The current pound-for-pound king is none other than Manny Pacquiao. Throughout the years, fighters like Roberto Duran, Sugar Leonard, Roy Jones Jr. and Floyd Mayweather have all held the covenant title of pound-for-pound best fighter in the world.
But as Pacquiao gets older and approaches retirement, many fighters are looking to take the prestigious No. 1 spot. It is quite hard to predict such rankings down the line, but based on current skills level, potential and talent, here are five fighters who might top the list in five years.
Won 20 (KO 16), Lost 0 (KO 0)
Yuriorkis Gamboa keeps impressing the boxing world with each of his fights. His explosive fights are reminiscent of Tyson, who many people have compared him to in terms of aggressiveness, power and quickness. He has already accumulated wins over Jose Rojas, Rogers Mtagwa, Orlando Salido and Jorge Solis.
Gamboa is already the Unified IBF and WBA Featherweight champion and is looking to add a couple of more belts and big names to his resume in the new couple of years.
Won 24 (KO 13), Lost 0 (KO 0)
Ward has been consistent in his fights since his Gold Medal performance in the 2000 Olympics. He has since become the WBA World Super Middleweight champion. He has continued to fight the best and whoever is presented in front of him. He has been the only one not to lose in the Super Six tournament.
At 27 years old, he has very impressive and one-sided victories over Edison Miranda, Mikkel Kessler, Allan Green and Arthur Abraham. In five years, he is truly one of the fighters most likely to be near the top of the pound-for-pound list.
Won 8 (KO 6), Lost 0 (KO 0)
Rigondeaux is a two-time Olympic Gold Medalist with an amateur record of 247-4. He turned pro two years ago. Even though he only has eight fights under his belt, he already holds the WBA Interim Super Bantamweight. His lack of fights stems from difficulties dealing with promoters, managers and opponents unwilling to fight him.
He is now in line to fight for the WBA World Super Bantamweight title, which will most likely result in him holding two belts with only nine fights. Most experts and trainers agree that talent of his caliber hasn't been seen in recent times. It comes as no surprise that he has more than enough potential to be near the top of the pound-for-pound list in five years.
Won 26 (KO 18), Lost 1 (KO 0)
Donaire has becomes a star in the last two years. He has earned the respect of hardcore boxing fans with his impressive wins over opponents such as Vic Darchinyan and Fernando Montiel. He has an old-school attitude and way of fighting that is the perfect combination and has led him to become the WBC and WBO Bantamweight Champion.
To add to Donaire’s success and popularity is the acceptance of the Filipino boxing community, who are slowly but surely getting used to the idea of Donaire as the new superstar of boxing once Manny Pacquiao decides to hang up the gloves.
Won 25 (KO 17), Lost 1 (KO 1)
Khan won a silver medal in the 2004 Olympics when he was only 17 years old. It's not surprising how far he has come since then. Seeing Khan in the pound-for-pound list in five years is very likely.
At only 24 years old he has wins over Paulie Malignaggi, Marco Antonio Barrera, Marcos Maidana and Zab Judah and is currently the WBA and IBF light welterweight champion.
The only two fighters who might be capable of beating Khan are Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. The chance of him actually fighting either guy is very unlikely. Floyd only fights once every two years or so and Pacquiao is like family to Khan. Khan has the advantage of training and sparring with the current Pound-for-Pound No. 1 Pacquiao.
Freddie Roach, who is considered the best trainer in the world today, trains them both. It seems that everything is falling into place for Khan to be king in five years time.