Publish Date: 11/27/2016
Fact checked by: Simon Briffa
1) Roman Gonzalez
Gonzalez hasn’t faced another flyweight fighter with pound-for-pound status, but at least he took on the next best thing by moving up to junior bantamweight and conquering hard-hitting Carlos Cuadras. He struggled at times but overcame Cuadras. Roman hasn’t had a rematch with Juan Francisco Estrada or faced Naoya Inoue. Both of these fights are what I want to see. I think Gonzalez would win them both.
Got a close controversial decision over Sergey Kovalev. The thing that most impressed me was his ability to get up off the floor and dominate the second half of the fight. Ward is an all-time great and a rematch with Kovalev will remove all doubt about this ranking. Either way, Ward has been in the pound-for-pound ratings for a long time and has beaten the best fighters around.
Lost a close fight to Ward. Still just like Ward, Kovalev showed the ability to come back and fight when things were going badly for him. A rematch will tell us exactly where he stands.
I really considered putting Vasyl at number one. In the end, with no more than 10 fights, I decided to wait. But make no doubt about it he will be at the top of this list shortly. He was one of the greatest amateur fighters of all-time and in just his second professional fight he went the distance with a veteran champion in Orlando Salido. Lomachenko is a special fighter. One that does not come along very often.
Crawford is now a two-division lineal champion. His next fight is step-down against John Molina Jr., but he’s still an acceptable opponent. The win over Postol was not unexpected, but the ease with which he did it was.
Good win over welterweight champ Kell Brook. He had trouble with Brook the first couple of rounds and then adjusted and finished the fight in the 5th round. Hopefully if Canelo is not his next fight, someone like Daniel Jacobs is.
Alvarez looked spectacular against Liam Smith. Problem is, Smith is just an slightly above-average fighter. Canelo has to step up the competition if he wants to move up this list.
Estrada has moved up in weight to chase González. He would also be happy to fight Naoya Inoue. He needs to be in a good fight for the first time in forever.
The first time Shinsuke Yamanaka went up against Anselmo Moreno, he was lucky to get away with a decision. The second time, in September, he finished him off via knockout. So now he’s back on my list, deservedly.
Talented fighter who needs to bump up the competition.