My current Pound-for-Pound rankings follow this post. 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.
Fighters such as Miguel Cotto 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:
- Andre Ward – I know, controversy surrounded Ward’s narrow unanimous decision victory over Sergey Kovalev. But after stopping Krusher in their rematch, following a barrage of devastating punches, Ward is solidified in my mind as the best fighter on the planet. Where to go next? A cruiserweight match-up against Tony Bellew (reigniting the fictional feud between their characters in Creed) is being discussed as is a fight against Adonis Stevenson.
- 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. He was humiliated. Crawford faces Julius Indongo for “all the belts” this Saturday.
- 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 ten professional bouts. A loss to Orlando Salido, controversial due to the awful officiating, is still a loss. Like Crawford again, Lomachenko has been dominant and it’s hard to think of a round HE has lost in his past five fights. A potential showdown against Guillermo Rigondeaux or a rematch against Salido are both appealing.
- Roman Gonzalez – A loss should not heavily affect p4p stature but Gonzalez looks to have bit off a bit too much at 115 pounds. Chocolatito is brilliant and a future Hall of Famer who still has some great scraps in him. But, he barely edged out Carlos Cuadras and while I had him beating Sri Rungvisai, I can see why some did have the Thai-born fighter winning. I just think Chocolatito might be maxed out however a September 9th rematach against Rungvisai can tell us more.
- Gennady Golovkin – GGG is my favorite fighter. However, he has shown some deficiencies the past two fights. Kell Brook and Danny Jacobs are probably the best two fighters he has faced as a professional with the former going up 13 pounds to fight him. He did blast out Brook after some early connections but GGG did not seem too keen to pull the trigger against Jacobs while leaving himself susceptible to some eye-catching combos. I can see GGG being as high as 3rd however.
- Guillermo Rigondeaux – Rigondeaux remains at 6 after his no decision against Moises Flores that saw Rigo drop and knockout Flores way after the bell rang. Roc Nation needs to get him in the ring again ASAP because he’s had about thirteen rounds in three years. The decorated amateur is potentially gearing up for a match against Lomachenko.
- Canelo Alvarez (previously #8) – Canelo’s destruction of Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., should’ve been predictable but we all fell into the hype of the spectacle. Canelo might have received some scorn from some believing he has ducked Golovkin for nearly two years but guess what? We are getting the fight. Canelo’s win over Miguel Cotto and previous victories against Erislandy Lara and Austin Trout are impressive feathers in his cap. The Liam Smith bout was useless but you could say that every fighter above him have had similar ones (Ward vs. Brand, Golovkin vs. Wade, Lomachenko vs. Marriaga).
- Naoya Inoue (previously #9) – The Monster is allegedly coming Stateside and I can’t wait to see his destructive power in HD as opposed to next day YouTube streams. Inoue packs a devastating punch at 115 and has fluid movements that are a joy to watch. Inoue could have future fights against Chocolatito (momentum has died from that though), Rungvisai, Juan Francisco Estrada or Carlos Cuadras.
- Keith Thurman (previously #10) – I have Keith Thurman knocking on the door of the top-10 based on clear but close victories over top-5 contenders Shawn Porter and champion Danny Garcia. 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.
- Sergey Kovalev (previously #11) – Krusher has lost back-to-back fights against #1 Andre Ward and while match #1 was controversial, the end of #2 was a lot more definitive. It is hard to bump Kovalev down too much as he lost to perhaps the best fighter of the planet and potentially won their first matchup and may have been up on the scorecards until being knocked out. Still, its hard to justify keeping him in the top-10 for the time being.
- Jorge Linares – Linares’s clear victory against Anthony Crolla was probably not the rematch we wanted to see but further showed the gains he has made since being knocked out three times in three years.
- Donnie Nietes – The flyweight titlist flies below the radar but has been one of the most dominant boxers on the planet over the past five years. Nietes skills have translated well to 112 and at age 35, time is probably not quite on his side. Still, dominance over three weight classes is noteworthy and should be celebrated.
- Errol Spence Jr. – I usually don’t believe in replacing a pound-for-pound ranking dependent on a matchup, but this just made sense. Errol Spence Jr.’s win over Kell Brook was ended brutally by Spence Jr. and I am convinced he will top these lists in the future. Having one big scalp and looking that good closing it out is terrific. The power, speed and precision are all there.
- Mikey Garcia – A fairly lopsided win over Adrien Broner at 140 pounds gives Garcia a big named scalp on his resume while also helping set up the stage for a potential superfight. Options such as Lomachenko, Crawford or even another move up to 147 are in the thankfully active again fighter’s future.
- 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.
- Oleksandr Usyk – The top cruiserweight currently on the planet is the Ukranian Usyk. While some of the sheen has faded a tad thanks to some spots of vulnerability against Thabiso Mchunu and Michael Hunter, Usyk still closed the deal (though Hunter somehow was allowed to see the final bell). I’m not sure if Usyk has the power to move up to heavyweight but he can be an entertaining fighter with a nice bag of tricks up his sleeve.
- 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. The vulnerability should help AJ in the long run and I could see him being heavily favored if Wlad takes the rematch.
- Carl Frampton – Frampton’s loss against Santa Cruz was close but clear but his victory in their first match was more decisive. Frampton is a scrappy fighter who has victories over LSC and Scott Quigg which are solid. A trilogy fight against Santa Cruz can help his case to move up more though I wouldn’t be shocked to see a domestic match against Lee Selby.
- Erislandy Lara – Much like countryman Guillermo Rigondeaux, inactivity is killing the future prospects of who I believe is still the best 154 pounder in Erislandy Lara. Lara hasn’t fought since an unneeded destruction of an over-the-hill Yuri Foreman in January. Still his slick defense and surprising pop, as well as a close (and some say, controversial) loss to Canelo Alvarez are worth mentioning.
- Miguel Berchelt – The more I think about it, the more I am impressed by Berchelt. Berchelt not only vanquished the incredibly tough (and talented) Francisco Vargas in January but retired Takashi Miura in a defense this past July. Sure, both guys have been in brutal wars but Berchelt has a lot of ability that I certainly believe in.
- Danny Garcia
- Adonis Stevenson
- Jermall Charlo
- Sri Rungvisai
- Julius Indongo
- Luis Nery
- Badou Jack
- Kell Brook
- Gervonta Davis
- Danny Jacobs
Manny Pacquiao is now off the list. Do I think he lost to Jeff Horn? No. Do I still think he’s one of the best welterweights in the world? Yes. However, the old Pacquiao is gone and I can’t in the right mind put him as one of the 30 best boxers on the planet. I think Pac, if he continues fighting after the Horn rematch, is only getting older and his experience is still important but I don’t see any of the top welters losing to him anymore.
Shinsuke Yamanaka deserves a shout out. Luis Nery gets some buzz with a TKO4 win over him but the Japanese icon has built a great career without leaving his country. Maybe he was a tad one dimensional but he was a legitimate top-10 boxer at his peak and deserves more respect.
Wladimir Klitschko has hung up the gloves. I probably will post a too-late blurb on him but he’s worth mentioning. I still think he’s the 2nd best heavyweight in the world which is either an insult to the competition or praise to his gifts.