By Rory Fitzgerald
With pound for pound king Floyd Mayweather’s retirement seemingly set in stone – for now at least, their is a gap at the top of the coveted market that is the No.1 P4P best in the world.
There is no shortage of boxers, who along with their massively oversized egos will claim to be the best in the world. To get to the top of this list you will have to have well and truly earned your stripes.
Floyd Mayweather beat every fighter put in his way, and did so in his own unique fashion. “Nobody has cracked the May-Vinci code” is what the American supremo would say before and after many of his fights. Love him or loath him – he was right.
To be P4P No.1 though, you don’t need to go through your career unbeaten, Mayweather is just an exception. A strong argument could be made that if “Pretty Boy”, “Money” or whatever alias he wants to go by, kept to his word and called time on his career in 2008, Manny Pacquiao would have taken over the mantle of No.1. At that time, “Pacman” who had suffered three defeats earlier in his career, was wowing fans all over the world with big victories over Marco Antonio Barrera, Juan Manuel Marquez, Oscar De La Hoya and in early 2009, he pulverised Ricky Hatton inside two rounds.
We will now have a look at three of the contenders who are in contention to be dubbed – The pound for pound No.1.
ANDRE WARD 28(15)-0-0
WBA World Super middleweight champion
Ward was an incredibly talented amateur who won light-heavyweight Gold at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games. One of the finest technicians in boxing, he possesses an incredible jab that would get through the guard of many of the top fighters around today. His movement is second to none, and his ability to make opponents miss while countering at a variety of angles is what makes him one of the best fighters around.
Not the most exciting for the boxing casuals, and certainly not the most active (5 fights since 2011), the California native brings a very impressive record to the table. 28 wins from his 28 fights and 15 by KO, an array of the sports top performers have fallen at the hands of the man known as S.O.G (Son of God). Chad Dawson, Carl Froch, Arthur Abraham and Mikkel Kessler can all be credited with a defeat to the 28 year old, and if it were not for his inactivity, he would surely be a frequent pick among many for No.1 on this list.
GENNADY GOLOVKIN 34(31)-0-0
IBF, WBA and IBO World middleweight champion
When you step into the ring with Gennady Golovkin, chances are you are not going to hear the final bell – just ask Matthew Macklin. He’s not the only one though, as Golovkin’s last 21 opponents have all been emphatically dealt with inside the scheduled distance.
A silver medallist from the 2004 Athens games, the Kazakh won gold in Bangkok in the 2003 World amateur championships (beating Andy Lee on the way to glory). Known for his phenomenal punching power, “GGG” can also box remarkably well as he showed in his last fight by dismantling David Lemieux inside eight one sided rounds. Many pundits around the world considered Lemieux to be Golovkin’s toughest rival to date. In truth, he never moved out of first gear.
Even at the age of 33, there should be plenty more years left for him to dominate the middleweight division, and any other division he decides to dip his toe into. He has not been in a war of any kind, and while he awaits the winner of the much anticipated clash between Saul Alvarez and Miguel Cotto
to unify the division, nobody could argue his place at the top of the P4P standings.
ROMAN GONZALEZ 44(38)-0-0
WBC World flyweight champion
The lighter weights in boxing simply don’t get a look in when it comes to TV time on this side of the pond. You will see some of the most entertaining and action packed bouts if you venture your screening below the welterweight division.
Roman Gonzalez is a man who was simply born to be a prizefighter. The Nicaraguan is a come forward pressure fighter who doesn’t like to give his opposition a moments respite. Hand speed, movement and accurate punching that are more than a match for any fighter out there right now, he also possesses ferocious power that have sent many opponents home early. 15 of his last 16 rivals have been disposed of inside the distance and it is no wonder that he is currently sitting top of Ring Magazines P4P charts.
The 28 year old, nicknamed El Chocolatito won on his last outing against the crafty veteran Brian Viloria is impressive fashion. Viloria was down once in round 3 before the fight was stopped in the 9th. It was Gonzalez’s first fight in Madison Square Garden and only his fifth in America. Let’s hope we see a lot more of this supremely talented flyweight dazzle us for many years to come.
These are just a few of the contenders to consider for the crown. You could quarrel on this subject for days and still not come up with a conclusive resolution.
I have left many top class champions out for the sake of this argument including;
- Sergey Kovalev
- Wladimir Klitschko
- Manny Pacquiao
- Guillermo Rigondeaux
- Terence Crawford
- Saul Alvarez
- Keith Thurman
- and many, many more.
All the names above would make many peoples top 5.
Who would be your top 3 on this list of the P4P best boxers on the planet right now?