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One question that emerged after Floyd Mayweather Jr. defeated Miguel Cotto on Saturday was sure to stir the passions of many fans: Did Mayweather do enough to supplant Manny Pacquiao atop THE RING’s pound-for-pound list?
Members of THE RING Ratings Panel pushed for Mayweather to become No. 1, citing his hard-fought but convincing victory over the top junior middleweight in the world.
Another argument against Pacquiao is that many people believe he was given a gift victory over Juan Manuel Marquez in his most-recent fight, the same Marquez who was overwhelmed by Mayweather.
Members of the Editorial Board leaned the other direction, pointing out that Mayweather had much more trouble with Cotto than Pacquiao did. The editors initially preferred to wait to see how Pacquiao looks against Tim Bradley on June 9 in Las Vegas before making a decision.
Then the editors remembered a course of action they considered immediately after the Pacquiao-Marquez fight: Leave the No. 1 spot vacant until one of them either seizes the mythical title or falters badly.
This is what we wrote in the article announcing that Pacquiao would remain No. 1 in spite of his performance against Marquez: “Pacquiao survives as THE RING’s No. 1 fighter by a hair. Should he stumble again or Mayweather turn in an outstanding performance, a new king probably would be crowned.”
Some will argue that Mayweather’s performance against Cotto was outstanding. He stood up to a stiff challenge from a very good fighter after moving up in weight and emerged with an impressive victory.
Others have suggested that Mayweather shouldn’t have struggled as much as he did against Cotto, who many believed was fading as an elite fighter going into Saturday. Perhaps we saw the first signs that Mayweather, at 35, was beginning to show his age.
In the end, the editors decided that Mayweather did enough against Cotto to pull even with Pacquiao but not ahead of him. Thus, we decided to leave the No. 1 position vacant, meaning Pacquiao and Mayweather are now tied at No. 2.
Pacquiao can reclaim the top spot if he looks sensational against Bradley, maintain the status quo with a solid victory or open the door for Mayweather to become No. 1 with a poor performance.
And if there is no movement at that time, Pacquiao and Mayweather could decide who is No. 1 by fighting one another. We think everyone would agree that that is the best way to determine such things.
This should invoke some kind of riot on here...