By Nick Tylwalk
Maravilla! Canelo! It's like an all Spanish nickname edition of the BoxingWatchers power rankings.
Okay, not quite. But Sergio Martinez rejoins our top 10 following his knockout of Darren Barker, and Saul Alvarez enters for the first time as he continues... well, being Saul Alvarez.
Also making a charge up the list is Amir Khan, who didn't fight this past month. However, his loss to Breidis Prescott moved outside of the rolling three-year period (though it doesn't seem that long ago) we use for the rankings, and with that albatross now in his past, his score improves by quite a bit.
This is as good a time as any to make the obligatory mention that this is not a pound-for-pound list, but rather our own patent pending method of ranking how impressive top boxers have been during the past three years. Activity and wins are most important, plus the wins are modified by the decisiveness of the victories (KOs are best, followed by UD with SD bringing up the rear). The recent winning percentages of your beaten opponents is also a big factor. Losses, obviously, are not so good. If your favorite top pound-for-pound boxer isn't in the top 10 (most notably Floyd Mayweather and Bernard Hopkins), it's usually because he hasn't been active enough during the past three years.
With the pseudo-technical stuff out of the way, here's the list for this month:
1. Vitali Klitschko - 22.36 - It's kind of fitting that the elder Klitschko has taken up the top spot for several months. While no one would vote Vitali the best pound-for-pound fighter, he does appear to be one of the most dominant, with no obvious threat to his heavyweight belt on the horizon. Could retirement be the only thing that can knock him from his perch?
2. Lucian Bute - 21.35 - Since October of '08, Bute is 7-0 with six stoppages. That's pretty impressive, and only slightly weaker competition in the first part of that run keeps him from a score that is the highest ever under our system. The road could get tougher from here, though, starting with the always competitive Glen Johnson next month.
3. Nonito Donaire - 20.43 - The Filipino Flash will put his talents on display again in just two weeks against undefeated Omar Narvaez. Like Bute, Donaire is 7-0 with 6 KOs over the past three years, and he's looked increasingly impressive even as he's fought more accomplished foes.
4. Amir Khan - 18.01 - It's telling that the Prescott loss is fading into the past, as Khan is clearly an improved fighter since then, both physically and mentally. Upcoming opponent Lamont Peterson has talent, but Khan is more dynamic and well-rounded, which should be the difference.
5. Saul Alvarez - 16.77 - Just when Canelo was looking a little workmanlike in some of his recent performances, he goes out and flattens Alfonso Gomez - whose only previous stoppage came at the hands of Miguel Cotto. Alvarez is beginning to live up to the hype.
6. Yuriorkis Gamboa - 16.18 - Speaking of living up to the hype, Gamboa was dominating Daniel Ponce de Leon when their bout last month was halted after eight rounds due to an accidental clash of heads. Like several other boxers on this list, the former Cuban defector is still in search of a name-making rivalry or signature victory.
7. Sergio Martinez - 16.14 - Maravilla took care of Darren Barker, but it took him longer than expected. Maybe that's not a complete shock given his mostly self-taught fighting style and lack of amateur background. Fortunately, Martinez's athleticism allows him to adapt as he goes. Now if he could only get that big money fight...
8. Wladimir Klitschko - 14.12 - Wlad will fight before the end of the year against Jean Marc Mormeck. The problem? Mormeck is a small heavyweight who fought under 200 pounds just four fights ago. Yes, that sounds familar, and yes, that means you probably already know how this is going to end.
9. Manny Pacquiao - 13.67 - Though some of Pac-Man's in-ring accomplishments may eventually be equaled or surpassed, it's doubtful anyone will ever make as many appearances on HBO's 24/7 hype series. Another edition kicks off this month for Manny's November clash with Juan Manuel Marquez.
10. Alfredo Angulo - 12.60 - After mowing down his last two opponents in just one round each, Angulo has an intriguing matchup scheduled for November with James Kirkland in November. That could be a dynamite fight for as long as it lasts.
The next seven: Andre Ward, Felix Sturm, Robert Guerrero, Juan Manuel Marquez, Timothy Bradley, Miguel Cotto, Floyd Mayweather
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