I PURPOSELY waited till after the Juan Manuel Marquez-Juan Diaz rematch to update our pound-for-pound rankings as the outcome would have affected our standings--well at least as far as Marquez was concerned, anyway.

1.) Manny Pacquiao (51-3, 38 KOs). He needs a fight and soon. His last bout was a non-event against the overly bashful Joshua Clottey. Sure, he’s now a congressman, but fight fans could care no less. He has already made veiled references at retirement and this doesn’t bode well for the sport.

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A fight with Antonio Margarito was penciled but not finalized due to the latter’s licensing problems, catchweight issues and a backlash from fans who believe Margarito is totally unworthy of a big payday.

2.) Floyd Mayweather Jr.(41-0, 25 KOs). “Pretty Boy” did a fantastic job of dominating Shane Mosely. It was impressive, and quite timely considering how many have been voicing doubts over how he dominated a “smaller” fighter in Marquez in his first fight after a long layoff.

Because of that Mosley shutout, not much separates “Money” from “Manny” in light of the latter’s unwatchable fight with Clottey. It’s not Manny’s fault of course, but you have to give credit also to Floyd for stepping up and showing the world why he continues to be undefeated.

3.) Chad Dawson (29-0, 17 KOs). “Bad’ Chad holds two wins over Glen Johnson and Antonio Tarver and was the only man to defeat the streaking Tomasz Adamek.

4.) Nonito Donaire Jr. (24-1, 16 KOs) After suffering a unanimous decision loss in the second fight of his career, the “Flash” is currently on a 22- fight win streak dating back to 2001. Incredible!

5.) Juan Manuel Marquez (51-5, 37 KOs). Looked ordinary in a decision win against Juan Diaz. At 37 years of age, he needs another defining moment in his career before he drifts off into the sunset to drink more of his own urine.

6.) Sergio Martinez (45-2, 24 KOs). This likeable Argentine has fast hands and is quite versatile, which he demonstrated to the hilt in an impressive win over Kelly Pavlik last April.

7.) Andre Ward (22-0, 13KOs). Only 22 fights to his career but look at the names on Ward’s menu: Mikkel Kessler, Allan Green, Edison Miranda.

8.) Paul Williams (39-1, 27KOs). This 6’1” lefty is a nightmare, style-wise for his opponents, but his last fight was a disappointing TD against Kermit Cintron when the latter hurt himself after he fell off the ring, hit a table and landed on the concrete floor.

LOCKE ON. Allow me to allot some space today for a Last Rounder who has followed the sport for decades, Melvin Locke. He shares his thoughts on the Pacquiao-Margarito matchup:

“I am for the Pacman, but will I see an evenly matched fight, maybe for a few rounds, so that I would pay to see it ? NO. Margarito cannot win even with concrete in his gloves. LOL.

Pacman will box for a few rounds then start using his combinations. Margarito will go headhunting for a knockout but he will not win even with a lucky punch. The match will go maybe for 7 rounds before Pacquiao takes care of business.

I think you are right that the Pacman should fight someone like Andre Berto. I also suggest Paul Williams. Most of the guys he has fought of late are stable mates of Bob Arum, the new “Don King” of Boxing. According to ESPN2 Boxing commentator Teddy Atlas who was a boxer before, Arum is the problem why Pacman and Mayweather are not fighting. I don’t know his sources, but he is very sharp, and has the inside track.”

My gratitude for your nuggets of wisdom Melvin. I agree with you that Margarito will be too slow for Manny but I think it will be quite brutal and competitive, especially if the fight is made at a catchweight of 150 pounds, which I think will be to Margarito’s advantage.

LAST ROUND. It’s on my SAC (Sportswriters Association of Cebu) buddy, Manny Villaruel, whose mid-range jump shot is as flawless as his prose. Belated happy birthday and cheers!