Boxing Pound for Pound

By Cain Bradley on January 1, 2018
Boxing Pound for Pound
With Andre Ward having retired and taking himself off this list, the top spot was open.

Lomachenko was one of a few men with a claim to the spot and he made the best case that he deserved it by defeating Guillermo Rigondeaux…

1. Vasyl Lomachenko
With Andre Ward having retired and taking himself off this list, the top spot was open. Lomachenko was one of a few men with a claim to the spot and he made the best case that he deserved it by defeating Guillermo Rigondeaux. He stopped the Cuban, who was a fixture in most pound for pound lists. Lomachenko had the advantages in weight but had done enough to get the number one spot.

2. Terence Crawford
Crawford is for me, obviously, the major danger for being number one. He has dominated two weight classes and unified all the title belts in the light welterweight division by stopping Julius Indongo. Up at Welterweight he is primed for some huge matchups and could move up this list if he becomes world champion at another weight.

3. Saul Alvarez
4. Gennady Golovkin

No doubt this will cause controversy but I have to rate these two at the same level following their draw. Alvarez gets the edge for me for his dominance at Light Middleweight. Hopefully we see these two go at it again and the winner will probably go up to number one for the best win.

5. Naoya Inoue
Inoue is one of my favorite fighters. He is a two weight World Champion who skipped the Flyweight division. His power is legitimately scary and he seemed to be an avoided champion. To begin 2018 he will move up to the Bantamweight division and has already suggested he would like to fight one of the champions.

6. Mikey Garcia
At this point the list takes an interesting shape as a lot of newcomers begin to feature in the top ten. He begun as a featherweight and will compete in his next bout for a Light Welterweight crown. He is already a three weight champion and has looked astounding at all weights. Unfortunately a few big bouts have been missed but his talent level is incredibly high.

7. Oleksandr Usyk
Usyk has long been touted as an incredible prospect. After an impressive amateur career, basically no one has come near to beating him. That includes Mchunu, Hunter, Huck and Glowacki, all reputable fighters in the division. He is currently fighting in the World Boxing Super Series and could unify twice in 2018 to win the tournament which would see him move up the rankings before possibly moving up to Heavyweight.

8. Keith Thurman
For me the top seven all definitely belong in the top ten but this begins a really debatable section. Thurman has always done enough to get past his opponents and for me just edges this spot because of his best wins which have seen him defeat Shawn Porter and Danny Garcia. An injury put paid to 2017 but 2018 could be a year of big fights for Thurman.

9. Sergey Kovalev
Kovalev has of course fallen from his peak prior to two defeats by Andre Ward. Losses to such a superstar can only take you so far down this list though. He is still arguably the best Light Heavyweight in the world and crushed Shabranskyy. He will return against Mikhalkin before potential unification bouts with some of the most exciting boxers in the world.

10. Errol Spence Jr.
I had four boxers ranked here at different times but I eventually decided that Spence was the one who I was most likely to regret not having in the top ten. He destroyed Kell Brook, a highly rated champion. He will box Lamont Peterson to start 2018 and potentially could unify against Thurman or Crawford to move up the list.

11.Srisaket Sor Rungvisai
The Thai boxer was my choice for 2017 boxer of the year. He had two big wins over Roman Gonzalez, the second one being particularly impressive. I do wonder whether he was the perfect opponent to beat Gonzalez at the time and if he can follow up that success in 2018. He will take on Juan Francisco Estrada.

12. Leo Santa Cruz
I have always rated Santa Cruz but feel a lot of apathy towards him this year. He shocked Carl Frampton with his boxing ability in January of 2017 but rather than have another big fight, he cruised to a win over Chris Avalos. The idea is that he will rematch Abner Mares who he quite convincingly defeated before.

13. Badou Jack
Was the first person I had in tenth but the collateral form of his has taken a knock. He edged out George Groves and engaged in a great battle with James DeGale but could only come away with a draw. Losing to Truax in his next bout meant either he was not as good as we thought or Jack ruined him. He won a world title at Light Heavyweight, beating Nathan Cleverly. He has given that up though and will take on Adonis Stevenson next.

14. Luis Nery
Nery has the best win in this subsection of candidates despite it being vaguely tainted by a failed drug test. The WBC ruled that Nery has accidentally taken the substance. He beat Shinsuke Yamanaka, a top ten boxer on previous pound for pound lists, dominantly stopping the Japanese fighter. He is only 23 and has stopped 19 of his opponents; the sky is the limit!

15. Jorge Linares
The Venezuelan has reinvented himself after shock defeats which many seemed to be the end of his career. He rules the lightweight division, taking down a Brit triumvirate of Kevin Mitchell, Anthony Crolla and Luke Campbell. When on top form, he looks an absolute superstar. A potential bout with Mikey Garcia has not happened and he will now take on Mercito Gesta.

16. Donnie Nietes
The Filipino is a three weight world champion after beating Komgrich Nantapech for a Flyweight Title.  He is the longest reigning Filipino champion of all time having held a title for over 10 years. He takes on Juan Carlos Recevo in January, arguably the toughest opponent outside of a unification bout.

17. Erislandy Lara
The slick Cuban arguably should be unbeaten. I scored him as the winner in the two bouts he lost, against Paul Williams and Canelo Alvarez. He has a host of wins over gatekeeper types like Gausha, Martirosyan, Smith and Trout. Hopefully in 2018, he takes on one of the top six in an increasingly loaded division.

18. Juan Francisco Estrada
Estrada is looking for a big 2018 which he begins by taking on Srisaket Sor Rungvisai. His last loss came when giving pound for pound king Roman Gonzalez a great bout. He has wins over Carlos Cuadras, Brian Viloria and Milan Melindo.

19. Anthony Joshua
Joshua completed his ascension to the top of the Heavyweight division by stopping Wladimir Klitschko. He followed that up with a victory over Carlos Takam and the reports suggest that he will take on Joseph Parker in a big unification bout to begin 2018.

20. Gervonta Davis
Davis lost his title on the scales but his 2017 as a whole was very impressive. He looks to return to Super Featherweight rather than move up to Lightweight. If looking to regain his IBF title, he will have to take on Kenichi Ogawa rather than rival Tevin Farmer.

21. Daniel Jacobs
Jacobs had perhaps his best performance in 2017 when barely losing to Gennady Golovkin. He showed himself to be one of the most dangerous Middleweights in the world and you have to hope he gets more big fights in 2018.

22. Carl Frampton
The Irishman has fallen down this list. He had the year from hell beginning with a loss to Leo Santa Cruz. He left the McGuigans after a big homecoming show was cancelled before not looking particularly impressive against Horacio Garcia. He takes on Filipino Flash Nonito Donaire to open 2018 before a title shot, probably against either Lee Selby or Leo Santa Cruz.

23. Guillermo Rigondeaux
Rigondeaux could fit in a large number of positions here. He quit against Lomachenko which really dents my opinion of him. I know Lomachenko is sensational but to quit was a bit much. He is a terrific counter puncher but you have to wonder where he goes next.

24. Danny Garcia
Garcia dominated the Light Welterweight division with wins over Khan, Matthysse and Peterson. A win over Robert Guerrero won him a title at Welterweight but he lost to Keith Thurman in a split decision where neither man particularly excelled. He will return in February against Brandon Rios and I truly believe he has the skill set to be a factor in the division.

25. Ryoichi Taguchi
The last defeat for Taguchi came in 2013 in his 21st bout against a four bouter. A pretty bad sign right? Well that came against Naoya Inoue, against whom he managed to get to a decision. He went on to win the WBA Title and got the biggest win of his career on New Year’s Eve to unify the titles and win The Ring Light Flyweight Title.

26. Roman Gonzalez
Another man that I was unsure how far to drop for his defeats this year. I settled on he still deserves to be on the list, just. He looked like a man who is well past his best. Maybe he will prove me wrong, but the way his year ended against Srisaket Sor Rungvisai suggests to me that he will struggle at Light Flyweight.

27. Daigo Higa
Only 22, Higa is part of the new generation of Japanese boxers. He has stopped every single opponent in menacing fashion, despite being only a Flyweight. He won the title against experienced Juan Hernandez Navarette and defended against Thomas Masson.

28. Kosei Tanaka
Another Japanese fighter, Tanaka is already a two weight World Champion. He is also only 22 and has some quality wins. There are a few more options for bouts in the weight as well as potentially moving up to fight Sho Kimura for the WBO Title.

29. Adonis Stevenson
The Canadian boxer has been on a slight decline since his big win over Chad Dawson in terms of the pound for pound rankings due to his lack of big fights. Since then he has wins over Bika, Bellew and Fonfara twice. He will have a big clash with Badou Jack in 2018 and if we are luckhy then the winner of Gvozdyk vs. Alvarez.

30. Ken Shiro
The fourth Japanese fighter in the bottom six of the top thirty. He is also young at only 25 and has had an impressive year. He defeated Ganigan Lopez for the title and since has wins Pedro Guevara and Gilberto Pedroza.
Just missed out: Zolani Tete, Shinsuke Yamanaka, Terry Flanagan, Jesse Magdaleno, Gary Russell
Will be here soon: Miguel Berchelt, Jermell Charlo, Knockout CP Freshmart, Jermall Charlo, Murat Gassiev

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  1. joelouisrighthand 12:18am, 01/07/2018

    ok david,we get it.

    people like you make people not want to be G fans. what the hell is your problem you made your point.

    I like G. calm down though.seriously.don’t go to a bar and act like this.

    be cool.boxing 2018 here we go

  2. David 01:54pm, 01/06/2018

    My mistake about Andre Ward. Anyway, the point is that GGG did not quit or retire after winning the title, nor did he cherry-pick his opponents or purposefully hit with low blows to win a bout. He is still meeting the challenge and winning despite losing some of his luster. Why not give the credit he deserves?

  3. David 03:21pm, 01/04/2018

    Yes, Andre Ward was a middleweight then he went up to light heavyweight because Kovolv was slow and defensive and got tired out in the later rounds, and Ward knew he could low blow him and get away with a win. But where are they now? They are no where to be found. GGG keeps proving himself over and over again and boxing writers still don’t recognize him as being the best in boxing today.

  4. Cain Bradley 11:52am, 01/04/2018

    Canelo has better wins than GGG. Lara and Cotto compared to just Jacobs. I also had him winning and he was the one who moved up weight so gets a bit more credit for that.

    Thurman I am not a massive fan of. Think crawford and Spence beat him. Had money on Garcia. Thought Porter beat him. But he has won those fights and he made Garcia go into his shell, gotta be something to it.

  5. ceylon mooney 11:08am, 01/04/2018

    dont see how alvarez is above golovkin. that was a clear loss for alvarez. the rematch should be against the two judges, especially the one who scored it a draw. that byrd score was there to legitimize an outrageous 114-114. thurman WAY to high. his two significant wins werent impressive—he barely beat porter, and garcia wasnt up for tryin to win after the first coupla rounds.

  6. Cain Bradley 03:24pm, 01/03/2018

    Ward was never a Middleweight? And Floyds natural weight was probably smaller than Welterweight? Yeah well both of those were champions before GGG. I don’t see him ever knocking Canelo out, he doesn’t catch him clean enough!

  7. David 02:45pm, 01/03/2018

    Why should GGG go up or down to fight those two? Ward was a middleweight when GGG called him out and he refused to challenge him. And going down in weight to fight Mayweather would have been to Floyd Mayweather’s advantage. It would have been a dumb thing to do on GGG’s part. And now they, Andre Ward and Floyd Mayweather are retired and Golovkin is still fighting and winning.  Fight a champion at his natural weight class with no catch-weights. It’s only fair don’t you think? I thought the fight with Jacobs was close but you really have to beat the champion convincingly and Jacobs didn’t. GGG was the aggressor against Alvarez. He threw harder punches and made the fight. He clearly won. In a rematch GGG knocks him out.

  8. Cain Bradley 04:46am, 01/03/2018

    With GGG I think he lost his last two bouts. I had Jacobs by a point and Canelo by 2. I thought the clean quality work came from his opponent. He never went up to fight Ward and Mayweather he never went down for(

  9. David 06:00pm, 01/02/2018

    Gennady Golovkin is still the best p4p in my humble opinion. He beat everyone they put in front of him, called out Andre Ward and Floyd Mayweather several times, and no big names in the middleweight division wanted to fight him. He should be at the top of everyone’s list.

  10. Andre Roussimoff 07:25am, 01/02/2018

    Mikey Garcia has a P4P jaw and that’s for Goddamned sure!

  11. Cain Bradley 05:50am, 01/02/2018

    Yeah it’s tough. The first five are defo the top five in my mind. Garcia definitely top ten but after that I change my mind depending on the moment! I think Spence beats Thurman to be honest but on a Pound for Pound list I give a lot of credit to actual results. Thurman has better wins for me. I rated Danny Garcia higher than I had Brook before the respective losses and even Porter is probably top 50.

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