In the wake of Roman "Chocolatito" Gonzalez’s loss to Srisaket Sor Rungvisai on Saturday night in New York, the boxing world is in need of a new pound-for-pound No. 1, and the field is somewhat wide open.
The RING editorial board have gone with Andre Ward, the former super middleweight king who now rules at light heavyweight thanks to a narrow and controversial win over Sergey Kovalev last year. But is Ward the right choice?
Let’s look at the contending names.
The Case: Ward (31-0, 15 KO) is an obvious choice to fill the spot thanks to the win over Kovalev, but there are a lot of people who thought Kovalev deserved the victory. At 33 and with an inconsistent career for the last few years, Ward may be past his prime, but he’s yet to actually lose, and you could even make a case right now that Ward and Kovalev are 1-2 in the P4P world — which is exactly the stance that The RING has taken.
The Case: Golovkin (37-0, 33 KO) has never lost, has pretty much dominated at 160, and even his toughest test to date (Saturday’s win over Daniel Jacobs) was seen by most, it appears, as a clear if tough victory. The 34-year-old Golovkin has beaten everyone who will fight him.
The Case: After a good run at lightweight which included world title status, Crawford (30-0, 21 KO) has continued his excellence at junior welterweight, and is the clear No. 1 in that division following last year’s win over the unanimous No. 2 man, Viktor Postol. He’s shown the sort of skills that catch eyes in a discussion like this one.
The Case: Well, we know he has Roy Jones Jr’s vote. And it’s easy to write off his one pro loss now as a case of facing a tough veteran while entering a pro ring for just the second time. Lomachenko (7-1, 5 KO) is a brilliant technician, right in his prime at 29, and his last two wins especially — over Rocky Martinez and Nicholas Walters — have been stunning displays of efficiency and class.
The Case: It’s tough to make one for him, really, but Rigondeaux (17-0, 11 KO) at least deserves the respect of being mentioned. What was his toughest pro test? Ricardo Cordoba in 2010? He’s had a terrible time finding opponents ever since he schooled Nonito Donaire in 2013, and has been ducked by the best fighters at 122 pounds.
Who's got your vote?