He fights just once a year but when he does step inside the ring, he puts on a boxing clinic every time. The Grand Rapids native is the epitome of the old boxing adage of “hit without being hit”. He embodies the anti-hero persona with his out-of-ring antics and ruthless trash talk. Mayweather could very well be the most skilled defensive fighter in the history of the sport.
Previous: Win UD12 Miguel Cotto
Next: 2013-05-04 vs. Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero
Where Mayweather plays the villain card, Ward takes on the role of the All-American hero – someone fans can get behind and root for. He’s a little more of a banger, but Ward definitely has the skills that pay the bills. After winning the Super Six, Ward has come into his own and is decimating quality opponents left and right. His total domination of Chad Dawson put the exclamation point on his young career.
Previous: Win TKO10 “Bad” Chad Dawson
Next: None scheduled
If not for an early setback in his career, in just his 2nd professional fight, Donaire would still be undefeated. In fact, he hasn’t been beaten in over a decade and has completely belittled and destroyed the who’s who of any division within a few pounds of his. It isn’t just that Donaire is beating these top guys, it’s that he’s annihilating them with one killer left hook after another.
Previous: Win KO3 Jorge “El Travieso” Arce
Next: 2013-04-13 vs. Guillermo “The Jackal” Rigondeaux
Martinez hasn’t always been this good. He dropped a few early losses to Antonio Margarito and Paul Williams, failing to impress in the process. That’s why his recent wins have taken the world by storm and Martinez has emerged as an exciting beast of a fighter who seemingly has no equal in his weight class. Sporting an unorthodox, erratic, hands down style, Martinez is clearly the man to beat at Middleweight. He packs a pretty mean punch too.
Previous: Win UD12 Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
Next: 2013-04-27 vs. Martin Murray
No, it wasn’t a lucky punch that dropped arch-nemesis Manny Pacquiao, but it surely was a most fortunate situation for the Mexican dynamo who was well on his way to a knockout loss of his own accompanied by a severely shattered nose. Giving credit where credit is due however, Marquez perfected that counter-right and delivered it masterfully to the chin of Pacquiao. The win is tainted however, if he can’t (or is unwilling) to face Pacquiao again in a rematch.
Previous: Win KO6 Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao
Next: None scheduled
It was a tough 2012 for Pacquiao, who has yet to make his 2013 debut. He went 0-2 for the year, giving up a close Split Decision loss to Timothy Bradley in his first outing, and then got removed from his senses via a Juan Manuel Marquez right counter that hit the nail on the head. If his performance against Marquez before he got kayoed was of any indication of what we’re to expect from him moving forward, Pacquiao may have gotten back to his old, relentless form. Let’s hope the knockout loss didn’t take too much out of him.
Previous: Loss KO6 Juan Manuel “Dinamita” Marquez
Next: None scheduled
The problem with Broner is not that he doesn’t have what it takes to move further up this list, given his immense talent and potential. The problem is that he hasn’t faced much quality opposition. Nonetheless, the skill level of this man is off the charts. Broner looks like a more aggressive, lightweight version of Floyd Mayweather – with better power and just the same defensive prowess. He has tremendous upside and is someone to look out for in 2013.
Previous: Win RTD5 Gavin Rees
Next: 2013-06-15 vs. Opponent TBA
Alvarez is essentially Oscar Dela Hoya’s prized protégé, He draws nearly the same star power as the Golden Boy, and is just as fierce inside the ring. The Latino with the cinnamon red hair first came to the public eye when billionaire Carlos “Slim” Helu once offered Manny Pacquiao to face Alvarez, then virtually unknown, for a whopping $60-M. That fight never came to fruition but Alvarez took his career into his own hands by signing with Golden Boy Promotions and putting on some sizzling performances.
Previous: Win TKO5 Josesito Lopez
Next: 2013-04-20 vs. Austin “No Doubt” Trout
Viloria has had a wonderful career filled with highs and lows. For anyone who has followed his career all throughout, it’s certainly a joy to see him compete at a high level at the top of his division. Viloria combines Olympic-quality skills with devastating knockout power in both hands. This deadly formula has resulted in some impressive wins over top-tier opposition as of late. Viloria is currently the unified WBA and WBO Flyweight champion of the world.
Previous: Win TKO10 Hernan “Tyson” Marquez
Next: 2013-04-06 vs. Juan Francisco Estrada
What Bradley lacks in power and speed, he makes up for with hard work and perseverance. Regardless of how he’s hit the canvas throughout his career, Bradley has always gotten back up and finished the fight on his terms. As a result, he’s remained undefeated, even being able to eke out a hard-fought albeit controversial Split Decision win over Manny Pacquiao. He hasn’t fought in a while since then, as many feel he did not truly earn the victory against Pacquiao. Nevertheless, a win is a win and that’s how the record books will remember it.
Previous: Win SD12 Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao
Next: 2013-03-16 vs. Ruslan Provodnikov
(Photos from the boxers' Facebook pages.)