Boxing: 10 Best Champions to Never Fight in America
After compiling my list of the 10 best American debuts it got me thinking, what current champions have never fought in America.
This list is the 10 best champions to never fight in America. Normally, a fighter who never makes the move to the U.S. is looked down upon.
It is thought he doesn’t want to fight the best fighters and just wants to hold onto a title. Sometimes that is true and sometimes it is totally wrong.
The lighter weight fighters have no reason to come to America. They won’t make the big money here so there is no need to. Some fighters will make better money by staying at home.
There are many reasons why fighters don’t come to America. On this list you will find three fighters from Thailand, two from Germany, two from South Africa, and one from Panama, Nicaragua, and Slovenia.
You will also find three strawweight fighters and one fighter apiece from the flyweight, jr. bantamweight, cruiserweight fighter, middleweight, jr. featherweight, bantamweight, and welterweight divisions.
10. Jan Zaveck
Record: 28-1 (16 KO)
Ring Ranking: Welterweight No. 9
Best Wins: Isaac Hlatshwayo TKO 3 Won IBF title
Title: IBF welterweight title
Zaveck is number 10 because someone had to be. He has one good win and it wasn’t even against a top level fighter.
The welterweight division is deep but chances are Zaveck won’t be testing it anytime soon. He won his title in 2009 and has defended it once since
9. Simphiwe Nongqayi
Ring Ranking: Jr. Bantamweight No. 3
Best Wins: Francisco Arce UD 12, Jorge Arce UD 12 Won IBF jr. bantamweight title
Title: IBF jr. bantamweight title
Nongqayi is one of the newer champions in the sport but he looks to have a good future ahead. He beat the Arce brothers in back to back fights in 2009.
The second win over Jorge Arce made him the IBF jr. bantamweight champion. Since that win he defended his title once with a draw against a French in France.
8. Marco Huck
Record: 29-1 (22 KO)
Ring Ranking: Cruiserweight No. 3
Best Wins: Victor Emilio Ramirez UD 12 Won WBO title, Ola Afolabi UD 12 Defended WBO title
Title: WBO cruiserweight title
Huck fights in the friendly confines of Germany. He has beaten mostly B level fighters since turning pro.
When he did take a step up against Steven Cunningham he was knocked out in round 12. He has beaten some fringe contenders and has defended his title three times since winning it last year.
7. Sebastian Sylvester
Record: 33-3 (16 KO)
Ring Ranking: Middleweight No. 4
Best Wins: Amin Asikainen TKO 11 Won EBU title, Javier Castillejo KO 12 Defended EBU title, Giovanni Lorenzo Won vacant IBF title
Title: IBF middleweight title
We stay in Germany with Sylvester. He ranks slightly higher on the list due to his level of competition.
He has beaten Castillejo (with a highlight reel KO) who has beaten Roman Karmazin and Felix Sturm. Castillejo is also a two time champion in his own right.
Sylvester has also gone toe to toe with Sturm. Although he lost, he gets credit for taking the fight.
He is also set to fight Karmazin in his next fight. He has defended his title once.
6. Nkosinathi Joyi
Record: 21-0 (15 KO)
Ring Ranking: Strawweight No. 3
Best Wins: Florante Condes UD 12, Raul Garcia UD 12 Won IBF title
Title: IBF strawweight title
Joyi is the most recent champion on this list as he won his title this year. He is fairly new to the world class scene but his future looks promising.
He has never fought outside of South Africa. In his last fight he routed undefeated champion Raul Garcia to win the title.
5. Roman Gonzalez
Record: 25-0 (21 KO)
Ring Ranking: Strawweight No. 1
Best Wins: Yutaka Niida TKO 4 Won WBA title
Title: WBA strawweight title
This is a ranking that has more to do with talent that actual competition. The guy is a beast at the 105-pound division.
He has huge power for the weight and is ranked number one by The Ring. Even though he hasn’t fought top competition it is pretty clear he is the man to beat at strawweight.
4. Oleydong Sithsamerchai
Record: 34-0 (12 KO)
Ring Ranking: Strawweight No. 2
Best Wins: Eagle Den Junlaphan UD 12 Won WBC title, Pornsawan Porpramook UD 12 Retained WBC title, Muhammad Rahman TD 11 Retained WBC title
Title: WBC strawweight title
We go to Thailand for our No. 4 fighter. Sithsamerchai has fought in Thailand 33 times in his 34 fights.
In his last fight, he traveled to Japan to defend his title. He is the first fighter who can make a case for being the best at his weight.
He has beaten many top fighters but has held the WBC title since 2007. In that time he has defended it five times.
3. Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym
Record: 40-1 (28 KO)
Ring Ranking: Jr. Featherweight No. 1
Best Wins: Ricardo Cordoba SD 12 Won WBA bantamweight interim title, Somsak Sithchatchawal TKO 11, Bernard Dunne KO 3 Won WBA jr. featherweight title
Title: WBA jr. featherweight title
This is the second fighter on the list that can make a claim to being number one in his division. He is ranked as The Ring as number one in his division.
His one loss is to a world class fighter in Wladimir Sidorenko back in 2006. Since then he has won 16 straight fights and captured the WBA title.
He has defended his title once and is scheduled to make another defense this month.
2. Anselmo Moreno
Record: 29-1-1 (10 KO)
Ring Ranking: Bantamweight No. 2
Best Wins: Tomas Rojas UD 10 Won WBA Fedecaribe title, Wladimir Sidorenko UD 12 Won WBA title SD 12 Retained WBA title, Mahyar Monshipout Retained WBA title, Nehomar Cermeno SD 12 Retained WBA title
Title: WBA bantamweight title
Moreno has held his title since 2008 and has regularly taken on top opponents. His one loss was in eighth fight back in 2002.
He is the only fighter to beat Sidorenko and he has done it twice.
He has fought almost exclusively in Panama and in his last fight got a questionable decision. He usually wins in impressive fashion so the hometown verdict isn’t questioned.
He is going to rematch Cermeno in his next fight. He has defended his title seven times since 2008.
1. Pongsaklek Wonjongkam
Record: 75-3-1 (39 KO)
Ring Ranking: Flyweight Champion, No. 9 Pound for Pound
Best Wins: Malcolm Tunacao TKO 1 Won WBC title, Daisuke Naito KO 1 Retained WBC title TD 7 Retained WBC title, Hussein Hussein UD 12 Retained WBC title, Koki Kameda MD 12 Won WBC flyweight title
Title: WBC/Ring flyweight title
55 straight wins. WBC champion for six straight years. Two time WBC champion. Ring flyweight champion.
If it wasn’t for his last win over the younger, undefeated, and fresher Koki Kameda he may have fallen at number two. With that win he showed he is still the man at flyweight.
I am a huge fan of Pong and the guy is a joy to watch. He has been on the pound for pound list a couple times and currently sits at number nine.
Without a doubt Pongsaklek Wonjongkam is the best champion never to fight in the United States.