Time for the pound-for-pound list update. Before we get into the top 10, let’s give a shout to the 5 guys on the cusp of entering the big time.
15. Gennady Golovkin 29(26)-0 He lacks the quality opposition to be legitimately placed on the pound-for-pound list, but he’s certainly on his way. His style and willingness to fight any body or thing is promising for boxing’s future.
14. Canelo Alvarez 43(31)-1-1 The same things one could say about Golovkin could be said about Alvarez. I don’t consider wins over Austin Trout or Alfredo Angulo to qualify for pound-for-pound status, but Canelo is almost there. A dominant win over Erislandy Lara on July 12th will make his case undeniable. (A poor performance or loss from Froch would certainly help Alvarez’s case for the 10 spot.)
13. Roman Gonzalez 39(33)-0 If you haven’t heard, Gonzalez is the baddest little dude on the planet. Gonzalez aka El Chocolatito aka The Flyweight Destroy aka Roman holds a crucial victory of unified flyweight champion Juan Francisco Estrada. Gonzalez will enter the list officially when he faces and beats lineal flyweight champion Akira Yaeagashi (which is predicted for the fall.) Until then, he’ll stay on the outside looking in.
12. Adonis Stevenson 23(20)-1 The one-punch knockout of Chad Dawson was impressive, but Stevenson is lacking something. He’s lacking a signature win. A big win over a top light heavyweight where he can show off everything that the late Emanuel Steward saw in him. Yes, Sergey Kovalev is that opponent, but at this point I’ll take Bernard Hopkins.
11. Mikey Garcia 34(28)-0 There’s definitely a case for Mikey to be in the top 10, but his performance against Burgos lacked the spark that we’d previously seen from him. Whether he regressed or was finally in with an opponent that gave him trouble remains to be seen.
The pound-for-pound rankings remain one of the focal points of boxing debate around the world. Here is The Living Daylight’s ranking of the worlds top 10 fighters. How they’re ranked is by opposition, quality of wins, consistency, and whether their style translates across weight classes. Without further adieu…
10. Carl Froch 32(23)-2 Aside from his loss to Ward, Froch has made every fight he’s been in competitive. Froch didn’t look good against Groves, but I think I can explain that one. Froch, like many of us, didn’t take Groves seriously. When that fight got announced, I thought to myself, Groves is a good prospect, but how in the world do they expect him to survive against Froch? Froch had shown his chin was granite. That his power was not to be questioned. His aggression was contained, but undeniable. Froch started… slow, but he gathered his wits and was well on his way to stopping Groves late. Froch, until he loses, will stay on the pound-for-pound list. Aside from Ward, can you imagine another super middleweight beating him?
9. Danny Garcia 28(16)-0 Alright, sure. Garcia got a gift against Herrera… but tell me someone on this list that hasn’t gotten one gift in their career? Nobody? Okay, maybe Ward and Rigondeaux have clearly won every fight, but everyone else has gotten a gift decision. Or in Klitschko’s case, bailed out by their power. Either way, that’s boxing. Danny Garcia’s pound-for-pound case is simple. His ability to adjust and time his opponents is up there with any of the top counter-punchers in the sport. Garcia is also the kind of guy that you never feel comfortable betting against.
8. Juan Manuel Marquez 56(40)-7-1 Marquez delivered another Marquezian performance against Mike Alvarado, but Marquez has always done well against opponents like Alvarado. We won’t know how good Marquez still is until he faces Bradley or Pacquiao again. Provodnikov can be added to that list should he get past Chris Algieri. I don’t see any welterweight outside of the ones previously mentioned that I would pick over Marquez.
7. Sergio Martinez 51(28)-2-2 It appears that Gennady Golovkin is the future of the division, but as it stands, Sergio Martinez is still the king of the middleweight division. Martinez may have under-performed against Martin Murray, but various injuries to the aging champion can explain that. Martinez promises he’s in full health and will deliver a devastating performance against Miguel Cotto. This could be the last time Martinez shows up on the pound-for-pound list if Freddie Roach is to be believed about Cotto’s power, but something tells me Martinez will show why he got the nickname Maravilla.
6. Timothy Bradley 31(12)-1 Bradley’s spot on any pound-for-pound list is dependent on how much you buy that his calf was badly injured in the Pacquiao rematch. I think it’s something you have to consider. The impact it had on the fight was clear now that you know he suffered an injury. The fight was even for the first 4 rounds before the injury took place. Bradley has gotten this far in his career on sheer will, determination, and athleticism. The only thing we know about Bradley is that unless you’re Manny Pacquiao, there’s no definitive way to beat him. Maybe you can catch him when he’s reckless, but the Bradley we’ve seen since the Provodnikov fight is unlikely to find himself in that position again.
5. Manny Pacquiao 56(38)-5-2 For my money, Pacquiao secured the greatest win of his long career against Bradley. Sure he beat him the first time around, but the judges didn’t see it that way. With 2 years for Bradley to grow and Pacquiao to regress (not to mention getting knocked out) it seemed the odds were stacked against Pacquiao. I thought there was no way Pacquiao could beat Bradley. What transpired was a performance for the ages. Pacquiao beat a young, quick, determined fighter who was in his prime. Pacquiao’s dazzling speed not only won him back his WBO welterweight title, but also his stake as one of the top fighters in the world.
4. Wladimir Klitschko 62(52)-3 While some like to cling to the memories of a once action packed heavyweight division full of Gatti-Ward week-in and week-out, Klitschko has continued to rack up dominant victories like clockwork. His reign is historic, though his place all-time may be questioned. The fact that his dominance has made it difficult to gauge the current talent level of the heavyweight division only makes his case stronger.
3. Guillermo Rigondeaux 13(8)-0 I can understand anyone who isn’t fully on the Rigondeaux train. He’s got 1 signature win and it was to a guy who may not have belonged anywhere near the top of a pound-for-pound list. However, for me, it’s the nature of Rigondeaux’s victories that place him among the very best fighters in the world. Shutting out a normally troublesome Joseph Abgeko was startling. Nearly shutting out Nonito Donaire seemed impossible. Pound for pound, I don’t like any fighters chances against Rigondeaux, let alone anyone at super bantamweight.
2. Andre Ward 27(14)-0 If there’s any fighter out there with any stake in the claim to Mayweather’s throne, it’s Andre Ward. Ward has single-handedly cleaned out an entire division that was once ripe with talent. Just look at his competition. Froch is fighting a rematch with a guy who was considered a prospect just a year ago. Arthur Abraham is fighting fringe contenders. Stieglitz just lost to Abraham. Kessler took a year to decide if he still wanted to box after losing to Froch. Bute never even made it to a fight with Ward and has since moved to light heavyweight. Bika is fighting everyone to a draw. Ward has nothing left to prove. Few can say that in any division. Except maybe Wladimir Klitschko. Ward is now stuck deciding if he wants to face a blown up middleweight or move to a division he may be too small for. In the mean time, Ward will face his promoter in court.
1. Floyd Mayweather Jr 46(26)-0 Regardless of how you feel about Floyd Mayweather the person or showman, Floyd Mayweather the boxer has been nothing less than a maestro for the past 18 years. While Mayweather looked vulnerable and was tagged often against Marcos Maidana, he was still able to make the necessary adjustments only an elite fighter of his caliber could to pull off a victory against Maidana’s relentless onslaught. The question around Mayweather going forward will be whether or not his performance against Maidana was truly a sign of age slowing him down. While that seems to be the most likely outcome given he’s 37, it should be remembered that he did say he would stand in the pocket and trade with Maidana. It could be that Floyd is simply a man of his word. It will be 4 months before we can answer that question. Until then, the king stays the king.