Richard ‘The Boxing Prophet’ Solomon’s (August 2015 Pound For Pound Boxing Rankings)
By Richard Solomon, RCM Boxing Radio Panel-Host
Here it is fight fans, the moment you have all been waiting for: My Pound-For-Pound Top 12 Boxers List. Keep in mind, this is my first update of 2015 and as such there are some major changes. It made perfect sense to wait this long. Nothing really took place at the beginning of the year. We all wanted to wait until Mayweather vs. Pacquiao, which would determine the p4p crown. As always, the standard is Results, Performance and Resume. Ready or not, here it goes!!!!
1. Floyd Mayweather Jr. (48-0, 26KOs)
Mayweather has been at the top of the sport for a long time. His excellent defense, educated footwork, tireless work ethic and precision punching have helped make him one of the best fighters the world has ever seen. His decisive win over Pacquiao put a stamp on their seven-year rivalry and clearly solidifies his position as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the sport.
2. Gennady Golovkin (33-0, 30KOs)
WBA middleweight champion Golovkin is the most balanced and perhaps the most feared fighter in the sport. His punches are short, fast and powerful. His footwork is phenomenal and he wears a smile on his face as he bludgeons his opponent down to the canvas.
3. Wladimir Klitschko (64-3, 53KOs)
Klitschko is one of the most accomplished heavyweight champions ever. His jab-cross is simple but effective and he has the power to hurt and knock out opponents with every punch he lands. Klitschko has just about cleaned out the heavyweight division.
4. Roman Gonzalez (43-0, 37KOs)
Gonzalez has built up quite the undefeated stretch so far in his career. He’s a former champ at both strawweight, junior flyweight and now has a belt in the flyweight division for good measure. Gonzalez might be the best pressure fighter in the sport. I admire how he attacks and pummels his opponents with the demeanor of a predator.
5. Manny Pacquiao (57-6-2, 38KOs)
Pacquiao’s elite offense is fast, powerful and hard to defend against. He flies to his opponents from distances at angles typically not seen and punches with tremendous force. Pacquiao’s defense, footwork and ring intelligence are underrated aspects of his long success in Boxing. Manny just wasn’t active or aggressive enough and found himself on the wrong side of a historic decision against Mayweather.
6. Sergey Kovalev (28-0-1, 25KOs)
Kovalev is one of the top offensive forces in Boxing. He has good footwork, knows how and when to punch and has knockout power in both fists. Kovalev is a unified champion at 175 pounds. He dominated future first ballot Hall Of Famer Bernard Hopkins over 12 rounds last year in his best win to date.
7. Guillermo Rigondeaux (15-0, 10KOs)
There might not be a better fighter in the sport right this second than lineal junior featherweight champion Rigondeaux. The southpaw is an excellent boxer and the walking epitome of the Cuban style of Boxing. But Rigo has trouble getting the fights he needs to prove it, so he languishes in a bit of obscurity. The same thing keeps him from ascending toward the top spot in my Pound-For-Pound rankings.
8. Andre Ward (28-0, 15KOs)
Mikkel Kessler, Arthur Abraham, Carl Froch. Then came the complete domination of Chad Dawson. And Ward, wasn’t even particularly tested or bothered against any of those guys. The injuries and promotional issues have both been unfortunate momentum breakers. The lack of activity over the past few years has to hurt his Pound-For-Pound standing a bit. Great to see him back in the ring this past June with an easy win over Paul Smith.
9. Timothy Bradley Jr. (32-1-1, 12KOs)
Bradley isn’t great at any one thing, but he’s good at all of them. He can be a brawler when he needs to be, a boxer when that’s better or something in between. Has not done much since his 2013 Fighter Of The Year campaign and I have a gut feeling his best days are far behind him.
10. Miguel Cotto (40-4, 33KOs)
Fans of the aging Cotto seem to forget all the tough fights the former junior welterweight, welterweight and junior middleweight titlist has had. His one-sided destruction of Sergio Martinez last year was very impressive. Seems to be headed towards a finally agreed upon fight with Canelo Alvarez.
11. Canelo Alvarez (45-1-1, 32KOs)
Alvarez is one of Boxing’s most popular fighters and for good reason. At age 25, he is already fighting at an exceptionally high level and his skill set has room to grow. Alvarez is a solid boxer with good power. He throws in combinations when he has his feet set and should continue to develop as a top-flight star. His thrashing of James Kirkland back on May 9th has me all pumped up to see him fight Miguel Cotto next. This fight has to take place.
12. Terence Crawford (26-0, 18KOs)
The former lineal lightweight champion is now WBO champion at 140 pounds. More importantly, Crawford appears to have all the goods required to be a future boxing superstar. He’s strong, fast and superbly skilled. Also, he thinks as fast as he punches, a trait almost all great fighters share.
Honorable Mention include the following fighters;
Erislandy Lara (21-2-2, 12KOs)
The slick southpaw is a master boxer. He uses movement, a sharp jab and constant counterpunches to keep his opponents guessing and he is one of the more underrated fighters in the sport today. Lara will need to get better opposition into the ring if he hopes to move up on this list.
Nicholas Walters (26-0, 21KOs)
There’s a shark roaming the featherweight waters and his name is Nicholas Walters. Walters is an exceptional puncher with wins over Nonito Donaire and Vic Darchinyan. Walters is a legitimate force with worlds of elite star potential.
Vasyl Lomachenko (4-1, 2KOs)
I don’t care what his record says. Lomachenko is one of the 20 best fighters on the planet. If Orlando Salido was forced to actually make weight, then Lomachenko would be 5-0 with a win over him and Gary Russell in his first five pro outings. Remember, he had an amateur record of 396-1. Enough said.
Kell Brook (35-0, 24KOs)
Brook has a terrific record and is a world champion in the sports most stacked division. However, despite several impressive performances, I would like to see him defend his title more against some worthy opponents. An Amir Khan fight would be huge in England.
Naoya Inoue (8-0, 7KOs)
If only all young fighters were like Inoue. The 22-year-old Japanese junior bantamweight is a fast and monster puncher with solid skills. He won a junior flyweight alphabet title in just his sixth professional fight, then jumped up two divisions to do the same two fights later.
Juan Francisco Estrada (32-2, 23KOs)
Estrada is the WBA and WBO flyweight champion. He’s a durable, tough and skilled boxer with superb talent. Estrada could rise in the rankings by tackling other top-flight competition in and around flyweight. There’s plenty of it.
Here are some fighters who no longer qualify to make the current Pound For Pound List;
Carl Froch (33-2, 24KOs)
Froch has an awkward style, but he uses it to deliver power shots and has an excellent grasp of distance and timing. He’s one of the better super middleweights in boxing history with an outstanding resume. However, on July 14th, 2015 Froch announced his retirement from the sport of Boxing. His legacy is secure. Next stop: Hall Of Fame.
Juan Manuel Marquez (56-7-1, 40KOs)
Marquez is one of the best fighters of his generation. Even at age 41, the excellent counterpuncher is trouble for any welterweight in the world. Marquez is a terrific combination puncher and has the kind of footwork and balance other fighters only dream about. Problem is, Marquez last fought over a year ago when he defeated Mike Alvarado. Inactivity hurts his status on this list. In a perfect world, he would retire.
Mikey Garcia (34-0, 28KOs)
I’m a big fan of Mikey Garcia. But, you can’t maintain a spot on any Pound-For-Pound List without fighting. As a fan, I only hope Garcia can squash his problems outside the ring and get back in it before too much of his prime passes. Let the record show that Garcia last fought on January 25th, 2014. He beat Juan Carlos Burgos by Unanimous Decision. Case closed.
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