Boxing

 
            === Marquez win prompts rankings rise ===
 
 By Lyle Fitzsimmons, Contributing Editor
 
 Cape Coral, FL - The abrupt ending to the recent high-profile main event in Las
 Vegas created some significant interior movement in the Sports Network's pound-
 for-pound boxing rankings for December.
 
 Former three-division champion Juan Manuel Marquez's smashing sixth-round
 knockout of Manny Pacquiao in their fourth encounter on Dec. 8 lifted him from
 eighth to sixth on the monthly top-10 list, while it dropped the Filipino -
 himself a former champ in seven weight classes - from fifth to seventh.
 
 Pacquiao, who fell to 54-5-2, had drawn with Marquez and beaten him by two
 close decisions in a rivalry that began in 2004. Meanwhile, Marquez, who turned
 39 in August, scored his 40th knockout in the 55th victory of a pro career that
 began in 1993.
 
 Another fight-related movement was a rise from sixth to fifth by IBF 168-pound
 champion Carl Froch, who stopped American challenger Yusaf Mack on Nov. 17 in
 the first defense of his third title reign in the division. He had two runs as
 WBC champion between 2008 and 2011 before winning the IBF crown from previously
 unbeaten Lucian Bute on May 26.
 
 The shifts by Marquez, Pacquiao and Froch prompted a one-spot drop - from
 seventh to eighth - for WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko, who last
 fought in September and defended his title with a fourth-round stoppage of
 challenger Manuel Charr.
 
 Remaining in their spots from the November rankings were Floyd Mayweather Jr.
 (1), Sergio Martinez (2), Wladimir Klitschko (3), Andre Ward (4), Saul Alvarez
 (9) and Abner Mares (10). Among the other fighters considered for December (in
 alpha order) were Timothy Bradley, Adrien Broner, Chad Dawson, Nonito Donaire
 and Robert Guerrero.
 
 Rank...Fighter...Record
 
 1. FLOYD MAYWEATHER JR. 43-0, 26 KO
 
    Won WBA 154-lb title from Miguel Cotto (UD 12) in May
 
 2. SERGIO MARTINEZ; 50-2-2, 28 KO
 
    Fights Martin Murray for WBC 160-lb title on April 27
 
 3. WLADIMIR KLITSCHKO; 59-3, 50 KO
 
    Defended IBF/IBO/WBA/WBO heavyweight titles vs Mariusz Wach (UD 12) in Nov
 
 4. ANDRE WARD; 26-0, 14 KO
 
    Fights Kelly Pavlik for WBA/WBC 168-lb titles on Feb. 23
 
 5. CARL FROCH;30-2, 22 KO
 
    Defended IBF 168-lb title vs Yusaf Mack (KO 3) in November
 
 6. JUAN MANUEL MARQUEZ; 55-6-1, 40 KO
 
    Defeated Manny Pacquiao (KO 6) in December
 
 7. MANNY PACQUIAO; 54-5-2, 38 KO
 
    Lost to Juan Manuel Marquez (KO 6) in December
 
 8. VITALI KLITSCHKO; 45-2, 41 KO
 
    Defended WBC hvy title vs Manuel Charr (TKO 4) in September
 
 9. SAUL ALVAREZ; 41-0-1, 30 KO
 
    Defended WBC 154-lb title vs Josesito Lopez (TKO 5) in September
 
 10. ABNER MARES; 25-0-1, 13 KO
 
    Defended WBC 122-pound title vs Anselmo Moreno (UD 12) in November
 
 Rankings as of December 12, 2012
 
 Lyle Fitzsimmons is a veteran sports columnist who has written professionally
 since 1988 and covered boxing since 1995. His work is published in print and
 posted online for clients in North America and Europe. Reach him at
 fitzbitz@msn.com or follow him on Twitter: @fitzbitz.
 
 
 
 
 
 12/12 13:05:03 ET

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