In the ever changing World of Boxing, the clock never stops ticking. Just as time moves forward and old Champions fall, while new Champions rise…new Contenders are also born, and the circle of combatants inside the ring, much like the circle of life, remains in a constant state of motion, all the time. The best of the best though, somehow manage to stop time, even if only for a while, and the impact they leave behind, can create Legends that very well may last forever. It wasn’t that long ago that I touted Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez as the deserving King to the throne of the best of the best around. But sooner or later, either the best lose, or they retire, and unfortunately for Chocolatito, that loss came a lot sooner than expected. But that wasn’t the only major bout in the Boxing World that shook up the mix at the top of the talent pool recently. So let’s have a look at how I’ve got the Top 10 “Pound for Pound” Boxers around ranked, and why:
1.) “Canelo” Saul Alvarez (49-1-1, 34 KO’s) who is set to fight “Triple G” Gennady Golovkin in September, has faced, defeated, and even destroyed, the kind of opposition to date that will undoubtedly already put him in the Boxing Hall of Fame. But Alvarez’s biggest test of his entire eleven year career (outside of Floyd Maywether of course) will be when he moves up again from Super Welterweight, where “Canelo” has dominated his opposition for so long, to Middleweight where Alvarez has already been a World Champion, and beaten the likes of Miguel Cotto, Amir Khan and Erislandy Lara, with Saul Alvarez now looking to add all four major Middleweight World Titles, to his already vast collection of golden world title belts, in one shot. His boxing skill and ring savvy in my opinion are actually underestimated, having only been outmatched by Floyd Mayweather since reaching the sport’s top ranks. And his experience is a factor that I think can be the biggest difference maker in the upcoming Super Fight with Golovkin as well…So much so that I’m actually picking Alvarez to beat Golovkin on September 16th for all four major Middleweight Titles. If that occurs, it will be the crowning achievement for the Pound for Pound King of the Boxing Ring! Truth is, whoever wins that fight can stake the truest claim of being the Pound for Pound best Boxer alive. No doubt…
2.) “GGG” – “Triple G” Gennady Golovkin (37-0, 33 KO’s) was not at his most impressive best in his last bout against Daniel Jacobs. But credit Jacobs for being smart enough to use the weigh-in rules to his advantage, and for showing up ready to fight the Middleweight Division’s monster of a Champion. Golovkin though has shown throughout his career that he is the modern era’s quintessential power puncher, he’s a walking Knock-Out highlight reel, and he has added a bright spark to the sport of boxing that just can’t be ignored! Golovkin as mentioned will get his chance to prove that he currently is the best in the world, inside the 9th Marquis of Queensbury rules, in September when he puts all four major Middleweight Titles on the line, squaring off against “Canelo” Alvarez in a much anticipated showdown that almost already went down. All legal matters are out of the way, the date has been set, Ladies and Gentleman, get ready for a modern day “Super Fight” for all the marbles, between the two best Boxer’s in the business! This is what Boxing is supposed to be all about! The best fighting the best, so there’s no question who the Real Champion, really is!
3.) Andre “S.O.G.” Ward (31-0, 15 KO’s) after defeating Sergey Kovalev, could very easily have been recognized as the best boxer alive, pound for pound. But the landscape is always changing in the Boxing Universe, and New Challengers are always waiting for their shot. But before Andre Ward can expand across the Light Heavyweight Division and improve upon his already remarkable legacy, Ward now has some unfinished business to attend to with Kovalev in June. Both Boxer’s will know each other a lot better, which could potentially make for a much more explosive impact when these two meet inside the ring again. Ward though, found an answer to neutralize Kovalev’s punching power with superior body work in the first go ‘round, and I’m expecting Ward’s ring savvy to do much the same in the rematch!
4.) Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (30-1-1, 26 KO’s) is a power punching beast of a Knock Out Specialist and losing a closely contended decision to Andre Ward doesn’t change that in any way at all. Kovalev will get his shot at redemption in July, and after stopping 12 of his last 15 opponents, with his last 10 bouts all being world title fights…and his only career loss coming by way of a very, very close decision to Andre Ward, one can only expect to see the very best that the “Krusher” has to offer in his upcoming rematch! Will it be enough to defeat Andre Ward? Only time will tell…
5.) Vasyl “Hi-Tech” Lomanchenko (8-1, 6 KO’s) defies logic inside the ring, and it’s no surprise if to some having a Boxer with an 8-1 record on my Top 5 Pound for Pound list also in some ways defies logic… But this guy is that good! Lomanchenko moves like Neo from The Matrix slipping punches and setting up counters with unbelievable skill, movement, anticipation and accuracy. He hits hard, he has a formidable Ukrainian cranium with his solid chin, even though he’s harder to catch than the Boogie-man! Lomanchenko has been on every Boxing fan’s radar since he was an illustrious amateur with a 396-1 record and Two Olympic Gold Medals around his neck. Lomanchenko went from the Ams right into the deep end and world title contention immediately upon making the move to the Pros. He became a World Champion in his second attempt and only 3rd Professional bout, which is almost unheard of in the modern era. When Lomanchenko gets his chance to avenge his only loss, which is in the works currently, possibly taking place in August, I’m not only predicting a KO win for Lomanchenko, I’m actually expecting it! Lomanchenko is still early in his career at only 9 fights to his credit, and look for this next-gen superstar to unify world titles in multiple weight classes in the years to come!
6.) Manny “Pac-Man” Pacquiao (59-6-2, 38 KO’s) is only this far down on my list because it’s almost like “Pac-Man” is on the shelf, waiting for one last Mega Fight…and in the meantime he’s still a World Champion with his next defense coming in Australia in July versus Jeff Horn (16-0-1, 11 KO’s). Hardly a Paquaio versus Mayweather, Marquez, De La Hoya, Mosley, Barrera, Morales, Cotto, Hatton or even Bradley fight now is it? Pacquiao however, is a bonafide boxing legend, no doubt about it, and I think there’s still more energy left in the Energizer Bunny that has been Manny Pacquiao inside the ring, for what seems like ages now. Pacquiao is still a very relevant name at the top of the Boxing Universe, and he definitely deserves to be in the Pound for Pound conversation. But I think there will be a lot more talk about Pacquiao once again, when his level of opposition improves, and he possibly even takes on someone on this list. Maybe even an old Pound for Pound King if one should decide to return to the sport of Boxing, and throw his hat back in the ring again!?!
7.) Mikey Garcia (36-0, 30 KO’s) is a three division World Champion and I expect we’ll soon see him picking up world titles in more divisions in the near future. His power in undeniable, he posses well refined boxing skills, and he comes from one of the smartest Boxing families in the game today! He had a bout of inactivity partly due to the business of boxing, but Garcia looks like he’s back and better than ever! Not yet the household name he likely will be and time will only tell if I’m right about Mikey Garcia, and how good he really is!
8.) Terence “Bud” Crawford (30-0, 21 KO’s) has been a World Champion for over three years, spanning across two divisions, and the level of opposition Crawford has left in his wake has been consistently amongst the best in the business. Terrance Crawford is also the top dog, nestled nicely between the lightweight and welterweight divisions. Meaning that Lightweights like Mikey Garcia, and Welterweights like Manny Pacquiao and Keith Thurman are all potential pound for pound showdowns available for Crawford in the near future! Whether it’s Garcia that moves up, or Crawford who makes the jump to welterweight, or even a catch weight somewhere in between…I expect we’ll see the name Terence Crawford in the bright lights, pitting him against some of the very best pound for pound Boxers around today, very soon!
9.) Guillermo “The Jackal” Rigondeaux (17-0, 11 KO’s) turned Pro 8 years ago, after winning 2 Olympic Gold Medals, and 2 Amateur World Championships, racking up a record of 463-12 along the way. In only his 7th professional bout “The Jackal” became an Interim World Champion, and “Rigo” has been unstoppable as a full Super Bantamweight World Champion for 5 years straight now! Rigondeaux is a pure boxing talent, the epitome of Cuban excellence inside the ring. His defense is beyond outstanding and his counter-punching is even better. The only thing Rigondeaux is truly lacking right now is that super top level of opposition, to push his career and his legacy to the next level. There was that upset of “The Filipino Flash” Nonito Donaire back in 2013 which has been Rigondeaux’s crowning achievement to date. But with some great fights coming out of the featherweight division, and Lomanchenko making all kinds of noise at super featherweight…that pound for pound Mega Fight Rigondeaux is due, may be just around the corner.
10.) Keith “One Time” Thurman (28-0, 22 KO’s) has been on fire staking claim that he is the very best Welterweight in the World today! Thurman has been collecting gold belts like Pokemon, and he doesn’t look like he’ll be happy until he collects them all. Recently handing the ever formidable Danny Garcia his first loss, making Thurman the current owner of 2 out of the 4 major titles at Welterweight. A unification showdown with Manny Pacquiao looks like it may very well be in the cards in Thurman’s future. That or even a potential unification bout with the British Welterweight sensation Kell Brook, who holds the other major title at 147 pounds. However, “One Time” just underwent elbow surgery that is likely to keep this Champ out till the end of 2017. So Thurman’s legacy is going to have to wait until his return, before it gets the chance to reach the super stardom that “One Time” appears destined for. Again, only time will tell…
An honorable mention has to go out to Anthony Joshua (19-0, 19 KO’s), who recently finished Wladimir Klitschko in the 11th round of their Heavyweight Title slugfest! Putting the Heavyweight division right back on the map in the sport of Boxing. However, a lot of questions remain at Heavyweight with Tyson Fury’s (25-0, 18 KO’s) future uncertain, and Deontay Wilder (38-0, 37 KO’s) also staking claim to the Heavyweight throne. The future of the Heavyweight Division now looks brighter and at the same time, more chaotic than it has in ages, and when the dust settles, whoever comes out on top will likely also move up the pound for pound rankings across the board. Especially with the excitement that these massive Boxer’s all bring to their venues, every single time they enter the ring!
Also an honorable mention is in order for Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez (46-1, 38 KO’s) at the very least. I couldn’t very well put a Boxer who just lost to someone not even in consideration of being on this list, I mean not even close to being even a thought, anywhere inside the Top 10. With that being said, “Chocolatito” did not appear to be his usual ferocious self in his last bout, and who knows why that was? What I do know, is that Roman Gonzalez is a premier Boxer in the world today. His achievements inside the ring, winning a multitude of world titles over the span of 4 divisions, makes him more than worthy to crack this list. Who knows, maybe “Srisaket Sor Rungvisai” (Wisaksil Wangek) (43-4-1, 39 KO’s) just had Chocolatito’s number that night, or maybe he’s a lot better than his record depicts. Personally I doubt very much that lightning will strike in the same place twice, if these two were to clash again. I also believe that Roman Gonzalez will either defend his Bantamweight World Champion again, or pick up yet another World Title and put himself right back on this list where he belongs, sooner rather than later…and I doubt very much that Super Bantamweight is where the story will end for Chocolatito, as he’s only 29 years old with a lot of time potentially left in the tank…
Only time will tell.