1. The year of Pacquiao. Already boxing's most exciting fighter, Manny Pacquiao became a global phenomeon in 2010, penetrating the American sporting mainstream like no Asian-born athlete in history. He's won major sanctioning-body titles in eight different weight classes, nearly half of the sport's 17 divisions. He was the subject of a 60 Minutes profile in November, less than 12 months after being named one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people. He was elected to Congress in the Philippines in May and named Fighter of the Decade by the Boxing Writers Association of America in June. He won as many fights at Cowboys Stadium (two) as the full-time tenants won football games during the whole 2010 season. He sings, he acts. He fights Shane Mosley on May 7.
Victor Ortiz can't regain his status as a viable HBO headliner in one or two fights. But he's certainly headed in the right direction. Thursday night in Los Angeles, Ortiz (26-2-1) dismantled Hector Alatorre via 10th-round knockout to pick up his second straight win following a career-threatening loss to Marcos Maidana last June.
Bernard Hopkins has rarely been at a loss for words. As a fighter, he would hold marathon press conferences -- while only answering a couple of questions -- filling reporters' notebooks with carefully crafted quotes and remarkably insightful anecdotes. So it's only natural that Hopkins' newest career involves him talking.