Ranking the Best American Fighters in Boxing Today

Kelsey McCarsonFeatured ColumnistSeptember 4, 2013

Ranking the Best American Fighters in Boxing Today

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    Boxing is an international sport, but American fight fans can cheer for plenty of fighters who ply their trade in the upper echelon of the sport.

    But how do they rank against each other? Who are the 10 best American fighters in boxing today?

    The Bleacher Report has you covered. Fighters here are ranked by quality of recent opposition, strength of resume and how willingly they accept all-comers.

10. Mike Alvarado (34-1, 23 KOs)

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    Alvarado defeated Brandon Rios in his last outing to make his mark on the 140-pound division. While the first bout between them was a slugging contest that ended with Alvarado down and out in Round 7, the Denver native showed his quality as a boxer in the rematch to eke out the close decision victory.

    Next up for Alvarado is hard-hitting Ruslan Provodnikov. The bout will take place on October 19 at the 1stBANK Center in Broomfield, Colorado.

9. Devon Alexander (25-1, 14 KOs)

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    A slick southpaw, Alexander just might be the most underrated welterweight in the world. His lone loss was a technical decision to undefeated American Timothy Bradley, and he has defeated notable contenders Marcos Maidana and Lucas Matthysse along the way.

    Alexander is rumored to be negotiating a lucrative bout against Amir Khan in Dubai. A win would put him in line for a shot against Floyd Mayweather.

8. Danny Garcia (26-0, 16 KOs)

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    Garcia burst on the scene after beating up on old legend Erik Morales in Houston in 2012. He followed that up with a shocking knockout victory over Amir Khan.

    Another win over Morales and a close but clear decision over Zab Judah later, Garcia now stands on the precipice of the most important bout of his career. Against Lucas Matthysse, he will face his toughest competition yet. A win over “The Machine” would vault Garcia up near the top of this list.

7. Austin Trout (26-1, 14 KOs)

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    Trout won’t win any popularity contests. Why? Because he’s a slick boxer-puncher who knows defense is just as important as offense.

    Canelo Alvarez outboxed him in his last outing, but he’s already shown to be capable of winning at the highest level. He outclassed Miguel Cotto at MSG in New York last year, and he’ll be back in the thick of things soon enough. A rumored match against fellow slickster Erislandy Lara is a purist’s dream fight.

6. Adrien Broner (27-0, 22 KOs)

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    Broner is somewhat of an enigma. Sure, he has climbed up weight classes like an all-time great, but whom has he defeated to warrant high praise?

    Don’t misunderstand me. He has defeated some good fighters, but skipping the best competition in each weight class isn’t a recipe for gaining respect. Still, he appears to be on a collision course with offensive juggernaut Marcos Maidana in what will hopefully be the first of many intriguing matchups for the talented but untested Broner.

5. Mikey Garcia (32-0, 27 KOs)

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    Garcia has just about everything you want in a fighter. He’s smart, punches hard, has fast hands and feet, and he’s a student of the game. Add to it his family’s history in the sport of boxing (his brother/trainer is famed Robert Garcia), and he appears to be on his way up the ladder.

    Garcia’s wins over Orlando Salido and Juan Manuel Lopez in his last two fights were impressive, even if the latter was somewhat spoiled by Garcia not making weight.

4. Bernard Hopkins (53-6-2, 32 KOs)

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    Yeah, Hopkins is old at age 48, but he’s still the master. Look no further than his dismantling of Tavoris Cloud last March. Although the younger, stronger and faster Cloud appeared to have all the physical advantages, Hopkins used the sweet science to its fullest capacity to make it look easy.

    Hopkins is scheduled to defend the IBF belt he took from Cloud against Karot Murat of Germany. Murat is tough but made-to-order for Hopkins, who might end up fighting at age 50.

3. Timothy Bradley (30-0, 12 KOs)

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    Swarming welterweight Timothy Bradley hasn’t made his living fighting bums. He’s built his glossy record fighting tough competition. He has outslugged the likes of Lamont Peterson, Luis Carlos Abregu and Devon Alexander along the way, and his slugfest win over Ruslan Provodnikov was a Fight of the Year candidate.

    Bradley’s image most suffers from his decision win over Manny Pacquiao in 2012. According to Comcast’s Ryan Maquinana, while nearly every member of the press who watched the fight saw a clear and decisive Pacquiao win, the judges at ringside saw fit to award the win to Bradley.

    Bradley will take on Juan Manuel Marquez on October 12 in Las Vegas in what is sure to be a barnburner.

2. Andre Ward (26-0, 14 KOs)

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    Super middleweight king Andre Ward is as anyone else in the sport.

    He rivals Floyd Mayweather for the top spot among all fighters (not just Americans) because he’s come out clean on the other side of a murderer’s row of competitors. He has defeated Mikkel Kessler, Arthur Abraham, Carl Froch and Chad Dawson, and he’s just 29 years old.

    Unfortunately, he has been on the shelf in 2013. In January, he had surgery to repair a tear in his right shoulder, but he’s on the mend and should be back inside the ring relatively soon.

    Ward is the heir apparent to Mayweather, should the 36-year-old slip up against Canelo Alvarez next week.

1. Floyd Mayweather Jr. (44-0, 26 KOs)

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    There is no doubt about it: Floyd Mayweather is the premier force in the fight game today. Not only is he the best pure boxer in the world, but he’s also its largest earner. In fact, he is the highest earning athlete in the entire world of sports.

    Mayweather has fought and defeated some of the best and biggest names in boxing history. He outboxed Oscar De La Hoya, Juan Manuel Marquez and Shane Mosley, and he’s still undefeated at the age of 36.

    Still, he faces a stern challenge against undefeated junior middleweight Canelo Alvarez. The hard-punching Mexican is larger than any other fighter Mayweather has ever faced, and one punch could knock him off his perch as the No. 1 American in the sport.

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