By Rusty Rubin
I often get asked who my top 10 pound-for-pound fighters are. In truth it’s something that I don’t think about, as styles make fights, and someone I rate on top can be beaten by number 7 or even someone that isn’t in my top 10.
But to answer the question, I’ll make the effort. Please remember it’s a very subjective thing to do. I expect that a few people would offer to have me committed after reading this, but I’ve been rejected by the men in the white jackets many times before.
1. Floyd Mayweather Jr.- So far he’s taken on some top notch fighters and remains undefeated. Questions: How good is his chin, and how much heart does he have?
2. Erik Morales: Here’s a guy who will fight anyone, anytime, anywhere. Heart and talent abound. But he lost 2out of 3 wars to Marco Antonio Barrera, or so said the judges.
3. Oscar Larios: I know the first question from the average fan is who? This Jr. featherweight champ has a ton of heart and talent. Is certainly one of the best around. He’s also tall enough to be able to move up a division or two without much problem.
4. Marco Antonio Barrera: The super featherweight champ would be ranked much higher if he stopped fighting weak foes in between outstanding ones.
5. Diego Corrales: Yes he almost lost to Jose Luis Castillo in his last fight, but pulled it out on heart alone in the final round. He could lose to Castillo in the upcoming rematch, but until then, #5. His only loss to Mayweather is nothing to be ashamed of.
6. Jose Luis Castillo: Again a fighter with a huge heart and outstanding talent, and he can punch. Always an exciting late-round fighter to watch.
7. Manny Pacquiao: Anyone notice that these fighters are all under middleweight? That’s where the action is. Manny, from the Philippines can rock and sock with the best of them. He beat Barrera and lost to Morales and doesn’t know the meaning of ‘slow down’ or ‘back up’.
8. Ronald ‘Winky’ Wright: Talented veteran southpaw that no one wants to fight. One thing that people don’t pay attention to is that he can bang if he has to. One of the smartest fighters around.
9. Felix Sturm: I don’t think he knows how talented he is. Lost a close fight to Oscar, which many people felt he won. Like Winky another fighter no one really wants to fight.
10. Jermaine Taylor: I’m convinced, Hopkins and his followers aren’t. This kid is learning and getting better with each fight. He’s the complete package.
Please take note that I haven’t listed the veterans like Oscar, Bernard or Kostya in the rankings, because I no longer feel they can match-up with the talent around today. The trio may all be bound for the Hall of Fame in the future, but these picks are based on the top pound for pound fighters today, not years past.
Father time catches up with everyone.
And, after these selections, I somehow doubt people asking me for these picks again anytime soon.***
As for the fights this weekend, only one seems interesting and that’s where two aging heavyweight veterans go to war (although I know not why) when Shannon Briggs takes on Ray Mercer.
This figures to be a lackluster fight in the one division people seem to remain fascinated with, but don’t count me in on that.
Have to pick someone…Take Mercer, the harder puncher with a better chin, by late TKO or KO.***
Some things far more important than watching the fights, and one has come up that I must make our readers aware of. Veteran ring announcer, good guy and good friend, Mark Beiro suffered a severe setback due to his diabetes, and we almost lost him. I ask that anyone interested in helping out with a roast to assist with his huge medical bills contact his wife Jackie at [email protected]. Jackie informs me that items are badly needed for the auction that evening, which is expected to raise the majority of the needed funds. Time to step up to the plate, be a boxing good guy and help. I know Mark would do the same to any boxing guy in need.
The event will be held at the Letter Carriers Hall in Tampa, Florida on Sept. 29, and while I would love to attend, as Mark is an old and very dear friend of this scribe, it doesn’t fit in with my tight schedule for that time of year.
Jackie e-mailed me about the event, and while I know it probably belongs in our Glove2Glove segment, I wanted to make sure everyone was made aware of it. You don’t have to attend to help. Find out how by writing to Jackie.
This is our big chance to show the world how great boxing fans really are, and what makes our sport, the best sport around. I ask that you don’t let us down!***
If you subscribe to our monthly news magazine, which many do, we suggest you renew your subscription for a few years, as postal rates, thus subscription costs will be going up.***
Please help me with my upcoming new book. Send all boxing jokes, stories, quips and boxing oddities to ([email protected]), thanks, and members of the boxing media are free to send this most welcome information as well. All submissions used will be given full credit, if used in the book, and it will be given on who submits the story first, basis. Here’s your chance to have your name in print, instead of ‘America’s Most Wanted’ posters (or in my case, America’s Least Wanted’.***
And a new website for you to check out, (story upcoming in a future posting) Americanboxer.tv. They have a new concept that everyone should be interested in. Stand by.
Prayers needed for Dennis Wilcox, brother of boxing scribe David Wilcox, who is in an Oregon hospital suffering from Leukemia. The family and everyone at Glove2Glove asks for your prayers in his recovery.
Prayers for the return to health of Audrey Talmo, wife of Ed, a long-time boxing fan who cares about our sport.
Prayers needed for the return to health of Alfonso Luna, father of our outstanding photographer Ray Luna, who has taken ill in Southern California.
Please say prayers for the return to health of Helen Wambolt, wife of our East Coast World Boxing Hall of Fame writer Danny Wambolt. Cards will also be most welcome.***
Please say prayers for the return to health of Orazio Esposito, father of our photographer Richard Esposito.***
Prayers for the return to health of Don Donelson, father of writer Tom, and Gene Sebastian, brother of former middleweight champ Billy Soose. Both are suffering from congestive heart disease.
Please say prayers for Phill Grazide of Santa Rosa, CA. a big supporter of amateur boxing, who is suffering the crippling effects of rheumatoid arthritis.***
Needless to say we need prayers for the return to health of both former champs Greg Page and Gerald McClellan, both confined to wheelchairs.***
Glove2Glove is a non-denominational group set up to aide those boxing folks and their relatives in need of prayers and cards. We accept no money and only contact our members when someone is in need. It’s free to join. Simply send us your e-mail address. And even if you’re not a member, feel free to contact us if you are aware of some boxing person in need.***
Touching on politics briefly: Seems like some judge in Arizona has gone off the deep end. Or at least he did in 2003, with repercussion heard all over the Country.
This so-called judge, who probably would be a great boxing official if you are looking for a blind judge, and who will remain nameless as well as brainless, has forced a rancher to give up his 70 acres ranch to illegal aliens. Don’t believe it? Neither did I, but it’s a fact.
Why the penalty in favor of two illegals? Because the rancher threatened two illegal Salvadorians who had crossed our border into Arizona, with a gun, and they are now supposedly having a stress disorder because of it.
Why should the judge or anyone else give a rat’s ass about the stress that was caused on two people blatantly breaking our laws?
Let’s see, in most States, if someone comes into your home illegally you have the right to shoot them for trespassing. Last time I checked Arizona was part of the United States, and since it’s legally the residence of the rancher, as is this Country, why doesn’t this rancher have the right to protect his own property/country? He’s here legally, they’re not.
In fact, we’re all Americans or should be. Shouldn’t we all have the same right, to protect our borders from illegal invaders?
It’s not that I’m unsympathetic to the illegals, most of them are honest, hard working people…Ok, let’s stop at honest, since coming here illegally should not be construed that way. But they are, for the most-part hard working and do take many jobs that Americans don’t want.
The point is they could have and should have circumvented the problem by becoming citizens and then cross the border legally, not sneak across it like thieves.
Pointing a gun at these guys is one thing, shooting them is another, and somehow I don’t think that saying please would work very well in this instance. If they’re stressed out, too damn bad.
The rancher, at least in my opinion, did the right thing, and the judge who obviously doesn’t understand the meaning of legal and illegal should be replaced immediately, or be forced to learn how to use a dictionary.
If the judge’s decision is allowed to stand, which looks like that will be the case, then why don’t we just close the check points and tell everyone to ‘come on in, bring your wives, children, aunts and uncles as well as any drugs or weapons you might have at your disposal, including weapons to build bombs to kill Americans, who obviously would welcome that also.
Judge bashing, you bet. Let’s hear it for a guy who clearly majored in stupidity 101 in his law class and to those who elected and/or appointed him to the bench. What the hell was he thinking?
And let’s be thankful that our President didn’t decide to try to appoint this clown to the Supreme Court.
Personally, I’m sick of kissing the butt of people who don’t respect our laws, and a lot of folks far better than me fought and died for us to be able to have these laws.
Agree or disagree, I’d like to hear from you. I respect everyone’s opinion. ([email protected]).