For years boxing fans have placed their faith in pound-for-pound lists to determine, ‘mano a mano’, who the best fighter is regardless of weight class. As we enter a new boxing season, here are the fighters who make our pound-for-pound list – starting at the bottom.
10. Keith Thurman (28-0)
After out-pointing Danny Garcia en route to unifying the WBA (Super) and WBC welterweight belts, Thurman sneaks into the back end of our pound-for-pound list. Despite only fighting three times since July 2015, ‘One Time’ remains unbeaten as a professional and is slowly building his C.V of big name wins.
Having taken the scalps of Garcia, Porter, Collazo and Guerrero in his previous four fights, Thurman needs to build on this momentum in luring Errol Spence Jr. into another unification bout. However, after recovering from shoulder surgery this year we can’t expect to see Thurman again until 2018.
Thurman is a hard-hitting welterweight, and after a potential show down with Errol Spence Jr. the 28-year-old may be confident in carrying that power up to light-middleweight.
9. Leo Santa Cruz (33-1-1)
As we await the negotiations for the Mexican’s rubber-match against Northern Ireland’s Carl Frampton, ‘El Terremoto’ has to navigate past Abner Mares (30-2-1) again after the WBA sanctioned a second fight between the pair. The first fight between Santa Cruz and Mares was one of the best action fights of 2015 where the two fighters went head-to-head in LA. Santa Cruz won the fight via a UD, however the next instalment should be just as entertaining.
Santa Cruz has won fans worldwide especially in the last two years, and at 28-years-of-age still has plenty of gas left in the tank. If the Frampton rubber doesn’t materialise, a bout with Matchroom’s Scott Quigg could well be agreed with the Mexican tempted to make his UK debut.
8. Mikey Garcia (37-0)
Mikey Garcia put on a clinic in New York against Adrien Broner. After moving up to 140-pounds, the Moreno Valley fighter never looked troubled in his non-title fight, and after stating his claim for a higher spot in the top ten pound-for-pound rankings it’s intriguing where the WBC champ will turn to next.
Garcia carries power at lightweight and light-welterweight, and with rumours of a super-fight with Vasyl Lomachenko on the horizon, Garcia could well top this list if the next 18 months are kind to him. Finding out how great Garcia can become will be very interesting to watch, with his two-plus year break from the sport having done wonders for him mentally. He’s operating as good as any fighter in the game right now and his performances continue to turn heads in the boxing world.
7. Sergey Kovalev (30-2-1)
Despite his two losses to Andre Ward in the last year, ‘Krusher’ Kovalev still finds himself in the pound-for-pound mix. With elements of controversy surrounding both fights with ‘SOG’, Kovalev and his team will still be confident of taking Ward’s ‘0’ if the couple meet again for an unlikely third fight.
With 26 knockouts in 30 wins, the Russian has impressive wins on his record including the decimation of Pascal, Cleverly and a UD over Bernard Hopkins.
‘Krusher’ is expected out again on November 25 on HBO, but at 34-years-of-age this may be Kovalev’s last charge at further major honours and defining nights with his place on the pound-for-pound list up for grabs in the next 12 months.
6. Canelo Alvarez (49-1-1)
With Canelo’s super-fight with Gennady Golovin just five weeks away, many feel that the sport’s number one spot is up for grabs as the duo lock horns in Vegas. Oscar De La Hoya certainly thinks so, with the Golden Boy promotor claiming “I have to say after this year or during this year, Canelo will be the pound-for-pound king”.
With a solitary loss on his C.V to Mayweather, the Mexican has an incredible record of 49-1-1 at only 27-years-of-age, and through taking Golovkin’s ‘0’ would put him in the strongest standing for pound-for-pound supremacy. A lot is riding on the September 16 bout, with it arguably coming at the perfect time for Canelo.
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