ESNY’s Boxing expert Jason Leach breaks down the top 10 pound-for-pound boxers in the world. Does Canelo Alvarez top the list?Twenty-seventeen has been an exciting year in boxing so far. We’ve seen some intense and close fights, and some surprising decisions.
This has prompted us to come out with our inaugural top 10 pound-for-pound boxers list.
The list is based on a combination of what the fighters have done through the duration of their careers and what they have accomplished recently.
Here are ESNY’s inaugural top 10 pound-for-pound boxers:
1. Andre Ward (31- 0, 15 KOs) WBO, WBA and IBF Light Heavyweight champion
Simply put, Andre Ward is the best fighter in the world today and he proved it in November when he defeated Sergey Kovalev by a close unanimous decision (114-113) to become the unified light heavyweight champion of the world. Ward hasn’t lost a fight since he was 12 and shows no signs of slowing down. Next up for Ward is a rematch with Kovalev on Jun. 17 in Las Vegas.
2. Sergey Kovalev (30-1-1, 26 KOs)
Before losing his light heavyweight titles, Kovalev pulled off an amazing run of victories defeating the likes of Bernard Hopkins and Jean Pascal twice. Some even thought that he beat Ward, especially when you factor in that he knocked down Ward in round two. Kovalev will get his chance at revenge on Ward on Jun. 17 and move up to our top spot.
3. Gennady Golovkin (37-0, 33 KOs) WBC, WBA, and IBF Middleweight champion
Golovkin saw his 23 knockout streak come to an end in his close and disputed unanimous decision victory against Daniel Jacobs in March. But he’s still regarded as one of the biggest punchers and boxing with a solid chin. He’ll likely fight WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders this summer to become the undisputed middleweight champion of the world.
4. Terence Crawford (30-0, 21 KOs) WBC and WBO Junior Middleweight champion
Crawford is a technical superb boxer with power in both hands and has seldom been in a competitive fight. He’s one of the few fighters that can fight in the conventional and southpaw stance. His best win so far came in July of 2016 when he easily defeated the previously unbeaten Viktor Postol. His next fight will be in May against Felix Diaz at Madison Square Garden.
5. Vasyl Lomachenko (7-1, 5 KOs) WBO Junior Lightweight champion
Since losing his second professional fight to Orlando Salido in 2014 by split decision, few fighters have been as impressive as Lomachencko over the last three years. He made the previously undefeated Nicholas Walters quit in his last fight in November. Lomachenko’s next fight will be this Saturday against Jason Sosa.
6. Canelo Alvarez (48-1-1, 34 KOs) WBO Junior Middleweight champion
Since losing to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2013 has won six fights in a row against the likes of Miguel Cotto, Erislandy Lara, and Amir Khan. The only knock on Alvarez is that he often fights at catchweight and that he has yet to fight GGG. Next up for Alvarez is a fight at 164.5 pounds against Julio Chavez Jr on May 6th.
7. Keith Thurman (28-0, 22 KOs, 1 NC) WBC and WBA Welterweight champion
Thurman has slowly moved up the pound for pound list for the last few years racking up impressive wins over Shawn Porter and Robert Guerrero. His most impressive win came in March when he won by split decision over Danny Garcia to become the unified welterweight champion. His next fight could be against the winner of Kell Brook and Errol Spence Jr.
8. Guillermo Rigondeaux (17-0, 11 KOs) WBA Junior Featherweight champion
Rigondeaux is a two-time Olympic Gold medalist from Cuba and is a technical superb fighter. However, he is at times too technical for his own good as his fights lack entertainment, which is why he’s having a hard time getting big fights. His managers are working on getting him a fight on the undercard of Ward-Kovalev 2.
9. Manny Pacquiao (59-6-2, 38 KOs WBO Welterweight champion
Despite being 38 years old, Pacquiao is still going on strong having defeated Timothy Bradley and Jessie Vargas by unanimous decisions in 2016. He had planned to fight Amir Khan this summer but those plans fell through. Fans would like for him to fight Terence Crawford sometime this year.
10. Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez (46-1, 38 KOs)
Gonzalez lost his first professional fight and WBC Junior Bantamweight title by majority decision to Srisaket Sor Rungvisai on the undercard of Golovkin vs. Jacobs. Many including us at Elite Sports NY felt Gonzalez deserved the victory. He will likely seek a rematch at some point within the next six months.