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Climbing Clay Berg's Super Six

Top pound-for-pound fighters as of July 8:

1. Roy Jones Jr. (48-1, 38 KOs)

Hits: It's one thing to fight an average heavyweight such as John Ruiz, but it's another to fight the best and one of the biggest in Lennox Lewis. If Jones gets the fight and wins, he will be recognized as the best boxer ever.

Misses: With Lewis seemingly leaning toward a rematch with Vitali Klitschko for the fall, Jones could be out of luck for now.

2. Marco Antonio Barrera (57-3, 40 KOs)

Hits: Recent signing with Oscar De La Hoya's promotional company should give his marketability a huge boost.

Misses: Rubber match with rival Erik Morales won't happen in 2003. Best we can hope for is next spring.

3. Bernard Hopkins (42-2-1, 31 KOs)

Hits: Considering he's fought only two soft touches since beating Felix Trinidad in late 2001, what's there to get excited about?

Misses: With a combative attitude, poor judgment and lengthy list of major fights blown, he's the poster child for how to wreck a career.

4. Oscar De La Hoya (36-2, 29 KOs)

Hits: When not in the ring, devoted to promoting a sport that needs his star power.

Misses: When you fight a tough fight you don't need to take — as in his rematch with Sugar Shane Mosley — there's nothing to complain about.

5. Kostya Tszyu (30-1, 24 KOs)

Hits: Showed he is a true champion by agreeing to a rematch with Sharmba Mitchell when he didn't need to go near that tough fight.

Misses: A Tszyu foot injury will force the fight to be postponed from September to February.

6. Floyd Mayweather Jr. (30-0, 20 KOs)

Hits: Give him credit for asking for big fights against Arturo Gatti at 140 or De La Hoya at 154.

Misses: If he moves up in weight before facing any of these fighters — Leonard Dorin, Phillip N'dou, Stevie Johnston, Joel Casamayor or Juan Lazcano — he hasn't taken care of business at 135.

Second six: Erik Morales, Ricardo Mayorga, Vernon Forrest, Shane Mosley, Acelino Freitas, James Toney.


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