Boxing's Pound-for-Pound Power Rankings: The Top 25
To compose this list I canvassed for top 25 pound-for-pound lists from a wide number of Bleacher Report Boxing columnists and writers. I felts that this slideshow would be more interesting if it represented an editorial consensus instead of just one writer's opinion.
To round out my editorial board with a hardcore fan's perspective, I also recruited my buddy, Adam, who grew up in Staten Island in the 1970s and has been a boxing fan for about 40 years.
While I would ideally do this experiment with a larger group of voters, five was enough to get a feel for when individual opinions are evolving into genuine trends.
Almost everyone's list had the same top six fighters.There was fairly wide agreement on the fighters who generally rank from about No. 7 to No. 12, and from about No. 13 or 14 to No. 17 or 18.
Not surprisingly, the widest amount of variety occurred from about No. 17 or 18 down through No. 25.
In cases where fighters were tied on number of points, I gave preference to the fighter who appeared on more ballots.
Fighters Also Receiving Votes
Devon Alexander appeared on three separate lists, but he was in the No. 23, No. 24 and No. 25 spots, so he did not get enough points to crack the top 25.
I believe Guillermo Rigondeaux is one or two big fights from shooting up this list. For now, he appeared at No. 23 and No. 24 on two different lists.
Alexander Povetkin, Bernard Hopkins, Marco Huck, Tomasz Adamek, Mikkel Kessler, Erislandy Lara, Ricky Burns, Antonio Demarco, Gennady Golovkin, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., Daniel Geale, Toshiyuki Igarashi and Adrien Broner all received votes.
25: Lucas Matthysse
The WBC interim 140-pound champion has a 32-2 record with 30 KOs. Both of the losses, to Zab Judah and Devon Alexander, came by way of split decision. The Alexander decision, especially, has been hotly contested.
I refuse to believe that Matthysse and his fellow Argentinian Marcos Maidana are not going to fight some day. I just don't want to write about boxing in a world where that fight never ends up happening.
Matthysse ended up with 10 points from my five ballot survey, which technically tied him with Alexander Povetkin and Bernard Hopkins. But since his points came by way of two No. 21 rankings and the others' came from a single No. 16 rating on an individual's list, Matthysse got the higher ranking.
24: Saul Alvarez
While 22-year-old Saul Alvarez is now one of the most popular fighters in North America, if my poll is any indication, he still has a little way to go to achieve widespread recognition as a pound-for-pound entrant.
But he is on the bubble. He did show up in the No. 18 spot on two separate lists. Sometime this year he should have the fight that will give him the opportunity to crack everybody's top 25.
23: Brian Viloria
Last year, the former Olympian and current IBF flyweight champion Brian Viloria dismantled and TKOd then Ring pound-for-pound Top 10-rated Giovani Segura.
He cracked the consensus top 25 here, by virtue of one No. 23 rating and two No. 19 ratings.
22: Roman Gonalez
Roman Gonzalez has looked like a mini-Tyson, terrorizing the minimum weight division en route to piling up a 32-0 record with 27 stoppages.
He is an exciting fighter, and his skill set and athleticism are starting to draw attention, despite the fact that he has only recently moved to 108 pounds.
One voter thought enough of him to rank him No. 12. A second voter placed him at No. 22, for a total of 18 points.
21: Robert Guerrero
Robert Guerrero technically tied with Roman Gonzalez in this poll with 18 points, but since the Ghost's point total was accumulated from three ballots (with rankings of No. 19, 20 and 21) he gets the higher spot on the cumulative list.
Guerrero recently entered pretty rare company when he won a version of the welterweight world title after having previously held belts as low as featherweight. He called out Floyd Mayweather right after his last fight, but I think he would settle for Devon Alexander or Andre Berto.
Don't count him out if he gets them.
20: Yoan Pablo Hernandez
The IBF cruiserweight champion Yoan Pablo Hernandez received one No. 13 ranking, a No. 22 and a No. 23.
Of course, when you vote for a cruiserweight on a pound-for-pound list, what you are really saying is that you think he could be a contender for the belt at heavyweight.
At 6'4", Hernandez would appear to have the physical tools and the skill set to make a run through the heavyweight division. I actually saw him standing next to Robert Helenius during the Hall of Fame ceremony last summer. He is definitely smaller.
But he's not so much smaller that you can't imagine him beating a guy that big.
19: Danny Garcia
Danny Garcia's place on this list is a direct result of his thrilling fourth-round TKO of Amir Khan last July. It was a fight he was losing at the time.
Even before taking out Khan, he was on everybody's radar. He'll get the chance to fight a Mexican legend in Erik Morales later this month.
The kind of fight that would really define his place on this list, however, would be against somebody like Matthysse or Timothy Bradley.
Garcia received one No. 14 rating, one No. 17 and one No. 21.
18: Toshiaki Nishioka
Later this month, hardcore boxing fans will get the kind of fight they have been waiting for. It will be a true champion-versus-champion showdown when Nonito Donaire meets Toshiaki Nishioka of Japan.
Nishioka appeared on four of the five ballots of this survey—two times at No. 17 and once each at No. 18 and No. 22.
17: Chad Dawson
Although he was beaten in a one-sided fight by Andre Ward last month, light heavyweight champion Chad Dawson continued to be held in pretty high regard by the voters.
He appeared on all five ballots—twice at No. 16, and once each at Nos. 15, 20 and 25.
16: Orlando Salido
With Yuri Gamboa probably not fighting at 126 pounds anymore and Chris John seemingly never fighting anywhere outside of Indonesia, Orlando Salido must now be regarded as the No. 1 man at 126.
I would put him on the short list of guys I'd like to see Nonito Donaire fight. I would also be happy to see him fight unbeaten Mikey Garcia instead.
Salido received rankings of No. 12, No. 15 (twice), No. 20 and No. 24.
15: Carl Froch
Carl Froch followed up a strong run the Showtime Super Six tournament by dismantling the previously undefeated IBF super middleweight champion Lucian Bute.
Not surprisingly, Froch appeared on all five ballots, earning three No. 13 ratings, a No. 14 and a No. 24.
14: Chris John
Chris John is the legendary Indonesian featherweight champion who is undefeated in nearly 50 professional fights.
He is one of the few men to have bested Juan Manuel Marquez.
It's been years since he was in what anybody in the west would consider a meaningful fight. Nevertheless, the rep persists for John. He appeared on all five ballots, with rankings of No. 9, No. 11, No. 16, No. 17 and No. 24.
John actually had the same number of points as Carl Froch. Since both fighters were mentioned on all five ballots, I used the highest single ranking as a tiebreaker.
13: Miguel Cotto
Miguel Cotto was gritty in his fight with Floyd Mayweather last May, but was easily outclassed. He'll get a chance to earn another alphabet soup belt when he meets the undefeated Austin Trout in December.
Cotto's name appeared on all five ballots, though there were a variety of opinions as to how high he deserves to be rated at this point. He had rankings of No. 9, No. 10, No. 14, No. 17 and No. 22.
12: Yuriorkis Gamboa
Yuriorkis Gamboa has not fought in over a year and still has nothing scheduled. He continues to hover outside of the top 10 based solely on his past resume.
Everybody knows Gamboa is an agile, explosive athlete, and a skilled, elusive fighter with power in both fists.
We'd just like to see him fight again some time.
In this survey, Gamboa received rankings of No. 14 (twice), No. 13, No. 12 and No. 10.
11: Anselmo Moreno
After running through the 118-pound division, Moreno will move up to 122 pounds in November and challenge undefeated WBC champion Abner Mares.
Moreno landed across the ballots consistently on the bubble of the top 10. He received No. 11 votes twice, No. 12 votes twice and No. 15 once.
10: Abner Mares
The WBC super bantamweight champion is undefeated, and unlike many undefeated fighters his age, he has stayed that way while fighting many tough opponents.
On November 1, he will welcome the super-tough Anselmo Moreno to the division as the 118-pound champ moves up a class.
Mares received rankings of No. 9, No. 10, No. 11 (twice) and No. 15.
9: Timothy Bradley
I suspect Timothy Bradley's split-decision victory over Manny Pacquiao last June did little to raise his stature for my voting panel. He squeezes into the top 10 on this list with two No. 7 ratings, a No. 8, a No. 9 and a No. 18.
I believe Bradley would probably have received similar rankings prior to his disputed win over Pacquiao. It has had no impact on my own ranking of him (No. 7).
8: Wladimir Klitschko
The younger Klitschko brother is rated above his brother by The Ring, but in my survey he is barely edged by Vitali.
Wladimir received two No. 7 ratings and one each of Nos. 8, 9 and 10.
7: Vitali Klitschko
Because they promised their mother they would never fight each other, we will never know for sure which Klitschko brother would win. Wladimir holds most of the belts and the higher Ring ranking.
However, Vitali edges out his brother with my voters, with a No. 6 rating, three No. 8 ratings and one No. 10.
6: Nonito Donaire
By almost universal consensus, Nonito Donaire is an elite talent. In my survey, he received ratings of No. 4, No. 5 (twice), No. 6 and No. 7.
Donaire will put his status on the line when he meets fellow top-25 fighter Toshiaki Nishioka later this month.
5: Juan Manuel Marquez
The great Juan Manuel Marquez will get one last crack at his long-time rival Manny Pacquiao when they meet for a fourth time in December.
His high spot on this list, and most other pound-for-pound compilations, is strongly buttressed by the widespread perception that he deserved to win in either, or possibly both, of his last two fights with Pacquiao.
In my survey, he received rankings of No. 3, No. 4 (twice) and No. 6 (twice).
4: Sergio Martinez
Although he did suffer a final-round knock down against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. last month, Sergio Martinez mostly handled the much bigger, younger challenger with ease.
Martinez is a superstar that does not always get superstar attention. However, with my voting panel he warranted a No. 4 ranking overall, receiving individual rankings of No. 2, No. 3 and No. 5 (three times).
3: Manny Pacquiao
It is more a testament to Andre Ward than it is a detraction of Manny Pacquiao that Pacman slips to No. 3 on this list. A month ago, he would most likely have been second.
Pacquiao's less than dominant performance against Timothy Bradley last June may have contributed to some of his slip, as well.
Pacquiao received ratings of No. 2, No. 3 (twice) and No. 4 (twice).
2: Andre Ward
In a sense, Andre Ward is the man who makes this list necessary. In any given month, fights occur that might influence the top of the rankings. But rarely does a fighter turn in a performance like Ward did in September.
Since beating Dawson by TKO, Ward has shot up the world rankings, and my own small survey was no exception. Ward received a No. 1 ranking on one ballot, two No. 2 rankings, one No. 3 and one No. 6.
1: Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Even in a year that he has spent largely in jail, Floyd Mayweather's past resume and most recent performance against Miguel Cotto have been enough to keep him at the top of the rankings for my own survey.
Mayweather appeared in the No. 1 spot on four of five ballots and was No. 2 on the fifth.
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