Hey y'all. Just thought I'd post my top ten pound for pound fighters, right now. I'll try to update whenever I feel there should be a notable change. I'll try to briefly describe why they are where they are and who I think they should fight next (realistically). In the comments, please share your top ten P4P list, and who you think they should fight next!!! :D
1. Floyd Mayweather Jr. (45-0-0, 26 KO's)
Mayweather is still, at age 37, the best fighter in the world. With fast hands and devastating defense, only a few fighters have ever given him trouble, and in my opinion only one has ever beaten him (Castillo in their first fight). Floyd Mayweather will face Marcos Maidana on May 3rd. I don't believe Chino will give him any sort of trouble, as he'll be thoroughly outboxed for twelve rounds. In his scheduled bout for September, of course, I'd like to see him face the great Manny Pacquiao, but that's unrealistic. Realistically, there are many options for who he should fight next, in my opinion. Erislandy Lara (if he beats Canelo Alvarez) or the winner of Khan-Collazo (on his undercard) seem like the two most viable options.
2. Manny Pacquiao (56-5-2, 38 KO's)
Following a very solid win over Timothy Bradley, I think we all agree that Manny Pacquiao has once again proven to be amongst boxing's elite. He thoroughly beat a prime, hungry and tough fighter in Timothy Bradley, who most had in their Top 3 P4P before the fight. As a Manny Pacquiao fan, it was great to see him look like he did. For his next fight in the fall, I would like to see him face Juan Manuel Marquez for one last time, to close out what has been an all time great rivalry. As we've discussed on this forum, the options are slim for Manny Pacquiao. I think the Juan Manuel Marquez fight is the only viable option, so let's hope Juan Manuel Marquez beats Mike Alvarado on May 17th.
3. Andre Ward (27-0-0, 14 KO's)
Before taking heat ... yes, I did strongly consider him for the second spot, but I did not give it to him due to inactivity. The two guys above him have both come off of very strong victories, and I thought I should give credit where credit is due. I'm sure his placing will be a hot topic in the comments. Andre Ward is on this list, obviously, because he has wiped out his division in the Super 6 tournament. He is not expected to be back in the ring for a while (again, the reason he is not #2), but I'd like to see him go up to 175 pounds. He has already wiped out 168, so there is no point in staying, in my opinion. A match up with either Adonis Stevenson or Sergey Kovalev at LHW are the two best options, in my opinion, but I'm just hoping we'll see him in the ring in 2014.
4. Wladimir Klitschko (61-3, 51 KO's)
He has been a victim of a poor Heavyweight era, but Wlad, believe it or not, has been just as dominant as previous Heavyweight champions. You might not love watching his clinching, but his greatness is definitely not in question. He is scheduled to fight Alex Leapai, where he figures to easily walkthrough his overmatched opponent. Following that fight, I'd like to see him face off with the loud-mouth, obnoxious British Heavyweight, Tyson Fury in the fall.
5. Timothy Bradley (31-1-0, 12 KO's)
There is no shame in losing to Manny Pacquiao. It was a competitive bout, but he was overmatched. He still deserves to be on this list for his 2013 wins over the relentless brawler Ruslan Provodnikov and Mexican legend Juan Manuel Marquez. Timothy Bradley is still a pound for pounder, even with a clear loss to Manny Pacquiao. He has a few options for his next fight. He could take a relatively easier fight against Brandon Rios. He could also face the loser of Juan Manuel Marquez and Mike Alvarado. A second fight with Ruslan Provodnikov is also something I would like to see. Whatever fight he takes next, his goal is probably to get another shot at the Pac-Man in 2015.
6. Sergio Martinez (51-2-2, 28 KO"s)
The great Sergio Martinez has been a dominating Middleweight for years now. He has not lost since 2009 to Paul Williams (which was a very close and exciting fight). He looked vulnerable against Martin Murray and has been inactive lately. But, he has rested up following a series of injuries and a healthy Martinez is still amongst boxing's elite. Martinez will square off against Miguel Cotto in June at Madison's Square Garden in a mega-fight. If he gets by Cotto, which I believe he will, I believe he should face either Canelo Alvarez (assuming Alvarez gets by Lara) or Gennady Golovkin (assuming he gets by Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.).
7. Juan Manuel Marquez (55-7-1, 40 KO's)
Juan Manuel Marquez is one of the best fighters of this generation and is one of the only two (him and Morales) to ever beat (truly) Manny Pacquiao since 2005. This is an older version of Marquez and he is definitely not as good at Welterweight than he was at lower weight divisions. Regardless, even though he has not won since 2012 against Pacquiao and he has been inactive, he still deserves to be in the top 10 due to sheer greatness. He is scheduled to fight Mike Alvarado on May 17th. If he gets by Alvarado, which I think he probably will, the only logical opponent is Manny Pacquiao for a fifth time. It gets him a chance at a fifth belt and there is really no other fight for him that makes sense. I'd like to see him retire after a last Manny Pacquiao fight in the fall, win or lose.
8. Guillermo Rigondeaux (13-0-0, 8 KO's)
Well, you might not like watching him fight, but the fact of the matter is he is simply a phenomenal fighter. I think he is a guy that has potential to climb this list this year. He has already beaten Nonito Donaire, who is a phenomenal fighter. The only issue is the lack of opportunities available for him. I'd like to see him leave Top Rank as soon as possible and sign with Golden Boy. Hoping that does happen, I'd love to see him square off against the likable, punching machine, Leo Santa Cruz. Before that happens, though, his options are incredibly slim. The best option for 2014 is probably a match up with fellow Top Rank 122 pounder, Vic Darchinyan.
9. Mikey Garcia (34-0-0, 28 KO's)
Unfortunately, it looks like Mikey Garcia will be sidelined for most or all of 2014, due to issues with his promoter, Top Rank. Anyways, I still have to put him in here because he is a phenomenal boxer. He possesses good hand speed, great counterpunching ability and solid punching power. As I said, he probably will not fight in 2014, so this will probably be his first and only time on this list in 2014.
10. Saul "Canelo" Alvarez (43-1-1, 31 KO's)
I know it might be an unpopular decision to put him in my Top 10, but I was very impressed with his win over Alfredo Angulo, consider I picked Alfredo Angulo to win the fight. Canelo has good hand speed and good power. Not only that, I'm an older boxing fan and I appreciate how the word duck is not in his dictionary. Trout-Mayweather-Angulo-Lara in a row and this kid is just 23 years of age. I'm also sold on his talent and I believe this placing is not just hype. I never really believed in his hype, but his victory over Angulo has me sold. He is scheduled to fight Lara in July. Whether or not he wins or Cotto wins, I'd like to see a Canelo-Cotto fight in the fall, which is a fight that almost happened in 2012.
Next in line:
Everyone knows I'm a big fan of Danny Garcia (28-0-0, 16 KO's) but he looked vulnerable against Herrera, where I scored the fight a draw. Gennady Golovkin (29-0-0, 26 KO's) is a very likable boxer and strong puncher. However, he has not faced big enough names, in my opinion, to warrant a place in my top ten. If he beats Chavez Jr. in July, he'll be on the list. I've also been a big fan of Erislandy Lara (19-1-2, 12 KO's) who in my opinion has never lost. He could move into the rankings with a win over Canelo Alvarez.
I hope you guys enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it. Please comment about what you agree and disagree with (I think I already know what debates are going to happen ....) and also your top 10 pound for pound. Which fighters are destined to move up on the rankings, and which ones are on the bubble? Please comment! :D
Written by The Art of Boxing / Eddie S.
Thanks for reading!