Boxing pundits’ pound-for-pound rankings drastically changed after Andre Ward retired and Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez lost for a second time this month.
Here’s the Review-Journal’s updated rankings:
1. Gennady Golovkin (37-0-1, 33 KOs)
Can we stop with the “GGG hasn’t fought anyone” narrative? In his past two bouts, Golovkin has defeated Daniel Jacobs, arguably the third-best fighter in the middleweight division, and recorded a split draw against Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, a fight many believed should have gone to Golovkin. The three-belt middleweight champion has proven he’s more than just a power-puncher. Golovkin went to his jab and controlled the pace against Jacobs and Alvarez. Not many fighters cut the ring better than the boxer from Kazakhstan.
2. Terence Crawford (32-0, 23 KOs)
Crawford might be the most talented boxer in the world, but like Golovkin, he needs to prove he can beat the best. Crawford made history recently by capturing the four major belts in the junior welterweight division. The Omaha, Nebraska, native will face tougher competition when he moves up to welterweight. Not many can match Crawford’s defensive skills, but will he have enough power to defeat 147-pound champions such as Keith Thurman and Errol Spence? Hopefully the boxing world gets to find out soon.
3. Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 KOs)
Not many dare to step into the ring with Golovkin. The Mexican superstar did and almost defeated the middleweight kingpin. Alvarez again proved he has arguably the quickest and strongest combinations in the sport. He had Golovkin moving back numerous times because of his hand speed. Alvarez will need to work on his conditioning for the second bout against Golovkin. He took too many rounds off in the first match.
4. Vasyl Lomachenko (9-1, 7 KOs)
Lomachenko has only fought 10 times, but he’s already the most entertaining boxer. The Ukrainian wizard has once-in-a-generation talent and is doing things in the ring many have never seen. But the loss to Orlando Salido still hovers around the junior lightweight champion. He might never get a chance to right that wrong. But Lomachenko can solidify himself as the top pound-for-pound boxer with a win against Cuban sensation Guillermo Rigondeaux in December.
5. Mikey Garcia (37-0, 30 KOs)
Garcia hasn’t missed a beat since returning to the ring last year after a lengthy layoff. He is overpowering lightweights and outboxing junior welterweights. He recently dominated Adrien Broner for 12 rounds in a 140-pound fight. Garcia might go back down to 135 to defend his WBC title against Jorge Linares, who could give Garcia a difficult challenge.
6. Errol Spence (22-0, 19 KOs)
Spence is the most complete welterweight with his speed, power and patience. He won his first title by attacking Kell Brook’s body in the early rounds and eventually stopping him in the 11th. It was the perfect game plan for a tough road bout in Brook’s hometown of Sheffield, England.
7. Keith Thurman (28-0, 22 KOs)
The unified welterweight titlist picked up another signature victory when he defeated Danny Garcia in March. Thurman probably won’t fight again this year after having elbow surgery. He’ll have plenty of options when he returns with everyone gunning for his titles.
8. Guillermo Rigondeaux (17-0, 11 KOs)
Rigondeaux finally got his marquee matchup. The Cuban boxer was serious when he said he would move up in weight to fight anyone who could give him a challenge. Rigondeaux will move up two weight divisions to face Lomachenko in the first-ever bout featuring two two-time Olympic gold medalists.
9. Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (44-4-1, 40 KOs)
It’s time to respect Sor Rungvisai and see him as one of the top boxers. He proved that beating Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez the first time was no fluke. The fighter from Thailand crushed Gonzalez this month in the rematch and probably ended the career of the former pound-for-pound king.
10. Anthony Joshua (19-0, 19 KOs)
Joshua took over the heavyweight throne when he knocked out Wladimir Klitschko in April in the possible fight of the year. The unified champion hit the canvas, but got back up to show he’s more than just hype.
Contact Gilbert Manzano at email@example.com. Follow @GManzano24 on Twitter.
Oct. 19: Gabriel Rosado vs. Glen Tapia, 5:30 p.m., ESPN2/ESPN Deportes, Park Theater at Monte Carlo