By Nick Tylwalk
Thanks to the Chad Dawson-Bernard Hopkins debacle, we almost had our first real controversy with the old Power Rankings. Namely, should we credit Dawson with points for a TKO, following what is, so far, the official decision? Or should we assume that the fight is eventually going to be ruled a No Contest, which is what just about everyone believes will eventually happen?
Ultimately, it ended up not mattering, because Bad Chad wouldn't crack the top 10 in our "not a pound-for-pound list" rankings anyway. Nor would he crack the next seven waiting just below it, even if given credit for the stoppage.
So we're left with just the usual controversy, which is whether our scores make any sense in the first place. There is some movement at the top this month, with Nonito Donaire jumping up even with a boring win, and two others falling just a bit as they see wins move out of the three-year rolling window.
None of this making any sense? Click here for some more clarity. Otherwise, read on for this month's rankings...
1. Nonito Donaire - 22.43 - The Filipino Flash found Omar Narvaez an unwilling dance partner, which meant he won a wide but ultimately unsatisfying decision. That's not really Donaire's fault, but he'll have to do something more spectacular the next time out to avoid having his momentum completely derailed.
2. Lucian Bute - 19.75 - The Charmer will be in action just a few days from now, looking to fend off always tough Glen Johnson. If Bute wins, he could be in position to have a very big 2012.
3. Vitali Klitschko - 18.36 - There's no shame in holding down the third spot, as Dr. Ironfist's 2008 stoppage of Samuel Peter falls outside of the ranking window. Since he'll turn 41 next year, you have to wonder what challenges are still left for Vitali.
4. Amir Khan - 18.01 - It's funny to think that someone could be in the top 10 pound-for-pound discussion without being the undisputed king of his own weight class, but that is indeed the case for Khan. It might not happen for a while, either, as he could be moving up out of the 140-pound division after his December battle with Lamont Peterson.
5. Saul Alvarez - 16.77 - Canelo is certainly staying busy, because his upcoming bout with Kermit Cintron will be his fourth in-ring appearance of 2011. A win will have him moving up even higher on this list.
6. Yuriorkis Gamboa - 16.18 - Could next year bring the long-awaited showdown between Gamboa and Juan Manuel Lopez, or does Juanma need more wins under his belt after getting knocked out earlier in 2011? If it's the latter, Gamboa will need to look elsewhere to establish a rivalry that can make him a household name.
7. Sergio Martinez - 14.14 - Speaking of looking for a true rival, this man needs to do it even sooner. Maravilla will turn 37 early in 2012, meaning his days at the top of the sport could end as quickly as they began.
8. Wladimir Klitschko - 14.12 - Unlike his big brother, we know that who Wladimir is fighting next. It's just hard to get excited about Jean Marc Mormeck, as he'll be dwarfed by Klitschko. You know, like plenty of other guys.
9. Manny Pacquiao - 13.67 - We probably shouldn't count Juan Manuel Marquez out of his third shot at Manny, but most observers think the third time will be the charm in terms of a decisive Pac-Man triumph. Assuming that's the case, will it be 2012 or bust for a Floyd Mayweather mega-fight?
10. Andre Ward - 11.85 - Though Ward is favored by the oddsmakers to win the Super Six final, Carl Froch will be a severe test, to say the least. A win would set up a possible 2012 date with Bute, which would no doubt be a huge deal North of the border.
The next seven: Felix Sturm, Robert Guerrero, Alfredo Angulo, Juan Manuel Marquez, Timothy Bradley, Miguel Cotto, Floyd Mayweather
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