Defending the junior welterweight division as the best in boxing today:
The 140 lbs scene has been one of the busiest and most dynamic across the sport for the past few years. Loaded with talent, and with the top fighters routinely taking one another on and appearing in some of the sport’s biggest and most-anticipated fights, it’s certainly one of the better divisions in boxing.
But is it the very best? Check out our analysis of the division below.
See the full series – Which weight division is the best in boxing today?
The junior welterweight division is the most exciting in the sport. Think about the Fight of the Year caliber contests which have taken place recently — Brandon Rios vs. Mike Alvarado I & II, Alvarado vs. Ruslan Provodnikov — as well as the vicious knockouts which guys like Lucas Matthysse produce on a regular basis.
Not to mention that Danny Garcia vs. Lucas Matthysse was one of the most anticipated fights of the year. The division has warriors, KO artists, a hard-earned and legitimate top dog, and competitive match-ups, all of the traits which make the sport of boxing something we all love.
Danny Garcia is the number 1 ranked fighter in the division, but he’s far from an established star. Matthysse, Provodnikov, Rios and Alvarado all have recognition within the sport, but none are mainstream stars. Zab Judah is a big name but far past his best, Lamont Peterson may have been on the verge but has fallen off, and beyond that, the division is currently devoid of big names.
Just a few years ago, this division was inarguably the deepest in the entire sport. However, the defections up to Welterweight have been staggering, as have the cast of guys who bypassed the division entirely. Even looking past Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao who have long been beyond 140 lbs, consider this group of guys:
Amir Khan, Devon Alexander, Timothy Bradley all moved up to 147; Adrien Broner and Robert Guerrero jumped straight over junior welterweight, and for all intents and purposes, so did Juan Manuel Marquez. That left a talent void, with only the likes of Khabib Allakhverdiev, Karim Mayfield, Dierry Jean and Ajose Olusegun filling in the gaps.
Potential & Influence:
Exciting action fights and one-punch kayo specialists can carry the sport. With the trio of Alvarado, Rios -whom I still very much consider a junior welter, despite his upcoming fight against Pacquiao – and Provodnikov still very much in the midst of a round robin, Matthysse, and Garcia at the pinnacle, there’s great potential for exciting and high profile matches, as well as Fight- and Fighter- of the Year award winners, and influential mega-fights.
Pound for Pound:
Currently, the only fighter in our top 20 pound for pound from 140 lbs is Garcia, ranked at number 7. Fighters on the cusp include recent nemesis Matthysse, and the many fighters who bypassed the division for Welterweight, and either currently are, or have a chance to be, P4P rated — Marquez #3, Broner #13, Bradley #17, Alexander, Guerrero, Maidana, Khan — not that they help the ranking here, however.
The junior welterweight division scores highly, but is hurt by the defections of talent which limit its depth and star power, as well as its pound for pound rating. Still ultra-exciting with many of the sport’s best action fighters, and with a lineup of guys all seemingly willing to scrap toe-to-toe with one another, the junior welterweight division is one of the best, but isn’t at the level it could have been.