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:
- Vasily Lomachenko – I’ve wavered but I now believe Vasily Lomachenko is the pound for pound best fighter in the sport. It is nothing against Terence Crawford (and to a lesser degree, Gennady Golovkin) but Lomachenko TKO’ing Jorge Linares after being put on the canvas is a defining moment. Bud has a clear case for number one as I think we are near the limits to how high Lomachenko can go but he has a resume that includes Nicholas Walters, Guillermo Rigondeaux, Linares and Gary Russell Jr…..in twelve pro fights.
- Terence Crawford – Bud Crawford might have lost about four rounds over the past two years. He cleaned out 140 pounds, unified all the belts and is now fighting in the welterweight division. Crawford systematically broke down the tough, but incredibly limited, Jeff Horn to have the WBO belt. He showcased his ring IQ, power, precision, chin, strength and mean streak. I still think he can be considered the best fighter in the game.
- Gennady Golovkin – GGG is my favorite fighter. Has he looked vulnerable as of late? Yes. Unfortunately, a positive test for clenbuterol by Canelo Alvarez ruined the much needed rematch and Golovkin predictably demolished Vanes Martirosyan in a fight that should not have happened. The rematch with Canelo is set to take place September 15th.
- Sri Rungvisai – Rungvisai has gone from near-unknown to current pound-for-pound great. Two wins over former #1 fighter Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez put Rungvisai on the map and a win over Juan Francisco Estrada cemented him. Rungvisai returned to his native Thailand to blitz out Young Gil Bae in one round but the hope is that he eventually allows a rematch for Estrada.
- 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 narrowly lost. A positive test for clenbuterol threatened his ranking but a hair follicle sample did come up negative. The rematch with Golovkin is set for September 15th.
- 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 proceeded to knockout IBF mandatory Carlos Ocampo inside the first round. Next fight rumors include Mikey Garcia but the world hopes for a Terence Crawford fight.
- Naoya Inoue – The Monster concluded a big 2017, that included his American debut on HBO’s Superfly I card, and entered 2018 in a new weightclass. Inoue blasted out challenger Jamie McDonnell in the first round. The vicious body attacker will jump into the 118-pound WBSS tournament and will face Juan Carlos Payano in the quarterfinals.
- Aleksandr Usyk – Usyk is now the undisputed cruiserweight champion of the world after dominating Murat Gassiev for twelve rounds. Usyk’s volume, technique and jab are of the elite variety and its rare to see a 200+ pound plus boxer move so nimbly. Can he go up to heavyweight? Certainly but it will be tough given his just average power. The belief is that Tony Bellew would be next in what would be more of a money fight than a legacy one.
- Sergey Kovalev – After being debatably robbed against Andre Ward in the first of their fights but clearly (though some say, controversially) stopped in the rematch, it is hard to rank Krusher Kovalev. But is there a shame in losing to an all-time great after possibly beating him? No. Kovalev has marched through lesser opponents though his fight against Igor Mikhalkin was underwhelming though convincing. Kovalev faces Eleider Alvarez in what would be a nice step up in competition if uninspiring when you look at the 175 pound landscape.
- Keith Thurman – Thurman is in danger of being dropped out of my rankings as his recovery from a elbow surgery nears 18 months.
- 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. A likely unification fight against Robert Easter Jr. can do wonders for his rankings.
- 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 will appear on Superfly 3.
- 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.
- Jorge Linares – Usually you drop a fighter after a loss but Jorge Linares proved his greatness, though he might just be a tiny step below the most elite. He had two shaky wins against Luke Campbell (a fine but limited fighter) and Mercito Gesta but his brilliance against Vasily Lomachenko was on display. His fast hands saw him knockdown “Hi-Tech” and was up on two of the judges scorecards before being knocked out by a body shot in Round 10. Linares’s next fight needs to be televised.
- Leo Santa Cruz – Leo Santa Cruz is becoming one of boxing’s best entertainers. He has been in two action packed bouts against both Carl Frampton and Abner Mares, with the only blemish in his professional career being a loss to Frampton. He sometimes gets lulled into brawls, but the trilogy against Frampton or a unification match against Oscar Valdez or Gary Russell Jr. will be great.
- Anthony Joshua – Joshua continues to build his brand but not facing Deontay Wilder in the fight to make is not the greatest look. Nonetheless, there’s not much left in the heavyweight division so Joshua will make a defense against Alexander Povetkin. While Povetkin has tested positive for PEDs twice, he is still probably the 3rd or 4th best heavyweight in the world. At the bare minimum, a win pads Joshua’s resume.
- 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 knocked out Jonathan Victor Barros as he prepares to face Miguel Roman in the fall.
- 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.
- Dmitry Bivol – Bivol is fast looking like the man at 175 and a fight against Sergey Kovalev needs to happen. Bivol went through journeyman Trent Broadhurst like nothing inside round one, but a late TKO against a true challenger in Sullivan Barrera was a decisive beatdown against a credible opponent. Bivol returns against Isaac Chilemba on August 4th on the Kovalev-Alvarez undercard.
- Carl Frampton – Frampton is in a bit of a weird spot. Clearly the hope is that a trilogy between Leo Santa Cruz is completed but Frampton has looked just “decent” in his two recent fights. His August match against Luke Jackson is not exactly enthralling though I guess a future match against Josh Warrington could at least draw some positive attention.
- Jermall Charlo
- Murat Gassiev
- Danny Garcia
- Deontay Wilder
- Gary Russell Jr.
- Artur Beterbiev
- Gervonta Davis
- Badou Jack
- Jermell Charlo
- Jarrett Hurd
ASSORTED OTHERS TO KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR:
Kell Brook, Billy Joe Saunders, George Groves, Katie Taylor, Isaac Dogboe, Sergiy Derveyanchenko, Erislandy Lara, Adonis Stevenson, Mairis Bredis, Regis Prograis, Danny Jacobs, Josh Taylor, Manny Pacquaio