Power Ranking Boxing's Pound-for-Pound Top 25 Updated for November
In October, I debuted a consensus pound-for-pound top 25 ranking, compiled by canvassing votes from fellow boxing writers and hardcore fans. The process was to have each voter fill out a ballot ranking his personal top 25.
For each No. 1 vote a fighter received he was credited 25 points. No. 2 equaled 24 points, and so on, down to one point for a No. 25 ranking. When two fighters have ended up tied in total points, I have given the edge to the fighter who appeared on more different ballots.
So, for example, a fighter who three voters rated at No. 22 would end up ranking ahead of a fighter who a single voter rated at No. 14, even though they would both have the same point total (12). Since this is a consensus ranking, three lower rankings for one fighter must outweigh a single higher ranking for another fighter.
The major differences between this list and the October list are a result of adding two more voters. However, the shakeup has been almost entirely within the order of the ranking; 24 out of 25 names remain the same.
Japanese super bantamweight Toshiaki Nishioka, who appeared at No. 18 on last month's list, has dropped from the ranking, as a result of his Round 9 TKO loss to Nonito Donaire on October 13.
My voting panel consisted of Bleacher Report Boxing Columnists King J, Justin Tate, Zach Alapi and Michael Walters, along with boxing writer and medical student David Carlson and my personal friend Adam Levine, a Brooklyn native and passionate boxing fan with over four decades of serious watching.
25: Roman Gonzalez
Nicaraguan WBA light flyweight champion Roman Gonzalez is proof that exciting fighters come in all sizes. His 33-0 record with 28 stoppages has been compiled largely at 105 pounds, with a recent move up to 108.
He throws a right hook to the body/right uppercut combination that is reminiscent of Mike Tyson.
Gonzalez's relatively low ranking here might be viewed as a sign that even "pound-for-pound" rankings tend to discriminate against the smallest fighters. It's hard to see what more he could do to build his resume, but five of seven voters left him off their ballots, and without a glittering No. 13 ranking by a single voter, he would not have made the big list.
I ultimately left him off my own ballot, though I considered naming him as a replacement for the dropped Nishioka up until the last minute.
My own feeling is that 105 pounds is a weight class dominated by younger, inexperienced fighters. If Gonzalez can continue his dominance at 108 and carry it to 112 I will have him in my own top 20. But I want to make sure he's not the next Giovani Segura first.
24: Lucas Matthysse
Argentinian junior welterweight Lucas Matthysse sits near the bottom of this ranking right now, but I personally wouldn't be surprised to see him climb near the top 15 by the end of the year.
Matthysse has a 32-2 record, with 30 wins coming by way of stoppage. His two losses were both by split decision, to Zab Judah and Devon Alexander. The Alexander loss was considered one of the biggest robberies of 2011; you'd be hard pressed to find a single writer or knowledgeable fan interested in trying to defend it.
The loss to Judah was somewhat controversial, too. I scored the fight for Judah, but it was a big step-up fight for Matthysse, and at this point, I'd pick the 30-year-old Argentinian 10 times out of 10 in a rematch.
Either way, a lot of fans view Matthysse as undefeated. A showdown with Danny Garcia in 2013 would be one of the most anticipated fights of the year among the true boxing faithful.
23: Robert Guerrero
Robert Guerrero (30-1, 18 KOs) cracks this ranking at No. 23 on the strength of one No. 20 ranking, one No. 18 and one No. 19. As one of the three voters who picked him, I have to say I feel like the Ghost is the Rodney Dangerfield of the sport—a guy who gets no respect.
Guerrero has a stellar amateur background and is widely viewed as one of the sport's true good men. He has lost significant time in his career to supporting his wife's battle against cancer.
With his wife's illness in remission now, the 29-year-old Guerrero has shown signs that he is hungry to make up for lost time. In July the former featherweight and lightweight champion jumped all the way to 147 to battle Selcuk Aydin for the vacant WBC interim welterweight belt.
He won by an easy unanimous decision, placing him in an elite company of fighters who have won championship gold in three of the original eight weight classes.
Guerrero will meet Andre Berto this month, in the former welterweight champions first fight back since his suspension for PEDs. Guerrero is the far better technical boxer, but it will remain to be seen how he will handle the power of an elite welterweight puncher.
If Guerrero wins convincingly, expect him to jump up a few spots in the December rankings.
22: Brian Viloria
WBO flyweight champion Brian Viloria (30-3, 18 KOs) revitalized his career in 2011. In July he won the title from Julio Cesar Miranda, and in December he defended it in thrilling fashion, stopping then-top-10 pound-for-pound-rated Giovani Segura by way of a Round 9 TKO in a fight that he thoroughly dominated.
In May of this year, Viloria avenged one of his three career losses by stopping Omar Romero. On the November 17 he meets WBA world flyweight champion Hernan Marquez in a unification bout that should be viewed as a superfight, regardless of the 112 pound weight class.
Viloria is a former Olympian and a well-traveled veteran pro. He received rankings on five of seven ballots.
21: Yoan Pablo Hernandez
With back-to-back drubbings of Steve Cunningham in October of 2011 and February of 2012, Cuban Yoan Pablo Hernandez (27-1,13 KOs) has established himself as the clear No. 1-rated fighter at cruiserweight.
Unfortunately, the 200 pound division has a tendency to sink into the background of the sport in the same way the lowest weight divisions do. No matter how you dominate at cruiser, all most fans are going to want to know is: Can you carry that up to the heavyweight class?
Hernandez has potential there, too. The 6'4" southpaw has a big frame and the technically solid skill set expected from fighters of his nationality. His lack of finishing power could be a problem, though.
For this voting Hernandez received votes on four of seven ballots: two No. 22 rankings, a No. 25 and a No. 13.
20: Saul Alvarez
Saul Alvarez (41-0-1, 30 KOs) comes in at No. 20 on this ranking compilation. The voting panel seemed split on Canelo much the way the larger boxing community is. Some are already sold on him as one of the sport's next big stars, while others are reserving judgement.
He appeared on four of seven ballots, receiving rankings of No. 18 twice and No. 19 and No. 22 once each.
Alvarez understandably received very little credit for his last win, a knockout of Josesito Lopez, who came up to junior middleweight after fighting nearly his entire career at 140 pounds.
But Alvarez will remain active in 2013 and should end up in a high-profile fight against either Miguel Cotto or Floyd Mayweather at some point. He is already one of the sport's biggest ticket sellers. If he can come close to matching his soaring popularity with in-ring success, he will be an intriguing fighter to watch for the next decade.
19: Guillermo Rigondeaux
With fewer than a dozen professional fights, WBA super bantamweight champion Guillermo Rigondeaux (11-0, 8 KOs) has skyrocketed up the rankings. In some ways, his case is similar to Alvarez's in that while some writers and fans are still reserving judgement, others are ready to anoint him right now.
Nobody can deny that he has been impressive every step of the way so far. In only his ninth fight he captured a share of the world title by pulverizing then undefeated and The Ring No. 2-ranked Rico Ramos in six rounds.
For this ranking, the two-time Olympic gold medalist from Cuban appeared on four of seven ballots. He received ratings of No. 23, No. 24, No. 18 and No. 8.
Fighting at 122 puts Rigondeaux in the heart of a very loaded weight class. Internet boxing forums regularly feature fans crying out for a Rigondeaux-Nonito Donaire showdown. The winner of this month's Abner Mares-Anselmo Moreno fight would be another great opponent.
18: Chad Dawson
The universally acknowledged light heavyweight champion Chad Dawson (31-2, 17 KOs) has seen his overall pound-for-pound rankings suffer somewhat after he dropped to 168 to challenge Andre Ward in September and suffered his second career loss and first knockout.
But in general, the fallout from that fight has done more to push Ward's stock higher than it has to diminish Dawson's. For the most part, Dawson is still viewed as a top pound-for-pound talent who challenged himself against the man who is arguably the best fighter in the world today.
Look for him to re-solidify his dominance at 175 over the next couple of years. A rematch with Ward at the true light heavyweight limit should happen at some point.
Dawson received ranking on six of seven ballots, coming in at No. 15 once, No. 16 twice, No. 17 once, No. 20 once and No. 24 once.
17: Danny Garcia
Danny Garcia (25-0, 16 KOs) is one of the fighters on this list who was active in October, though his performance probably had little impact on his current rating. On October 20, the WBA, WBC and The Ring junior welterweight champion headlined the inaugural card at Brooklyn's Barclay Center, stopping future Hall of Famer Erik Morales with a highlight-reel one-punch knockout in Round 4.
It will end up on the short list for knockout of the year, but it told us little new about where to rank the promising 24-year-old.
It was a fight that made little sense on any level. Garcia had already beaten Morales by an easy unanimous decision in March, winning the WBC belt in a fight in which he pulled away and dominated down the stretch.
Garcia followed that up with a sensational Round 4 TKO of Amir Khan in July. That fight earned Garcia his WBA and The Ring titles, and also his place on lists like this one.
Garcia's second performance against Morales last month did at least demonstrate that he is remaining focused on what's in front of him while continuing to improve. That is never a guaranteed thing with a young champion riding a wave of success.
But being the man at 140 will mean a steady line of tough challengers lining up in front of him.
Garcia was ranked on every ballot in this survey: twice at No. 14 and once each at No. 16, No. 17, No. 20, No. 21 and No. 24.
16: Orlando Salido
Orlando Salido (39-11-2, 27 KOs) is the sort of fighter that fight writers love. In a sport that frequently suffers because top prospects are overprotected and different promotional champions avoid each other, Salido is a throwback fighter who came up the hard way and ducked nobody.
His 11 losses are a lot for a list like this one, but they are of little relevance. Most of them occurred in the 1990s, when he was a young prospect scuffling to survive as he was thrown to the wolves. In the past four years, his only loss has come against Yuri Gamboa, one of the most gifted and dangerous boxers on the planet.
Salido forced his way into conversations like this one in April of 2011 when he traveled to Puerto Rico and exposed undefeated sensation Juan Manuel Lopez by dismantling him en route to a Round 8 TKO, capturing the WBO featherweight title in the process.
He went back to the island for a rematch last March, this time finishing Lopez in Round 10. Astonishingly, Salido was actually down on the cards at the time.
If it had gone to the cards like that, it would have been the worst decision of the year, Pacquiao-Bradley included. Salido outclassed and beat the crap out of Lopez all night long for a second time.
But it was characteristic of a hard-scrabble veteran like Salido to not leave it to the judges to screw him over.
Salido showed up on six of seven ballots, ranked at No. 15 twice and No. 12, No. 16, No. 19 and No. 22 once each.
15: Chris John
WBA "super" featherweight champion Chris John (47-0, 22 KOs) is a certifiable enigma to most western boxing fans and writers. His perfect record can't be argued with, and he originally won his belt from Juan Manuel Marquez, one of the sport's undisputed superstars.
But that win over Marquez was over six years ago. Meanwhile, John rarely has fought outside of the Asia-Pacific region. A showdown with an elite western featherweight like Orlando Salido would be a great international event that would strengthen the sport.
John was ranked on six of seven ballots, but with a wide divergence of opinion as to where he should appear. He came in with rankings of No. 9, No. 11, No. 15, No. 16, No. 17 and No. 23.
14: Miguel Cotto
Miguel Cotto (37-3, 30 KOs) remains one of the sport's top stars in terms of box-office appeal. I was privileged to cover his revenge beatdown of Antonio Margarito last December, and the atmosphere was electrifying all night long. He owns Madison Square Garden just as surely as the Rangers or Knicks do.
Passionately beloved by his boxing-crazy fellow Puerto Ricans, Cotto's rugged, fan-friendly style and stoic charisma have made him deeply popular with fans of every race and ethnicity.
While his popularity remains undeniable, his current pound-for-pound status is hotly debated. There's no question that he made a great stand against Floyd Mayweather last May.
Although the closeness of that fight has been grossly exaggerated, Cotto clearly won some rounds against the man most still consider the best in the sport, frequently pushing Mayweather out of his comfort zone.
In general, Cotto has seemed reborn at 154, a division to which he moved up after suffering brutal losses against Manny Pacquiao and Antonio Margarito (in a fight that Margarito is largely believed to have fought with loaded hand wraps). Still, Cotto is a ring warrior who has high mileage on his body.
Cotto will have a big test in front of him when he returns to the Garden on December 1 to face undefeated WBA junior middleweight champion Austin Trout. Cotto goes into the fight a favorite, but he will be facing a younger, larger fighter.
Cotto was ranked in the top 25 by all seven voters, coming in at No. 14 twice and No. 9, No. 10, No. 13, No. 17 and No. 22 once each.
13: Carl Froch
Carl Froch (29-2, 20 KOs) is another tough veteran who has earned his way onto lists like this after years of grueling dedication to the sport. He is a technically proficient boxer with world-class athletic ability, but there's no doubt that hard work has played a big role in separating him from so many of his peers.
Froch has a granite chin and is consistently among the best-conditioned fighters in the sport. He made it to the finals of the Showtime Super Six super middleweight tournament, where he was decisively handled by Andre Ward.
Ward outclassed Froch, with Froch even admitting in the post-fight interview that Ward's movement and timing made it impossible for him to "get (his) punches off."
However, the Cobra rebounded from the setback by exposing previously undefeated Lucian Bute, TKOing him in five and capturing the IBF 168-pound belt in the process.
Froch is the kind of hard-as-nails competitor who would no doubt jump for a shot at redemption against Ward. Personally, I would rather see him rematch Mikkel Kessler first, though, who handed him his only other defeat.
Froch appeared on all seven ballots, coming in at No. 12 and No. 13 twice each and No. 7, No. 14 and No. 24 once each.
12: Yuriorkis Gamboa
Yuri Gamboa (21-0, 16 KOs) has become sort of like the mythical snow leopard in recent years, a breathtaking legend that is rarely seen. Several voters noted that they would have ranked the incredibly gifted Cuban higher if not for his recent inactivity.
Gamboa's talent can't be argued with. His is a complete package as a fighter, with catlike agility, deadly timing and shocking power in both fists.
But he has not fought in over a year, since September of 2011. The layoff was due to a drawn-out contract dispute with Top Rank, but it still represents another year of his prime lost.
Gamboa does have his return bout scheduled for December, against Miguel Beltran Jr. Beltran is a talented 27-2 contender, but nobody is expecting him to be anything but a tune-up bout for Gamboa.
Fans will expect to see Gamboa in a big-time fight during the first half of 2013.
For this survey, Gamboa was ranked at No. 12 and No. 15 twice each and at No. 10, No. 13 and No. 14 once each.
11: Anselmo Moreno
On November 10, former bantamweight world champion Anselmo Moreno (33-1, 12 KOs) of Panama will step up to the 122-pound division to challenge the undefeated Abner Mares. In terms of pound-for-pound rankings, it will be one of the highest-profile fights of the year.
Moreno has not lost a fight in over a decade and has appeared to be getting better of late. Last December he beat the always very tough Vic Darchinyan by wide scores. Earlier this year he defeated David De La Mora in Round 9 by TKO.
His lack of dominant power could cause him problems when he moves up to challenge Mares. At the same time, he is probably the toughest opponent Mares has yet to meet.
This is the kind of fight for which boxing fans should be thankful.
The voters ranked Moreno No. 11 and No. 12 twice each and No. 9, No. 10 and No. 15 once each.
10: Abner Mares
Abner Mares (24-0, 13 KOs) has been among the hottest young fighters in the sport over the past two years. Just as Andre Ward saw his own stock skyrocket thanks to winning the Showtime Super Six tournament, Mares received his own bounce as a result of triumphing in the smaller Showtime bantamweight tournament.
In December of 2010 Mares beat Vic Darchinyan by split decision, an impressive win over a veteran for a fighter who had just turned 25. He then won the tournament final with a controversial majority decision over Joseph Agbeko in August of 2011.
Mares won the rematch against Agbeko in December, this time by a near shutout. Last April, he was even more dominant against tough veteran Eric Morel, as he captured the vacant WBC super bantamweight crown.
Mares has looked better just about every time he has fought, and that should be no surprise, considering that he is trained by Hall of Famer Nacho Beristain.
As mentioned in the previous slide, he has a world-class challenge waiting for him in just under a week, when he will meet fellow pound-for-pound star Anselmo Moreno.
If he aces that exam, expect to hear a clamor for him to face Nonito Donaire, Golden Boy and Top Rank feud be damned.
The voters for this survey all ranked Mares inside or not far from their top 10. He was listed at No. 11 twice and No. 7, No. 9, No. 10, No 13 and No. 14 once each.
9: Vitali Klitschko
At 41, WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko (45-2, 41 KOs) is winding down one of the most dominant careers in the history of the heavyweight division. Of his two career losses, one came against Chris Byrd back in April 2000, due to a shoulder injury in a fight that Klitschko was dominating.
His other loss came against Lennox Lewis in June 2003, a stoppage due to cuts in Round 6. Klitschko had taken the fight on short notice and still was giving the champion all the problems he could handle. It looked like it was building into one of the greatest heavyweight title clashes of all time.
In the nine-plus years since, he has scarcely lost a single round.
But the criticism of Vitali Klitschko will never be about his record, but instead the competition against whom he compiled that record. And as of late, the competition has been particularly weak.
Last September, Klitschko beat undefeated German heavyweight Manuel Charr by TKO. While the stoppage was widely viewed as premature, there was also little disagreement over the fact that Charr had appeared entirely overmatched by Klitschko.
In February, an injured Klitschko pitched a near shutout against Brit Dereck Chisora, fighting with only one good arm. While it was yet another display of his formidable skills, it is also hard to deny that Chisora was one of the least qualified heavyweight-title challengers in recent years.
In September of 2011, Klitschko turned in an impressive Round 10 TKO of Polish contender Tomasz Adamek. While Adamek is clearly a world-class talent, he is also a former 175-pound world champ. Against the 6'7" Klitschko, he was simply physically overmatched.
Indeed, I have trouble even evaluating Vitali Klitschko in a pound-for-pound context. because being a nimble giant who can punch from a lot of angles is one of his primary strengths as a fighter.
Not surprisingly, Vitali received a wide array of rankings from the voters on this survey. He was ranked at No. 8 three times and as high as No. 6 on one ballot. He also received ratings of No. 10, No. 11 and No. 19.
8: Timothy Bradley
Last June, Timothy Bradley (29-0, 12 KOs) defeated Manny Pacquiao by split decision, in a fight that well over 90 percent of the boxing world views as an outright robbery. The controversial decision does not seem to have helped his career.
Pacman will fight Juan Manuel Marquez for a fourth time in December, rather than rematching with the man who "beat" him in June. Meanwhile, Bradley's own next opponent remains up in the air.
I was a Bradley fan before the Pacquiao fight, and even though I don't think he possibly deserved more than four rounds in that fight, I don't blame him for the judges' incompetence/corruption. Bradley put on a gritty, hustling performance, fighting on two badly injured legs.
I'd actually be curious to see how he would do in a rematch, fighting uninjured. Meanwhile, he is one of the most talented boxers in the sport, and the 140- and 147-pound divisions probably have the most talent in the sport, so there should be some sort of high-profile fight available to somebody with Bradley's resume.
The voters for this survey rated Bradley at No. 7 and No. 9 twice each and at No. 8, No. 11 and No. 18 once each.
7: Wladimir Klitschko
Aside from his older brother Vitali's WBC strap, Wlaldmir Klitschko (58-3, 50 KOs) holds every heavyweight championship belt that means anything.
I know that the WBA recognizes Alexander Povetkin as the "regular" world champion and Wladimir as the "super" world champion, but I bring that up only to point out how stupid it is.
Wladimir Klitschko is the only real heavyweight world champion. His older brother VItali is a kind of honorary world champion. I agree that Alexander Povetkin is probably the legit No. 3 in the world at heavyweight, but nobody but the WBA sanctioning body considers him any sort of "world champion."
At times Klitschko can appear to be a nearly flawless boxer. He has impeccable lateral movement mixed with the best jab in the division since Larry Holmes, and he uses these gifts to set up a decapitating overhand right.
The knock on Wladimir Klitschko will always be his chin. All three of his career losses were due to stoppage, and all those opponents he would have been able to beat if only he hadn't gotten caught.
Klitschko is set to face undefeated (27-0) Polish heavyweight Mariusz Wach in less than a week, on November 10. Wach looks far too green and clumsy to my eyes to seriously challenge the younger Klitschko brother.
But at 6'7", he just might be big enough to reach that long-suspect chin.
For this ranking, the younger Klitschko brother received ratings of No. 7 and No. 8 twice each and No. 9, No. 10 and No. 18 once each.
6: Juan Manuel Marquez
On December 8, 39-year-old Juan Manuel Marquez (54-6-1, 39 KOs) will get the shot at redemption for which he has been waiting nearly a year: a fourth bout with longtime rival Manny Pacquiao. Although the record between the two stands at 2-0-1 for Pacquiao, hardcore boxing fans know it might just as easily read the other way around.
Marquez is a future first-ballot Hall of Famer and should be on any short list for the greatest Mexican champion ever. He is a living legend who has yet to show any significant signs of deterioration.
Every voter for this list had him rated somewhere in the top six. He was ranked No. 6 three times and No. 4 and No. 5 twice each.
5: Nonito Donaire
In October, Nonito Donaire (30-1, 19 KOs) turned in a masterful performance against the highly regarded Japanese star Toshioki Nishioka, stopping him by TKO in the ninth and adding the WBC diamond and the vacant The Ring super bantamweight titles to his WBO and IBF straps.
It was impressive enough to bump him a notch up in the ratings from last month.
Donaire has turned in some of the most iconic one-punch knockouts in recent years against elite talent like Vic Darchinyan and Fernando Montiel. That he can deliver such devastating power at such low weight classes is uncanny.
Part of it is predicated upon his ability to see brief openings that even other top fighters would not have time to register. On a media call I once heard his trainer Robert Garcia declare that Donaire has in-ring vision that is far beyond even most other elite talent.
He's like a superstar point guard who simply sees openings in the floor before a defense even knows they are there.
In December Donaire will be back in action against Jorge Arce, an opponent for whom I personally heard Donaire ask Bob Arum after his boring unanimous decision over Omar Narvaez in Madison Square Garden last October.
Arce shouldn't be much of a challenge for Donaire, but he should be a willing opponent who will help make a thrilling fight.
Hopefully, in 2013 Donaire will make time to fight fellow bantamweight titleholder Guillermo Rigondeaux and/or the winner of Abner Mares and Anselmo Moreno.
The voters for this survey gave Donaire ratings of No. 5 four times, No. 3 twice and No. 7 once.
4: Sergio Martinez
In September, Sergio Martinez (50-2-2, 28 KOs) provided the world a classic illustration of the difference between a good young fighter and a great older fighter, surviving a Round 12 knockdown to earn an easy unanimous decision over the previously undefeated Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
Martinez remains firmly entrenched at the top of the middleweight division. At 37, he has yet to show any signs of slowing down.
A 154 pound showdown between Martinez and Floyd Mayweather has begun to get as much chatter among more serious fans as a hypothetical Mayweather-Pacquiao fight. Undefeated WBA middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin has also emerged this year as a very interesting potential opponent for Martinez.
Martinez came very close to edging his way into third on this list. The voters rated him at No. 6 once, No. 5 once, No. 4 twice and No. 3 three times.
3: Manny Pacquiao
Manny Pacquiao (54-4-2, 38 KOs) hangs on at No. 3 in this pound-for-pound ranking, but compiling these lists in two consecutive months, I get a stronger sense than ever that his stock is trending downward.
A big performance in December against Juan Manuel Marquez will change all that, but an effort similar to what he has done in his past two fights will likely knock him out of the top three.
Nobody can argue with Pacquiao's past. The former teenage flyweight from the Filipino ghetto has climbed through the weight classes, collecting titles in thrilling fashion and becoming the biggest boxing star in the world.
But in recent years, his political career and marital turmoil have seemed to significantly preoccupy him. Before his fight with Timothy Bradley last June, he seemed more interested in watching the conclusion of a Boston Celtics playoff game than he did in starting his own fight.
In about another month, HBO with crank up another run of the 24/7 series, and Freddie Roach and Bob Arum will both be on camera talking about how this time Pacquaio is really focused. Until he proves it against Marquez, a lot of fans are going to be rolling their eyes.
The voters for this survey rated Pacquiao No. 4 three times, No. 3 twice and No. 2 and No. 6 once each.
2: Andre Ward
Super middleweight champion Andre Ward (26-0, 14 KOs) is No. 2 with a bullet on this list.
After triumphantly completing his run through the Showtime super middleweight tournament and capturing nearly universal Fighter of the Year accolades in 2011, he came back in 2012 and turned in the most dominating performances of his career, stopping light heavyweight champion Chad Dawson by Round 10 TKO in September.
The last American boxer to win Olympic gold, Ward has supposedly not lost a fight since he was eight years old.
The scary thing about Ward is that he appears to still be entering his prime. He has been fighting elite talent every time out for the past three years, looking better each time.
He's scheduled to fight in January, with the opponent yet to be named.
Two voters for this survey have already rated Ward as the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world. One voter has him at No. 6 and four have him at No. 2.
1: Floyd Mayweather
2012 has been a mixed year for Floyd Mayweather (43-0, 26 KOs). In May, he added Justin Bieber to his entourage and won an exciting unanimous decision against Miguel Cotto, adding a junior middleweight title to his collection.
It was exactly the kind of action fight in which fans have clamored to see him engage. While Cotto had his moments, Mayweather thoroughly dominated, even rocking Cotto with an uppercut in Round 12.
Only a few weeks later, Mayweather turned himself in to the authorities to begin serving a 90-day sentence for domestic abuse.
Since his release, Mayweather has yet to announce anything like a date for his return to the ring, let alone naming a next opponent.
He ends 2012 publicly feuding with his former BFF, 50 Cent, and once more being accused of ducking Manny Pacquiao.
His performance against Cotto last May and the memory of his entire resume are enough to keep him in the No. 1 spot on this list for now. Five voters still rank him as No. 1 and the other two still have him in the No. 2 slot.