MANILA, Philippines – Unbeaten American boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. is rated as the No. 1 boxer in the welterweight and junior middleweight divisions in ESPN’s divisional rankings, following his unanimous decision victory over Miguel Cotto last Saturday.
Mayweather usually campaigns at the welterweight division, but moved up to junior welterweight for his fight against Cotto. It his first time fighting at that division since his May 2007 clash against Oscar De La Hoya.
“Mayweather, a welterweight champion and the pound-for-pound king, moved up to junior middleweight and dethroned titlist Miguel Cotto via competitive (but clear) decision on May 5 in the year’s biggest fight,” said ESPN’s boxing writer Dan Rafael. “It was an outstanding battle in which Cotto forced Mayweather to engage, but 'Money' came out on top.”
Mayweather became the new World Boxing Association junior middleweight champion, his eighth title belt in five weight divisions.
Mayweather will report to jail on June 1 following a guilty plea to a domestic violence charge, but Rafael notes that he plans to fight again once he gets out in the fall.
“It could be in defense of his 154-pound or 147-pound title, depending on which he elects to keep,” Rafael said.
Pacquiao, Cotto at No. 2
Filipino ring icon Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao, meanwhile, remained at No. 2 in the welterweight ratings.
“Pacquiao will fight junior welterweight titlist Timothy Bradley Jr.... He’s a quality fighter but a guy with zero mainstream recognition, so it will be a bit of a tough sell on pay-per-view,” Rafael said.
Meanwhile, Rafael notes that Cotto has “no reason to hang his head” despite his loss to Mayweather.
“Cotto fought a tremendous fight and gave Mayweather perhaps the toughest battle of his career,” he said.
“If anything, Cotto made himself bigger in defeat and will undoubtedly have another major opportunity when he decides to return to action,” Rafael added.
Mayweather remains the No. 1 fighter on ESPN’s pound-for-pound ratings, followed by Pacquiao and Argentinian champion Sergio Martinez.