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Top 20 pound for pound boxers September 2013

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Check out our top 20 pound for pound rankings list as it stood on September 15, 2013, updated after Floyd Mayweather’s win over Canelo Alvarez and Danny Garcia’s win over Lucas Matthysse, amongst other action.

Fighter

Record

Change

1. Floyd Mayweather 45 (26) – 0
Money Mayweather just keeps on rolling. He dominated Saul “Canelo” Alvarez in the biggest event of the year, staking his claim not only as the top pound for pound fighter in the world, but the top active guy in multiple weight classes. His ring IQ, his innate sense of timing and distance, and his all-around boxing skill and acumen have truly made him nonpareil in the sport. The question is, who’s next, and who has a chance to even make things interesting?
2. Andre Ward 26 (14) – 0
Mikkel Kessler. Arthur Abraham. Carl Froch. Sakio Bika and Allan Green mixed in for good measure. Not a bad 5 fight streak for a largely unproven fighter at the start of the Super Six Tournament. Then came the complete domination of Chad Dawson. Ward has been on an absolute tear, and hasn’t even seemed particularly tested or bothered against any of those guys. The injuries have been an unfortunate momentum breaker for the S.O.G., though. Since defeating Froch in December 2011, he’s fought just once.
3. Juan Manuel Marquez 55 (40) – 6 – 1
After three disappointments, Marquez finally broke through, and in spectacular, unforgettable fashion. It was the one-punch knockout heard round the world, and it altered the landscape at the top of our pound for pound list and the entire sport. A difficult fight against Timothy Bradley comes next. But a win offers him another opportunity to one-up his rival, Manny Pacquiao.
4. Guillermo Rigondeaux 12 (8) – 0 +1
Rigondeaux finally lured Nonito Donaire into the ring, mostly getting his opportunity due to the fact that Donaire’s team wasn’t going to put together a fight against Abner Mares. The Jackal took full advantage of his shot, and even if you thought he would win, you probably didn’t expect him to be so dominant, completing dictating the fight against Donaire and showing a clear superiority in terms of pure boxing skill and ability. One of the best amateur fighters in history has had perhaps the best first 12 pro fights of any fighter to ever lace them up.
5. Sergio Martinez 51 (28) – 2 – 2 -1
Is age catching up to Maravilla? He has survived his last two encounters against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr and Martin Murray, but he’s been sent to the deck on each ocassion, and he’s come out of both battles with injuries that relegate him to the sidelines. Will his body get back to 100% again, or has the best of Martinez already come and gone? Remains the middleweight kingpin, and his body of work over the past 3-4 years has been stellar, but questions loom about his future in the sport.
6. Wladimir Klitschko 60 (51) – 3 +2
If you’ve followed the pound for pound rankings on this website, then you have surely noticed Klitschko jumping up and down from update to update. That’s because from fight to fight my opinion changes on how dominant he is, and whether he does enough with his size and talent. The competition has been lacking lately, but what can you say? That’s 60 career victories, and 18 straight wins over the past eight and a half years, including 14 title defenses. Staggering. Alexander Povetkin is next in October.
7. Danny Garcia 27 (16) – 0 +10
I neverput any stock into his wins over Erik Morales. But the knockout of Amir Khan was sensational, and he got past a stern test from Zab Judah. Then when everyone wanted to count him out, even as an undefeated champion, he stood his ground against Lucas Matthysse and picked up a hard-fought win. That victory may just vault him into position to face Floyd Mayweather, next, and it certainly bolsters his credentials as one of the best pound for pound fighters in the game right now.
8. Carl Froch 31 (22) – 2 +2
Jean Pascal, Jermain Taylor, Andre Dirrell, Mikkel Kessler (twice), Arthur Abraham, Glen Johnson, Andre Ward, and now Lucian Bute. A 7-2 record against that level of opposition over the past three years, plus a win over Yusaf Mack. Even though he got dominated by Ward, that’s still an incredibly daunting and impressive run. Most impressive of all was the resounding KO win over the previously undefeated Bute. Gets domestic rival George Groves next.
9. Roman Gonzalez 35 (29) – 0 +5
Gonzalez has built up quite the undefeated stretch thus far in his career. He’s the former WBA strawweight champ and the current WBA 108 lbs titleholder, with five title defenses since he won the belt in 2011. El Chocolatito could be lining himself up for a shot at a title in a 3rd division in short order too. Doesn’t hurt that he just beat the guy who ousted Brian Viloria at Flyweight, either.
10. Abner Mares 26 (14) – 1 – 1 -6
Abner Mares has gone through one of the toughest stretches of opponents in the sport. Yonnhy Perez, Vic Darchinyan and Joseph Agbeko, twice, then Anselmo Moreno, a fight many expected him to lose, another move up in weight, and a TKO title-winning victory over Daniel Ponce de Leon. Jhonny Gonzalez wasn’t an easy opponent either, and he proved that by knocking out the undefeated Mares in Round 1. A 1st round knockout loss though is not as bad in many ways as a thorough beat down or one-sided defeat over 12 rounds, and Mares seem intent on facing Gonzalez immediately in a rematch.
11. Nonito Donaire 30 (19) – 2 -2
Tough loss for Donaire, who had so much momentum heading into that fight. Was he simply overlooking Rigondeaux, and enjoying his star status a bit too much? Was it really the shoulder injury? Or did he just lose to the better guy? Donaire plans to move up to Featherweight, and there’s a whole lot of tough competition waiting for him up there as well.
12. Manny Pacquiao 54 (38) – 5 – 2 -2
Pacquiao still deserves respect as one of the best fighters in the world, but he of course has to be moved down this list following that brutal knockout loss, and the extended layoff which followed. Nobody can argue with the way that his 4th fight played out against Juan Manuel Marquez. He has a chance to look impressive in his comeback fight in November when he meets Brandon Rios, and that’ll be a better time to judge his place and future in the sport.
13. Adrien Broner 27 (22) – 0 -2
After the utter domination of the respected Antonio DeMarco, it was clear to even the biggest of detractors that The Problem’s talent is off the charts. The questions for him will be how he’ll respond to adversity in the ring, what kind of chin he has, and what happens when he faces guys who can match his size and his speed. Jumping up two divisions to take on Paulie Malignaggi wasn’t exactly Shane Mosley jumping from 135 to 147 to fight Oscar De La Hoya, and you would have liked to see a more dominant showing if he is as good as everyone would like us to believe.
14 Bernard Hopkins 53 (32) – 6 – 2 -3
Tell me you weren’t really surprised that Hopkins outclassed, and out-foxed Tavoris Cloud? There has to be legitimate concern about how much his body has left him in at this point, even if he’s intent to keep on fighting until he’s 50. Still, he’s clearly one of the best fighters on the planet. With the right matchmaking, he can continue this run for quite some time. Taking on a sort of standby fight next with Karo Murat, after it was delayed in the summer, but that shows he wants to stay active and continue campaigning, so it’s a good thing.
15. Gennady Golovkin 27 (24) – 0 Debut
GGG makes his debut on our pound for pound list as he has continued to tear a hole through the middleweight division. Matthew Macklin was supposed to be his toughest fight to date, but he Golovkin made it look like easy work, absolutely smashing him en route to an early stoppage win. Next up is Curtis Stevens, and then, hopefully, a fight against a big name. One of the most exciting and interesting fighters to watch right now.
16. Mikey Garcia 32 (27) – 0 +2
Mikey Garcia’s debut into the pound for pound rankings has been long awaited. The competition he faced was just so miserable for so long. But he really shined with his dominant win over Orlando Salido, scoring three knockdowns along the way. Followed that up by taking out Juan Manuel Lopez, and displaying the huge gap in technical skill between those guys which we have all known for quite some time. The offensive arsenal is just so smooth and refined, and the kid is still just 25.
17. Timothy Bradley 30 (12) – 0 -1
It’s tough to be Timothy Bradley. Somehow, by winning two fights, he has fallen about 10 positions in our top pound for pound list. Of course, the Pacquiao fight didn’t do him any favors. He may have won some hearts with his performance against Ruslan Provodnikov, but he didn’t exactly showcase his best stuff, nearly getting knocked out for his troubles. With the Marquez fight is next, he has an opportunity to take out another legend, but it’s not going to be an easy task.
18. Yuriorkis Gamboa 22 (16) – 0 -3
After an extended layoff, Gamboa finally returned to action and made his debut at Super Featherweight. He showed flashes of brilliance, and flashes of well, not so much, as he once again got sent down to the canvas. Moved up to Lightweight against Darleys Perez, and again, somewhat of a mixed performance. At some point, when does potential become overshadowed by actual in the ring work? Too inactive and too sketchy as of late to be a top-10 fighter.
19. Koki Kameda 31 (17) – 1
The Japanese superstar/villian has won nine straight since his lone career setback, a narrow decision loss to Pongsaklek Wonjongkam. Since, he has won a title in his second division, and defended it six times. The power doesn’t seem to be what it was at Flyweight, but he still packs a punch and has managed to put together a very impressive resume. An all-Japan showdown against Shinsuke Yamanaka would be nice, of course.
20. Shinsuke Yamanaka 19 (14) – 0 – 2 Debut
Shinsuke Yamanaka has flown under the radar for American fight fans. When Vic Darchinyan traveled to Tokyo in 2012 to fight him, it was presumed by many to be a quick stopover for the Raging Bull on the way to bigger things. But Yamanaka didn’t see it that way, handing him a defeat, and adding to a growing resume which includes wins over Malcolm Tunacao, Tomas Rojas and Christian Esquivel.

The next 25+ on the Bubble (in alphabetical order)

Devon Alexander, Canelo Alvarez, Lucian Bute, Chad Dawson, Juan Francisco Estrada, Gennady Golovkin, Jhonny Gonzalez, Robert Guerrero, Yoan Pablo Hernandez, Marco Huck, Chris John, Mikkel Kessler, Amir Khan, Vitali Klitschko, Marcos Maidana, Lucas Matthysse, Anselmo Moreno, Lamont Peterson, Jean Pascal, Orlando Salido, Leo Santa Cruz, Giovani Segura, Adonis Stevenson, Austin Trout, Brian Viloria

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