Pound for Pound

By Cain Bradley on July 1, 2018
Pound for Pound
This is legitimately ridiculously close. I change my mind on almost an almost hourly basis.

The boxers out there are all aiming for the top of the pound for pound rankings, but it can only be one man…

It feels like boxing is in a great spot right now. Big fights look like coming together and there is plenty of excellent fighters out there. The WBSS is one of the best innovations in boxing for a long time. The boxers out there are all aiming for the top of the pound for pound rankings, but it can only be one man.

1. Vasyl Lomachenko
2. Terence Crawford

This is legitimately ridiculously close. I change my mind on almost an almost hourly basis. Both are three weight world champions. I edge to Lomachenko because he has more victims on the pound for pound list despite me thinking there is no one around who can beat Crawford right now. Lomachenko finally showed some vulnerability against Jorge Linares but showed his quality by finishing him. His win over Gary Russell looks better every time Russell fights whilst he destroyed Nicholas Walters and Guillermo Rigondeaux. Crawford has done his own outclassing; Jeff Horn, Viktor Postol and Julius Indongo have all been taken to pieces. He can box in any way and it is hard to pick at holes right now. Both have super fights potentially waiting in Mikey Garcia and Errol Spence.

3. Naoya Inoue
The Japanese monster is also a three weight champion, having also skipped a weight. His power has carried through the weights and he rarely looks anything other than spectacular. He looks like entering the World Boxing Super Series containing the likes of Emmanuel Rodriguez, Ryan Burnett and Zolani Tete. Inoue will find himself as strong favourite which tells you just how good he is.

4. Gennady Golovkin
I am one of the people who believe that Canelo edged the first fight. Subsequent allegations have caused me to move Canelo down in my list, albeit barely (in a similar fashion to Nery) but Golovkin maintains position. He has dominated the middleweight division and although his last two fights have been closer he is still unbeaten and the one everyone is chasing.

5. Oleksandr Usyk
Usyk has long been touted as an incredible prospect. After an impressive amateur career, he is proving to be just as good in the professional ranks. Mchunu, Hunter, Huck and Glowacki were dispatched with ease. Although Breidis made him work harder, most people agreed Usyk had done enough to unify the decision. The World Boxing Super Series bout against Murat Gassiev and going to be absolutely incredible and if he wins, he likely heads into the top three. After that he may move up to heavyweight where, if his chin can take the big punches, he will likely be favourite against whoever he fights.

6. Saul Alvarez
As mentioned above, I had Canelo winning the Golovkin fight. I have docked him some credit though for the ensuing drug issues. I readily accept the tainted meat reasoning (probably naive of me). The rematch is set for the end of the year and hopefully it brings this chapter to an end. Canelo also was dominant at light middleweight and has good wins over the likes of Miguel Cotto and Erislandy Lara.

7. Srisaket Sor Rungvisai
I was not 100% sold on the Thai after his victories over Gonzalez, believing he may have caught a champion on the decline. His subsequent win over Estrada said a lot to me. He is so physically dominant at Super Flyweight! A rematch would no doubt be intriguing given it was a close decision whilst you would favour him in any unification bouts. It looks for the moment like we will not see Rungvisai much before the end of the year. He may have also missed the best fight available to him when Inoue moved up to Bantamweight.

8. Mikey Garcia
A superb four weight world champion who has again never looked close to losing. He has missed out on some massive fights which is what puts him lower down this list. The names he has defeated are great but no superstar. He has comfortably beaten Salido, Lopez, Broner and Lipinets. His biggest win could come in his next bout, a lightweight unification against Robert Easter.

9. Errol Spence
Spence is the truth! Many believed it before he was champion, he has only confirmed suspicions since! He took the title off Kell Brook with a dominant display in Sheffield. Lamont Peterson was taking apart in his first defence to a level we had never seen before he wrecked Carlos Ocampo. There are two potentially huge bouts for him. Keith Thurman has circled for a while but a fight soon does not seem likely. Terence Crawford is more viable in what seems like an incredible showdown.

10. Sergey Kovalev
At his best, Kovalev was higher up this list. Two losses to Ward have dented his ranking but Ward is a superstar and Kovalev showed his quality in those bouts. Since then he has dominated Shabbransky and Mikhalkin. The young guns in his weight class are definitely coming for him and there is some great matchups to be made.

11. Leo Santa Cruz
Hard one for me to position. I have always really rated him and his win over Abner Mares was definitely exciting. It was his second victory over the Mexican though and did not seem to add much to what we had already seen. He is 1-1 in a series with Carl Frampton, holding the most recent win and it would be nice for the trilogy to be completed. It is a strong division and the last 18 months felt vaguely like a waste of time for the tough Mexican.

12. Donnie Nietes
The Filipino three weight world champion has not lost since 2004. Since then he has been dominant in the ring. In his last fight he successfully defended his IBF Flyweight Title by stoppage against the impressive Recevo. Next time out, he attempts to win his fourth world title, up at Super Flyweight against Aston Palicte.

13. Keith Thurman
The longer we wait to see Thurman, the further down this list he’ll go. We have not seen him since March 2017, when he eked out a split decision win against Danny Garcia. It currently seems like there are no plans for him to return to the ring soon as he recovers from injury. It is a shame because there are some great fights for him at Welterweight right now.

14. Jarrett Hurd
I was late to the Hurd party. Sure he can beat guys like Trout and Harrison but I did not believe he could at the top level. Then he beat Lara. It was a close decision but he showed how dangerous an opponent he is; a last round knockdown sealing the win. A recent picture showed how ridiculous it is that he even makes 154 when standing next to Cotto. We all want to see him take on Charlo and then potentially Munguia.

15. Luis Nery
I am not sure how to rate Nery. In the ring he has been nothing but incredibly impressive, twice stopping Shinsuke Yamanaka. Outside of the ring though, he has similar issues with the Mexican meat as Canelo. He also missed weight for the Yamanaka rematch. I would still love to see him in the Bantamweight WBSS.

16. Jorge Linares
Linares always struck me as someone who looked irresistible for spells but often coasted. He showed me just how good he is against Lomachenko. He was down on points, but barely, when he was stopped by an incredible punch. He is another three weight world champion and his next step will be incredibly intriguing.

17. Anthony Joshua
The Heavyweight king has two brilliant wins on his résumé. He is also on his way to being one of the most famous boxers of today. His two biggest wins have come over Wladimir Klitschko and Joseph Parker, both good opponents. It is clear what everyone wants next—Deontay Wilder. That will seemingly not happen until at least 2019, instead he will take on his interim in Povetkin.

18. Dmitry Bivol
I think Bivol is just spectacular. He took apart Sullivan Barrera in his 13th bout to retain his WBA Title. It was arguably even more impressive than the job Ward did on the same man. His power is for real but he also has incredible boxing skills. He comes up against Isaac Chilemba later this year.

19. Badou Jack
Jack gets dropped on here despite me having him beating Stevenson. It makes it two draws in his previous three bouts and there does seem to be a lack of urgency in too many rounds. He looks incredible occasionally but takes rounds off and it costs him. I would like to see a rematch or him taking on another foe from a stacked light heavyweight division.

20. Daniel Jacobs
Jacobs had perhaps his best performance in 2017 when barely losing to Gennady Golovkin. Since then he has beaten Luis Arias and Maciej Sulecki. He has hopes to get back into title contention in 2018 with many huge fights potentially to be made.

21. Adonis Stevenson
The big Canadian finally took on a big opponent when fighting Badou Jack. I thought he lost a razor-thin decision but it was called a draw and he kept his belt. I am hoping this means Stevenson is far more open to taking the big fights as he turns 41 in a couple of months.

22. Deontay Wilder
The other dominant champion in the heavyweight division is Deontay Wilder. The power punching American was impressive against Ortiz, showing his resolve to get up off the canvas and still beat Ortiz. A fight with Joshua needs to happen, but we are likely looking at 2019.

23. Jermall Charlo
This could be too low. The bigger Charlo has turned himself into a destructive force. He looked irrepressible at light middleweight and is now up at middleweight. Jorge Heiland and Hugo Centeno were comprehensively destroyed. I cannot wait to see him in the ring against some of the top middleweights.

24. Murat Gassiev
The other half of the WBSS Cruiserweight final has had a great run over the last two years. It begun with Gassiev stopping Jordan Shimmell before winning the IBF belt off Denis Lebedev. His run in the WBSS has been impressive, stopping Wlodarczyk before doing the same with Dorticos, after wearing down the tough Cuban.

25. Danny Garcia
The Philly man returned from his defeat to Keith Thurman by viciously stopping Brandon Rios. Next time out he will take on Shawn Porter in a contest for the WBC Title. He dominated at light welterweight and even up at Welterweight looked impressive before being defeated by Thurman in a close contest.

26. Ken Shiro
The Japanese phenom has shown himself to be the dominant Light Flyweight. He won the world title in his tenth bout and has impressed in defences against Pedro Guevara, Gilberto Pedroza and Ganigan Lopez. It is a stacked weight division at the moment and hopefully Shiro can get himself a big fight.

27. Gervonta Davis
An old favourite of these rankings, I still believe Davis to be an incredible talent. He destroyed Cuellar in his last hour and also has good wins over Jose Pedraza and Liam Walsh. His commitment and attitude can be questioned for the moment but until it goes wrong for Davis, I would not bet against him.

28. Jermell Charlo
I said it about Jermall, but Jermell could also be something incredibly special. The twin who has remained in the light middleweight division has turned into a serious problem. He has stopped four of his last five opponents. That includes incredible finishes of Charles Hatley and Erickson Lubin. A fight with Hurd has been mooted and that would be excellent.

29. Kosei Tanaka
Already a two weight world champion after only 11 bouts, he is up at Flyweight and hoping to challenge for titles soon. His best win came when stopping Moises Fuentes. He is only 23 and the sky is seemingly the limit for the young Japanese fighter.

30. George Groves
Some may argue this is my British bias. But Groves has a very strong résumé. His losses come in two bouts with Carl Froch and a split decision to Badou Jack. Hardly bad form. He is favourite for the WBSS after his impressive win over Chris Eubank Jr. in the semi final.

Just missed out: Zolani Tete, Erislandy Lara, Knockout CP Freshmart, Juan Francisco Estrada, Miguel Berchelt
Will be here soon: Tugstsogt Nyambayar, Josh Taylor, Jerwin Ancajas, Gary Russell, Isaac Dogboe

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  1. Your Name 06:58am, 07/05/2018

    After this comment, I realized this writer has no boxing intelligence. I stopped reading.
    4. Gennady Golovkin
    I am one of the people who believe that Canelo edged the first fight. Subsequent allegations have caused me to move Canelo down in my list, albeit barely (in a similar fashion to Nery) but Golovkin maintains position. He has dominated the middleweight division and although his last two fights have been closer he is still unbeaten and the one everyone is chasing.

  2. Thrasher 12:57pm, 07/03/2018

    Snowflake, none of these guys belong in the P4P. They should be in the ton 4 ton. They are big awkward behemoths and would be ranked 10th or more in the 70’s.
    Right now, Wilder will beat Joshua. Wilders muscle mass is like sinew, lean and he is getting mean. Joshua is bulky, like a weightlifter. Being young he recovered and survived from old man Klitch. A younger Kiltchko would have finished him. So, the big Bulk survived. Deontay keeps getting better and will wear that belt, when the game is on.

  3. Joe bats 12:51pm, 07/03/2018

    Rather mixed up top 15. Canelo a convicted roider last year, obvious to 90% of everybody. Thurman is a joke should be replaced by Prograis. Jacobs best win was a losing to G.

  4. snowflake 11:08am, 07/03/2018

    Wilder did not show his resolve to get off the canvas…. you’re thinking of Joshua against Klit perhaps? Wilder was battered in round 7 but he remained upright and never went down. We now understand how an upright fighter who has never touched the canvas can still be devastatingly knocked out by Tony Weeks without going down, but this was thankfully not one of those situations.

    It has no bearing on the P4P discussion—Joshua should be higher based on resume—but the right that put Joshua down is Wilder’s money punch, and there’s no way Wilder lets him recover like Klit did. Hence Joshua-PEDvetkin. Still a risky fight, but one without clear danger signs for the A-side

  5. Thrasher 07:44am, 07/02/2018

    Difficult to compare apples and oranges. When boxers don’t fight enough rust gathers, so expect the unexpected.
    Crawford can fight left or right and not lose any dexterity. He is fluid and is more of a fighter than Lomachenko. So, I give him the nod!
    Danny Garcia would be ahead of Mikey. Thurman was lucky to be given fight when he did nothing last 2 rounds. He is one of the best counterpunchers out there.
    Tri G and the Mex was a draw and a great match to watch. No one was hurt and glad the refes didn’t fuck it up!
    There is a Russian out there who beat Johnsson out of the Bahamas with a name ten feet long who would beat GGG and Canelo. Dimitrichenkov…something like that! He is not on the list.

  6. Ollie Downtown Brown 06:48am, 07/02/2018

    dmac… AGREED.

  7. dmac 11:42pm, 07/01/2018

    as soon as i read “canelo beat ggg”, all credibility of the article went south. cheato barely won 3 rounds smh

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