clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Teddy Atlas: Golovkin is not top 10 pound-for-pound

Is Gennady Golovkin top 10 P4P? Teddy Atlas doesn’t think so, and he’s got some sound reasoning behind why.

Boxing at O2 Arena Photo by Leigh Dawney/Getty Images
Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

Pound-for-pound lists are either the most serious thing in the world or a leisurely good time, depending upon whom you ask, but most of us are just fans, maybe borderline media nerds at best, and once we have our list and argue for 20 minutes, that’s about all that comes of it.

Teddy Atlas, however, is a respected trainer and perhaps even more respected boxing analyst, someone with the boxing street cred the rest of us yokels and psychos lack. And he says that Gennady Golovkin doesn’t belong in the pound-for-pound top 10 right now:

Golovkin is as physically strong and tough as anyone on that list. But I also believe there are others with better technique. I also believe he may be slipping. I understand he might have been sick when he looked very ordinary at times against Kell Brook. But sick or not, his technical flaws were evident. Also, his level of competition has been questionable or at least very advantageous for him.

Click that link above for his full breakdown, because I think it’s a very interesting read with some nice insights and logic. But now, since I’m a blogger bloggin’, lemme blog on this.

Atlas includes Canelo Alvarez at No. 8 and Errol Spence Jr at No. 10, and says that critics may be right that Spence’s level of opposition should keep him out, if GGG is out, but that as an analyst, he feels Spence has the better skills. This is an opinion, and frankly, given Spence’s outrageously high upside, I think it’s one to respect.

As for Alvarez, he doesn’t necessarily address rightful concerns about Canelo’s recent opposition, but that’s where I might offer an argument. I’d say that Alvarez in 2016 fought Amir Khan at 155 pounds, which is no better than GGG fighting Kell Brook at 160, and while Golovkin may have looked “ordinary” at times against Brook, what does that make Canelo losing clear rounds to Khan before the inevitable chin exposure?

After that, Canelo fought Liam Smith, a solid but frankly “ordinary” 154-pound fighter. He did this to avoid a fight with Golovkin, no less. Was Smith a better challenger to Canelo (or in that case, title defender against Canelo) than Dominic Wade was to Golovkin earlier in 2016? If so, the margins aren’t much, to be honest. Mr. Atlas loves football analogies. I think, in this case, you’d be saying that an 7-9 team that missed the playoffs was significantly better than a 6-10 team that missed the playoffs. They’re both at home watching.

Now, truthfully, I have Golovkin a little lower in my own, personal, private stock pound-for-pound top ten than most might, or at least I think that I do.

Here’s Teddy’s first:

  1. Vasyl Lomachenko
  2. Terence Crawford
  3. Andre Ward
  4. Keith Thurman
  5. Sergey Kovalev
  6. Roman Gonzalez
  7. Guillermo Rigondeaux
  8. Canelo Alvarez
  9. Manny Pacquiao
  10. Errol Spence Jr

Here’s mine:

  1. Roman Gonzalez
  2. Vasyl Lomachenko
  3. Andre Ward
  4. Sergey Kovalev
  5. Guillermo RIgondeaux
  6. Terence Crawford
  7. Gennady Golovkin
  8. Manny Pacquiao
  9. Mikey Garcia
  10. Keith Thurman

My list leaves off Alvarez and Spence, the two guys Atlas feels a need to argue for, in favor of Golovkin and Garcia, two guys Atlas said he would have put on were it the top 12, and frankly Canelo is probably my No. 11, with the fast-rising Spence not so much knocking on the door, but kicking the door frame off the hinges at this point.

Anyway, this is not meant to start any giant outrage over Atlas’ list or mine or anything else, I just found his reasoning interesting and, frankly, 100% logical. I disagree with his Golovkin case — as in, I don’t personally believe that GGG is the guy to you can pick apart like that, but I think the method is sound, and it’s kind of how I think about the P4P top 10, too.

ALSO! Share your top 10s! Let’s have a whole whatchamacalit about this! A brouhaha!

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Bad Left Hook Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your global boxing news from Bad Left Hook