Voters in the monthly Yahoo! Sports boxing poll faced a difficult decision when compiling their ballots for the June rankings: What to do with Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley and how to regard the outcome of their controversial June 9 bout.
Most of them simply chose to ignore the outcome, though it is clear that Pacquiao's performance in his split-decision loss to Bradley at the MGM Grand Garden didn't sit well with voters.
Floyd Mayweather Jr., who on May 5 scored a wide unanimous decision over Miguel Cotto, increased his lead over Pacquiao in the race for the top spot in our poll. In voting taken for May's poll shortly after Mayweather's win, he received 29 of 39 first-place votes, or 74.4 percent of all votes cast. In June, in voting done shortly after Pacquiao-Bradley, Mayweather received 36 of 44 first-place votes, or 81.8 percent of all votes cast.
So, 7.4 percent of the voters opted to decrease support for Pacquiao in favor of Mayweather.
I am just one of the 46 overall voters on the panel (two failed to submit ballots in June) and my vote counts no more than anyone else's. But I chose to drop Pacquiao from two to three on my ballot, with Mayweather and Andre Ward ahead of him.
I scored Pacquiao's Nov. 12 fight with Juan Manuel Marquez a draw, 114-114. Though I believe Pacquiao deserved to win the fight with Bradley, let's not forget that Pacquiao couldn't put away a guy who fought on a foot with a torn ligament for 11 rounds. And worse, Bradley injured his right ankle in the fourth or fifth round.
So while Pacquiao looked better against Bradley than he did against Marquez, he's now coming off two fights in which he was not at his best and couldn't put away a clearly injured, and limited, fighter.
Ward is a low-key guy and doesn't have the most exciting style, but he's extremely effective and has been beating quality opposition by a wide margin. That has to count for something and so, in my poll, I pushed him past Pacquiao.
Eight of the 44 voters this month chose to keep Pacquiao first. He was also voted as low as seventh by one.
As for Bradley, I moved him to fifth. I felt that though he lost, he performed very well against one of the elite fighters in the world. Having done so on injured feet only makes his performance all the more impressive in my mind.
For the record, my votes this month were, in order, for Mayweather, Ward, Pacquiao, Marquez, Bradley, Nonito Donaire, Sergio Martinez, Wladimir Klitschko, Vitali Klitschko and Carl Froch.
With that, let's head to the newest rankings:
1. Floyd Mayweather Jr.
2. Manny Pacquiao
3. Sergio Martinez
4. Juan Manuel Marquez
5. Andre Ward
T6. Nonito Donaire Jr.
T6. Wladimir Klitschko
8. Timothy Bradley
9. Vitali Klitschko
10. Carl Froch