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SkySports PFP Top 10 List
SkySports Global PFP Rankings
1. Floyd Mayweather
From: United States
Few could argue about the number one choice, who remains undefeated and largely untouched in a 43-fight career. Dominant at welterweight, Floyd is also a two-time and current light-middleweight title holder after his most recent victory over a peak-form Miguel Cotto. A five-weight world champion in all, it's disappointing for fight fans he has only been out four times in five years. And it now looks highly unlikely the much-talked about scrap with Manny Pacquiao will ever take place, with the Filipino arguably now past his prime and talks seemingly in deadlock. But this is boxing - so you never know!
2. Andre Ward
From: United States
The self-styled 'Son of God' comes in second owing to his domination of a stacked super-middleweight division. Stylish victories over Mikkel Kessler, Arthur Abraham and Carl Froch have seen the American clean up at 168lb, with only his lack of marketability holding him back in the superstar stakes. Chad Dawson - a genuine P4P contender - came down from light-heavy to challenge Ward but hardly won a round, S.O.G putting him down three times before the referee stopped it in the 10th round. He shares a similar problem to Mayweather in that there are not many around to offer a serious challenge.
3. Sergio Martinez
'Maravilla' served a lengthy apprenticeship in his native Argentina before stepping up to middleweight, where he has etched his name as a future Hall of Famer. Two fights with Paul Williams was where he finally gained recognition, losing a 12-round war before scoring a vengeful second round knockout in the return with a victory over Kelly Pavlik sandwiched in between for good measure. British pair Darren Barker and Matthew Macklin were both competitive for 11 rounds but it was the victory over Julio Cesar Chavez that secured his legacy. A slight favourite beforehand, Sergio dominated 'Junior' for 11 rounds before being tagged and seriously hurt in the final session. He got through it - somehow - to remain the man to beat at 160lb, but he will be 38 when he returns to the ring against England's Martin Murray in April.
4. Nonito Donaire
Rarely do the 'little guys' get their dues in the big picture but surely the 'Filipino Flash' is worthy of a top-5 rating after tearing through four weight classes in as many highly active years. Pacquiao's successor is willing to take on all-comers, rarely backing away from a challenge. This year he stepped up to super-bantamweight to beat ex-champ Wilfredo Vazquez and then unify the WBO and IBF titles with a shutout success against Jeffrey Mathebula. Three months later his stock rose even further when stopping quality operator Toshiaki Nishioka in nine rounds. It can only be hoped that he and Abner Mares are finally matched in 2013.
5. Wladimir Klitschko
Heavyweights, perhaps more than any other, are defined by their era and sadly for 'Dr Steelhammer' his is undeniably a poor one. Since his defence was shored up and his suspect chin protected, Wlad has been imperious in collecting each and every belt going bar the WBC title held by big brother Vitali. Victories over former cruiserweight bosses David Haye and Jean-Marc Mormeck demonstrated just how difficult it is to come to terms with the 6ft 6in brute from Kiev. Technically gifted with a piston for a jab and a jack-hammer for a right, Klitschko dispatched former victim Tony Thompson inside six and then schooled Mariusz Wach in what was his busiest year in a while. That his old rivals are doing the rounds again tells you all you need to know about the current class of big men. It's a shame that only his brother shapes up to Wlad in terms of size and stature - although huge Brits Tyson Fury and David Price are looming large.
6. Juan Manuel Marquez
A four-weight world champion (if you count the latest WBO interim' strap), the career of 'Dinamita' will be defined by what must surely end as a quadrilogy with Manny Pacquiao. In their first three fights, Marquez had only a draw to show for his efforts despite many critics giving the Mexican all three verdicts. But despite being six years his senior, we had already argued Marquez was holding his form better. A lop-sided defeat to the much-bigger Mayweather in '09 aside, he had dispatched Juan Diaz, Michael Katsidis and kept busy with a shutout win against Serhiy Fedchenko for that WBO bauble at 140lb. We felt a clear-cut win against Pacquiao would see him jump above his old rival in the rankings - and that's exactly what we got! Marquez will feel his stunning knockout erases the memory of the results that went before, and why not.
7. Manny Pacquiao
Pac Man has been in more big fights than Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray combined, but at 34 the once dominant Filipino is now looking shop-worn. Not since he re-arranged the face of Antonio Margarito in 2010 have we seen the Pacquiao of old - victories over a shot Shane Mosley and Juan Manuel Marquez (contentious - again) proved little, while a highly controversial defeat to Timothy Bradley was later overturned by a WBO panel. But it was the fourth meeting with Marquez that told us how far Manny has slipped from the days when he scorched through the divisions taking out many big names on the way. And while Manny was a round up on all the cards the fact he walked onto a massive right hand suggests his star is very much on the wane.
8. Timothy Bradley
From: United States
Opinions are polarised when it comes to Bradley but the fact remains he ruled the light-welterweight division for years (admittedly turning down a fight with WBA and IBF ruler Amir Khan) before taking the fight with Pacquiao on his debut up at 147lb. A big underdog, 'Desert Storm' fared better than many thought although whether it was enough to win a split decision is doubtful - even a WBO panel later declared Pac Man a unanimous 'winner'. Nevertheless, Bradley still has the coveted '0' and although his style will never endear himself to fans and give him Box Office appeal, some big fights are out there as he looks to build on his hard-fought 'win'.
9. Adrien Broner
From: United States
Already floating around the fringes of many a P4P list, 'The Problem' leapt into the top 10 after a thrilling dismantling of Antonio DeMarco to claim the WBC lightweight title. It is only 12 months since 23-year-old Broner became world champion at super-featherweight, but four stoppage victories later many critics are already talking about the Ohio native in such glowing terms that his succession to Floyd Mayweather as the P4P king seems only a matter of time. Against DeMarco he showed he had all the tools, drawing his opponent into a battle at close quarters before finishing him off with a sweet left hook. And with his stocky build, Broner will have little trouble moving to 140lbs when the time is right - no doubt when he has cleaned out the lightweight division, Ricky Burns included.
10. Carl Froch
Top domestic pugilist Froch just about deserves his place in the 10 after performing at the highest level for the last four years, during which he has been involved in nine title fights. The Cobra has put defeat to Andre Ward behind him by winning the IBF strap from the previously undefeated Lucian Bute and then defending it in style against Yusaf Mack. However, the Ward loss still rankles with the Nottingham hero as does his only other defeat to Mikkel Kessler. Froch will be looking to avenge both in the next 12 months, while a rematch with Bute and/or a mandatory defence against Thomas Oosthuizen is also on the cards. The Briton will need to remain on his A-game in 2013 despite his advancing years to retain a hold in the world's top-10.