In Boxing, "Pound-for-Pound" lists are used to rank fighters across the board. The idea is to imagine all fighters at the same weight class with proportionate attributes. In reality, it's just a nice way to look at all of Boxing and pick out the guys who impressed you most. Hopefully, this will serve as a quick review of the events of the top 20 guys in Boxing for 2002.
1 Roy Jones, Jr. (L. Heavy) - Roy Jones was neck and neck with Hopkins for this distinction. Jones' fights in 2002 against so-called "#1 contenders" Glen Kelly and Clinton Woods did nothing to help him but signing on to move up to face Heavyweight Titlist John Ruiz in 2003 is very impressive.
2. Bernard Hopkins (Middleweight) - Like Roy Jones, but worse, Hopkins did very little in 2002 except argue about contracts. His domination of Felix Trinidad in 2001 still gives him this position. Only fighting one time this year against unheralded Carl Daniels doesn't put him in the running against Jones though. Hopefully he'll solve his contract problems soon.
3. Vernon Forrest (Welterweight) - Forrest jumps to the top of the class by starting off the year with an amazing upset of previous pound-for-pound favorite "Sugar" Shane Mosley. Then Forrest surprises everyone by agreeing to a dangerous immediate rematch and winning again. Not to sit on his laurels, Forrest is fighting again in January against top contender Ricardo Mayorga.
4. Marco Antonio Barrera (Featherweight) - Barrera arrived at the top with wins over Naseem Hamed and a contraversial loss to Eric Morales. This year he posted a win against Morales and also one against game Johnny "Mi Vida Loca" Tapia.
5. Oscar De La Hoya (J. Middleweight) - "The Golden Boy" is Golden again after a spectacular destruction of "Ferocious" Fernando Vargas. He's now trying to lure Felix Trinidad back into Boxing. If that fails it'll be an exciting rematch with "Sugar" Shane Mosley.
6. Kostya Tzyu (J. Welterweight) - After KO'ing Zab Judah in 2001 Tzyu fought only once and defeated top contender Ben Tackie. Tzyu reigns supreme at the top of one of Boxing's deepest division. Tzyu is schedule to fight Jesse James Leija in early 2003.
7. Floyd Mayweather, Jr. (Lightweight) - Floyd began the year with an impressive idea, moving up from J. Lightweight and immediately facing the division's top guy, Jose Luis Castillo. Floyd tried to show off his Boxing skill against his tenacious opponent but it came off as running. Many people felt Castillo won the first fight and the second was more of the same. Mayweather scores two big wins this year but in as unspectacular a fashion as possible.
8. Erik Morales (Featherweight) - Many people felt Morales won his second fight with Barrera and he followed it by stopping Paulie Ayala from moving up in weight.
9. Tim Austin (Bantamweight) - "The Cincinnati Kid" had another good year against game opponents. So far Austin hasn't found an opponent good enough to make him look good. Hopefully he'll face Raphael Marquez in a great fight next year.
10. Acelino Freitas (J. Lightweight) - Freitas jumps into the list this year by winning an upset over Joel Casamayor for the J. Lightweight Belt and then with a good defense of it.
11. "Sugar" Shane Mosley (Welterweight) - Mosley had a terrible year with two losses against Vernon Forrest. Mosley has the chance to regain some glamour if he can get in the ring with Oscar De La Hoya and beat him again next year.
12. Fernando Vargas (J. Middleweight) - With a previous KO from Felix Trinidad, this year's KO from Oscar De La Hoya and a 9-month suspension for steroid use Vargas's career is in shambles. He's young enough to make a comeback, but can he do it?
13. Lennox Lewis (Heavyweight) - Lewis regained his crown at the end of 2001 by KO'ing Hasim Rahman and this year delivered a serious beating to Mike Tyson.
14. Jose Luis Castillo (Lightweight) - Castillo jumped up the pound-for-pound list by nearly defeating Floyd Mayweather. Although he decisively lost the second fight he showed that he's one of the best fighters in the world.
15. Wladimir Klitschko (Heavyweight) - Dr. Klitschko had a great year with dominating performances over Ray Mercer and Jameel McCline. Wlad is almost universally recognized as the heir apparent to the heavyweight crown.
16. Zab Judah (J. Welterweight) - After Jay Nady's controversial stoppage against Kostya Tzyu in 2002 Judah had a hissy fit in the ring. He finally emerged after his suspension with a win over tough Argentinian Omar Weis. If Judah can behave he has the chance to get back in to the top ten next year.
17. Eric Morel (Flyweight) - With the retirement of Ricardo Lopez Morel is the de-facto Champion at fly. Unfortunately he doesn't have many compelling competitors.
18. Joel Casamayor (J. Lightweight) - Casamayor failed to get the J. Light belt when he lost the decision against Freitas. At the end of the year he was back in the ring and looking good. Word is he is going to jump ship from the abysmal J. Lightweight division and pursue fellow Boxing purist Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at Lightweight.
19. Ronald "Winky" Wright (J. Middle) - Wright may be one of the best Boxers in the world and that's why no one wants to fight him. Hopefully "Winky" can get into a high profile fight sometime in 2003.
20. Antonio Tarver (Lt. Heavyweight) - Tony Tarver impressed everyone with an upset KO of Eric Harding. The good news is he's now the #1 contender at Light Heavyweight. The bad news is that Roy Jones, Jr. is the Champ.
Boxing 2002 | Pound-for-Pound | The Divisions | Important Fights