Who will take over the P-4-P title after Mayweather Jr. retires?
By Tom Drury: It is inevitable the current pound for pound king and face of boxing Floyd Mayweather Jr. will soon hang up the gloves. This will be a sad time for boxing. Love him or hate him, active or inactive, Mayweather draws in the crowds, causes controversies and always puts on a show of raw boxing talent. This article will analyze the current crop of worthy fighters and prospects that will takeover the title of pound for pound, attract a record breaking fan base and possess the skills to back it up in the ring.
Boxing has many talented fighters active in the sport. The time is nearing when the sport will lose some of its most attractive fighters and talents to retirement. The likes of Mayweather Jr, Juan Manuel Marquez, Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez, Manny Pacquiao, Wladimir Klitschko, Miguel Cotto among others. The thought of these fighters leaving the sport quite frankly makes me worry about where boxing will be in five years time. I’m not worried about individual talent. We have the likes of Andre “S.O.G” Ward, Adrien “The Problem” Broner, Nonito Donaire, Kell Brook, Kid Galahad, David Price, Deontay Wilder. My worry is about the depth of talent and the individual personalities we have a love/hate relationship with. Due to the lack of young people taking up boxing as a career, I feel these fighters will never get the credit and the fans will never know how talented an individual is due to the level of opposition. In generations past the fans had no doubt about the talent, fighting spirit and the true champions of the sport. Everybody fought everybody, champions fought champions and we witnessed many unification bouts leaving no doubt to who was the true, deserving champions.
1. Andre “S.O.G” Ward – what can I say about this man/fighter. He’s a true champion with unprecedented talent and skills. Ward is no doubt the most talented and gifted fighter after Mayweather Jr. Ward has a highly decorated amateur career and pedigree his record 115-5. From 1998 to 2004, he did not lose a single match. At the Athens Olympics in 2004, Ward won gold in the light-heavyweight division becoming the first American boxer in eight years to capture gold. Ward is the current WBA, WBC and (The Ring) super-middleweight champion and (2) in the official world pound for pound rankings. Ward is another fighter who possesses a “god given talent,” fighting everybody in the division earning his spot in the pound for pound rankings the hard way. His most notable and defining wins coming against Mikkel Kessler, Sakio Bika, Edison Miranda, Arthur Abraham, Carl Froch and Chad Dawson. Ward’s resume reads (26-0). After Mayweather Jr. has bowed out of the sport, I feel this is the man that will obviously succeed him as pound for pound best. I also feel Ward will surpass Mayweather’s achievements in the sport. Will Ward be a pay per view (PPV) star in the capacity that Mayweather Jr is? I doubt it. His personality is humble, he shows too much respect to his opponents. We all know boxing loves a villain, something Ward will never be. Ward is destined to become a great of the sport.
2. Nonito Donaire – Donaire a Filipino/American and a four division world champion. He currently holds the WBO, (The Ring) and WBC diamond super-bantamweight titles. Donaire is also (5) in the pound for pound world rankings (well deserved). Donaire has a respectable professional fight resume which reads (31-1-0). His most notable wins coming against Jorge Arce, Toshiaki Nishioka, Fernando Montiel and Wilfredo Vasquez Jr. Donaire has received many accolades from the sport over his career. The Ring honoured Donaire with knockout of the year in 2007 against Vic Darchinyan and 2011 against Fernando Montiel. He was also (The Ring) and ESPN fighter of the year for 2012. Donaire is a good solid all round fighter. Unfortunately he is a victim of his own circumstance. Very rarely will a super-bantamweight become pound for pound best and face of boxing. The competition just isn’t there for Donaire to achieve greatness. My advice for Donaire is fight the very talented Cuban Guillermo Rigondeux. That fight would be a great match-up.
3. Saul “El Canelo” Alvarez – the next Mexican fighter destined for stardom. As we know boxing is religion to Mexicans all over the world. They love the sport and like nothing more than to get behind there fellow country men. Oscar De La Hoya, for example, is the biggest cross-over star in boxing history. De La Hoya is a native American of Mexican descent. The crowds he drew in and the acquired fan base was spectacular. Oscar had it all, playboy looks, big talk and backed it up in the ring. So too does “Canelo,” who is now promoted by De La Hoya and his Golden Boy Promotions company. Alvarez is the current WBC light-middleweight champion and has a professional record of (41-0-1). The draw came by way of split decision against Jorge Juarez back in 2006. Notable wins have come against the likes of Shane Mosley, Carlos Baldomir, Kermit Cintron, Josesito Lopez, Lovemore Ndou, Matthew Hatton. Although Golden Boy Promotions have been accused of matching Alvarez up softly, avoiding the talented fighters surrounding him. There are possible match-ups involving Alvarez that could be mega-fights drawing in huge ppv numbers. Fights against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr, Sergio Martinez, Miguel Cotto and Austin Trout would be huge. Not to mention a match-up with Mayweather Jr, which has the capability to break all records in ppv numbers. If matched up better, Alvarez does possess the potential to be a boxing superstar.
4. Adrien “The Problem” Broner – at the tender age of 23 this young talent is bringing exciting times with him on his career journey in the sport of boxing. Broner has it all. His talent limitless, he has great movement, defense, offense and knockout power with a fight anybody mentality. Broner’s ego and self belief surpasses that of the great Mayweather Jr, which I thought impossible. Broner already is (6) in the current pound for pound rankings, ranked (1) lightweight in the world and the current WBC lightweight champion. Broner had a successful amateur career made up of about 300 fights. Broner has a professional record 25-0-0 (21 KO). Broner has wins against Daniel Ponce De Leon, Rodriguez, Eloy Perez, Vicente Escobedo and his most recent and defining against the highly rated Antonio DeMarco. Broner totally outclassed and outgunned DeMarco Proving he was no fake or Mayweather replica as many fans believe. Broner is by far the most talented young fighter in the sport in my opinion. Not only will he become the pound for pound (1) and face of boxing but a global superstar, and if guided and nurtured properly a future all time great. Broner has everything Mayweather has and more namely his fight anybody mentality that the old school fighters possessed and that big knockout power. It is clear Broner is still developing and growing into his frame which means more than likely we will see him fighting in multiple weight divisions. I am sure along with myself fans are looking forward to following “The Problem” through his career. In my opinion this is the fighter who will take the mantle from Mayweather Jr
5. Amir “King” Khan – Amir is in my opinion is of course not as established or talented as the other four fighters in this article. Khan is a former two time world champion and former unified WBA (super) and IBF light-welterweight champion. He is also the youngest ever British olympic boxing medallist, winning silver at the Athens games in 2004. Khan has a good amateur pedigree and sub-standard professional record (27-3) his losses come by the way of Breidis Prescott, Lamont Peterson and his most recent against Danny Garcia. Khan does have good wins over Marco Antonio Barrera, Paulie Malignaggi, Marcos Maidana and Zab Judah. Khan was brutally knocked out by the little known Colombian Prescott in his early career. He suffered his latest KO at the hands of Danny Garcia. These KO’s have raised questions over Khan’s chin. Not only have we seen him knocked out, we have also seen him wobbled many times. Khan in my opinion is a fighter that has been guided incorrectly, a fighter that has forgot to keep his feet on the ground throughout his rise as a boxing star. What cannot be questioned is Khan’s fighting spirit. He truly has the heart of a lion. His boxing skills should not be underestimated either. He has lightning hand speed, throws beautiful combinations and possesses decent power. Under the watchful eye of new coach Virgil Hunter (the coach of (Andre “S.O.G” Ward), I believe Khan will become a world champion once again.
I Would like thoughts from the fans on who they feel will be the superstars of the sport once we have lost the stars of today’s era, Mayweather, Marquez, Pacquiao, Martinez, Cotto, Hopkins etc.