Pound for Pound Rankings November 2016
By: Jerome Souza (@Jerome510)
My pound-for-pound rankings are based on record, level of current competition, activity, and skills. In other words, boxers who are fighting top level competition frequently and exhibiting world class skills to make someone believe that they’re among the best fighters in the world. The top boxers I believe fit this category are as follows.
- Carl Frampton – Featherweight (23-0, 14 KO)
Last Two Opponents: Leo Santa Cruz & Scott Quigg
Next Opponent: Leo Santa Cruz (32-1-1, 18 KO) – January 28th, 2017
Carl Frampton is slated for three quality championship fights in under 12 months. Frampton handed Santa Cruz his first professional loss back in July and didn’t hesitate to take the rematch for his fight in January. At 29 years old, Frampton is in his prime. If successful against Santa Cruz, we can look forward to fights down the road against Featherweight young guns Oscar Valdez and Joseph Diaz Jr.
- Vasyl Lomachenko – Super Featherweight (6-1, 4 KO)
Last Two Opponents: Roman “Rocky” Martinez & Romula Koasicha
Next Opponent: Nicholas Walters (26-0-1, 21 KO) – November 26, 2017
Urkraine’s Vasyl Lomachenko is one of the greatest amatuer boxers of all time. The Olympic Gold Medalist was immediately thrown into the fire and has fought good competition leading up to his current title fight with fellow undefeated Nicholas Walters. Credited with having the best footwork in the sport, Lomachenko is still getting better and has proven so with his power against the tough Roman “Rocky” Martinez. He’s number 9 right now but I would expect Lomachenko to move up by this time again next year.
- Gennady Golovkin – Middleweight (36-0, 33 KO)
Last Two Opponents: Kell Brook & Dominic Wade
Next Opponent: TBA 2017
Gennady Golovkin is one of the most if not the most exciting fighter today. 23 Knockouts in a row is a very impressive feat. No one in the middleweight division has shown GGG any sort of trouble. GGG is not higher on this list because of his last two opponents. Though both undefeated going into their matches, Dominic Wade was too overmatched and Kell Brook was a welterweight. A fight with Danny Jacobs, Billy Joe Saunders and possibly Canelo Alvarez would definitely give Golovkin a well deserved bump.
- Keith Thurman – Welterweight (27-0, 22 KO)
Last Two Opponents: Shawn Porter & Luis Collazo 36-6
Next Opponent: Danny Garcia (32-0, 18 KO) – March 4, 2017
Keith “One Time” Thurman has kept undefeated by collecting wins against very good competition in Porter, Collazo, Guerrero, Bundu, and Soto Karass. The Porter fight was very entertaining and thanks to PBC was viewed by many. The matchup with Danny Garcia will also be the sixth time Thurman takes on an undefeated opponent. If Thurman wins in March, I would expect him to jump into the top five.
- Manny Pacquiao – Welterweight (58-6-2, 38 KO)
Last Two Opponents: Timothy Bradley & Floyd Mayweather Jr
Next Opponent: Jessie Vargas (27-1, 10 KO) – November 5, 2016
Pacquiao had a combined seven fights with Timothy Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez in which on paper Pacman won five but in reality it was six. Pacquiao was part of the most financially successful fight of all time. After a major shoulder surgery and a legitimate run at politics, Pacquiao showed he could still bang against Timothy Bradley last April. A win over Vargas shouldn’t make much of an impact in his ranking but a match against Crawford or rematch with Mayweather definitely would.
- Canelo Alvarez – Junior Middleweight (48-1-1, 34 KO)
Last Two Opponents: Liam Smith & Amir Khan
Next Opponent: TBA 2017
Personally I don’t think Canelo ducks or runs from anyone. I believe he puts his career in the hands of his management to make decisions. In doing so he’s become the face of Mexican boxing which was previously held by his promoter Oscar De La Hoya. Canelo has wins over Amir Khan, Erislandy Lara, Austin Trout, Miguel Cotto, and Shane Mosley. Not a bad resume. However, fighting Liam Smith over Golovkin didn’t do him any favors, but stopping him did. Canelo was expected to fight December 10 but an injury kept him sidelined until next year. If asked when Canelo is so far ahead of GGG, just look at the list of opponents.
- Andre Ward – Light Heavyweight (30-0, 15 KO)
Last Two Opponents: Alexander Brand & Sullivan Barrera
Next Opponent: Sergey Kovalev (30-0-1, 26 KO) – November 19, 2016
A few years ago Ward and Floyd were cemented as the top two pound for pound. But after long layoffs due to promotional issues, injuries and wins over Smith, Barrera and Brand, Ward will have to fight his way back to the very top. However, Ward is still one of the best boxers alive and an incredible athlete for a fighter his size. A clear victory for the former Super Six winner over Kovalev puts him at number one.
- Roman Gonzalez – Super Flyweight (46-0, 38 KO)
Last Two Opponents: Carlos Cuadras & McWilliams Arroyo
Next Opponent: TBA 2017
It was difficult not putting Gonzalez at number 1 or 2. However, I considered his last opponents before Carlos Cuadras: Arroyo – 2 losses, Viloria – 4 losses, Sosa – 8 losses, and Leon 29 losses. It’s not Gonzalez’s fault, but at 40+ fights and undefeated, pound-for-pound boxers shouldn’t be giving any opponents their 30th loss. Rematches with Estrada and Cuadras are due, along with a showdown with Inoue. Gonzalez is pleasing to the viewer and hopefully fight fans will get treated to him being on HBO for years to come.
- Sergey Kovalev – Light Heavyweight (30-0-1, 26 KO)
Last Two Opponents: Isaac Chilemba & Jean Pascal
Next Opponent: Andre Ward (30-0, 15 KO) – November 19, 2016
The same rule applies with Kovalev, a clear victory over Ward and Sergey moves to the number one spot. Kovalev has a similar record as Ward except Kovalev punishes foes with power as opposed to outclassing them with boxing skills. Kovalev is ahead of Ward because Chilemba and Pascal are much tougher opponents than Brand and Barrera. Kovalev is another fighter who we really don’t know how good he is. Chilemba gave him a good scrap but on November 19th many questions will be answered.
- Terence Crawford – Junior Welterweight (29-0, 20 KO)
Last Two Opponents: Viktor Postol & Hank Lundy
Next Opponent: John Molina Jr (29-6, 23 KO) – December 10, 2016
With wins over Postol, Lundy, Dulorme, Gamboa, Burns and taking all other factors into consideration, Crawford is at the top of my list. With the exception of 2015, he averages 3+ fights a year, shows good power and overall boxing skills. He hasn’t faced any opponent with double-digit losses in over four years and he’s on his way of completely cleaning out the Junior Welterweight division. Crawford has also shown that he can be successful by both taking his time with opponents and by jumping on them early with power. A move-up in weight and fights with other Top Rank 147lb members is on the horizon with the likes of Pacquiao, Bradley, and Vargas. I expect him to have an easy time with John Molina, but I also credit him with staying active especially against someone with 23 of 29 wins coming from KO. At 29 Bud will continue to improve.
The next pound-for-pound rankings will be updated at the beginning of December.
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