Top 5 Current Pound For Pound Boxers
The much anticipated bout between Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin, ended as a draw in what was one of boxing's biggest fights in years. The middleweight clash will pit two of the sports genuine stars against one another for WBA, WBC and IBF titles currently held by Golovkin. The meeting between the two got us thinking about who else would make our Top Five Pound-for-Pound fighters in the business today.
5. Anthony Joshua
A familiar name to start with but Anthony Joshua has really come of age in 2017. Sure he's been considered as British boxing's most exciting prospect ever since winning Olympic gold at London 2012 and had a meteoric rise in his professional career but there was always a question mark surrounding the wins on his resume. He won the IBF heavyweight title in 2016 and retained it twice but each victory came against lesser heralded opponents from across the pond. His toughest fight had come against Dillian Whyte and with all due respect to Whyte, it's hardly the toughest of assignments for a man touted as the saviour of the heavyweight division.
However any lingering doubts over his superstar credentials were quashed this year when he came up against Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley. Everything was set for a stunning night at the English national football stadium in front of a record 90,000 spectators as the young pretender took on the old master with the WBA (Super) IBF and IBO Heavyweight titles on the line. The bout did not fail to live up to hype and ebbed and flowed both ways. Joshua knocked Klitschko down in the fifth round though the Ukrainian came back in spectacular fashion, recovering to dominate the remainder of the round before scoring a knockdown of his own in the sixth. AJ looked to be in real trouble as Klitschko began to dominate. That was until the 11th round when a reinvigorated Joshua found a second wind and knocked Klitschko down for a second time. Once again he got back up but when the Englishman unleashed another barrage and the referee ultimately had to step in and stop the fight.
That victory was a momentous moment in Joshua's still fledgling career to-date and almost on that conquest alone is worthy of a place on this list. Next up is Kubrat Pulev, the mandatory challenger for his IBF title with the two set to meet at Cardiff's Principality Stadium on the 28th October.
4. Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez
He may not look like your typical Mexican boxer with his distinctive ginger hair but Saul Alvarez is every inch one of his country's all time greats. Despite being just 27 years old, he already has 51 fights under his belt having turned professional at the tender age of just 15. In that time frame he has become a three-time World champion in two weight classes and the only blemish on his record is a defeat to Floyd Mayweather back in 2013. There's no shame in that given Money's status as one the greatest Pound-for-Pound fighters of all time and Canelo bounced back by winning seven fights in a row.
Victories in that sequence have come against the likes of Miguel Cotto, Amir Khan and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. so he has big wins in the previous two years. He has shown to have everything in his repertoire, from overpowering Khan with a brutal sixth round knockout to the stellar job he did on Chavez Jr, though against Golovkin he was somewhat fortunate to escape with a draw. He'll have a chance to put things right in any potential rematch but he's going to have to improve.
3. Terence Crawford
After a three round blitz of Julius Indongo in August, Crawford became the only boxer in the World today who is an undisputed champion. He holds all four belts in the light welterweight division so there can be few arguments whatsoever against his inclusion as one of the best around today. Not since Bernard Hopkins in 2004 can one man boast of dominance of a weight class in the way Crawford has and it now looks as though he's going to make the move up.
The 29-year-old is undefeated in his 32 fights so far and has won 23 of them via knockout but the move up will perhaps be a greater indication of his true ability. At 147lbs the plan is for the Omaha native is to take on the winner of the Jeff Horn - Manny Pacquiao rematch. With no disrespect intended to Horn, Pacquiao would offer the household name that Crawford truly deserves in order to propel his standings in the sport to the next level. With Keith Thurman and Errol Spence Jr. also in the division, there are plenty of big names that he could pursue and he certainly has the credentials to trouble any of the aforementioned men.
Crawford has virtually everything in his locker, possessing power in both hands as well as the tendency to switch up his stance. It looks to be an intriguing future for the man nicknamed 'Bud'.
2. Gennady Golovkin
GGG can count himself the unhappier of the two men with the draw in his recent mega-fight with Canelo Alvarez. Many observers felt he had the better of the fight at the T-Mobile Arena byt the decision will nonetheless bring about a rematch which we can all get behind. Prior to the meeting with Alvarez, the Kazakh-born fighter has a quite frightening record as a professional - 37 fights, 37 wins with 33 of those coming via knockout. He is regarded as perhaps the most devastating puncher in the World today, simply blowing his opponents away. On the rare occasions in which his foes are able to find their way through his flurry of punches, he can boast a chin as strong as any having never been knocked down either as an amateur or professional.
There had however been question marks over the 35-year-old after his bout with Daniel Jacobs. After years of emphatic wins in which he has destroyed his foes, Golovkin's performance against the American was markedly different. He was taken the distance for the first time since 2008 and to twelve rounds for the first time since turning professional. It was one of the most testing fights of his career to date and left many wondering that at 35, is Triple G beginning to slow down?
However the performance in Las Vegas dispelled those fears and if he performs anything like that in the potential rematch and wins, he will be a serious contender for the number one spot on this list.
1. Andre Ward
Looking at his achievements in the ring, Ward has to be our pick as the man at the top of game in the World today. A two-weight World champion at both super-middleweight and light-heavyweight as well as winning Olympic gold, the 33-year-old has an imperious record at cemented his place at the top of the rankings following his recent double header with Sergey Kovalev. In taking on the Russian, Ward was involved in his very own equivalent of the Alvarez-Golovkin bout - Two fighters at the peak of their powers with near faultless records. Though victory in the first via decision was deemed controversial by some, when the pair went at it again June 2017, Ward confirmed what many already belived - That he's the best pound for pound boxer in the World today.
A huge right hand from the American in the eighth had Kovalev struggling. Whilst some felt he then went in with a few low blows, the referee deemed the legal and with Kovalev struggling against the ropes the fight was stopped and Ward had won again. After so long at the top of the game, those two victories were the crowning glory for the man known as the "Son of God" and quite simply any other pretenders to the Pound-for-Pound crown cannot boast of wins of that calibre, alongside a record of 31-0.