michael Jordan · 1992: Arthur Ashe · 1993: Don Shula · 1994: Bonnie Blair & Johann Olav Koss · 1995: Cal Ripken, Jr. · 1996: Tiger Woods · 1997: Dean Smith · 1998: Mark McGwire & Sammy Sosa · 1999: U.S. Women's Soccer Team · 2000: Tiger Woods · 2001: Curt Schilling & Randy Johnson · 2002: Lance Armstrong · 2003: David Robinson & Tim Duncan · 2004: Boston Red Sox · 2005: Tom Brady · 2006: Dwyane Wade · 2007: Brett Favre · 2008: Michael Phelps · 2009: Derek Jeter · 2010: Drew Brees

[hide]v · d · eAssociated Press Male Athlete of the Year

1931: Pepper Martin · 1932: Gene Sarazen · 1933: Carl Hubbell · 1934: Dizzy Dean · 1935: Joe Louis · 1936: Jesse Owens · 1937: Don Budge · 1938: Don Budge · 1939: Nile Kinnick · 1940: Tom Harmon · 1941: Joe DiMaggio · 1942: Frank Sinkwich · 1943: Gunder Hägg · 1944: Byron Nelson · 1945: Byron Nelson · 1946: Glenn Davis · 1947: Johnny Lujack · 1948: Lou Boudreau · 1949: Leon Hart · 1950: Jim Konstanty · 1951: Dick Kazmaier · 1952: Bob Mathias · 1953: Ben Hogan · 1954: Willie Mays · 1955: Howard Cassady · 1956: Mickey Mantle · 1957: Ted Williams · 1958: Herb Elliot · 1959: Ingemar Johansson · 1960: Rafer Johnson · 1961: Roger Maris · 1962: Maury Wills · 1963: Sandy Koufax · 1964: Don Schollander · 1965: Sandy Koufax · 1966: Frank Robinson · 1967: Carl Yastrzemski · 1968: Denny McLain · 1969: Tom Seaver · 1970: George Blanda · 1971: Lee Trevino · 1972: Mark Spitz · 1973: O. J. Simpson · 1974: Muhammad Ali · 1975: Fred Lynn · 1976: Bruce Jenner · 1977: Steve Cauthen · 1978: Ron Guidry · 1979: Willie Stargell · 1980: U.S. Olympic Hockey Team · 1981: John McEnroe · 1982: Wayne Gretzky · 1983: Carl Lewis · 1984: Carl Lewis · 1985: Dwight Gooden · 1986: Larry Bird · 1987: Ben Johnson · 1988: Orel Hershiser · 1989: Joe Montana · 1990: Joe Montana · 1991: Michael Jordan · 1992: Michael Jordan · 1993: Michael Jordan · 1994: George Foreman · 1995: Cal Ripken, Jr. · 1996: Michael Johnson · 1997: Tiger Woods · 1998: Mark McGwire · 1999: Tiger Woods · 2000: Tiger Woods · 2001: Barry Bonds · 2002: Lance Armstrong · 2003: Lance Armstrong · 2004: Lance Armstrong · 2005: Lance Armstrong · 2006: Tiger Woods · 2007: Tom Brady · 2008: Michael Phelps · 2009: Jimmie Johnson · 2010: Drew Brees

[hide]v · d · eOlympic Boxing Champions in Men's Light Heavyweight

1920-1936: 160-175 lb (72.6-79.4 kg), 1948: 73-80 kg 1952-2008: 75-81 kg

1920: Eddie Eagan (USA) • 1924: Harry Mitchell (GBR) • 1928: Víctor Avendaño (ARG) • 1932: David Carstens (RSA) • 1936: Roger Michelot (FRA) • 1948: George Hunter (RSA) • 1952: Norvel Lee (USA) • 1956: James Boyd (USA) • 1960: Cassius Clay (USA) • 1964: Cosimo Pinto (ITA) • 1968: Danas Pozniakas (URS) • 1972: Mate Parlov (YUG) • 1976: Leon Spinks (USA) • 1980: Slobodan Kačar (YUG) • 1984: Anton Josipović (YUG) • 1988: Andrew Maynard (USA) • 1992: Torsten May (GER) • 1996: Vassiliy Jirov (KAZ) • 2000: Aleksandr Lebziak (RUS) • 2004: Andre Ward (USA) • 2008: Zhang Xiaoping (CHN)

Joseph William "Joe" Frazier, (pronounced /ˈfreɪʒər/; born January 12, 1944), known as Smokin' Joe, is a former Olympic and Undisputed World Heavyweight boxing champion, whose notable professional career lasted from 1965 to 1976, with a brief comeback in 1981.

Frazier emerged as the top contender in the late-1960s, defeating Jerry Quarry, Oscar Bonavena, Buster Mathis, Eddie Machen, Doug Jones and Jimmy Ellis en route to becoming undisputed heavyweight champion in 1970, and followed up by defeating Bob Foster and Muhammad Ali on points in the highly-anticipated "Fight of the Century" in 1971. Two years later Frazier lost his title when he was knocked out by George Foreman. He fought on beating Joe Bugner, losing a rematch to Ali, and beating Quarry and Ellis again.

Frazier's last world title challenge came in 1975, but he was beaten by Ali in their brutal rubbermatch. He retired in 1976 following a second loss to Foreman. He made a comeback in 1981, fighting just once, before retiring for good. The International Boxing Research Organization (IBRO) rates Frazier among the ten greatest heavyweights of all time.[1] He is an inductee of both the International Boxing Hall of Fame and the World Boxing Hall of Fame.

Frazier's style was often compared to that of the legendary Henry Armstrong and also at times Rocky Marciarno. He was dependent on bobbing, weaving and wearing down his opponents with relentless pressure. His best known punch was a powerful left hook, which accounted for most of his knockouts. Compared to Ali's style, he was close enough to the ideal bruiser that some in the press and media characterized the bouts as the answer to the classic question: "What happens when a boxer meets with a brawler?"

Since retiring Frazier has made cameo appearances in several Hollywood movies, and two episodes of The Simpsons. His son Marvis became a boxer - trained by Frazier himself - although was unable to emulate his father's success. Frazier continues to train fighters in his gym in Philadelphia. His later years have seen the continuation of his bitter rivalry with Ali, in which the two periodically exchange insults, interspersed with brief reconciliations.

Reign began… Reign ended Champion Recognition Nationality

August 29, 1885 September 7, 1892 John L. Sullivan Universal  American

Sullivan defeated Paddy Ryan in 1882 for the bare knuckle championship of America. With the lack of legitimate challengers from outside America Sullivan gradually gained recognition as champion of the world. On August 29, 1885, he outpointed Dominic McCaffrey in Chester Park, Cincinnati, in a bout described as being "to decide the Marquess of Queensberry glove contest for the championship of the world"

September 7, 1892 March 17, 1897 James J. Corbett Universal  American

James J. Corbett announced his retirement from boxing in 1895 and nominated his protege Steve O'Donnell as his successor. Tradition demanded that O'Donnell win the world title in the ring so he was matched against the erratic Irish boxer Peter Maher. The bout took place at the Empire Athletic club, Maspeth, New York on 11 November 1895, Maher surprisingly defeated O'Donnell via first round knockout. The general public had little acceptance of the new champion and even Maher himself expressed a wish to fight Corbett for the "real" title. Maher defended his "world title" against the British-born Bob Fitzsimmons in Coahuila de Zaragoza, Mexico on February 21, 1896, and was himself the victim of a first round knockout. Fitzsimmons then fought another Irish fighter, Tom Sharkey of Dundalk on December 2, 1896, in San Francisco, the bout being billed for the heavyweight title. Sharkey was awarded victory by disqualification in round 8 by the referee, Wyatt Earp. Corbett announced his return to the ring late in 1896 and the claims of Maher, Fitzsimmons (until 1897) and Sharkey to be champion are usually ignored.

March 17, 1897 June 9, 1899 Bob Fitzsimmons Universal  British

Fitzsimmons became an American citizen in 1898.

June 9, 1899 May 13, 19051 James J. Jeffries Universal  American

Jeffries was the first modern champion to relinquish the title, announcing his retirement and declaring that the winner of a match between Marvin Hart and Jack Root would be the next legitimate champion. Jeffries would return to the ring to face Jack Johnson.

July 3, 1905 February 23, 1906 Marvin Hart Universal  American

February 23, 1906 December 26, 1908 Tommy Burns Universal  Canadian

December 26, 1908 April 5, 1915 Jack Johnson Universal  American

Jack Johnson's refusal to honor an agreement made by his manager to defend against the British champion led the National Sporting Club in London, the most powerful body in boxing outside the USA, to withdraw recognition of Johnson as champion. They matched Canadian Sam Langford and the British champion William "Iron" Hague for their version of the title. Langford beat Hague on a fourth round knockout in London on May 24, 1909. Langford returned home to America and never pressed his claim to the title.

April 5, 1915 July 4, 1919 Jess Willard Universal  American

July 4, 1919 September 23, 1926 Jack Dempsey Universal  American

September 23, 1926 July 31, 19282 Gene Tunney Universal  American

Tunney announced his retirement from professional boxing on July 31, 1928, relinquishing the championship.

June 12, 1930 January 7, 1931 Max Schmeling Universal  German

Schmeling defeated Jack Sharkey to earn universal recognition as champion but was stripped of the NYSAC version of the title in 1931 for refusing a rematch with Sharkey. The NYSAC title remained vacant until the two men eventually did fight in 1932.

January 7, 1931 June 21, 1932 Max Schmeling NBA & IBU  German

June 21, 1932 June 29, 1933 Jack Sharkey Universal  American

June 29, 1933 June 14, 1934 Primo Carnera Universal  Italian

June 14, 1934 June 13, 1935 Max Baer Universal  American

In late 1934 the International Boxing Union ordered world champion Max Baer to defend his title against the reigning European champion, Pierre Charles of Belgium. When Baer instead opted to fight James J. Braddock they withdrew recognition of him as champion. The IBU matched Charles with the American heavyweight George Godfrey for their version of the title with the fight taking place in Brussels, Belgium on 2 October 1935. Godfrey won a fifteen round points decision but did not press any claim to the championship and was inactive for the next two years. The IBU then recognized Baer's successor, James J. Braddock, as champion.

June 13, 1935 June 22, 1937 James J. Braddock Universal  American

June 22, 1937 March 1, 19492 Joe Louis Universal  American

As of 2009, Louis still holds the record for holding the title longer than any man (11 years, 8 months and 8 days.)

June 22, 1949 September 27, 1950 Ezzard Charles NBA  American

Charles won the vacant National Boxing Association championship in June 1949, but was not universally recognized as champion until June 1951.

June 6, 1950 June 16, 1951 Lee Savold EBU  American

On the retirement of Joe Louis in March 1949, the European Boxing Union announced that a fight in May 1949 between Lee Savold of the USA and British champion Bruce Woodcock would determine their version of the world heavyweight title. The NYSAC and the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBofC) also decided to recognize the winner of the fight as their champion but it was postponed for over a year due to injuries Woodcock had suffered in a car crash. The NYSAC decided instead to recognize the winner of the upcoming bout in September 1950 between Ezzard Charles and Joe Louis as their champion. Louis was returning to the ring after an absence of 27 months. When the fight for the EBU and BBBofC world heavyweight titles eventually took place in June 1950, Savold defeated Woodcock in four rounds.

September 27, 1950 June 16, 1951 Ezzard Charles NBA & NYSAC  American

June 16, 1951 July 18, 1951 Ezzard Charles Universal  American

Following his defeat to Joe Louis in a non-title fight in June 1951, Lee Savold was no longer recognized as the world heavyweight champion by the EBU and the BBBofC, who both immediately transferred their recognition to Ezzard Charles. Charles therefore became universally recognized as world heavyweight champion.

July 18, 1951 September 23, 1952 Jersey Joe Walcott Universal  American

September 23, 1952 April 27, 19562 Rocky Marciano Universal  American

Marciano announced his retirement from professional boxing, relinquishing the championship.

November 30, 1956 June 26, 1959 Floyd Patterson Universal  American

June 26, 1959 June 20, 1960 Ingemar Johansson Universal  Swedish

June 20, 1960 September 25, 1962 Floyd Patterson Universal  American

September 25, 1962 February 25, 1964 Sonny Liston Universal  American

February 25, 1964 June 19, 1964 Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali) Universal  American

The WBA and the NYSAC withdrew their recognition of Clay (now known as Muhammad Ali) as champion for agreeing to an immediate rematch against Liston, a violation of the organization's rules at the time. The WBC and other organizations continued to recognize him. (See Ali versus Liston.)

June 19, 1964 February 6, 1967 Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali) WBC  American

March 5, 1965 February 6, 1967 Ernie Terrell WBA & NYSAC  American

February 6, 1967 April 29, 1967 Muhammad Ali Universal  American

The WBA, the NYSAC and several other US state boxing commissions withdrew recognition of Ali as champion for his refusal to be inducted into the United States Army subsequent to being drafted in early 1967.

April 29, 1967 March, 1969 Muhammad Ali WBC  American

The WBC eventually followed the lead of the WBA and the NYSAC and stripped Ali of their title in March 1969.

March 4, 1968 February 16, 1970 Joe Frazier NYSAC  American

April 28, 1968 February 16, 1970 Jimmy Ellis WBA  American

February 16, 1970 January 22, 1973 Joe Frazier Universal  American

Frazier and Ellis fought on February 16, 1970, at Madison Square Garden, New York. Frazier entered the ring as the holder of NYSAC version of the world title and Ellis held the WBA heavyweight title. The fight was also for the WBC title vacated by Muhammad Ali. Frazier defeated Ellis and was universally recognized as champion. He cemented his reputation upon defeating Muhammad Ali on March 8, 1971. (See Fight of the Century)

January 22, 1973 October 30, 1974 George Foreman Universal  American

October 30, 1974 February 15, 1978 Muhammad Ali Universal  American

February 15, 1978 March 18, 19783 Leon Spinks Universal  American

March 18, 1978 September 15, 1978 Leon Spinks WBA  American

March 18, 1978 June 9, 1978 Ken Norton WBC  American

Spinks was stripped of his world title by the WBC for refusing to defend his title against their #1 ranked contender, Ken Norton. Spinks instead agreed to fight a return bout against Ali for the WBA crown. The WBC awarded Norton the title and, since he lost to Larry Holmes in his next defense, he is sometimes omitted from a list of heavyweight champions because he never won a world title fight.

June 9, 1978 December 11, 19831 Larry Holmes WBC  American

Holmes relinquished his WBC title to assume the championship of the newly formed International Boxing Federation.

September 15, 1978 April 27, 19791 Muhammad Ali WBA  American

Believing his career over, Ali relinquished his WBA title in exchange for a payment from promoter Don King, who was trying to stage a bout between then-WBC champ Larry Holmes and John Tate for the undisputed title. The bout never materialized, and Ali would return to the ring in 1980.

October 20, 1979 March 31, 1980 John Tate WBA  American

March 31, 1980 December 10, 1982 Mike Weaver WBA  American

December 10, 1982 September 23, 1983 Michael Dokes WBA  American

September 23, 1983 December 1, 1984 Gerrie Coetzee WBA  South African

December 11, 1983 September 21, 1985 Larry Holmes IBF  American

March 9, 1984 August 31, 1984 Tim Witherspoon WBC  American

August 31, 1984 March 22, 1986 Pinklon Thomas WBC  American

December 1, 1984 April 29, 1985 Greg Page WBA  American

April 29, 1985 January 17, 1986 Tony Tubbs WBA  American

September 21, 1985 February 19, 19873 Michael Spinks IBF  American

January 17, 1986 December 12, 1986 Tim Witherspoon WBA  American

March 22, 1986 November 22, 1986 Trevor Berbick WBC  Canadian

Jamaican born Berbick was a naturalized Canadian citizen and former Canadian heavyweight champion.

November 22, 1986 March 7, 1987 Mike Tyson WBC  American

December 12, 1986 March 7, 1987 James 'Bonecrusher' Smith WBA  American

March 7, 1987 August 1, 1987 Mike Tyson WBA & WBC  American

May 30, 1987 August 1, 1987 Tony Tucker IBF  American

August 1, 1987 May 6, 1989 Mike Tyson Universal  American

May 6, 1989 January 11, 1991 Francesco Damiani WBO  Italian

Though Damiani defeated Johnny DuPlooy to become the WBO's first Heavyweight champion, Tyson's reign in the division during this period is virtually undisputed. Additionally, during this period Tyson also knocked out Michael Spinks who some regarded as the 'lineal champion.'

May 6, 1989 February 11, 1990 Mike Tyson IBF, WBA & WBC  American

February 11, 1990 October 25, 1990 James "Buster" Douglas IBF, WBA & WBC  American

October 25, 1990 November 13, 1992 Evander Holyfield IBF, WBA & WBC  American

January 11, 1991 December 24, 19913 Ray Mercer WBO  American

May 15, 1992 February 3, 19933 Michael Moorer WBO  American

November 13, 1992 December 14, 19923 Riddick Bowe IBF, WBA & WBC  American

Bowe was stripped of his WBC championship for refusing to fight Lennox Lewis.

December 14, 1992 November 6, 1993 Riddick Bowe IBF & WBA  American

December 14, 1992 September 24, 1994 Lennox Lewis WBC  British

Lewis was born in England but moved to Ontario, Canada at the age of 12, later winning an Olympic gold medal for Canada. Lewis defeated Razor Ruddock on October 31, 1992, in a WBC 'eliminator' fight. When Riddick Bowe's championship recognition was withdrawn by the organization, the WBC immediately awarded Lewis the title.

June 7, 1993 October 29, 1993 Tommy Morrison WBO  American

October 29, 1993 March 19, 1994 Michael Bentt WBO  American

November 6, 1993 April 22, 1994 Evander Holyfield IBF & WBA  American

March 19, 1994 March 11, 1995 Herbie Hide WBO  British

April 22, 1994 November 5, 1994 Michael Moorer IBF & WBA  American

September 24, 1994 September 2, 1995 Oliver McCall WBC  American

November 5, 1994 March 4, 19953 George Foreman IBF & WBA  American

The World Boxing Association withdrew its recognition of Foreman, but Foreman retained IBF championship recognition until it too was withdrawn.

March 4, 1995 June 28, 19953 George Foreman IBF  American

The IBF withdrew its recognition of Foreman when he declined a rematch with Axel Schulz of Germany. Schultz was matched with Francois Botha of South Africa for the vacant title. The bout took place on December 9, 1995 in Stuttgart and resulted in a split decision points victory for Botha. Botha however tested positive for illegal anabolic steroids in a post-fight drugs test and the result was changed to a no-contest. Although some record books continue to list Botha as a world champion, the IBF state that they do not regard that he was ever champion.

March 11, 1995 May 1, 19961 Riddick Bowe WBO  American

April 8, 1995 September 7, 1996 Bruce Seldon WBA  American

September 2, 1995 March 16, 1996 Frank Bruno WBC  British

March 16, 1996 September 7, 1996 Mike Tyson WBC  American

June 22, 1996 November 8, 1997 Michael Moorer IBF  American

June 29, 1996 February 17, 19971 Henry Akinwande WBO  British

Akinwande had been ranked the WBC's #2 contender when he won the WBO title. The WBC, which has feuded with the WBO since the latter's founding in 1988, dropped Akinwande from its rankings altogether. Akinwande subsequently relinquished his WBO title in exchange for the opportunity to meet Lennox Lewis in a bout for the WBC championship.

September 7, 1996 September 24, 19961 Mike Tyson WBA & WBC  American

September 24, 1996 November 9, 1996 Mike Tyson WBA  American

November 9, 1996 November 8, 1997 Evander Holyfield WBA  American

February 7, 1997 November 13, 1999 Lennox Lewis WBC  British

June 28, 1997 June 26, 1999 Herbie Hide WBO  British

November 8, 1997 November 13, 1999 Evander Holyfield IBF & WBA  American

June 26, 1999 April 1, 2000 Vitali Klitschko WBO  Ukrainian

November 13, 1999 April 29, 20003 Lennox Lewis IBF, WBA & WBC  British

In early 2000 the World Boxing Association and Lewis were sued by representatives of John Ruiz claiming that they had reneged on an agreement by which Ruiz would have fought Lewis for the WBA title. A New Jersey court ruled in favor of Ruiz, and ordered Lewis to either have his next bout against Ruiz or relinquish the title. Lewis elected instead to fight contender Michael Grant, relinquishing his WBA title on the day of the match.

April 1, 2000 October 14, 2000 Chris Byrd WBO  American

April 29, 2000 April 22, 2001 Lennox Lewis IBF & WBC  British

August 12, 2000 March 3, 2001 Evander Holyfield WBA  American

October 14, 2000 March 8, 2003 Wladimir Klitschko WBO  Ukrainian

March 3, 2001 March 1, 2003 John Ruiz WBA  American

By beating Evander Holyfield, Ruiz became the first Hispanic in history to become Heavyweight champion as recognized by one of the major governing boxing bodies.

April 22, 2001 November 17, 2001 Hasim Rahman IBF & WBC  American

November 17, 2001 September 5, 20021 Lennox Lewis IBF & WBC  British

Lewis relinquished the IBF title upon receiving payment of $1 million (US) by promoter Don King, who wished to stage a bout between Chris Byrd and Evander Holyfield for the vacant title.

September 5, 2002 February 6, 20042 Lennox Lewis WBC  British

December 14, 2002 April 22, 2006 Chris Byrd IBF  American

March 1, 2003 February 20, 20041 Roy Jones Jr. WBA  American

March 8, 2003 October 9, 20031 Corrie Sanders WBO  South African

February 20, 2004 December 17, 2005 John Ruiz WBA  American

Ruiz beat Hasim Rahman on December 13, 2003, to become the WBA's "interim" champion. He was awarded the championship following Roy Jones, Jr.'s announcement that he was relinquishing it to concentrate on lower weight divisions. Ruiz's title reign ended on April 30, 2005, following a loss to James Toney but ten days later, a drug test on Toney detected he had used products containing nandrolone, an anabolic steroid. Thus, Toney's victory was changed to a 'no contest' by New York state athletic commission, and as a result, the WBA declared Ruiz was keeping the title.

April 10, 2004 April 1, 2006 Lamon Brewster WBO  American

April 24, 2004 November 9, 20052 Vitali Klitschko WBC  Ukrainian

November 9, 2005 August 13, 2006 Hasim Rahman WBC  American

Rahman defeated Monte Barrett on August 13, 2005, to become the WBC's "interim" champion. He was awarded the championship following Vitali Klitschko's announcement that he was retiring due to injury.

December 17, 2005 April 15, 2007 Nikolay Valuev WBA  Russian

April 1, 2006 November 4, 2006 Sergei Liakhovich WBO  Belarusian

April 22, 2006 February 23, 2008 Wladimir Klitschko IBF  Ukrainian

August 13, 2006 March 8, 2008 Oleg Maskaev WBC  American/Russian

Maskaev was born in Kazakhstan to Russian parents. He originally held Kazakh citizenship but was granted US citizenship in 2004. In December 2006 he was also granted Russian citizenship. On September 24, 2007, Samuel Peter was declared the WBC's "interim" champion. Peter ultimately defeated Maskaev on March 8, 2008.

November 4, 2006 June 2, 2007 Shannon Briggs WBO  American

April 15, 2007 July 4, 20084 Ruslan Chagaev WBA  Uzbekistani

Chagaev's mandatory title defence against former champion Nikolay Valuev, scheduled for July 5, 2008, had to be cancelled for a second time after Chagaev suffered a complete tear of an Achilles tendon during his training for the fight. Because of the injury and necessary recovery time, the WBA elected to make Chagaev "Champion In Recess" and mandated that top-contenders Valuev and John Ruiz meet for the title. They set a deadline of June 26, 2009 for Chagaev to fight the champion but as this deadline was not met, Chagaev was stripped of his "Champion In Recess" title when the WBA published their Official Ratings as of June 2009.

June 2, 2007 February 23, 2008 Sultan Ibragimov WBO  Russian

February 23, 2008 July 2, 2011 Wladimir Klitschko IBF & WBO  Ukrainian

March 8, 2008 October 11, 2008 Samuel Peter WBC  Nigerian

July 4, 20084 July 24, 2009 Ruslan Chagaev WBA  Uzbekistani

The WBA had set a deadline of June 26, 2009 for Chagaev to fight the champion but this deadline was not met. On July 24, 2009, when the WBA published their Official Ratings as of June 2009, Chagaev was stripped of his "Champion In Recess" title.

August 30, 2008 November 7, 2009 Nikolay Valuev WBA  Russian

Valuev regained the WBA title by beating John Ruiz on August 30, 2008, shortly after Chagaev had become the "Champion In Recess". Upon making Chagaev the "Champion In Recess", the WBA set a deadline of June 26, 2009 for him to fight the champion. This deadline was not met and Chagaev was stripped of his "Champion In Recess" title when the WBA published their Official Ratings as of June 2009.

October 11, 2008 Present Vitali Klitschko WBC  Ukrainian

November 7, 2009 July 2, 2011 David Haye WBA  British

July 2, 2011 July 3, 2011 Wladimir Klitschko IBF, WBO & WBA  Ukrainian

After David Haye was defeated by Wladimir Klitschko, all four major heavyweight titles were held by the Klitschko brothers until Wladimir was "upgraded" by the WBA to "super-champion" and the regular WBA championship was declared vacant.

July 3, 2011 Present Wladimir Klitschko IBF, WBO & WBA (super champion)  Ukrainian

August 28, 2011 Present Alexander Povetkin WBA (regular champion)  Russian

World boxing champions

Champions by sanctioning body

Major titles

WBA (List) · WBC (List) · IBF (List) · WBO (List) · The Ring (List)

Minor titles

WBU (List) · IBO (List) · WPBF · IBA · IBC · IBU · WBF

Champions by weight class

Heavyweight (200+ lbs) · Cruiserweight (200 lbs) · Light Heavyweight (175 lbs) · Super Middleweight (168 lbs) · Middleweight (160 lbs) · Light Middleweight (154 lbs) · Welterweight (147 lbs) · Light Welterweight (140 lbs) · Lightweight (135 lbs) · Super Featherweight (130 lbs) · Featherweight (126 lbs) · Super Bantamweight (122 lbs) · Bantamweight (118 lbs) · Super Flyweight (115 lbs) · Flyweight (112 lbs) · Light Flyweight (108 lbs) · Minimumweight (105 lbs)

Champions by different weight class

Triple Champions (List) · Quadruple Champions (List) · Quintuple Champions (List) · Sextuple Champions (List) · Septuple Champions (List) · Octuple Champions (List)


Pound for pound (The Ring List) · Lineal championship · Undisputed championship (List) · Interim championship

1. Manny Pacquiao

Welterweight 52-3-2 (38)

Last Year’s Ranking: 1

Status Report: As most of us expected, Pacquiao made mincemeat out of Antonio Margarito, who not so long ago everyone was calling the most feared fighter in the world. It wasn’t Pacquiao’s most impressive achievement of the past year; the bludgeoning of Miguel Cotto (KO 12) in November of 2009 gets the nod there, and getting points too is the shutout he pitched against the highly competent if reluctant Joshua Clottey (W 12). Along with everyone else we would have preferred the year ended with a superfight against the next guy on this list, but you can’t have everything. As it is, Pacquiao comes awfully close. 

Future: Shane Mosey on May 7. Despicable.

2. Floyd Mayweather

Welterweight 41-0 (25)

Last Year’s Ranking: 2 

Status Report: It’s hard to maintain a ranking as high as this fighting just once in all of 2010, but Mayweather did it. How? By completely out-classing Shane Mosley. And he did it by standing right in Mosley’s grill, more or less, and out-fighting him. That Mayweather was rocked in the second round and came back to dominate every second of every round thereafter — as easily as he did against Juan Manuel Marquez — is proof enough that Mayweather remains at worst the second best fighter on the planet. 

Future: Every time we think we have Mayweather figured out he does something that seems nonsensical to the rest of us, but look where he is and where we are. Who’s smarter? Aside from the legal matters that seem to pop up every other day lately, he’s made the right move for Floyd Mayweather every single time. But he knows this: he must fight Pacquiao. In 2011 he will.

3. Sergio Martinez

World Middleweight Champion/Junior Middleweight 46-2-2 (25) 

Last Year’s Ranking: 71 

Status Report: If our math is right, Martinez jumped about 3,000 rungs since last year’s analysis, which might be a record. Either way, it’s deserved. He fought Williams to a standstill in the first match – you‘re not alone if you thought he should have gotten the nod – cut up and damn near stopped Kelly Pavlik in April, then rendered Williams instantly boneless with a single left hand in their long-awaited rematch (KO 2). That’s a hell of a year. 

Future: Your guess is as good as ours. Martinez is scheduled to defend his middleweight title in March in NYC against either Irish prospect Andy Lee or alphabet mandatory Sebastian Zbik, but he deserves the big paydays that come with more significant fights. Lou DiBella, his promoter, would love a Pacquiao match. He can forget it. That fight’s not happening. Martinez’s best bet for some meaningful fights might be to jump to 168.

4. Juan Manuel Marquez

World Lightweight Champion 52-5-1 (38)

Last Year’s Ranking: 5

Status Report: Not many thought Marquez was really as bad as he looked in his loss to Mayweather near the end of 2009, but when he took off a full 10 months before getting in the ring again you had to wonder. But there he was again in July, handing poor Juan Diaz another boxing lesson (W 12), and then taking apart the spirited and very tenacious Michael Katsidis (KO 9) in another defense of the straight-up lightweight world title. We don’t know how much longer Marquez can be Marquez, but this much should already be decided: he has a room reserved in Canastota. 

Future: Marquez, who may face fellow future hall of famer Erik Morales in April, seems as hungry and ambitious now as he ever has. Call him a late bloomer.

5. Nonito Donaire

Junior Bantamweight 23-1 (15)

Last Year’s Ranking: 6

Status Report: Donaire obliterated Wladimir Sidorenko (KO 4) on December 4, his third fight of 2010 — quite busy indeed for a top pound-for-pounder these days. We wouldn’t mind if the level of competition was as ambitious as the schedule; Manuel Vargas (KO 3) and Hernan Marquez (KO 8) were pretty much no-hopers. Sidorenko was a welcome step up, if not a huge one. 

Future: Donaire is scheduled to meet Fernando Montiel on Feb. 19 in one of the best matchups that can be made today. Montiel probably qualifies as the best fighter Donaire has ever faced and what happens when they meet will go a long way toward determining where Donaire appears on this list next year.

6. Pongsaklek Wonjongkam

World Flyweight Champion 76-3-1 (40)

Last Year’s Ranking: 41

Status Report: If all the very good fighters in the world went to work as frequently as Wonjongkam does, we’d see high-quality fights every weekend, and not just in the last two months of the year. Wonjongkam fought four times since last year’s analysis, beating Rodel Tejares (KO 6), undefeated Japanese star Koki Kameda (W 12), Rey Migrino (KO 1), and Suriyan Por Chokchai (W 12). Wondering if that justifies a 34-point jump? Look at it this way: the Kameda fight was big, and Wonjongkam was overdue for a promotion. This year he gets it. 

Future: Wonjongkam’s arch nemesis, Daisuke Naito, lost to Kameda in 2009 and is 36 years old so another match with him is probably unlikely. A rematch with Kameda isn’t out of the question.

7. Fernando Montiel

WBC Bantamweight Titleholder 44-2-2 (34) 

Last Year’s Ranking: 21

Status Report: Who would have thought that the guy who froze against Mark Johnson in 2003 would now be among the very best fighters in the world? Probably nobody but Montiel himself. Here he is anyway, with four good wins in 2010 propelling him into the top 10. Victories over Ciso Morales (KO 1), Hozumi Hasegawa (KO 4), Rafael Concepcion (KO 3) and Jovanny Soto (KO 2) get him here. Ah, who are we kidding? It was the win over Hasegawa, which also rid Montiel of the stink left from his suspicious technical draw against Alejandro Valdez in 2009. 

Future: Is scheduled to face fellow tiny pound-for-pound entrant Nonito Donaire on February 19 in a wonderful 118-pound matchup.

8. Wladimir Klitschko

World Heavyweight Champion 55-3 (49) 

Last Year’s Ranking: 20

Status Report: This is for everyone who thinks THE RING discriminates against heavyweights, foreign-born and otherwise. For the first time in about forever, a heavyweight is so demonstrably better than the stiffs he’s facing that we have no choice but to assume his genius and rank him among the very best in the game. Certainly, 2010 victims Eddie Chambers (KO 12) and Sam Peter (KO 10) would agree. 

Future: Though he’s now 34, Klitschko shows no signs of slipping and appears as motivated as ever, even if an abdominal injury forced him to pull out of a fight with one Dereck Chisora. There is talk that he and David Haye are close to signing. We’ll believe that when we see it.

9. Timothy Bradley

Junior Welterweight 26-0 (11) 

Last Year’s Ranking: 30 

Status Report: Another big jump, but Bradley did something in 2010 nobody else on this list did: beat two undefeated guys in consecutive fights and signed to fight another. Bradley’s wins over Lamont Peterson (W 12) and Luis Carlos Abregu (W 12) would have gotten him here well enough. Both demonstrated his versatility, skills and level of conditioning. The guy’s a machine. But when he agreed to face rising star Devon Alexander, we found out something else about him. He’s fearless. And that never hurts. 

Future: Bradley and Alexander will meet on January 29 in Michigan. We like Bradley to win that one big. After that look for a match with another upper-level 140 or 147-pounder, possibly Amir Khan.

10. Juan Manuel Lopez

Featherweight 30-0 (27)

Last Year’s Ranking: 29

Status Report: Bob Arum’s latest Puerto Rican star convinced Rafael Marquez to quit in one of the year’s best slugfests (KO 8) topping off a fine year indeed for “JuanMa.” His victories over the very good Steven Lueveno (KO 7) and Bernabe Concepcion (KO 2) were not without anxious moments here or there, but this is an exceptionally talented kid just vulnerable enough to keep us on the edge of our seats. 

Future: Lopez is scheduled to defend his belt on April 16 in Puerto Rico, probably against Philadelphia prospect Teon Kennedy, but the fight everyone hopes happens in 2011 is a showdown with Yurorkis Gamboa. The reality: not until Arum is good and god damned ready.

11. Miguel Cotto

Welterweight/Junior Middleweight 35-2 (28) 

Last Year’s Ranking: 7

Status Report: There’s a reason most fighters don’t want to face the best guys out there all the time — it’s a good way to get your head handed to you. Cotto, bless his heart, has never run from a good fight, and that’s why Manny Pacquiao beat him senseless (KO by 12) in one of 2009’s bigger events. Cotto was never in it after the second round, but he looked as good as new pulverizing gimpy, feather-fisted Yuri Foreman (KO 9) the next time out. Let the other guys talk about retirement. Cotto’s not going anywhere.

Future: A money-making “gimme” fight with Ricardo Mayorga on March 12 in Las Vegas, but then what? Bob Arum can threaten all he wants to make Pacquiao-Cotto II, but even he can’t sell it. We know it and he knows it. He’s been talking a lot about Cotto-Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. too. That’s even less competitive. So who’s he really thinking about putting in with Cotto? Try Vanes Martirosyan or Antonio Margarito.

12. Vitali Klitschko

WBC Heavyweight Titleholder 40-2 (38) 

Last Year’s Ranking: 22

Status Report: Two heavyweights in the top 20? Have we gone mad? Maybe. But you just can’t deny anymore that the elder Klitschko, as ungainly, awkward, and stiff-legged as he seems, is one of the best in the world at what he does — which is beat up really bad heavyweights. In fact, the only guy better than him at it is his brother. Even if he’s starting to creak a little — he is 39, after all — Big Brother belongs here. Kevin Johnson (W 12), Albert Sosnowski (KO 10) and Shannon Briggs (W 12) can’t be wrong. 

Future: He denies it publicly, but retirement for the big guy is not far down the road. He and Wladimir seem to be in a longevity contest, and this Vitali cannot win. Nevertheless, his alphabet mandatory is chubby Cuban Odlanier Solis. We can hardly wait.

13. Hozumi Hasegawa

Bantamweight 28-3 (12 KOs)

Last Year’s Ranking: 12

Status Report: Hasegawa remains a world-class performer, but drops several rungs based on his surprisingly poor showing against Fernando Montiel (KO by 4). Sure Montiel can crack, but we expected more from this guy. In his only other appearances of the period, Hasegawa beat Alvara Perez (KO 4) and outpointed Juan Carlos Burgos for a featherweight strap. 

Future: We’re doubtful Hasegawa can be as effective at 126 as he was at 118. That’s a lot of weight, relatively speaking, for a guy the size of a one of Nicolai Valuev’s skin tags.

14. Jean Pascal

World Light Heavyweight Champion 27-1-1 (16) 

Last Year’s Ranking: 61

Status Report: Another big jump here, but Pascal earned it, beating Adrian Diaconu (W12) in their rematch, upsetting Chad Dawson (Tech Dec 11) to claim the world light heavyweight title, and barely scraping by an oddly resurgent Bernard Hopkins (D 12). You can say Dawson fought the wrong fight against Pascal or that Pascal got a gift against Hopkins, but it’s nitpicking. Pascal does what he has to do. That counts for something. In fact, it counts for a lot. 

Future: What we’d like: a rematch against Hopkins. What we’ll get: a rematch against Dawson. We’ll take it.

15. Bernard Hopkins

Light Heavyweight 51-5-2 (32)

Last Year’s Ranking: 4

Status Report: If you gave the old man no shot against Pascal, you don’t know Bernard Hopkins. When will you learn? Okay, so he looked awful and dispirited against Roy Jones (W 12). He was better against Enrique Ornelas (W 10) but downright nasty against Pascal (D 12), chasing the Canadian all over the ring over the fight’s second half and almost breaking him in half with body punches. This guy is the baddest 45-year-old on the planet. 

Future: Forget about a rematch with Pascal; he’ll never get it. Who does that leave? How about IBF belt holder Tavoris Cloud? Wouldn’t that be fun?

16. Paul Williams

Middleweight/Junior Middleweight 39-2 (27)

Last Year’s Ranking: 11

Status Report: Williams takes a big tumble after going to sleep against Sergio Martinez in their rematch (KO by 2). He had an interesting 2010 even before that disaster; an all-out punch-a-thon with Martinez in the first match (W 12) that said both good and bad about “The Punisher,” and then a curious and not altogether inspired win over Kermit Cintron (Tech Dec 4). 

Future: Here’s what 2011 will not include for Williams: a match with Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao, Andre Berto or any other fighter who practices at or around 147 pounds, or a rubber match against Martinez. Can you say “rebuilding year?”

17. Shane Mosley

Welterweight 46-6-1 (39) 

Last Year’s Ranking: 3

Status Report: It’s not entirely the Floyd Mayweather fight (L 12) that results in Mosley’s demotion here. After all, there’s no shame in dropping 10 of 12 rounds to Little Floyd. It is Mosley’s mostly ineffectual performance against Sergio Mora (D 12), too. “Sugar Shane” will still beat a lot of guys, which is why he’s ranked where he is. Give him a pressure guy and he’ll look like he’s 25 again. Movers and counter punchers? Not so much.

Future: Manny Pacquiao, whom he deserves like we deserve a Pulitzer. It just isn’t right.

18. Lucian Bute

IBF Super Middleweight Titleholder 23-0 (18) 

Last Year’s Ranking: 58

Status Report: It’s hard to have a better year than Bute had. His wins over Librado Andrade in their rematch (KO 4), Edison Miranda (KO 3), and Jesse Brinkley (KO 9) were as good as anything anyone did in the Super Six tourney, which is why he jumps 41 spots. 

Future: A match against Ireland’s Brian Magee in March.

19. Chris John

WBA Featherweight Titleholder 44-0-2 (22)

Last Year’s Ranking: 17

Status Report: You can make a case for demoting John more than we did; he was inactive for 14 months before beating Fernando Saucedo in Indonesia in December (W 12). This inspired the WBA to hand out featherweight title belts of varying color and significance to every upright-walking primate on the eastern seaboard, but that’s not John’s fault, and until someone beats him he stays on this list. 

Future: There are lots of good featherweights out there for an ambitious guy like John. Keep your fingers crossed that he meets a couple of them.

20. Chad Dawson

Light Heavyweight 29-1 (17) 

Last Year’s Ranking: 16

Status Report: It must have been fun being Dawson when he finally gave in to the media’s insistence that he fight Glen Johnson again and promptly beat him clearly and without controversy (W 12). We imagine it was less fun when Jean Pascal upset him in Montreal to receive recognition as the world light heavyweight champ ( L Tech Dec 11). But that’s just a guess.

Future: A rematch with Pascal, apparently. And if he wins that one? We’ll put it this way: Ali-Frazier these two are not.

21. Andre Berto

WBC Welterweight Titleholder 27-0 (21)

Last Year’s Ranking: 37 

Status Report: Berto crushed Freddy Hernandez (KO 1) in November. Insert sound of crickets here. The guy is undeniably talented, as his demolition of Carlos Quintana (KO 8) also demonstrated, and has every gift one could want in a fighter along with a few you wouldn’t. For example, it’s not his fault there was an earthquake in Haiti, but he would have taken a giant step forward fighting and beating Shane Mosley when he had the chance. 

Future: Berto’s still a relative baby at 27 years old, but cripes, what’s he waiting for? The welterweight division is full of very good fighters, including him. Let’s see him against Josh Clottey or Jan Zaveck if he can’t get Mayweather or Pacquiao. It’s a start, for chrissake.

22. Andre Ward

WBA Super Middleweight Titleholder 23-0 (14)

Last Year’s Ranking: Unranked

Status Report: It’s a surprise to most of us that Ward has emerged as the star of the Super Six tournament, beating favorite Mikkel Kessler (Tech Dec 11) and then, less surprisingly, late entrant Allan Green (W 12). Last month he out pointed another sub, Sakio Bika outside the tournament (W 12). That‘s a heck of a year in anyone‘s book. 

Future: Unless something unusual happens, Ward wins this tournament. He’s the most athletic and maybe the hungriest fighter in there. It’s hard to picture any of the remaining guys beating him.

23. Yuriorkis Gamboa

WBA Featherweight Titleholder 19-0 (15)

Last Year’s Ranking: 79

Status Report: In the course of 12 months Gamboa went from gifted but amateurish prospect to one of the WBA’s 6,712 titleholders, so there’s real progress there. How’d he do it? A new trainer and a bit more discipline led him to wins over Rogers Mtagwa (KO 2), Jonathan Victor Barros (W 12) and the very good Orlando Salido (W 12).

Future: Gamboa is a special talent. He and JuanMa are going to make beautiful music together someday.

24. Rafael Marquez

Featherweight 39-6 (35) 

Last Year’s Ranking: 10

Status Report: This is a big tumble for one of the game’s most respected warriors, but it’s just. Marquez fought just once since last year’s analysis, obliterating rival Israel Vazquez (KO 3) who looked entirely shot. (Though we imagine we have to give Marquez credit for making him shot.) He gave star Juan Manuel Lopez a good run for a few rounds (KO by 8), but never seemed in control. Still, his resume gets him here. 

Future: He’s 35 years old and has been around the block a couple dozen times, but is nowhere near retiring. What is it with these Marquez boys anyway?

25. Giovani Segura

World Junior Flyweight Champion 25-1-1 (21)

Last Year’s Ranking: 80

Status Report: What a year for Segura. Wins over Walter Tello (KO 3) and Ronald Ramos (KO 4) were good enough, but then he stops the undefeated and wonderful Ivan Calderon (KO 8) to secure the title. This guy isn’t pretty in there, but he can punch and he’s all fighter. Those two things will take him a long way. 

Future: A rematch with Calderon is possible and who would mind that? A shootout with Rodel Mayol or Ulises Solis might be even more fun.

26. Celestino Caballero

Featherweight 34-3 (23) 

Last Year’s Ranking: 8 

Status Report: Caballero was so God-awful against Jason Litzau (L 10) that our immediate preference was to start a campaign to get his license revoked. You know, start a petition or something. Lucky for him, cooler heads prevailed and we came around to the thinking that anyone can have a really, really bad night. Besides, his pummeling of tough Daud Yordan (W 12) earlier in the year wasn’t bad. So we dropped him 18 rungs. It’s called tough love, baby. 

Future: If Caballero gets his way, a rematch with Litzau. But guess what: Caballero won’t get his way.

27. Amir Khan

WBA Junior Welterweight Titleholder 24-1 (17) 

Last Year’s Ranking: 42

Status Report: Good news: Khan took everything Marcos Maidana could give him and stayed upright, more or less (W 12). The bad: Maidana is slower than erosion and still landed enough to nearly lay Khan out. Still, in wins over Dmitriy Salita (KO 1), and Paul Malignaggi (KO 11) Khan was hardly touched. Soft chin and leaky defense or not, his offense will take him a long way. 

Future: Call us crazy, we think Khan will meet the winner of Tim Bradley-Devon Alexander.

28. Ivan Calderon

Junior Flyweight 34-1-1 (6)

Last Year’s Ranking: 14 

Status Report: One of the best pure boxers of the last decade takes a substantial drop here, not due just to his loss to Giovani Segura but to the downward trajectory he’s been on the last couple years. His struggles against Rodel Mayol in 2009 were followed by a win over Jesus Iribe (W 12) in which he was floored, and then Segura stopped him. Calderon is still a brilliant little fighter, just not as brilliant as he used to be.

Future: We’d love to see a rematch with Segura. Maybe we can get a mini Ali-Frazier series out of it.

29. Carl Froch

Super Middleweight 27-1 (20) 

Last Year’s Ranking: 59

Status Report: Few of us really believed Froch would whip Arthur Abraham (W 12) but damned if he didn’t all but shut that little troll out. Froch earned our respect last year — and not just because he has the hottest girlfriend in all of boxing. In close, exciting struggles with Andre Dirrel (W 12) and Mikkel Kessler (L 12), Froch showed grit, poise and a fighter’s mentality, even if he lacks real athleticism. And his win over Jean Pascal in 2008 looks better than ever. 

Future: Intriguing matchup with hard-ass octogenarian Glen Johnson in the next round of the Super Six tournament. Bombs away!

30. Tavoris Cloud

IBF Light Heavyweight Titleholder

Light Heavyweight 22-0 (18)

Last Year’s Ranking: 98

Status Report: Cloud’s win over Glen Johnson (W 12) gets him a long way, as it should. You can make the argument that Johnson outworked him, but there was only one guy who wobbled around the ring a few times that night and it wasn’t Cloud. This guy can crack, and he shows up in shape to punch hard for all 12 rounds. Ask steel-chinned Fernando Zuniga (W 12). He’s going to be hard to beat, and at just 28 years old he’s got time to do damage.

Future: Who wouldn’t like to see this kid against any of the other top 175-pounders — including Dawson and Hopkins?

31. Mikkel Kessler

WBC Super Middleweight Titleholder 43-2 (32) 

Last Year’s Ranking: 19

Status Report: We’ll forgive Kessler for starting the stampede that left the Super Six tourney a shell of its former ambitious self, and note that his loss to Andre Ward (Tech Dec 11) and his razor-thin win over Carl Froch (W 12) both were exciting bouts that revealed the sorry truth that he gave his last very good performance against Joe Calzaghe. It won’t get better from here. Hence the demotion.

Future: At just 31 Kessler can still make money fighting outside the Super Six tournament once his “injury” has healed, and he will, against soft WBC mandatories.

32. Humberto Soto

WBC Lightweight Titleholder 54-7-2 (32)

Last Year’s Ranking: 33

Status Report: Soto had a very solid and busy year, with victories over Jesus Chavez (W 10), David Diaz (W 12), Ricardo Dominguez (W 12), Fidel Munoz (W 12), and highly-rated Urbano Antillon in a war (W 12). That’s the good news. The bad is that he hasn’t stopped anyone since moving up from 130 pounds. That’s discouraging for a guy who could crack the way he could at junior lightweight. Still, he remains one of the best 135-pounders in the world who can’t get a very big fight, thank you very much, Bob Arum. 

Future: Reportedly a match with up-and-coming Brandon Rios. You’ll want to lock up the women and children for that one.

33. Kelly Pavlik

Middleweight 35-1-0 (31) 

Last Year’s Ranking: 15

Status Report: It was a rough year for everyone’s favorite blue-collar puncher. After scoring an easy title defense against Miguel Espino (KO 5), Pavlik was beating Sergio Martinez in a war until Martinez opened a cut the size of all of Ohio over Pavlik’s eye (L 12). 

Future: At this writing Pavlik is undergoing treatment for alcoholism and might never fight again. If he does it’s hard to imagine he will be as good as he was before he realized his every dream.

34. Robert Guerrero

Lightweight 28-1-1 (18) 

Last Year’s Ranking: 39

Status Report: Guerrero remains an interesting case. Wins over Vicente Escobedo (W 12), Robert Arrieta ( KO 8) and a completely shot Joel Casamayor (W 10) did little to advance his career, but Guerrero can fight. He didn’t lose any momentum in the past year, but he didn‘t gain any significant ground either. 

Future: Nothing scheduled as we went to press, but wouldn’t it be nice if he met the winner of Soto-Rios?

35. Antonio Margarito

Welterweight 38-7 (27)

Last Year’s Ranking: 23

Status Report: Margarito won about six seconds against Manny Pacquiao (L 12) but there’s no shame in that. He didn’t look great in his comeback win over Roberto Garcia (W 10) either, but you don’t see guys lining up to face him. Until proven otherwise, Margarito remains a moderate threat to anyone doing business around 150 pounds.

Future: Our guess? A rematch with Miguel Cotto.

36. Steve Cunningham

IBF Cruiserweight Titleholder 23-2 (12)

Last Year’s Ranking: 34

Status Report: The good news: Cunningham finally got out of his contract with Don King. The bad news: he signed with Sauerland Event, which means virtually all of his fights will take place in Europe. The first example: his win over Troy Ross (KO 5) for an alphabet strap, which went down in Germany. 

Future: Cunningham is almost certainly the best cruiserweight in the world now that Tomas Adamek is a heavyweight. Her deserves the chance to prove it. Frequently.

37. Glen Johnson

Light Heavyweight 50-14-2 (34) 

Last Year’s Ranking: 18 

Status Report: If not for Bernard Hopkins, Johnson would be the sport’s most astounding older fighter. As it is, his performances against Allan Green (KO 8), Chad Dawson (L 12), Yusef Mack (KO 6) and 27 year-old Tavoris Cloud (L 12) prove his mettle and worth, even now. There is not a tougher, harder-working guy in this game. Still. 

Future: Carl Froch in the next round of the Super Six tournament.

38. Anselmo Moreno

WBA Bantamweight Titleholder 30-1-1 (10) 

Last Year’s Ranking: 38

Status Report: Moreno is still one of the busier titleholders in the sport, which we guess you have to be as one of the WBA’s ubiquitous super-duper championship belt holders, but it’s gotten a little dicey for him lately. He stopped Frederic Patrac (KO 11) but just scraped by Nehomar Cermeno twice (W 12). He’s just 25 years old so he shouldn’t be slowing down already.

Future: We’d like to see him settle unfinished business with Cermeno

39. Koki Kameda

Flyweight 22-1 (14) 

Last Year’s Ranking: Unranked

Status Report: The Japanese star breaks into the top-50 based on a win over Daisuke Naito (UD 12), a close loss to Pongsaklek Wonjongkam (MD 12), comeback victory over Cecilio Santos (KO 4), and bantamweight strap-winning performance over Alexander Munoz (UD 12). The critics were hoping Kameda would fall apart when he finally stepped up. He didn’t. That’s why he’s here. 

Future: An April title defense in Japan (where else?).

40. Abner Mares

Bantamweight 21-0 (13)

Last Year’s Ranking: Unranked

Status Report: Mares’ wonderful slugfest with Vic Arachnidan (W 12) in the first leg of Showtime‘s bantamweight tournament gets him here, as does his struggle with Yonnhy Perez (D 12). The amateur background doesn’t lie: the kid can fight. 

Future: A hell of a hard assignment against the resurgent Joseph Agbeko in the tournament finals.

41. Andre Dirrell

Super Middleweight 19-1 (13) 

Last Year’s Ranking: 68 

Status Report: There was only one thing Dirrell could do to negate all the good will he earned with his upset win over Arthur Abraham (W DQ 11): quit the Super Six tournament. And that’s what he did. Maybe the claims about his neurological problems are true; it remains that the match against Andre Ward was troubled from the very start and those who said it wouldn’t happen were proved correct. 

Future: Dirrell will fight again but not at the level he would have if he’d stayed in the tournament. A bummer for everyone

42. Joseph Agbeko

Bantamweight 27-2 (22)

Last Year’s Ranking: 52

Status Report: Agbeko’s loss to Yonnhy Perez last October (L 12) was close enough to warrant a rematch, and we all expected another shootout. What do we get? A boxing clinic. We had no idea “King Kong,” could make like a little Gene Tunney. Good for him. 

Future: Abner Mares in the final round of the bantamweight tournament on Showtime.

43. Roman Gonzalez

WBA Strawweight Titleholder 26-0 (22)

Last Year’s Ranking: 35

Status Report: Gonzalez remained busy over the last year, but the quality of his opposition plummeted, hence the demotion. He beat Ivan Meneses (KO 4), Jesus Limones and, in October, Francisco Rojas for some alleged interim belt or some such. 

Future: Wouldn’t a showdown with Nkosinathi Joyi be fun?

44. Jorge Linares

Junior Lightweight 29-1 (18)

Last Year’s Ranking: 43 

Status Report: Linares demolished shopworn Jesus Chavez (KO 4) and won a wide decision over veteran contender Rocky Juarez (W 10) in July. Everyone’s beaten Juarez, you say? True enough. But at the end most were hanging on for dear life — including Chris John. Linares suffered no such drama. And, he knocked Juarez down. 

Future: Anyone else see the parallels between Linares and Amir Khan? We do too. Here’s another: a year from now Linares will be much higher on this list.

45. Alfredo Angulo

Junior Middleweight 19-1 (16)

Last Year’s Ranking: Unranked

Status Report: Angulo rebounded from his puzzling loss to Kermit Cintron in 2009 with impressive wins over Gabriel Rosado (KO 2), Harry Joe Yorgey (KO 3), Joel Julio (KO 11) and Joachime Alcine (KO 1). That’s enough to get him in the discussion, and then some. 

Future: Several sources reported in late September that Angulo was found to have been residing in the United States illegally and was being deported. If true it throws a fat monkey wrench into his burgeoning title hopes. Plus, no guy this talented should be sitting on his hands, or, even worse, fighting in a place where we can’t watch.

46. Hugo Cazares

WBA Junior Bantamweight Titleholder 32-6-2 (23)

Last Year’s Ranking: 44

Status Report: Cazares keeps plugging along. Wins over Nobuo Nashiro (W 12), Everardo Morales (KO 7) and Alberto Rossel (KO 9) keep him from losing ground and also mark him as one of the more consistent and reliable titleholders in the business. Future: The only guy to beat Cazares over the last 10 years is Ivan Calderon. Now that Calderon is over the hill, we guess it’s safe to say Cazares can be expected to keep winning over the next what, 10, 20 years?

47. Vic Darchinyan

WBC, WBA Junior Bantamweight Titleholder 32-3-1 (26)

Last Year’s Ranking: 53

Status Report: Darchinyan won three straight after dropping a decision to Joseph Agbeko (L 12), beating Tomas Rojas (KO 2), Rodrigo Guerrero (W 12) and Eric Barcelona (W 12) before losing to Abner Mares in a terrific fight (L 12). Darchinyan gets bonus points for creeping us the hell out. 

Future: The loser’s bracket showdown: Darchinyan against Yonnhy Perez.

48. Sergio Mora

Junior Middleweight 22-1-2 (6)

Last Year’s Ranking: Unranked

Status Report: You can laugh at Mora all you want, there’s more to this business than being able to knock a guy’s brain loose. Whether or not you agreed with the decision, Mora demonstrated against Shane Mosley (D 12) that he can stay on even terms with a world class-fighter and on his better nights maybe beat him. “The Latin Snake” also beat Calvin Green (KO 7) in April. 

Future: Mora is hopeful that his new promoter, Golden Boy Promotions, will keep him active. There’s no good reason a fighter as good as Mora is shouldn’t be working consistently — whether or not he‘s a knockout puncher.

49. Tomasz Adamek

Heavyweight 42-1 (28) 

Last Year’s Ranking: 31 

Status Report: We know, this looks all wrong. Adamek jumps up to heavyweight, beats Andrew Golota (KO 5), Jason Estrada (W 12), Chris Arreola (W 12) Michael Grant (W 12) and Vinny Madalone (KO 5) and gets demoted? Damn right. Here’s why: He was the best cruiserweight in the world. He’s not the best heavyweight in the world. Clearly he was better at 200 than he is at 215-plus. And you thought we didn’t put any thought into this stuff. 

Future: Reportedly a fight in Poland against an opponent to be named.

50. Yonnhy Perez

IBF Bantamweight Titleholder 20-1-1 (14)

Last Year’s Ranking: Unranked

Status Report: You can’t blame Perez for not knowing Joseph Agbeko could box and move the way he did in their rematch (L 12). Who did? Their first meeting was a riveting punch-a-thon; we’re surprised they weren’t throwing punches at their cornermen between rounds. And it was Perez who forced the pace. It was the same in his war with Abner Mares (D 12). He is a hard guy to beat. 

Future: An interesting meeting with Vic Darchinyan in the loser’s bracket.

51. Devon Alexander

WBC Junior Welterweight Titleholder 21-0 (13)

Last Year’s Ranking: 49

Status Report: Alexander is a very good little fighter, as evidenced by his wins over Juan Urango (KO 8) and Andreas Kotelnik (W 12). He also has a wonderful story that has been skillfully told, and it may be that his story has tricked many into thinking he is better than he is. 

Future: Tim Bradley on Jan. 29 in Pontiac, Mich.

52. Andreas Kotelnik

Junior Welterweight 31-4-1 (13 

Last Year’s Ranking: Unranked

Status Report: You’re not alone if you thought Kotelnik did enough to beat Devon Alexander when they met in August (L 12) and that’s a good part of the reason Kotelnik cracks the Top 100 for the first time. He also beat highly regarded puncher Marcos Maidana in 2009 (W 12) and went the full distance in a losing effort against Amir Khan (L 12). 

Future: Kotelnik’s strong showing against Alexander will get him at least one more high-profile fight. For a while it looked as if it would come against prospect Victor Ortiz in what would have been an interesting test for Ortiz. Either way, you’ll see Kotelnik again.

53. Marcos Maidana

Junior Welterweight 28-2-0 (27) 

Last Year’s Ranking: Unranked

Status Report: Maidana has gotten a lot of mileage out of his thrilling win over Victor Ortiz in 2009 (KO 6) and followed it with victories over William Gonzales (KO 3), Victor Cayo (KO 6) and DeMarcus Corley (W 12). He’s neither the most-skilled guy out there nor the fastest, but he’s tough as hell and hits like a middleweight. Ask Amir Khan (L 12), who barely got out of the 10th round in their war in December. 

Future: Maidana will be a player at 140 for as long as he wants.

54. Joshua Clottey

Welterweight 35-4-0 (20) 

Last Year’s Ranking: 24

Status Report: Clottey fans have to face the truth: Your man is one of those guys who will beat every fighter a level below his but lose to every fighter at the level above his. Look at his record: losses to Manny Pacquiao (L 12), Miguel Cotto (L 12) and Antonio Margarito (L 12). Wins over Zab Judah (Tech Dec 9), Jose Cruz (KO 5), Shamone Alvarez (W 12). Don’t feel sorry for him. It’s a living.

Future: Nothing signed, but there’s lots of work available for a capable guy like Clottey if he wants it.

55. Toshiaki Nishioka

WBC Junior Featherweight Titleholder 37-4-3 (23) 

Last Year’s Ranking: Unranked

Status Report: Nishioka breaks the Top 100 on the strength of victories over Jhonny Gonzalez (KO 3), Choko Hernandez (KO 3), Balweg Bangoyan (KO 5) and Rendall Munroe (W 12). This guy’s the real deal. Two of his four losses were to Veeraphol Sahaprom, with whom he also drew twice, and he’s riding a 14-fight winning streak. 

Future: A title defense against Akifumi Shimoda before the end of 2011.

56. David Haye

WBA Heavyweight Titleholder 23-1 (21)

Last Year’s Ranking: 66

Status Report: Haye bombed out once-promising Audley Harrison in November (KO 3) to set up, allegedly, a fight with Wladimir or Vitali Klitschko. Haye had a good year, outpointing mountainous Nicolay Valuev (W 12) and then stopping and retiring human barnacle John Ruiz (KO 9). 

Future: There’s no end to the number of pitiable heavyweights the WBA could trot out to keep Haye’s sanctioning fees flowing, so if he doesn’t face one of the Klitschkos, don’t fret. He’ll still be around.

57. Kermit Cintron

Junior Middleweight 32-2-0 (28)

Last Year’s Ranking: 84

Status Report: You can make a case for rating Cintron higher; he does have that win over Alfredo Angulo (W 12), and his “draw” against Sergio Martinez looks better all the time. He’s held back by a fairly meaningless win over Juliano Ramos (KO 5) and his bizarre technical-decision loss to Paul Williams (L 4) when he flew out of the ring and either couldn’t or wouldn’t continue. 

Future: The junior middleweight class is stronger right now than it has been in years. We’d love to see Cintron against young Vanes Martirosyan or maybe even Miguel Cotto or Sergei Dzinrizuk. He also has said he’s interesting in fighting Andre Berto at 147 pounds.

58. Joan Guzman

Junior Welterweight 31-0-1 (17)

Last Year’s Ranking: 32

Status Report: Guzman failed to make weight once again before his fight against Jason Davis in December (KO 2), leaving officials at Golden Boy Promotions disgusted and his future in question.

Future: There are many very good fighters at 140 and Guzman is right with the best of them talentwise. However, his lack of self discipline is making him a pariah in the boxing world.

59. Ali Funeka

Junior Welterweight 30-3-3 (25)

Last Year’s Ranking: 89 

Status Report: Funeka is 0-2-1 in his last three fights, and he still gets bumped up. Why? He fought Nate Campbell to a standstill (L 12), is widely thought to have been robbed blind in his first match with Joan Guzman (D 12) and in the return struggled to make weight while Guzman came in nine pounds overweight (L 12). This guy can’t get a break. 

Future: Nothing scheduled, which is a shame. Funeka can fight and deserves a shot at one of the bigger names.


60. Omar Narvaez

Junior Bantamweight 32-0-2 (19)

Last Year’s Ranking: 57

Status Report: Are we being xenophobic if we say we’d like Narvaez to fight in the United States already? He should take it as a compliment. We like undefeated guys as much as anybody, and Narvaez stayed that way in 2010 with wins over Santiago Acosta (W 10) in a non-title bout and Evirth Briceno for some bogus title (W 12). Both took place in Argentina. 

Future: How about a showdown with excellent Mexican Hugo Cazares?

61. Daisuke Naito

Flyweight 34-2-3 (22) 

Last Year’s Ranking: 27

Status Report: We predicted in this analysis last year that Naito would suffer a drop and for once we were right. (No, we’re not psychic; the guy’s 36 years old.) His loss to Koki Kameda (L 12) was a huge blow to his standing, and a win over journeyman Liempetch Sor Veeraphol (KO 5) at junior bantam wasn’t going to help much. 

Future: He’d love a rematch with Kameda, but he shouldn’t count on it. Kameda has bigger fish to fry.

62. Marco Huck 

Cruiserweight 31-1 (23)

Last Year’s Ranking: Unranked

Status Report: American fans know Huck only as the guy who lost to Steve Cunningham a couple years ago, but since then he’s won 11 in a row, including stoppage wins over Americans Adam Richards (KO 3), Brian Minto (KO 9), and Matt Godfrey (KO 5), all in 2010. In December, he scraped by undefeated Denis Lebedev. This guy can fight. 

Future: It sure would be nice to crown a RING champion at cruiserweight, which a rematch with Cunningham would get us. And now that Cunningham is based in Germany, maybe it’ll happen.

63. Daiki Kameda

WBA Flyweight Titleholder 19-2-0 (11) 

Last Year’s Ranking: Unranked

Status Report: Daiki isn’t as flashy as his brother Koki, but he had at least as good a year, beating Denkaosan Kaovichit in their rematch (W 12), Rosendo Vega (W 10), the big one over Takefumi Sakata (W 12) and close decision over Silvio Olteanu (SD 12). If he keeps this up, maybe he gets another promotion next year. Who knows, maybe he and Koki can be the new Klitschkos. 

Future: He has many good options in and around his weight.

64. Steve Molitor

IBF Junior Featherweight Titleholder 33-1 (12)

Last Year’s Ranking: 62

Status Report: Molitor stayed busy over the last year, earning a slight bump by beating Jose Saez (W 8), Takalani Ndlovu, (W 12) and Jason Booth (W 12). Good for him. What happens when he gets in with a top guy again? Does he freeze, like he did against Caballero? 

Future: Scheduled to face Ndlovu again in Montreal on March 19.

65. Sergei Dzindziruk

Junior Middleweight 37-0 (23)

Last Year’s Ranking: 77

Status Report: It’s amazing what a little activity and American exposure can do for you. Last year Dzindziruk was on the verge of dropping off this list altogether for lack of activity, and, not coincidentally, lack of interest. And who could blame us? He didn’t fight at all in 2009. He finally showed up at a casino in California of all places, and we’ll be damned if he didn’t box the bejesus out of Daniel Dawson (KO 10). This guy can fight after all. 

Future: American promoter Gary Shaw is trying hard to get Dzindziruk on television. Let’s hope he succeeds. Dzindziruk is the real deal, but only if he fights more than once a year.

66. Arthur Abraham

Super Middleweight 31-2-0 (25) 

Last Year’s Ranking: 13

Status: How the mighty have fallen. Abraham got his head handed to him by Carl Froch (L 12). That came after getting thoroughly outboxed by Andre Dirrell and then clubbing Dirrell when he was down, resulting in an embarrassing disqualification loss ( L DQ 11). Also, cripes, how about throwing a punch once in a while, Artie?

Future: A one-sided decision loss to Andre Ward.

67. Michael Katsidis

Lightweight 27-3 (22)

Last Year’s Ranking: 77

Status Report: Katsidis turned in his typically gutsy performance in a losing effort against Juan Manuel Marquez (KO by 9) in November. Still, Katsidis is tremendously improved over the fighter who lost to Joel Casamayor and Juan Diaz in 2008. Too bad for him exciting rarely beats great. 

Future: As long as his skin and spirit hold up, Katsidis will make a living bleeding all over the place and knocking second-tier guys into next week. There are worse ways to make a buck.

68. Felix Sturm

WBA Middleweight Titleholder 34-2-1 (14)

Last Year’s Ranking: 81

Status Report: Fans of Sturm will lament his relatively low placement here; they shouldn‘t, and not only because no one can hear them over the yawns. Despite all the hoopla around his new promotional ties, Sturm fought just once during the subject period, jabbing Giovanni Lorenzo’s nose into the back of his head (W 12). Still, he gets a bump from last year, as much as anything an acknowledgment that we might have underrated him last year. He’s a good fighter. He’s just blander than mayonnaise.

Future: We’ve given up hope Sturm will face a young, exciting middleweight, and not only because very few exist right now. He’s just not into it.

69. Victor Ortiz

Junior Welterweight 28-2-1 (22) 

Last Year’s Ranking: Unranked

Status Report: Give Ortiz this: He has worked fairly hard rehabilitating his image after the quit job against Marcos Maidana, beating Antonio Diaz (KO 7), Hector Alatorre (KO 10), Nate Campbell (W 10) and Vivian Harris (KO 3), and drawing against Lamont Peterson in December (D 10). 

Future: After a very odd performance against Peterson, it’s hard to know where to go next with Ortiz. The kid knows how to fight, we’re just not sure he wants to.

70. Lamont Peterson

Junior Welterweight 28-1-1 (14) 

Last Year’s Ranking: Unranked

Status Report: Only a special fighter like Tim Bradley could make Peterson seem as impotent as Bradley did in their meeting last December. Sure, Bradley won by a combined 32 points. That says more about Bradley than it does about Peterson, who beat Damian Fuller (KO 7) next time out and drew with Victor Ortiz (D 10) in December. Peterson can fight, and we predict he’ll land quite a bit higher on this list next year. So long as he stays away from a rematch with Bradley. 

Future: How about a rematch with Ortiz?

71. Nobuo Nashiro

Junior Bantamweight 13-1-0 (8) 

Last Year’s Ranking: 51

Status Report: Nashiro takes a bit of a tumble, his reward for giving a rematch to Hugo Cazares. Not the best move he has ever made (L 12). Cazares won by a wide margin, pretty much invalidating the good will Nashiro gained with his draw against Cazares in 2009. Nashiro’s only other appearance of the year was a win over 6-6 (4) neophyte Iwan Key (KO 3). 

Future: Tomas Rojas on Feb. 5 on Osaka. Another year like this and Nashiro will find himself a 14-time WBA champion. Go Nobuo!

72. Ryol Li Lee

WBA Junior Featherweight Titleholder 17-1-1 (8)

Last Year’s Ranking: Unranked

Status Report: Talk about a jump in class. The three guys Lee beat before taking down the very formidable Poonsawat Kraetingdaenggym (W 12) had a combined record of 34-13-6 (17). But apparently Big M Or Boonchuay (KO 3), Kazunori Takayama (W 10) and Hisashi Amagasa (W 10) prepared Lee for one of the year’s bigger upsets. Good for them. Especially Big M Or Boonchuay, just because it’s so much fun to say. 

Future: Akifumi Shimoda on Jan. 31 in Tokyo.

73. Zsolt Erdei

Cruiserweight 32-0-0 (17)

Last Year’s Ranking: 55

Status Report: In his first fight in a year, Erdei beat one Samson Anyang (W 8) in December. Another month sitting on his behind would have resulted in his omission from this analysis altogether. As it is, he suffers a severe but entirely deserved 16-place tumble. In his last fight of importance, Erdei beat Giacobbe Fragomeni (W 12) to claim an alphabet strap. 

Future: We’re hopeful that Erdei’s recent alliance with American promoter Lou DiBella means Erdei will go to work frequently and primarily in America so we can figure out once and for all whether he’s as good as his record suggests.

74. Poonsawat Kratingaenggym

Junior Featherweight 41-2 (29)

Last Year’s Ranking: 36

Status Report: This is a hell of a long way to topple for the once-mighty Kratingaenggym, but he did lose to upstart Ryol Li Lee (L 12), and not by a little. And it wasn’t as though anyone had heard much of Lee before; he didn’t make this analysis last year and had beaten no one of consequence before relieving Kratingaenggym of his alphabet strap. We agree it’s a bit harsh, but if we’re not hard on these guys, how will they ever learn? 

Future: The best thing he could do is get Lee back in the ring, and we mean now.

75. Omar Nino

WBC Junior Flyweight Titleholder 30-4-2 (12)

Last Year’s Ranking: 91

Status Report: Nino shockingly lost a majority decision to journeyman Gilberto Keb Baas in November (L 12), but did beat tough Rodel Mayol (Tech Draw 3 and W 12), and the useful Ronald Barrera (KO 6). 

Future: Needs to set the record straight against Keb Baas. Talk about having an off night.

76. Ulises Solis

Junior Flyweight 32-2-2 (21) 

Last Year’s Ranking: 56

Status Report: You probably thought Solis was going to disappear after his KO loss to Brian Viloria in April 2009. Nope. After four straight wins — over Direcu Cabarca (W 8), Bert Batawang (KO 6), Eric Ortiz (W 10), and Luis Carlos Leon (W 10) — Solis drew with Luis Lazarte (D 12) in December. All the work keeps Solis active and honest and in the conversation. Good for him. 

Future: Nothing scheduled, but maybe the best fight in the class would be a shootout between Solis and Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. Bombs away!

77. Paulie Malignaggi

Junior Welterweight 28-5 (5)

Last Year’s Ranking: 47

Status Report: If you thought we were going to abandon Malignaggi just because he got his head handed to him by Amir Khan (KO by 11), forget it. It was a terrible style matchup for Malignaggi, who needs a little guy to come forward. Which brings us to Malignaggi’s virtuoso win over Juan Diaz (W 12) in their rematch, and the first one (L 12) was pretty damn good too. Those are why he’s here. His stoppage win over Michael Lozada (KO 6) is the boxing equivalent of raining frogs. 

Future: Malignaggi has changed promoters and locales, moving to California from his beloved New York. Let‘s see what it does for him.

78. Daniel Ponce de Leon 

Featherweight 41-2-0 (34)

Last Year’s Ranking: Unranked

Status Report: Few of us can forget how easily Juan Manuel Lopez annihilated Ponce de Leon in 2008, but the Mexican slugger has come back admirably. In the last year, he beat Orlando Cruz (KO 3), Cornelius Lock (W 10), Antonio Escalante (KO 3) and Sergio Medina (KO 7). He might be caught between styles a bit, but he’s still all puncher and is a threat to pancake a guy at any moment. His punch keeps him in any fight and gets him on this list.

Future: There are many entertaining possibilities at featherweight. Pick one.

79. Nehomar Cermeno

Bantamweight 20-2-0 (12) 

Last Year’s Ranking: 73

Status Report: It’s not often that a guy who’s gone 2-2 in his last three fights slides just six spots from last year, but here it’s warranted. Cermeno beat Alejandro Valdez (KO 11) and Hugo Berrio (KO 1), but lost two squeakers (L 12 twice) to the very good Anselmo Moreno, who appears on this list at No. 39. A judge glances at a round card girl or turns his head to pick his ear, maybe those fights are wins for Cermeno. Oh, like that stuff never happens. Now who’s being naïve?

Future: Cermeno’s not in the bantamweight tournament, so that’s out, but why not fight a guy like, say, Eric Morel or Christian Mijares?

80. Miguel Acosta

WBA Lightweight Titleholder 28-3-2 (22)

Last Year’s Ranking: Unranked

Status Report: One sure way to get on this list is to beat two pretty good undefeated guys back to back, and that’s what Acosta did in stopping Urbano Antillon (KO 9) and Paulus Moses (KO 6). As far as we can tell, Acosta is a full level below Michael Katsidis and two levels below Juan Manuel Marquez, but we think he can hold his own and then some with any other lightweight in the world. That includes upstarts Brandon Rios, John Murray and Anthony Peterson. Especially Anthony Peterson. 

Future: Brandon Rios on Feb. 26 in Las Vegas.

81. Sebastian Sylvester

IBF Middleweight Titleholder 32-3-1 (15) 

Last Year’s Ranking: 86

Status Report: Sylvester gets a small bump based on wins over Billy Lyell (KO 10) and decisions over Roman Karmazin (W 12) and Mahir Oral (W 12). 

Future: We’re going to go out on a limb and bet that in 2011 Sylvester will defend his belt two times against average or below-average European flotsam. Any takers? Didn’t think so.

82. Ryan Rhodes

Junior Middleweight 45-4-0 (31) 

Last Year’s Ranking: Unranked

Status Report: Since his inexplicable loss to Gary Lockett way back in 2006, Rhodes has been on a bit of a tear, winning 10 in a row, eight by knockout. That’s the good news. The bad is that unless you follow boxing very closely in the UK, you have no clue as to how good any of those 10 guys are. At the least, wins over the fairly well-credentialed Luca Messi (KO 6) — a terrible name for a fighter, we’re sure you’ll agree — and Jamie Moore (KO 7) get him into the Top 100. 

Future: Rhodes is competitive with the guys THE RING rates beneath him at 154, and gets absolutely destroyed by any of the monsters rated above him. Here’s a bit of advice, Ryan: Go under.

83. Brandon Rios

Lightweight 26-0-1 (19)

Last Year’s Ranking: Unranked

Status Report: Rios’ thrilling win over Anthony Peterson (W DQ 7) in November on HBO was clearly a breakout fight for him, even if Peterson’s incessant nut-punching deprived viewers of the conclusive ending for which they were looking. Between that fight and a win over reasonably tough Jorge Luis Teron (KO 3), and another over Omri Lowther (KO 4), Rios had a very good year if you don’t count his ill-advised impression of Freddie Roach. 

Future: Reportedly will face Miguel Acosta on Feb. 26 in Las Vegas.

84. Mzonke Fana

IBF Junior Lightweight Titleholder 28-4-0 (11)

Last Year’s Ranking: Unranked

Status Report: Fana may be the best of a wretchedly poor division, but he’s doing something right. You can’t discount entirely a year in which he bested once-beaten Jasper Seroka (KO 6) and then avenged a majority-decision loss to nemesis Cassius Baloyi (W 12). And the margin of victory over Baloyi was a combined 27 points. He dominated the way a guy at the top of his division should. 

Future: A fight against Scotland’s Ricky Burns would be wonderful. More likely is an alphabet defense against Leva Kirakosian. He will have no part of Jorge Linares, whom the THE RING and IBF still rate at 130 pounds.

85. Alexander Povetkin

Heavyweight 20-0-0 (14)

Last Year’s Ranking: 64

Status Report: Povetkin slides 21 rungs almost entirely because his trainer, Teddy Atlas, said he’s not good enough to face Wladimir Klitschko yet. Who are we to argue? Also, we have to say that for all the talk about Atlas taking him to the next level, Povetkin’s recent resume — wins over Leo Nolan (KO 3), Javier Mora (KO 5) Teke Oruh (KO 5) and Nicolai Firtha (W 10) — is a bit underwhelming.

Future: If Atlas thinks fighting stiffs is the way to get ready for a Klitschko, we’ve got bad news for him: It’s been tried.

86. Nathan Cleverly

Light Heavyweight 21-0-0 (10) 

Last Year’s Ranking: Unranked

Status Report: Cleverly is one of just two undefeated guys in THE RING’s Top 10 at light heavyweight (Tavoris Cloud is the other) and he hasn’t been bowling over just stiffs; in December he beat 23-1 (12) Nadjib Mohammedi, for what that that’s worth and he also stopped the heretofore undefeated Karo Murat (KO 10), THE RING’s No. 8-ranked 175-pounder. 

Future: Nothing signed yet but how about a trip across the pond, Nathan old boy?

87. Librado Andrade

Super Middleweight 28-2-0 (21) 

Last Year’s Ranking: 83

Status Report: You could make the argument that this is an unfairly low rating for a guy who’s hell to fight for anyone who can’t jump around like a meth addict for 12 rounds, but let’s remember a couple things. First, he was way behind on points when he almost stopped Lucian Bute in their match in 2008 (L 12); Bute obliterated him in their rematch (KO by 4); and even the ancient and decrepit Eric Lucas had some success against him before Andrade walked him down (KO 8). We love to watch the guy fight, too, but we shouldn’t mistake “exciting” for ability that merits a higher ranking than this. And for a face-first guy, this is a hell of a good rating. 

Future: Nothing scheduled at the moment, but we’d like to see him against … well, anyone at or around 168 pounds.

88. Sakio Bika

Super Middleweight 28-4-2 (19)

Last Year’s Ranking: 85

Status Report: Andre Ward beat Bika in November (L 12) but Bika didn’t lose much value. Ward is seen as no worse than the second best 168-pounder around, and Bika pushed him fairly hard. In his only other appearance during the year, Bika nearly disemboweled poor Jean Paul Mendy (L DQ 1). He’s big, crazy-strong and maybe a little insane. No one ever has an easy time of it with him — ask Joe Calzaghe — but Bika’s not skilled enough to have put it all together yet. 

Future: Bika has already lost to the division’s best, and the second tier won’t have much inclination to fight him. He’s in a tough spot.

89. Dmitry Pirog

Middleweight 17-0 (14)

Last Year’s Ranking: Unranked 

Status Report: It would seem that Pirog’s lone noteworthy accomplishment for the year was his beautiful annihilation of Danny Jacobs (KO 5), but he also has wins over Americans Eric Mitchell (KO 5) and Kofi Jantuah (W 12). Don’t think this guy can’t fight because he’s whiter than Ricky Hatton and looks like he hasn’t hit puberty yet. He’s the goods. Ask Jacobs. 

Future: Pirog will be on HBO in 2011, with any luck against someone noteworthy.

90. Juan Diaz

Lightweight 35-4 (17)

Last Year’s Ranking: 46

Status Report: Clearly, Diaz is trending downward. Just two years ago, he landed at 22 in this analysis. Two years later, he’s lost twice to Juan Manuel Marquez (KO by 9 and L 12) and split a pair of fights with Paulie Malignaggi (W 12 and L 12). That’s the bad news. The good is that the first fight with Marquez was The Fight of the Year, and Diaz didn’t disgrace himself in the rematch. And it wasn’t Lady Gaga he lost to, for chrissakes, it was Juan Manuel Marquez. So for now, Diaz stays. 

Future: Guys who fight like Diaz burn out young. He’s only 27 years old, but it’s a hard 27. And he has that whole law school thing going on. Don’t be surprised if you don’t see him in a ring again.

91. Orlando Salido

Featherweight 34-11-2 (22)

Last Year’s Ranking: Unranked

Status Report: If this list were concerned solely with straight-up hunger and balls, Salido might be in the Top 10. The guy is workboot-tough, and if you don‘t believe us, ask Cristobal Cruz, who Salido beat last May (W 12), avenging a split decision loss that occurred in 2008. His spirited if hopeless showing against Yuriorkis Gamboa (L 12) evidenced typical Salido: relentless, indefatigable, but just not as talented as he is tough. It’s s damn shame. 

Future: Guys with double-digit losses are frowned on by the networks, but Salido will get work for as long as he wants it. At 29 years old, he has a couple years left to make a few guys wish they’d gone into another line of work.

92. Juan Urango

Junior Welterweight 22-2-1 (17) 

Last Year’s Ranking: 88

Status Report: Devon Alexander owes Urango a big debt. It was Alexander’s knockout of Urango (KO by 8) that made people think Alexander is suddenly a big puncher (he isn’t) and a special fighter (he might be). Urango hasn’t fought since, but he got enough good work done at junior welter before the Alexander fight that he stays on the list. For now. 

Future: Nothing scheduled, but Urango should get while the getting is still good. There are lots of good 140-pounders right now, and he can get in on some of the bigger fights if he wants to. Who wouldn’t want to see Urango against Marcos Maidana, for example?

93. Anthony Mundine 

Middleweight 40-4 (24)

Last Year’s Ranking: 63

Status Report: Before his surprising loss to novice Garth Wood (KO by 5), Mundine had been on a roll against guys no one has ever heard of — Robert Medley (W 12), Carlos Jerez (W 12) and Ryan Waters ( KO 10). He drops 30 rungs not just because of the KO loss, but for wasting our time all these years. 

Future: Mundine will return to the “spotlight” in a rematch against Wood. Be still our hearts.

94. Takefumi Sakata

Flyweight 36-6-2 (17) 

Last Year’s Ranking: 70

Status Report: Sakata plummets 25 spots following a dismal year in which he beat an absolute no-hoper in Eric Siregar (KO 1) and then lost to Daiki Kameda (L 12). This after falling from 44 to 70 in last year’s analysis. Don’t get us wrong; it’s still a hell of a thing to be rated one of the best 100 fighters in the world. But dropping 51 rungs in two years is remarkable. And unless we expand this analysis next year to include the Top 150 fighters in the world, we suspect this is Sakata’s final appearance. 

Future: Nothing scheduled, which, all things considered, might be a good thing.

95. Nkosinathi Joyi

Strawweight 21-0-0 (15)

Last Year’s Ranking: Unranked

Status Report: Joyi is on a roll, having beaten Florante Condes (W 12) and, importantly, Raul Garcia (W 12) over the last 18 months. He’s not a bad puncher for a little guy and isn’t afraid to get in there and work. He could be around a while. 

Future: Katsunari Takayama on Jan. 29 in South Africa.

96. Cornelius Bundrage

IBF Junior Middleweight Titleholder 30-4 (18)

Last Year’s Ranking: Unranked

Status Report: Laugh all you want, but this fact remains: We put Cory Spinks at 48 last year. And in August, “K9,” if you can stand it, blew him out of the ring (KO 5). We don’t like it any better than you do, but maybe we all should just accept that with his innate strength, drive, awkwardness and Emanuel Steward in his corner, maybe Bundrage can fight a bit. We’ll bet Spinks thinks so.

Future: Nothing scheduled, but there’s no reason Bundrage can’t get in on some of the good business getting done among the Top 10 guys at 154. We don’t think he beats any of those guys, but hey, we underestimate this guy at our peril.

97. Ricky Burns

Junior Lightweight 30-2 (7)

Last Year’s Ranking: Unranked

Status Report: How does Burns crack the Top 100? Almost entirely on the weight of his win over then-undefeated Roman Martinez in September (W12). Wins over Kevin O’Hara (W 12) Michael Gomez (KO 7) and Andreas Evensen (W 12) don’t hurt either. Burns has faced a lot of sub-.500 guys, and that makes us suspicious. But the Martinez fight carries weight.

Future: Tough Terdsak Jandaeng is in Burns’ near future.

98. Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. 

Junior Featherweight 20-0-1 (17)

Last Year’s Ranking: Unranked

Status Report: It’s easy to underrate the sons of famous fighting fathers, but Vazquez looks like the real thing — a rarity in this genre. Wins over Genaro Garcia (KO 7), Marvin Sonsona (KO 4), Zsolt Bedak (KO 10) and Choko Hernandez (KO 11) don’t lie. The kid can punch like a welterweight, and as his record makes clear, he carries his power late into a fight. Keep your eye on this kid — even if he is a junior. 

Future: Probably a blockbuster of a showdown — relatively speaking — with Mexican favorite Jorge Arce.

99. Urbano Antillon

Lightweight 28-2 (20)

Last Year’s Ranking: Unranked

Status Report: Look at it this way: Antillon took No. 32-ranked Humberto Soto to hell and back in their wonderful brawl (L 12) in December and his only other loss is to Miguel Acosta (KO by 9), who appears at No. 80 and frankly might be a little low there. Antillo is a rough, tough guy who will press any 135-pounder in the world. He deserves to be here. 

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