In early May, Floyd Mayweather was fresh off his strong showing against Manny Pacquiao in that eagerly anticipated, long awaited showdown between two of the best of the generation. After that fight, here’s a look at how our top 20 boxing pound for pound list stood.
Top 20 Pound for Pound Boxers
Pound for Pound Boxing Rankings Last Updated May 3, 2015
Mayweather retained his undefeated ledger and status as the world’s top boxer when he picked apart Manny Pacquiao in their long-awaited showdown. Mayweather was in control throughout the bout, and while it certainly would have been nice to see him go in with a more aggressive mindset, as usual, he did what he needed to do in order to win the bout. So what’s next? Mayweather says his September fight will be his last. We’ll see about that.
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. Rigondeaux completely dictated the fight against Donaire and showed a clear superiority in terms of pure boxing skill and ability. Since then though, opportunities have been scarce. He’s fought just three times in the two years which have passed from that win, and he’s basically begging his own mandatory title challenger for a fight.
Gonzalez has built up quite the undefeated stretch thus far in his career. He’s a former champ at both Strawweight and Junior Flyweight, and now has a belt in a third division, Flyweight, for good measure. El Chocolatito has already beat the division’s champion, Juan Francisco Estrada, who himself ousted Brian Viloria. Hopefully the rematch between those two gets put together, which would be a true lower division mega-fight. Fans will finally get to see him when he meets Edgar Sosa in mid-May.
Mikkel Kessler. Arthur Abraham. Carl Froch. Then came the complete domination of Chad Dawson. And Ward wasn’t even particularly tested or bothered against any of those guys. The injuries and promotional issues have both been unfortunate momentum breakers for the S.O.G. Consider that he’s fought just twice since the win over Froch nearly three years ago; Froch has fought five times. The lack of activity has to hurt his pound for pound standing a bit, as we’ve dropped him from #2 to his current slot. Finally has a return bout slated this June, but he better do better than Paul Smith, and do it in a hurry. We may even drop him as the 168 lbs champ.
Jean Pascal, Jermain Taylor, Andre Dirrell, Mikkel Kessler (twice), Arthur Abraham, Glen Johnson, Andre Ward, Lucian Bute, George Groves (twice). A 9-2 record against that level of opposition over the past five 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. After a controversial ending to his first fight against Groves, Froch left no question marks in the rematch. After a fight with Chavez Jr. fell through, and Chavez was defeated in the interim, it’ll be interesting to see what’s next, and if the Ward-Froch rematch finally gets made.
It didn’t take long for GGG to work his way to the top 10, tearing a hole through the middleweight division at every step. Matthew Macklin was supposed to be his toughest fight to date, but Golovkin made it look like easy work, absolutely smashing him en route to an early stoppage win. Then Daniel Geale was supposed to be The Real Deal toughest fight to date, and well… how’d that go? Marco Antonio Rubio? Right. Martin Murray was game, but still got battered. How can you not root for this guy?
Terence Crawford’s win over Yuriorkis Gamboa was the real hallmark victory in his career thus far, but don’t discount the dominant performance over Raymundo Beltran which followed. That win was good enough to crown him as our Lightweight Champion, even though he immediately moved onto 140 lbs. His first fight there was another impressive outing, dispatching of Thomas Dulorme and making it look easy. The sky is the limit for this kid with his talent and varied skill-set, along with his apparent fighter’s instincts.
Krusher quickly rose from nowhere to become one of the must-watch fighters in the game. Made short work out of the likes of Gabriel Campillo and Nathan Cleverly. Was supposed to be on a collision course with Adonis Stevenson, but we got jobbed out of yet another great fight. Instead, he took on the ageless Alien, Bernard Hopkins, and dominated him as a supposed killer should against a guy who’s nearly 50. More impressively, survived some tough moments to stop Jean Pascal in Montreal. Fight with Stevenson was supposed to get made for the summer, now it looks like it’s off once again.
So, how does Juan Manuel Marquez get ranked ahead of Timothy Bradley? By some complex-voodoo-math, that’s how. It’s been difficult to sort out the Pacquiao, Bradley and Marquez triangle, to say the least. Bradley is a clear rung beneath Pacquiao. Marquez knocked out Pacquiao, but Bradley has the win over Marquez. Hmm. The Bradley-Marquez fight is the closest of the bunch, and the loss is the least damaging for Marquez. With Bradley most recently coming off the loss to Pacquiao, and there being no way at this time that Pacquiao can be above Marquez, we have Marquez here. Got it? Good. Has been on the shelf for a year though since defeating Mike Alvarado.
Pacquiao simply wasn’t able to mount a consistent enough offensive charge against Floyd Mayweather. He was busy and coming forward, but mostly missing, and Mayweather was controlling the bout with relative ease for much of its duration. Still, it’s not like he got beaten up, so how far can he really drop? The bigger question is what’s next for him? Don’t be surprised to Pacquiao consider a move down to 140 lbs to take on some of the big names in that division.
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. Case in point, he dominated Alexander Povetkin, but never applied himself in the way he could have, or should have, in what was an ugly, hard to watch match. Still, 64 career victories, and 22 straight wins over the past decade, including 18 title defenses. Staggering. Kubrat Pulev was the latest guy who was supposed to be a legitimate challenger, and not so much. One of the best Klitschko performances we’ve seen recently. That raised his stock. But the performance against Bryant Jennings was another one which was a bit of a let down.
As we’ve been saying, the Pacquiao-Marquez-Bradley situation is a mess. But Bradley still has the legit win over Marquez, and he acquitted himself pretty well against Pacquiao in fight number 2. I’m guessing that even in that defeat, he feels as if he has the monkey off his back now. His last five fights should read 3-2, including a barely hang on to win fight against Ruslan Provodnikov, and a draw which should have gone his way against Diego Chaves. Faces Jessie Vargas next in a very intriguing bout in which he’ll be the favorite.
Juan Francisco Estrada made his debut onto our list following his dominant win over Giovani Segura. The Flyweight king since he ousted Brian Viloria, he also handed Milan Melindo his first loss. Would love to get a chance at revenge against Roman Gonzalez, who defeated him three years ago and just so happens to be nipping at his feels in the division right now. That could potentially happen late summer or early fall this year.
I don’t care what his record says. If you don’t think he’s one of the best 20 fighters on the planet, then you need to reevaluate how you watch the sport. And if Orlando Salido was forced to actually, you know, make weight, then Lomachenko would be 5-0 with a win over him and Gary Russell in his first five pro outings. I don’t need to remind you of the 396-1 amateur record, do I?
Garcia fell a long way after his disappointing outing against the tough Mauricio Herrera. It’s a big drop after having just scored his breakout win against Lucas Matthysse, but it is what it is. The knockout of Amir Khan was sensational, but it had been a bad year, with the Herrera fight, and then an absolute time killer against Rod Salka. Got past a hard challenge from Lamont Peterson, and still seemingly unsure if he wants to stay at 140 lbs or move up to Welterweight. Swift will have plenty of opportunities to prove himself once again, and if you’ve learned anything yet, you probably shouldn’t bet against him because he finds ways to win.
Miguel Cotto put on perhaps the best performance of his career, moving up to Middleweight and taking out the long-reigning kingpin, Sergio Martinez. Cotto shocked most of the boxing world with that win, and the sheer dominance of his effort from start to finish. He would have soared even higher up the list, but let’s not forget how recently he looked awful in losing widely against Austin Trout. Seems to be headed towards a finally agreed upon fight with Canelo Alvarez. First though, he’s returning from a year of inactivity to face Daniel Geale.
Canelo reappeared in our pound for pound list after the close win over Erislandy Lara. It was a tough fight, but Canelo prevailed, making it two straight since losing to Floyd Mayweather. There’s no shame in losing to Mayweather, is there? Both of his best wins, Lara and Austin Trout, were razor-thin though, taking some luster away from them. Some would argue he lost both of those bouts. Nevertheless, faces James Kirkland next, and then is looking at Miguel Cotto for the fall.
Carl Frampton makes his debut in the top 20 following his latest effort, a dominating showing against the out-gunned Chris Avalos. More impressive though are his two wins over Kiko Martinez, and the quick work he made of Hugo Cazares. As opposed to some of the other fighters in his division, Frampton appears more than willing to take on anybody, and he’s building a robust following as a result.
Uchiyama’s resume isn’t the lengthiest, but he’s made it count. Broke out into the scene with stoppage wins over Takashi Miura and Jorge Solis. Since, has defeated two unbeatens in Bryan Vasquez and Jaider Parra, along with two further title defenses. Vasquez has impressed with his wins over Jose Felix and Sergio Thompson; he was stopped by Uchiyama. Only blemish is a technical draw for a fight stopped in the 3rd round against Michael Farenas. After not fighting for a year, he’s getting back into action must sooner this time, a good sign.
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. He’s staying busy, too, with seven title fights wins since hte Darchinyan victory.
We formerly showcased a list of the top 10 pound for pound boxers, but it has now been bumped up to the top 20, with about 25 more on the bubble listed as well. It’s all in the effort to provide for you the most complete picture of the sport’s very best.
The next 25+ on the Bubble (in alphabetical order)
Devon Alexander, Kell Brook, Adrien Broner, Lucian Bute, Nonito Donaire, Yuriorkis Gamboa, Mikey Garcia, Jhonny Gonzalez, George Groves, Yoan Pablo Hernandez, Bernard Hopkins, Marco Huck, Koki Kameda, Amir Khan, Erislandy Lara, Marcos Maidana, Abner Mares, Sergio Martinez, Lucas Matthysse, Anselmo Moreno, Omar Narvaez, Jean Pascal, Lamont Peterson, Shawn Porter, Orlando Salido, Leo Santa Cruz, Giovani Segura, Adonis Stevenson, Miguel Vazquez, Simpiwe Vetyeka, Brian Viloria, Nicholas Walters