Pound for Pound rankings are arguably the most subjective topic in boxing. It often causes hot debate between fans on social networking and message boards. Today, BoxNation pundit Steve Lillis names his top ten now that Floyd Mayweather has departed and we witnessed impressive performances on the Channel of Champions last weekend from Roman Gonzalez and Gennady Golovkin.
10.MIGUEL COTTO (Puerto Rico)
WBC Middleweight champion
40 (33 KOs) - 4(2 KOs)
Some may have him a little lower in rankings, but I’ll always cut slack for my favourite boxer of recent years. He has bounced back brilliantly from losses to men like Mayweather, Pacquiao and the ‘Glove Gate’ setback against Antonio Margarito which he avenged. Last year he ended middleweight superstar Sergio Martinez’s career in ten rounds and hammered Daniel Geale in his only outing this year. He is up against it when he risks all against Alvarez on November 21. Defeat could end a magnificent career.
9. TERENCE CRAWFORD (USA)
WBO Super-Lightweight champion
26 (18 KOs) - 0
The two-weight world champion is improving all the time and richly deserved his award as 2014 Boxer of the Year, primarily for his win against Yuriorkis Gamboa when WBO lightweight champion. He is back on BoxNation this weekend when he makes his first title defence against Dierry Jean. It has been a quiet year, but overcome Jean and A-list fights will land in 2016
8. TIMOTHY BRADLEY (USA)
WBO Welterweight champion
32 (12 KOs) - 1 - 1
‘Desert Storm’ is still a top level operator, but had some close calls. There was controversy yet again in June taking Jessie Vargas’ unbeaten record with a points win, but Tim appeared to be saved by the final bell after dominating.
He faces Brandon Rios live on BoxNation next month and it will interesting to see how he copes with Teddy Atlas in his corner after surprisingly splitting with long-time trainer Joel Diaz.
7. SAUL ALVAREZ (Mexico)
45 (32 KOs) - 1
It says a lot for his status that many tipped him to beat Mayweather, back in September 2013 when he was thrashed on points. The flame-haired Mexican idol has bounced back well from that loss beating Alfredo Angulo, Erislandy Lara and James Kirkland.
The winner of his BoxNation televised blockbuster against Cotto next month has 15 days to declare his intention of whether to face interim champion, Golovkin.
6. SERGEY KOVALEV (Russia)
IBF, WBA, WBO Light-Heavyweight champion
28 (25 KOs) - 0 - 1
Just like Golovkin in the 160lb division, Kovalev is wrecking all-comers at 175lb. The Russian has one serious threat in the shape of WBC champion Adonis Stevenson. It is one of the most exciting fights out there and hopefully it can happen in 2016.
5. ANDRE WARD (USA)
Super WBA Super-Middleweight champion.
28 (15 KOs) - 0
Three years of injury and promotional disputes left Ward’s career on the brink. He returned in June after 19 months out and comfortably dealt with Paul Smith. The 2004 Olympic gold medalist is supremely gifted and if he remains active can stake a claim to be the world’s pound-for-pound king. He is only 31-years-old, so has time.
4. MANNY PACQUIAO (Philippines)
57 (38 KOs) - 6 (3 KOs)
His non-performance against Mayweather earlier this year disappointed many fans when he blamed a shoulder injury. He will return in 2016, but until he does many will be wondering if the Mayweather loss is the beginning of the end. Despite that display, he is still one of the world’s best and biggest names in boxing. Whether the Filipino legend will still be one of the pound-for-pound best this time next year remains to be seen.
3. WLADIMIR KLITSCHKO (Ukraine)
IBF, WBA Super and WBO Heavyweight champion
64 (53 KOs) - 3
He hasn’t won everyone over, but has been the most dominant heavyweight of the last decade, and is still looking down on everyone in the division. His current reign has lasted since April 2006 and at 39 he looks as comfortable as ever. Can Tyson Fury upset the man who still looks levels above the rest of the division?
2. GENNADY GOLOVKIN (Kazakhstan)
IBF, WBA Super, Interim WBC Middleweight Champion
34 (31 KOs) - 0
With GGG and Gonzalez at the top, boxing is in good hands following Mayweather’s retirement. He is menacing, but Golovkin isn’t just power with his footwork and jab improving all the time. Golovkin was expected to have it tough against David Lemieux last weekend, but it was another comfortable day. He’s so good.
1. ROMAN GONZALEZ (Nicaragua)
WBC Flyweight Champion
44 (38 KOs) - 0
When we dished out our last top ten, almost 12 months ago the Nicaraguan was 10th, but now deserves his place at the very top. The three-weight world champion has the lot - can whack and looks brilliant working inside. He has wowed BoxNation viewers twice this year hammering Edgar Sosa and last weekend was masterful in defeating Brian Viloria. Gonzalez is making the tiny men of the ring trendy.
NOTE: Guillermo Rigondeaux is not included because of 2015 inactivity