SI.com's pound-for-pound rankings: Roman Gonzalez still the best around
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 SI's boxing panel—Richard O’Brien, Greg Bishop and Daniel Friedman. Each fighter's ranking is accompanied by his current record and division.
Note: All statistics are current through Jan. 31, 2016.
11Roman GonzalezRecord: 44-0 (38 KOs)
Rating: 29 pointsThe Lord of the Flyweights is the most complete fighter in boxing today, a brilliant technician who brings a thrilling aggression to every bout. In October, 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 that, against the right opponent, Chocolatito can headline his own show. For now, though, his next opponent is unknown. It was thought to be lightly regarded Giovanni Segura on March 5, but that fight is currently off-the-table.
22Gennady GolovkinRecord: 34-0 (31 KOs)
Rating: 27 pointsGolovkin’s reign of terror continued last fall 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 get made for the spring, look for Golovkin to stay busy, with a challenger being announced soon for a possible bout in April, probably back at Madison Square Garden.
33Sergey KovalevRecord: 29-0-1 (26 KOs)
Division: Light heavyweight
Rating: 25 pointsWith his no-doubt-about-it-this-time beatdown of Jean Pascal in Montreal last Saturday night, the Russian-born self-styled "Krusher" cemented his status as one of the most dangerous and effective offensive forces in boxing. But for all his firepower—and intimidating mean streak (he plainly made it his business on Saturday to punish, and not just dispose of, Pascal)—the 32-year-old Kovalev is also a very well-rounded and remarkably disciplined fighter. The only real question mark? His chin—which Pascal did nothing to test this time around. Despite the loud bluster of WBC champ Adonis Stevenson, Kovalev's next real challenge appears likely to come against Andre Ward later this year—in what will be a crowd-pleasing battle not just for 175-pound supremacy but for P4P bragging rights as well.
44Andre WardRecord: 28-0 (15 KOs)
Division: Super middleweight
Rating: 20 pointsFew would dispute that an active Ward would merit 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 this year, with a rematch with Nonito Donaire and a showdown with Vasyl Lomachenko both in the offing.
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66Saul AlvarezRecord: 46-1-1 (32 KOs)
Division: Junior middleweight
Rating: 14 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 showcased in a decisive win over Miguel Cotto on Nov. 21. Blessed with superior speed and concussive power, Alvarez has developed rapidly in recent years. He’s the money man in the 154- and 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.
77Terence CrawfordRecord: 27-0 (19 KOs)
Division: Super lightweight
Rating: 12 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 bouts down the road. There was talk of a matchup with Manny Pacquiao—in which Crawford might well have been favored. But Pacquiao opted instead for a third go-round with Timothy Bradley. That leaves Crawford reportedly looking at the far less compelling Hank Lundy for Feb. 27 at Madison Square Garden.
88Manny PacquiaoRecord: 57-6-2 (38 KOs)
Rating: 10 pointsThe Pac Man was once at the very top of this list, but losses to Juan Manuel Marquez and Floyd Mayweather in the last three years have removed the aura of invincibility. Pacquiao has declared that he will fight just once more, against Timothy Bradley on April 9. When Pacquiao climbs into the ring that night, he will be 37, nearly a year removed from his dismal loss to Floyd Mayweather and subsequent shoulder surgery. It will be a subdued end to what has been one of the most glorious and entertaining careers in recent boxing history.
99Timothy BradleyRecord: 33-1-1 (13 KOs)
Rating: 9 pointsFew fighters recent résumés are as impressive as that of Bradley, 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 the fighter’s camp. On April 9, Bradley will look to hand Pacquiao another—and career-ending—loss. After that? A possible big-money matchup with Saul Alvarez.
1010Danny GarciaRecord: 31-0 (18 KOs)
Rating: 2 pointsThe crowd-pleasing Philadelphia fighter with the nickname "Swift" was 6-0 in junior welterweight title bouts before moving up to 147 last year. In his debut at that weight, he battered Paulie Malignaggi into a 9th-round TKO. On Jan. 23, Garcia will take on veteran Robert Guerrero in what should be an entertaining fight but, in the end, a fairly easy win for Garcia—who should then go on to solidify his spot as one of the welterweight division’s premier figures.
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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 SI.com's boxing panel.