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The Best of the Best: Manny Pacquiao & the Top 10 Most Exciting Boxers of Today

By Damien Norman

With many talented Boxers in different weight classes, I am going to take a look at who currently are the top 10 most exciting Boxers around.

There are some who may be dominant without particularly setting the ring on fire, others that remain unbeaten but stick to boring tactics… but which fighters tick all of the boxes and get the World talking through sheer entertainment?

10. Lucian Bute:

The Impressive Super Middleweight, originally from Romania but coming out of Canada has an unblemished record of 27 wins with 22 coming by KO. Bute is the current IBF Super Middleweight Champion and has a reputation as being a hard hitting Middleweight. As an amateur he won the Bronze medal at 1999 World Amateur Boxing Championships and to add to this feat won Gold at the 2001 Francophone Games.

In 2007, Bute faced Sakio Bika in an eliminator for the IBF title and won by UD. The same year he faced Alejandro Berrio and in the 11th round won by TKO crowning him as the new IBF Super Middleweight Champion and the third Romanian Professional Boxer to do so.

Bute has since had several successful title defences including demolishing three time World Title Challenger Fulgencio Zuniga last year. He is set to put up another defence in March next year with an opponent yet to be announced.

9. Nathan Cleverly

This 23 year old Light Heavyweight star from Wales has already notched up 20 wins with no losses. He began training out of the same stable that produced superstar Joe Calzaghe and is actually being hailed as “Mini-Calzaghe.” In 2008 he made the decision to switch gyms and now trains out of his father’s gym in South- Wales.

At such a young age Clev’ shows tremendous skills, lots of punching power and impeccable accuracy and it looks set that he will go on to achieve big things as a Boxer.

Cleverly is the current BBBOC and Commonwealth Light Heavyweight Champion, and in February this year defeated Antonio Brancalion to become the EBU Light Heavyweight Champion.

His last fight was against Karo Murat which was waved off by the referee following a doctor’s inspection deeming Murat in no condition to continue. The fight was an eliminator for the WBO title, and Cleverly will take on Alejandro Lakatos on the 11th December for this title.

8. Alexander Povetkin

This big Heavyweight from Moscow, Russia boasts of an impressive 20 wins with 15 KO’s and remains unbeaten.

Povetkin has a very successful amateur record and on the back of this and due to some excellent performances as a pro he is seen by many as a leading contender to rule the Heavyweight Division.

In 2007, Povetkin entered a 4 man IBF tournament which was designed to create an opponent for Wladimir Klitschko. Povetkin defeated Chris Byrd, and then won a unanimous decision over Eddie Chambers to become the mandatory challenger for Wladimir Klitschko however Povetkin suffered an injury which ruled him out of the fight. The bout was give a new date by the IBF for September 2009 but it never materialized.

His last outing saw him knock out Teke Oruh of Nigeria in the 5th round. With no fight scheduled you would expect a big opponent the next time Povetkin steps into the ring.

7. Juan Manuel Lopez

This 27 year old Featherweight from Puerto Rico has been unstoppable, and with 29 wins and 26 KO’s it is going to take a World Class operator to derail this man.

Lopez started his professional career as a Super Bantamweight, and in 2008 he defeated Daniel Ponce De Leon by TKO to become the WBO Super Bantamweight Champ. Lopez successfully kept hold of the title until 2009 when he vacated it to start life as Featherweight, defeating Steven Luevano for the WBO Featherweight Title.

His only fight since that night was a defense against Bernabe Concepcion. Both fighters were down in the first round, and with Concepcion down twice in the second the referee stopped the action and Lopez retained his title.

This Saturday sees Juan “Juanma” Manuel Lopez defending his title at the MGM Grand, Nevada against dangerous opponent Rafael Marquez.

6. Derek Chisora

If this article had been run a few months ago then most people would be wondering who the heck “Derek Chisora” was! Well, it goes without saying that the whole World now knows exactly who he is and what he is about.

Derek “Del Boy” Chisora; the 26 year old Zimbabwe born UK boxer who is unbeaten in 14 fights and in his last fight successfully defending his BBBOC British Heavyweight title and won the Commonwealth title. That victory impressed many, and from that had an offer to fight Wladimir Klitschko which he in a heartbeat accepted.

So, on the 11th December he challenges Klitschko for the IBF, WBO and IBO World Heavyweight Titles, but who is he and where has he come from?

He started his professional Boxing career at the age of 24 and in a couple of years notched up over 10 wins. On his record there are many unknowns and in the main journey man but in May this year he defeated Danny Williams to become the BBBOC British Champ and to also end William’s career.

Although Chisora won this fight it was initially Sam Sexton who was scheduled to face Williams, so Chisora agreed to take on Sexton on the 18th September. Chisora had previously defeated Sexton and did the same thing again with a 9th Round KO, retaining his BBBOC title and also adding the Commonwealth title to his name.

After this fight he was offered the Wladimir challenge and instantly accepted with this fight going ahead on 11th December.

5. Timothy Bradley

Timothy Bradley, rated as number one by Ring Magazine and Boxrec to name a couple is a hugely exciting Light Welterweight Boxer from Palm Springs, USA.

To date, Bradley has a professional record of 26 wins and no losses and is the current WBO Light Welterweight Champion.

In 2008 Bradley defeated Junior Witter to become WBC Champion and successfully defended this against Edner Cherry. In 2009, Bradley defeated Kendall Holt and added the WBC title to this but was stripped of the title due to failing to take on Devon Alexander, who was the mandatory opponent at the time.

On the 29th January next year he finally takes on Alexandra, where both Bradley’s WBO and Alexander’s WBC titles are on the line. This is a long awaited clash that has everybody excited.

4. Amir Khan

After a successful amateur career, in 2005 Bolton’s (UK) Amir Khan turned professional and quickly notched up a string of 12 wins.

His first real test came against Irish Lightweight Willie Limond for the Commonwealth title. Khan was knocked down early but shined through and ended up winning the fight in the 8th round.

Khan made 3 successful defenses of this title before taking on and beating Martin Kristjansen for the WBO Inter-Continental Lightweight title by 8th round TKO.

There was question marks over Amir Khans chin, and in 2008 the then unbeaten Columbian Breidis Prescott came over to the UK to challenge Khan for his WBO title. Amir Khan was seriously exposed, and after just 54 seconds the fight was over and Prescott had defeated Khan to become the new Champion.

Amir Khan only had two more fights at Lightweight, a 2nd Round TKO against Oisin Fagan to become the WBA International Lightweight Champion and then a 5th round TD over Marco Antonio Barrera, a fight which many feel should have been a no contest.

Now as a Light Welterweight, Amir Khan is set to take on the dangerous Marcos Maidana on the 11th December for the WBA World title; Khan’s toughest test.

3. David Haye

Everybody knows David Haye, or do they? The 30 year old rise to fame came in 2009 when he defeated the giant Russian Nikolay Valuev becoming the WBA Heavyweight Champion of the World.

Before that night David Haye was the unified Cruiserweight Champion and held the WBA, WBO and WBC titles. Although Haye was gaining accreditation for his punching power, conditioning and speed it was clear that his chin was very questionable and in 2004 he was knocked out by Carl Thompson. That proved to be Haye’s only professional defeat but since making the step up to Heavyweight has only had one fight aside from the Valuev fight; a Title defence against an over the hill John Ruiz which Haye won by a 9th round TKO.

There have been lots of controversy surround David Haye and both Klitschko brothers, and the general feeling is that Haye has dodged the pair. The closest they came to fighting was in June 2009, but Haye pulled out with a back injury.

On the 13th November Haye defends his title against Audley Harrison, an all UK clash. Although Haye is expected to win, Audley Harrison has a devastating left hand and has power that Haye should not take lightly. The two used to be good friends and have sparred many rounds together in the past. The fight is expected to be an excellent one and the public are now starting to take a liking to the once hated Audley Harrison.

David Haye has displayed his usual confidence and self assurance and has brushed off any slight possibility of Harrison being able to trouble him at all but this is a very risky fight for Haye that has the potential to see him lose everything.

2. Floyd Mayweather JR.

In a respectable second position we have Floyd Mayweather, JR., a man that is known for not only talking a good fight but also backing it up.

The man from Las Vegas is unbeaten in a remarkable 41 contests and has beaten some good Boxers along the way, starting his career in 1996; some 14 years on he is still untouchable.

Trying to find a flaw with this fighter is a bit like searching for a needle in a haystack; he has an excellent defense, he can box on the back and front foot, he has pure power and is fast and light on his feet too.

In Mayweather’s last fight he defeated Shane Mosley, a fight that lacked any real fireworks but one that he came through as the victor albeit by UD. Prior to this he defeated Juan Manuel Marquez, again by UD and who can forget that night in 2007 in LA when he broke the hearts of thousands of Ricky Hatton fans by knocking him out in the 10th round.

There are lots of memorable moments if you are a Floyd Mayweather fan, and even if you are not he provides mounds of entertainment inside and out of the ring. Many feel he is the best fighter at Welterweight, others feel that until he faces Manny Pacquiao the crown goes to “Pac Man” himself… either way he has a staggering 41-0 record and continues to march on as undefeated.

1.Manny Pacquiao

It was a tough decision between 2nd and 1st position and if I were reporting on dominance alone then it probably would have been Floyd Mayweather JR’s name here, but I’m not, and this is about sheer entertainment and the crown for the most entertaining Boxer in the World right now goes to Manny ‘Pac Man’ Pacquiao.

The Filipino star for many years has provided us with nights of entertainment as a Boxer showing pure class and style. When he started out the majority of his fights were in the Philippines, in fact his first 23 fights were. Of them, he notched up 22 wins with one loss, and also won the OPBF Flyweight Title. In the main Pacquiao’s early fights were not public and he was quite unknown at this stage, and it wasn’t until he arrived stateside and started taking on (and defeating) well known opponents that his name started appearing everywhere.

Pacquiao is a seven division World Champion and is also the first boxer to win nine World Titles in seven different weight Divisions. He is currently the WBO Welterweight World Champion and it looks set to stay that way until he faces Floyd Mayweather JR. The supremacy of the two Boxers has been overwhelming and, although there are two or three fighters that could prove to be a stiff test it won’t be until the two finally get in the ring that we see who the real Champ is.

Pacquiao takes on Antonio Margarito on the 13th November. Many feel this is another easy night for ‘Pac Man’ but Margarito is coming in to the fight confident.

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