Pound for Pound update

By Cain Bradley on July 5, 2017
Pound for Pound update
Six months on from my last pound for pound list and boxing is having a strong 2017.

Huge bouts have happened and huge bouts have been announced. Here is the top 30 boxers on the planet…

Six months on from my last pound for pound list and boxing is having a strong 2017. Huge bouts have happened and been announced. Here is the top 30 boxers on the planet.

1. Andre Ward
He was ranked number one last time and since then he has only made it clearer by again defeating Sergey Kovalev. It was again controversial thanks to low blows which forced the stoppage but he had Kovalev hurt and was seemingly on his way to victory.

2. Vasyl Lomachenko
Lomachenko is a supreme talent. The type that does not come along that often such as Roy Jones Jr. He is unpredictable with an unorthodox movement style which makes him hard to hit and a very good attacking boxer. Watching Lomachenko spar would be enough to transfix me.

3. Terence Crawford
In 2016 I described Crawford as a potential superstar. I think he is there. He has dominated two divisions and he makes superb boxers such as Felix Diaz look ordinary. Next up he has a unification bout against Julius Indongo. I think he dominates and I cannot wait for him to step up to welterweight.

4. Saul Alvarez
The Mexican dominated domestic rival Julio Cesar Chavez in his showcase Cinco De Mayo bout. The excitement was provided afterwards when the showdown the boxing world has been waiting for was confirmed. Canelo will take on Golovkin in September. I make the Mexican the favourite.

5. Roman Gonzalez
The highest ranked boxer coming off a loss. He was defeated by Srisaket Sor Rungvisai but it was close and controversial with head butts. I make Gonzalez favourite for the second fight. The other factor is Gonzalez is fighting above his best weight because he is so dominant and he has to get credit for that in a pound for pound list

6. Naoya Inoue
Inoue is one of my favorite boxers in the world, I think he is a serious problem (and have done since researching him for http://www.boxing.com/shingos_monster_the_rise_of_nayoa_inoue.html. He stopped Ricardo Rodriguez last time out and will make his America debut against Antonio Nieves in his next fight. He is probably the hardest pound for pound puncher in the world and I cannot wait to see him fight other boxers on this list.

7. Keith Thurman
Keith Thurman moved into the top ten of this list when proving himself as the best welterweight in the world when defeating Danny Garcia. He strikes me as a boxer who does enough without ever looking superb. He is supposedly out until next year with a bad injury but hopefully he resumes taking on other big name opponents.

8. Guillermo Rigondeaux
Rigondeaux has been harmed by the narrative suggesting he is a boring fighter who does not take risks. His last fight against Moises Flores has been ruled a no contest as he finished him after the bell. Since that fight he has been calling out the Ukrainian Vasyl Lomachenko, claiming he would move up to super featherweight.

9. Gennady Golovkin
I know! This is supposedly very low for the scary Kazakh. I just have never seen it with Golovkin. His best win was his last fight against Danny Jacobs where it was very controversial and many believed he lost. Outside of that his wins are not that impressive and I have always thought of Golovkin as a bit of a flat track bully. We will find out when he takes on Canelo, in September.

10. Shinsuke Yamanaka 
Yamanaka has made 13 defenses of his WBC Bantamweight title and has always looked quite impressive and is often in exciting fights. His next bout will see him take on one of the rising prospects in boxing, Luis Nery.

11. Leo Santa Cruz
In the last pound for pound rankings, I commented on my Leo Santa Cruz fandom. I think he is a very good boxer and the way he beat Carl Frampton impressed me. Unfortunately the trilogy will not be completed this year as Santa Cruz instead takes on Abner Mares, a man he has already beaten.

12. Sergey Kovalev
This time it was a bit more clear-cut. Kovalev will scream controversy after he was finished by low blows. He had been hurt and it looked very likely he was on his way to a loss. The aura seemed to slightly disappear from the Russian during and after the fight.

13. Mikey Garcia
The biggest mover, up from 30, Garcia showed his class when stopping Dejan Zlaticanin in a scary fashion. His career was delayed with promotional issues but that win showed he is just as impressive as ever and with his earlier wins added to Zlaticanin he belongs in the top fifteen. Next time out he takes on Broner in what, to me, looks like a tough fight.

14. Errol Spence Jr.
The other big mover comes from someone who was unranked in the last rankings. Spence stopped world champion Kell Brook. It was an incredible performance as he wore down and dominated a highly rated boxer. He is claiming to be chasing big bouts and that is an attitude that can make him one of the must see boxers of the current era.

15. Carl Frampton
He has split a couple of bouts with the Mexican Leo Santa Cruz who goes above him by winning the latest fight and a better resume out of their contests. He will return to Ireland later this month against Gonzalez and will be hoping big contests are around the corner, potentially at the end of the year against Lee Selby.

16. Oleksandr Usyk
Usyk is the current ruler at cruiserweight and looks like the best boxer. With the World Boxing Super Series holding a cruiserweight tournament, five huge names have already been announced. Usyk is rumored to be part of the tournament but you would assume that his name would have been a high profile one already announced. If he misses this tournament then there is a definite ceiling how high he can go on this list over the next 18 months if he remains at cruiserweight.

17. Donnie Nietes
Nietes is a three weight world champion who has defeated pretty much every top opponent he has ever boxed. The Filipino boxer is another perhaps unfairly disadvantaged by being small. He does have potential for mega clashes with Kazuta Ioka, Daigo Higa or Zou Shiming which would be huge in Asia.

18. Danny Garcia
Garcia has experienced a bit of a fall down this list. He lost to Keith Thurman in his last bout in a disappointing affair. Thurman is a top ten fighter and Garcia still deserves credit for his wins that come before that fight. He will need to work his way back quickly to a world title shot in a loaded weight division or risk dropping down the board. How good would a Terence Crawford bout be?

19. Jorge Linares
Linares showed the world that the reason Anthony Crolla pushed him so hard in the first bout was probably just ring rust. It was dominant this time round and quite hard to give Crolla a round. Linares is a boxer that you can see five seconds of and assume he is one of the classiest operators in the world. Losses to Antonio DeMarco and Juan Carlos Salgado which have always harmed Linares for me were over five years ago. Next up for him he takes on a rising British star in Luke Campbell.

20. Jezreel Corrales
The Panamanian lost in only his second professional bout but has since been perfect. He has two decisive wins over Takashi Uchiyama and is scheduled to fight in a big triple header on July 15th against Robinson Castellanos. Castellanos got the shot by defeating Yuriorkis Gamboa and you would say he would have received more credit for defeating Gamboa.

21. Carlos Cuadras
Cuadras gets a slight bump up in the rankings due to an older win. He has a win over Srisaket Sor Rungvisai who of course beat Roman Gonzalez earlier this year. Cuadras has lost to Gonzalez but he run him close. His upcoming bout with Estrada is one to keep a close eye on.

22. James DeGale
DeGale sits in the same place he did following the last rankings as his last bout came just before those rankings in the Badou Jack draw. DeGale has been linked to the World Boxing Super Series although I am pretty sure his injuries will keep him out for longer which could limit his opportunities if all his best opposition are in the tournament.

23. Badou Jack
The other half of the DeGale draw was Badou Jack. He has also not been sighted since that fight, unsurprisingly given it was an all-out war. Suggestions are Badou Jack will again fight a British opponent, this time Nathan Cleverly. I would make Jack heavy favorite and this looks like being on the Mayweather vs. McGregor undercard.

24. Gervonta Davis
Superstar alert! The speed, power and timing was on full display in his destruction of Liam Walsh. Davis is two days younger than me as a 22-year-old which is terrifying. Tevin Farmer seems a likely future opponent but I just think Davis is far too powerful for Farmer and just as slick. He is in the best weight in the sport and I cannot wait to see him take on some of the other contenders.

25. Daniel Jacobs
Jacobs makes a foray into the list on the back of his performance against Gennady Golovkin. He pushes Golovkin harder than anyone else ever has and in the eyes of many got the win. Rumors persist that Jacobs is entering the Super Series.

26. Erislandy Lara
Lara is hindered by a bit of a reputation as a high risk, low reward bout. He gives anyone at light middleweight or middleweight a tough bout. Arguably he deserves wins over Paul Williams and Canelo Alvarez after his legitimate wins over Angulo, Trout and Smith.

27. Anthony Joshua
The first heavyweight on the list, Joshua is a potential star of boxing. His win over Wladimir Klitschko was superb and he got up from an absolute peach of a punch. His power and speed is obvious and he seems determined to make the big fights in the division.

28. Juan Francisco Estrada
Estrada is another boxer to have impressed against Roman Gonzalez without getting the win. He was a top fighter at flyweight with wins over Segura, Viloria and Marquez. He gets a chance to put his name in the rematch stakes when he takes on Carlos Cuadras in September.

29. Kazuta Ioka
Ioka recently defeated Noknoi Sitthiprasert in his sixth defence since regaining a flyweight title. His only defeat came in a split decision against Amnat Ruenroeng. His wins include Akira Yaegashi, Juan Hernandez Navarrete and Juan Carlos Recevo twice.

30. Daigo Higa
I explained that I was a big fan of Inoue earlier. I have watched far less Higa but he seems like a similarly scary boxer. He has stopped all 13 opponents and at only 21 become WBC world champion by stopping Juan Hernandez Navarette. He is a powerful all-action brawler who fans will love and I think he has huge potential

Just missed out: Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, Tim Bradley, Adonis Stevenson, Kell Brook and John Riel Casemiro
Will be here soon: Kosei Tanaka, Gary Russell, Gilberto Ramirez, Mairis Breidis and Jermall Charlo

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  1. David 02:34pm, 07/14/2017

    Andre Ward #1, Gennady Golovkin #9? Andre Ward refused to challenge GGG as a middleweight. He barely got past the slow defenseless Sergey Kovalev.

  2. Kid Blast 09:21am, 07/13/2017

    wrknathome, what’s YOUR LIST LOOK LIKE?

  3. wrknathome 09:19am, 07/13/2017

    I used to think there were real boxing writers on this site.  Maybe there are.  This list is silly.  You seem to apply certain standards to some fighters, but not others.  Instead of constantly regurgitating the word “opinion” in your justification for the rankings why don’t you just use the word “bias”?

  4. Cain Bradley 12:03pm, 07/06/2017

    Completely agree Koolz, would be a great bout, favour the offensive excellence of Lomachenko.

    In my opinion only the first Kovalev win is controversial and I had it 114-113 to Ward. Dominated Kessler, Froch and Dawson when all were highly rated.

    I think top 15 pound for pound is still very much on the radar. My perceived rating of him has definitely gone down, I think part of it is the aura. I am an admitted Crawford super fan so that is understandable.

    All opinions and we just love arguing about them.

    Yeah, ended up 114-113 Jacobs to me. Just thought he took a few of the closer rounds.

    Yeah and when that fight happens, I’d probably go Inoue above as it’s a quality win.

    Rigo’s win over Donaire came when he was arguably a top 5 p4p boxer and he still looks close to as good.
    —-
    I debated putting Floyd in. If he wins this and suggests he will not immediately retire he will return to the list.

    I know I rate one Charlo than the other but find it really hard to discuss as I never know which one. Wish they weren’t almost the exact same name. Stevenson has drifted down my list over last few years from high of around 15, think he’s becoming irrelevant and hasn’t had a tough fight in a while. I think the speed of Davis means they all struggle with him, granted I’m a super fan haha!

    Kid Blast I’m not high on Thurman but the win was a win. Better win than Spence although I’d fancy Spence if the bout happened.

    Haha I’m a big Lara fan and have been screaming for two years that he would beat GGG. But in the last 30 months he has defeated only Yuri Foreman, Vanes Martirosyan, Jan Zaveck and Delvin Rodriguez

  5. tuxtucis 11:34am, 07/06/2017

    A ranking where Canelo is 4th and Lara 26th is worth of no consideration…

  6. Kid Blast 07:30am, 07/06/2017

    Thurman must come down and Mikey Garcia and Spence must move up. Thurman ran in his last fight.

  7. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 06:45am, 07/06/2017

    Stevenson and the Charlos get no respect here and I assert that Berchelt would administer a heavy dose of reality to Gervonta .

  8. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 06:19am, 07/06/2017

    Which reminds….from this day forward all judges in title bouts held in Vegas should be tested for cannabis the day of the bout…..no exceptions. Way too many trippy score cards as it is!

  9. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 06:07am, 07/06/2017

    Weed is legal in Vegas now so the members of the LAVC don’t have to fool around with phoney ass medical script to get their “Girl Scout Cookies’. They ruled that Floyd/McNugget was a competitive match when they could only get medicinal bud….it’ll be fun to see what they come up with now!

  10. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 05:55am, 07/06/2017

    Cain Bradley-I think you overlooked something here….Floyd is officially out of retirement and has an upcoming bout which has been sanctioned by the Nevada State Athletic Commission an adjunct of the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce.

  11. Koolz 04:39am, 07/06/2017

    Cain Bradley

    I need to see Rigo and Lomachenko first.

    Ward’s wins are always full of controversy. 

    Kovalev losing one fight isn’t going to mean he has dropped off the radar.
    I don’t think Crawford is as high as you put him.

    Well it is your opinion.  My P4P would be a bit different.  I would have to take a lot of time and though to put a list together as you have here but of course that doesn’t mean someone has to agree to it.


    you thought Jacobs beat Golovkin even with a 10/8 round?

    I agree with you on Inoue!  Gonzalez is P4P sure but he has gone up in a weight class where he can’t dominate.

    Rigo would be below GGG for me.

  12. Cain Bradley 02:07am, 07/06/2017

    To be honest Mark, I do not know enough about female boxing to put her in a place on this list. I would have to immerse myself into opponents and all that comes with it. It is growing and hopefully with time I can study and include females on this list.
    -
    Koolz, I am not 100% what your complaint is? A few positions? What order would you have the top ten? It’s all opinions. Personally do not see how Ward is not number one. Has beaten a better opponent than anyone else on the list, dominating two weight classes. Lomachenko has good wins but his performances are the main reason he is so high. He looks virtually unstoppable and in this mythical pound for pound fight I’m not sure I pick anyone over him. Canelo isn’t four because I think he beats Golovkin. He is ranked there on his performances over the past five years. I was just predicting he would beat Golovkin. The wins of Golovkin have never impressed me and I thought that Danny Jacobs actuallly beat him. Have you ever thought Rigondeaux, one above him, may have lost a decision? Yeah, Kovalev gets moved down for that defeat, not only did it feel like the aura went but Ward has put the blueprint out there. After the last fight I had him ranked at 3/4 but this was a a lot more decisive. I think Inoue beats Gonzalez…I also think Spence beats Thurman. Those fights have better resumes currently which counts for something. Gonzalez is literally the pound for pound division, he is fighting in a division he is small for because he has already dominated divisions. I have never been too sure on Linares. His style to me is style over substance and I think Mikey Garcia will beat him if they clash. Crawford has dominated to weight divisions, in both weight classes he has defeated highly rated unbeaten fighters. He has also dominated all good opponents he has fought and looks to be on his way to another big win before heading to welterweight.

  13. Koolz 08:44pm, 07/05/2017

    whaha what is this?????

    Hello folks it’s My New Pound for Pound List, do to my perception of who I think is P4P I am writing list.  Not Who is Pound for Pound.

    Yes Ward he is No.1 ....hmmm what? 

    Lomachenko is No. 2   hmmm no way.

    Canlo is No. 4 because he is going to beat Golovkin(What middle weight has Canelo beaten that is even in the top 10?)

    Golovkin at 9?  sorry your nothing and Canelo will beat you…

    This list is Messed up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Kovalev is at 12 now that he lost to Ward???

    Inoue would destroy Gonzalez. 

    Linares should be higher he is a P4P pound fighter.  I see him beating a lot of other fighters in his weight class. 

    Crawford at 3?  are you serious?

    ok that’s your list Cain Bradley and thanks for sharing.


    Cecilia is an Amazing Female Boxer but the boxing for Females needs to grow more.  It’s getting there!

  14. Mark A. Jones 08:19pm, 07/05/2017

    Any pound-for-pound boxing list should start with Cecilia Braekhus (31-0, 8 KOs).

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