After covering places 10-6 in last week’s countdown, we look at the fighters who are sitting on top of the pile in the race for pound-for-pound superiority…
5. Terence Crawford (31-0)
With Crawford on the verge of potentially unifying the light-welterweight division with a win against Julius Indongo on Saturday night, ‘Bud’ takes the fifth spot in our list. Still unbeaten with 31 wins, the two-weight world champion is one victory away from achieving a feat not seen since 2006, in holding all the belts in one weight division.
Crawford’s latest defence came on May 20 when he put on a masterful performance in stopping Felix Diaz in the 10th round of an entertaining but one-sided fight. With names including Ricky Burns, Ray Beltran and Viktor Postol on his CV, Crawford is under no illusions as to where he thinks he stands in the pound-for-pound rankings. “I know I’m No. 2 in my personal list and Andre Ward is still No. 1,” he told a group of reporters before the announcement of the Diaz fight.
With a possible move up to welterweight to follow the Indongo fight, Crawford is targeting Keith Thurman or Manny Pacquiao next as he looks to cement his legacy.
4. Gennady Golovkin (37-0)
As we edge closer towards GGG’s September 16 meeting with Canelo Alvarez in Las Vegas, the Kazakh still awaits his defining fight with his 11 year career building towards this night. Danny Jacobs pushed Golovkin close in a fiercely debated UD in March this year. At 35-years-of-age, the concern is whether father time is finally catching up with the WBA (Super), WBC, IBF, and IBO middleweight champion.
Golovkin has been avoided by many of the big names in the sport, and with brutal power in both hands and a tested chin, it is going to take something special from ‘Canelo’ to take GGG’s ‘0’ and leap-frog him to the summit of the pound-for-pound rankings.
3. Vasyl Lomachenko (9-1)
The 29-year-old Ukrainian produced another sparkling performance on August 5 as Miguel Marriaga felt the power of the two-weight world champion. Now well and truly established in pound-for-pound lists around the world, Lomachenko needs testing at the highest level.
Lomachenko won his second gold medal in London 2012 at 135-pounds, so a move up to lightweight is expected soon from ‘Loma’ and his team, with Bob Arum identifying Orlando Salido, Guillermo Rigondeaux and Miguel Berchelt as the next possible opponents.
With concrete in both hands and the footwork of a dancer, the Ukrainian fears nobody in boxing and has the potential to top this list for years to come.
2. Roman Gonzalez (46-1)
Roman Gonzalez’s revenge mission at super-flyweight night takes place on September 10, as he looks to claim back the WBC title that Thailand’s Srisaket Sor Rungvisai took off him earlier this year.
As well as taking his title, the Thai fighter took his unbeaten record, as the Nicaraguan slid down pound-for-pound lists world-wide. Previously at 46-0, Gonzalez was four wins away from claiming the all-time best boxing record at 50-0 however disaster struck as he lost a majority decision at Madison Square Garden.
Gonzalez, the only fighter from Nicaragua to win world titles in four weight classes, still feels he won this fight and is confident in gaining revenge in September. “I’m ready to go back into battle and reclaim my WBC championship from Sor Rungvisai on Sept. 9,” Gonzalez said. “I know what I have to do to become victorious and with God’s help I will be champion once again.”
‘Chocolatito’s’ loss to Srisaket Sor Rungvisai is already a contender for fight of the year and, if he can negate the challenge of the slick southpaw, we may see Gonzalez remain in contention for pound-for-pound superiority once again.
1. Andre Ward (32-0)
If there was any doubt surrounding Andre Ward’s credentials for pound-for-pound superiority, ‘S.O.G’ quashed them in style as he stopped Sergey Kovalev in the eighth round of their super fight rematch in June.
The theme of controversy reared it’s ugly head again post-fight from the Kovalev camp with claims that a low blow was the catalyst for the stoppage, however with back-to-back wins against ‘Krusher’ now on the CV of Ward, it’s hard to argue against his spot at the top of the boxing tree.
Ward, 33, remains the sport’s most adaptable fighter outside of Floyd Mayweather and showcased his ability to disarm a big puncher like Kovalev, with nimble footwork and a stiff jab keeping the Russian at bay.
Realistically, Ward’s next opponent will come in the form of Adonis Stevenson or Tony Bellew, but with both of these fighters coming to the end of their respective careers, it’ll prove heavily reliant on timing – with Ward going into both of those fights as a heavy favourite.
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