Boxing
Pacquiao, Mayweather stay atop pound-for-pound list
Lyle Fitzsimmons

By Lyle Fitzsimmons,
Contributing Boxing Editor


Ocala, FL (Sports Network) - Status quo prevailed through the top eight slots in the latest installment of The Sports Network's Top 10 pound-for-pound boxing rankings, released Thursday.

Incumbent WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao, who will defend his title against Shane Mosley on May 7 in Las Vegas, remains No. 1 overall largely on the strength of November's unanimous decision victory over Antonio Margarito at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

That fight earned Pacquiao the WBC super welterweight title and ran his unbeaten streak to 13 fights since a decision loss to Erik Morales in 2005. Pacquiao subsequently vacated the 154-pound championship and announced his intention to remain at 147 pounds.

Placing second to the Filipino is unbeaten Floyd Mayweather Jr., who was the last fighter other than Pacquiao to occupy the top spot. Mayweather beat Mosley by a wide 12-round verdict in a May 2010 match, but has been inactive since, due at least in part to a series of legal concerns.

A fight between Pacquiao and Mayweather has been discussed for the last few years, but was initially scuttled due to Mayweather's demands for stringent pre-fight drug testing. Subsequent gestures from the Pacquiao camp, however, have reportedly gone unanswered, leaving the fight's fate uncertain.


Sergio Martinez is No. 4 and will attempt to maintain that status Saturday night.
IBF/IBO/WBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko remains at No. 3 in spite of a recent injury that shelved a planned defense against unbeaten Dereck Chisora. Reportedly, Klitschko is close to a unification bout this summer with WBA champion David Haye.

Consensus middleweight kingpin Sergio Martinez is No. 4 and will attempt to maintain that status Saturday night, when he'll meet rising 154-pounder Sergiy Dzinziruk.

Staying at No. 5 is WBC heavyweight title-holder Vitali Klitschko, who's 6-0 since returning from a four-year retirement.

Holding spots 6, 7 and 8 are WBA/WBO lightweight champion Juan Manuel Marquez, WBA super middleweight champion Andre Ward and IBF super middleweight champion Lucien Bute, respectively.

Up one spot from 10 to 9 is WBO featherweight champion Juan Manuel Lopez, who improved to 30-0 and scored knockout No. 27 with an eighth-round stoppage of veteran Rafael Marquez in November.

Lopez will defend against former IBF champion Orlando Salido on April 16 in Puerto Rico.

The lone Top 10 newcomer - occupying spot No. 10 - is Filipino bantamweight Nonito Donaire, who won the WBC/WBO titles with a smashing two-round KO of Fernando Montiel on Feb. 19 in Las Vegas.

Unbeaten since his second pro fight in 2001, Donaire previously held the IBF/IBO titles at 112 pounds from 2007-09. He will reportedly meet WBA champion Anselmo Moreno in a bantamweight unification bout on May 28 in Atlantic City.

NOTE: The Sports Network's Top 10 rankings are compiled monthly by Contributing Boxing Editor Lyle Fitzsimmons. Reach him at fitzbitz@msn.com.

Jabs, hooks or knockouts, Lyle Fitzsimmons can be reached at fitzbitz@msn.com.

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