SI.com weighs in each month with a ranking of the best fighters in boxing, pound-for-pound. The order is determined using point totals based on top 10s submitted by senior writers Chris Mannix and Greg Bishop and senior editor Richard O’Brien. Each fighter's ranking is accompanied by his current record and division.
Note: All statistics are current through Nov. 23, 2015.
11Roman GonzalezRecord: 44-0 (38 KOs)
Rating: 29 pointsThe Lord of the Flyweights is a unique blend of skill and power. Last month, Gonzalez—affectionately known as Chocolatito—blew out Brian Viloria on the undercard of Gennady Golovkin’s middleweight title unification against David Lemieux. Thanks to HBO, Gonzalez’s profile has risen considerably; the network intends to keep him on Golovkin’s undercards and believes against the right opponent, Chocolatito can headline his own show.
22Gennady GolovkinRecord: 34-0 (31 KOs)
Rating: 26 pointsGolovkin’s reign of terror continued last month when he outclassed titleholder David Lemieux. Skill, speed, power; Golovkin has it all. He just needs high profile opponents to be willing to face him. The hope is that 2016 will bring a showdown with Canelo Alvarez; if that fight doesn’t happen in May, look for Golovkin to try and stay busy, beginning with a mandatory title defense against Tureano Johnson early next year.
3a3aSergey KovalevRecord: 28-0-1 (25 KOs)
Division: Light heavyweight
Rating: 24 pointsThe baddest man in boxing followed up a brilliant performance against Bernard Hopkins in 2014 with knockout wins over Nadjib Mohammedi and Jean Pascal this year. Like Golovkin, Kovalev needs opponents. Unlike Golovkin, Kovalev has got one: Andre Ward, who is contractually obligated to face Kovalev before the end of next year. Will he get a fight against Adonis Stevenson, the WBC light heavyweight champion? That’s less certain.
3b3bAndre WardRecord: 28-0 (15 KOs)
Division: Super middleweight
Rating: 24 pointsFew would dispute that an active Ward warrants a place higher on this list. But Ward has been plagued by long stretches of inactivity; he has fought only twice in the last three years, against pedestrian competition. That should change in ’16, with Ward armed with a lucrative contract with Roc Nation and a planned move to 175-pounds. A fight with Kovalev looms as one of the most anticipated in the sport.
55Guillermo RigondeauxRecord: 16-0 (10 KOs)
Division: Junior featherweight
Rating: 16 pointsRigondeaux is an athlete of absolutes: He is both enormously skilled and painfully unwatchable. Both attributes were on display on Nov. 21, when Rigondeaux, returning to the ring following an 11-month layoff due to no major promoter showing interest in him, cruised to a lopsided decision win over Drian Francisco. It’s clear Rigondeaux needs the right opponents to be on television; he may get them in ’16, when a rematch with Nonito Donaire and a showdown with Vasyl Lomachenko loom.
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66Terence CrawfordRecord: 27-0 (19 KOs)
Division: Super lightweight
Rating: 11 pointsCrawford, the 140-pound kingpin, is the total package and has shown an ability to entertain in recent fights, which should serve him well in trying to secure bigger fights down the road. One fight: A matchup with Manny Pacquiao, who is considering Crawford for his return to the ring in the spring in what could be his farewell fight. Here’s how good Crawford has become: Against Pacquiao, he could be the favorite.
7a7aWladimir KlitschkoRecord: 64-3 (53 KOs)
Rating: 10 pointsThe greatest heavyweight of the last decade continues to reign atop boxing’s glamour division—with no end in sight. Klitschko has not missed a beat following the untimely death of his trainer, Emanuel Steward, in 2012. He is a heavy favorite in his title defense against Tyson Fury on Nov. 28 and has his sights set on becoming the undisputed heavyweight champion sometime in 2016.
7b7bSaul AlvarezRecord: 46-1-1 (32 KOs)
Division: Junior middleweight
Rating: 10 pointsAlvarez is arguably the biggest star in boxing, a ticket-selling, pay per view driving machine. He’s also fast becoming one of the best fighters in the sport, a fact evidenced in a decisive decision win over Miguel Cotto on Nov. 21. Blessed with superior speed and concussive power, Alvarez’s skills have developed rapidly in recent years. He’s the money man in the 154/160 pound divisions but the one fight the boxing world wants to see is a middleweight unification fight with Golovkin. Alvarez says he wants it—and his history suggests he means what he says.
8a8aManny PacquiaoRecord: 57-6-2 (38 KOs)
Rating: 9 pointsStrange to see the Pac Man fall this far, but losses to Juan Manuel Marquez and Floyd Mayweather in the last three years have removed the aura of invincibility. Pacquiao’s promoter, Bob Arum, says Pacquiao will have one more fight: Tim Bradley, Amir Khan and Terence Crawford are the candidates. When Pacquiao does get in the ring, he will be nearly a year removed from shoulder surgery and at the end of a decorated career, even if it is not his final fight.
8b8bTimothy BradleyRecord: 33-1-1 (13 KOs)
Rating: 9 pointsFew fighters' recent resumes are as impressive as Bradley’s, who since 2012 has picked up wins over Pacquiao, Marquez, Ruslan Provodnikov and Brandon Rios. Against Rios, Bradley paired with trainer Teddy Atlas, who seemed to inject new life into Bradley’s camp. Bradley will have several options in 2016, options that could include a matchup with Saul Alvarez.
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For more boxing coverage visit SI.com/boxing, and come back each month for the new pound-for-pound rankings from our boxing experts Chris Mannix, Greg Bishop and Richard O'Brien.