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1) Andre Ward – Ward convincingly beat Sergey Kovalev by an eighth round TKO last Saturday night solidifying his hold on the top spot. What’s next for Ward? Your guess is as good as mine, but with a loaded light-heavyweight division, he has a lot of exciting options. The insinuation that he may move northward is also an intriguing prospect.

2) Gennady Golovkin – Triple G comes off a controversial decision win against Daniel Jacobs. Questions remain as to whether Gennady starting to show his age and that will be clarified shortly as his next fight will be against Canelo Alvarez. Still, few hold as many wins over top-10 opposition as he does over the last two or three years.

3) Terrence Crawford – Crawford continued his reign of terror when he knocked out Felix Diaz in the 11th round in his last outing. A move up to the loaded welterweight division is what people are waiting for as he continues to clean out the junior welterweight division with relative ease.

4) Vasyl Lomachenko – Vasyl has a rematch with Salido on the horizon that can set up some huge fights for him. Nobody has had a meteoric rise like Lomachenko has seen since he burst onto the boxing scene.

5) Canelo Alvarez – Will step up to fight our pound for pound #2 fighter Gennady Golovkin in one of the most highly anticipated fights of the year. With GGG looking a bit slower, this fight appears to be near even money.

6) Sergey Kovalev – Two high-quality showings, one of which he arguably won, has kept Kovalev just outside the top-5 but still in good company. Like Ward, he has all sorts of names to mingle with.

7) Shinsuke Yamanaka – Widely seen as the champion in a traditional eight division, Yamanaka has obtained this status by beating a number of solid opponents and for a long time. Most notable of the recent bunch, a knockout victory over Anselmo Moreno.

8) Naoya Inoue – Naoya has been making easy work of the competition after just thirteen fights. His win over Narvaez was eye-opening in its ferocity. Next up will be his American debut, which hopefully, leads to a big showdown with one of his division’s best.

9) Keith Thurman – I have Thurman here ahead of Errol Spence because overall Thurman has the deeper resume. Hopefully they can get together quickly and clarify the situation of who is the best at 147.

10) Guillermo Rigondeaux – What to make of his most recent contest? Well, it was his first time he had been in with a rated foe since Donaire and whether the decision is changed or not doesn’t negate the fact that Rigondeaux is clearly a class above Flores. He’s got to move up if he wants to make an impact, however.

  • JSP

    None on the list has accomplished what Chocolatito has. 4 division champ. 46 wins. Only one loss, and it very debatable. Thurman, really? And yes, Rigo needs to do something. One good win four years ago ought not to enshrine him on the list. Damn, semi-retired Pacquiao beat Bradley and titleholder Vargas last year: that alone tops Thurman and Rigo’s recent once-annual runs.

    • Jeremiah J. Preisser

      Thanks for chiming in. While I agree that Gonzalez has greater career accomplishments, he did lose, struggled with Cuadras and just doesn’t look as effective at 115. Rungvisai isn’t exactly a pound-for-pound type.

      In regards to Thurman versus Pacquiao, what would you rather have, Porter and Garcia or Bradley and Vargas? For me, it’s the former. We already knew Bradley could not beat Pacquiao and Vargas isn’t that good.

      Rigondeaux is a strange case. Certainly he has pound-for-pound talent but his inactivity hurts him. I wouldn’t have him on my personal list but this one was compiled via committee.

      One last word on Pacquiao, who I have a healthy respect for: He does not seem to be worried about facing the best any longer. He has one foot in and one foot out. He’s paid his dues, so that’s fine, but if legacy was what he was really going for he wouldn’t be taking a useless third fight with Bradley and fighting fringe guys in his stable. He also had a claim to being the lineal champion, which did not emphasize at all.