The pound-for-pound list has been in existence for more than a half-century, and no doubt from the start has spurred many a barroom brawl as folks defend their theories and stances on who the best boxers are across all weight classes.
Let the shot glasses fly, people, because here comes the debut of the NYFightBlog Top 20 Pound-For-Pound list. These are the best and brightest New York boxers campaigning today, in the opinion of me -- and a couple other sharp-minded boxing people who know what they're seeing when they watch a scrap and have been kind enough to act as consultants.
Now, some of the boxers on the list don't currently have an NYC area code. Some have been longtime New York residents who have moved to other locations, whether it be for personal reasons or to juice up their career. This ground rule for the NYC P4P list might not work for you, which is fine. Feel free to drop your own P4P list in the comment section, using criteria that makes sense to you.
We will update the NYC P4P list regularly, typically around the first of the month. And it must be said, please know that it is my belief that any and all persons who glove up, step into the ring and offer their best in competition deserve props. Perceived shortcomings are offered with the implicit understanding that even to make it this level is a monumental success.
Here are numbers 15-20.
20) Dmitriy Salita: No touted New York pugilist in recent memory went down in a hotter ball of fire than did Dmitriy Salita when he was demolished by Amir Khan 1:16 into the first round of Khan's junior welter title defense in December 2009. Salita had enjoyed piles of press and had a documentary filmed on him, so there was pressure to live up to all of that. He didn't, but he didn't give up. Salita (33-1-1; age 29) went back to the grass roots, and is promoting his own shows in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, making his way back up the ladder, where redemption awaits him.
19) Amanda Serrano: This one loves and lives to fight. She doesn't own a cell phone because she says she has no use for it; it would only take away from her training. The 12-0 super featherweight who lives with her parents in Bushwick just picked up the vacant IBF crown with a TKO2 victory over Kim Connor on Sept. 10. More titles are to come.
18) Luis Del Valle: He has the fewest wins of anyone on the NYC P4P list, but maybe possesses the most longview future upside. Now 14-0 with 11 KOs, the Newburgh, N.Y., super bantamweight is polished, patient and could be in the NYC top 10 by the second half of 2012.
17) Edgar Santana: This Manhattan resident has some ground to make up after being on the shelf for 2009 and 2010. Now 26-3 with 17 stops, the Puerto Rico-born junior welter went off the rails when he was busted as part of a cocaine ring which authorities said conspired to bring coke from Puerto Rico to NYC. He served four months in prison, and got out in January. At 32, he's not a pup in his weight class, where quickness and hand speed are more important than at, say, heavyweight. He's done his time, and now time isn't on his side. He has to hustle to achieve what he wanted to achieve when he got into the hurt game.
16) Luis Collazo: This Queens hitter gave Ricky Hatton, back when he was prime Hatton, fits in a 2006 loss, and did the same with Andre Berto in 2009. Collazo even bathed in the glory of a championship when he beat Jose A. Rivera for a welterweight crown in 2005, before defending it once against Miguel Angel Gonzalez and then dropping it to Hatton. But his story has been of missed opportunities, squandered momentum and Don King freezeouts. He enjoyed a pop when he signed with Golden Boy this summer, but the 30-year-old Collazo has to wonder after losing a UD10 to Freddy Hernandez three weeks ago how much more fickle fate can be.
15) Hector Camacho Jr.: With a 53-4-1 record, you might be thinking this fighter should be up a few ticks. But, sad to say, the son of Macho has largely floundered in the pro game. He's 33, so we suppose there is time for the 33-year-old New York southpaw to make a late-inning run, but our breath won't be held. He fights 40-year-old Andrew "Six Heads" Lewis, who last gloved up in 2008, in Guyana on Dec. 17, so it doesn't look like Junior is seeking out compelling challenges for himself. But NYFightblog likes to believe in the ability of all of us to see the error of our ways, soldier on and attain the goals we are capable of capturing. Junior, our services as motivational guru are available, please see contact information below.
Thanks to consultants Zach Levin, "Manager X," Kevin Rooney and Ryan Songalia for their input into the NYC P4P. Follow me on Twitter here. Send suggestions or hatemail to FightblogNYC@gmail.com.