Pound-For-Pound Rankings

UPDATED: 03/13/2018

My current Pound-for-Pound rankings are as follows.  As always, respect the fact that p4p lists are full of shit.  Its an imaginary criteria and I think you are always open for hypocrisy.  You can question one fighter’s resume and then ignore another one for whatever reason.

Inactive fighters could find themselves on the back part of these lists but fighters are mostly removed (unless with clear injury) after about a year of inactivity.  Enjoy and debate:

  1. Terence Crawford – Bud Crawford might have lost about four rounds over the past two years.  Viktor Postol was a consensus top-3 140-pounder and Crawford dismantled him.  Felix Diaz is a solid fighter, not a world-beater, but one who should’ve been undefeated heading into the Crawford fight.  Then for all the belts, to become the first undisputed champion since Bernard Hopkins, Crawford blasted out Julius Indongo.  Honestly, you can make an argument that he’s #1 but no lower than #2 as he’s simply one of the current greats.  Crawford moves to welterweight to face Jeff Horn.
  2. Vasyl Lomachenko – Lomachenko is a superb technical boxer who is similar to Crawford in that he wins with accumulation over power (though both can bang).  Perhaps one of the greatest amateur boxers in history, Lomachenko has hit the ground running in just eleven professional bouts.  His dismantling of Nicholas Walters and now Guillermo Rigondeaux (who did come up two weight divisions) has made me realize I am watching more than just a special talent but an all-time great.
  3. Gennady Golovkin – GGG is my favorite fighter.  Has he looked vulnerable as of late?  Yes.  However, his draw in a highly anticipated matchup against Canelo Alvarez should actually boost his stock.  While Golovkin’s slow hands might’ve been on display, his aggressive come-forward style can tire out a fighter, and most do feel that he won the fight.  This might’ve been the best match of his career in terms of importance and performance.  A rematch is set for Cinco De Mayo.
  4. Sri Rungvisai – I’ll admit, I was conservative on ranking Rungvisai.  I thought he narrowly lost to Chocolatito and that his destruction of him in the rematch was simply the former #1 fighter being over the hill.  His win over Juan Francisco Estrada was narrow but Estrada is an elite fighter in his own right.  So how can you not have a guy who dethroned, at the time, the #1 pound-for-pound fighter (then definitely knock him out) and another great fighter in the top-5?  Rungvisai’s style might age him a bit more, but his recent resume alone is sterling.
  5. Canelo Alvarez – Canelo’s destruction of Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., should’ve been predictable but we all fell into the hype of the spectacle.  Then Canelo faced Gennady Golovkin in a fight the boxing public has anticipated for two years.  While the match was a draw, Canelo seemed to have last narrowly.  However his resume and his quick, excellent counters against Golovkin were on display.  It would be foolish to drop him and the Cinco De Mayo rematch should be more telling.
  6. Errol Spence Jr. – Have you ever had the feeling that you are about to witness someone take over a sport?  I see that in Errol Spence Jr.  Dismantling Kell Brook late and knockout the durable Lamont Peterson were exercises in brutality.  Spence Jr. works the body better than any fighter currently (though Inoue is in the discussion) and honestly…I don’t see him having any issues until he moves to middleweight.
  7. Naoya Inoue – The Monster came to America and blasted out the overmatched Antonio Nieves.  Inoue probably should’ve won earlier but his excellent power and precision were on display throughout.  Inoue is expecting to move up to 118 pounds, which is a shame given the strength of 115, after knocking out journeyman Yoann Boyeaux.
  8. Sergey Kovalev – Krusher has been someone I’ve had issues ranking.  His fight against Isaac Chilemba showcased some vulnerability that we didn’t see before.  He was debatably robbed against Andre Ward in the first of their fights but clearly (though some say, controversially) stopped in the rematch.  But is there a shame in losing to an all-time great after possibly beating him?  No.  Knocking out Vyacheslav Shabranskyy in two rounds was shades of the old Kovalev but his recent TKO of Igor Mikhalkin, while dominant, also saw Kovalev hit more than he should have been.  For now, I still think he’s the top dog at 175 but his stature is a bit shakier.
  9. Keith Thurman- Thurman’s “One Time” nickname might not be as applicable as it once was but he has developed into an all-around fighter who has kept opponents at bay with activity and power.  Beating Shawn Porter and Danny Garcia are legitimate scalps to have, but an elbow injury has kept him out for more than a year.
  10. Mikey Garcia – Garcia seems to be settling in at 140 after a dominating win against Adrien Broner and a close, but clear, win over the tough Sergey Lipinets.  However, there has been a touch of vulnerability as Garcia rockets up in weight and his chin held up well against a hard-hitting 140 pounder (Lipinets) but you have to question what some of the elite welterweights would do.  Garcia vs. Lomachenko is hopefully the next superfight after Canelo-Golovkin II and Anthony Joshua-Deontay Wilder.
  11. Donnie Nietes – The flyweight titlist flies below the radar but he recently was featured in a showcase fight on the Superfly 2 undercard on HBO.  Nietes surgically dominated Juan Carlos Reveco, as he was supposed to, and he has made overtures at bumping up to 115.
  12. Guillermo Rigondeaux – Rigo’s loss against Lomachenko shouldn’t hurt him but when you think of the inactivity beforehand, eventually you have to drop a 37-year old.  I still think he gives most fighters from 118-126 many problems but Rigo dropping out does hurt his stock.
  13. Oleksandr Usyk – The WBSS has really brought positive acclaim to the crusierweight division.  Usyk entered as the favorite and cemented that status after halting the tough, but past it, Marco Huck inside the distance.  He next faced Mairis Breidis in what could have very well been a fight of the year candidate and edged out the Latvian.  Usyk looks fantastic but his lack of power could hurt him against Murat Gassiev.  Without a doubt, the winner enters the top-10.
  14. Jorge Linares – I’m a huge Linares fan but a close win against Luke Campbell, a tough but limited fighter, dropped his stock.  His next win against Mercito Gesta was underwhelming but decisive.  Rumors have him being next in line against Vasyl Lomachenko which can certainly be a fun fight.
  15. Leo Santa Cruz – A rematch against Abner Mares, who Santa Cruz comfortably beat in 2015, is on the dock as we let the trilogy between LSC and Carl Frampton “marinate”.  Santa Cruz adapted to his strengths against Frampton and I, for one, do want to see the trilogy completed.  Like all PBC fighters, Santa Cruz needs to find a way to stay more active.
  16. Anthony Joshua – C’mon, I have to put the best current active heavyweight on the top-20.  Joshua had a potential fight of the year against long-time icon Wladimir Klitschko that nearly saw Joshua get knocked out in the 6th.  A dominant win over a tough Carlos Takam wasn’t pretty but a unification fight against Joseph Parker will certainly have eyes drawn.
  17. Murat Gassiev – As stated with Usyk, the WBSS has done nothing but drive the stock up highly for the two finalists.  Gassiev is a master of destruction and his vanquishing of Krzysztof Wlodarczyk and Yunier Dorticos showed that Abel Sanchez has enough exciting come forward fighter.  At first, I thought Usyk was the clear favorite but I am certain this is a 50/50 fight.
  18. Carl Frampton – Frampton’s loss against Santa Cruz was close but clear but his victory in their first match was more decisive.  Frampton is scrappy and a win over the nondescript Horacio Garcia was more challenging than some anticipated.  Nonetheless, I’m giving Frampton benefit of the doubt.
  19. Miguel Berchelt – Quietly, Miguel Berchelt returned to the ring against Maxwell Awuku in a true “tune-up” fight after being out with an injury.  Berchelt is in an awkward position as Vasyl Lomachenko seems to be set to move up to 135 which is a shame.  Berchelt could have made some background noise as a back-end Fighter of the Year nominee in 2017 after fun wins against Francisco Vargas and Takashi Miura.
  20. Juan Francisco Estrada – Rarely does a loss move a fighter up but I admit I was conservative on Estrada.  A narrow win over Carlos Cuadras and a narrow loss against Sri Rungvisai (that should certainly bring a rematch) has to drive up the stock of Estrada.
  21. Dmitry Bivol
  22. Badou Jack
  23. Jermall Charlo
  24. Danny Garcia
  25. Danny Jacobs
  26. Gary Russell Jr.
  27. Erislandy Lara
  28. Artur Beterbiev
  29. Kell Brook
  30. Jermell Charlo