Breaking down ESPN’s P4P rankings
By James Le Blanc IV:
Roman Gonzalez – Truthfully Roman is only #1 because the voters know they can’t justify GGG at number 1 just yet. Roman has 10 more wins, more KO’s than Gennady Golovkin, an undefeated record but has faced little to unknown opposition. Even hardcore boxing fans don’t know who this guy is or have yet to see him fight. He is on my list but further down in rankings. Let’s see Roman headline a card once or twice and fight someone we are familiar with before we crown him the best in the world.
Gennady Golovkin – GGG is a couple of spots down on my list mainly because he hasn’t faced top opposition. He is an excellent boxer, proving himself and putting himself in great position to face the very best. I’m not ready to say he is the best in the world but I do believe he is on his way. He’s doing what he is supposed to do, beat who they put in front of him and do so convincingly, I can’t wait to see him face Andy Lee or Daniel Jacobs and then see what he can do at 168 (He really dodged a bullet with Ward moving up). HBO has prematurely crowned him the best in the world (about a year and a half ago), they are also invested in him quite extensively which naturally builds skepticism for him, but none of this is GGGs fault, he will get there, just isn’t there yet in my book.
Manny Pac – Manny Pac has declined quite a bit in the last few years, his KO loss to Marquez, his loss to Mayweather proved he wasn’t the best in the world but he is, as of right now, the undisputed best welterweight in the world aside from his habit of forcing junior welters to move up and face him. He beat Tim Bradley convincingly twice, there is no need for a third match, please Manny don’t do that to us. A few spots down on my list.
Timothy Bradley – Tim is not on my top 10 p4p list and I don’t understand why people put him there. He’s hardly the top 5 welterweight in the world, I would put Thurman, Brook, Khan, and Garcia above him right now. He has struggled against an unknown Provodnikov (at the time, we know him now), Diego Chaves, and Jesse Vargas almost knocked him out!!!? Yes, he knocked out Brandon Rios recently but we all know how dedicated Rios is to the sport of boxing, that’s not saying much honestly.
Sergey Kovalev – The Krusher is one of my favorite boxers to watch, highly underrated boxing skills, a lot of power, and one of the only active fighters at the top with a first ballot hall of famer on his resume (Bernard Hopkins). Right now I am ready to call him the best in the world. He is #1 on my list, and as of right now I would say he could beat Adonis Stevenson and Andre Ward, and we should find out next year.
Andre Ward – Andre Ward has a few hall of famers on his resume, he is undefeated but has been so inactive and lately has faced unknown opponents. He is contracted to face Kovalev which will have three light heavyweight belts on the line. The winner of this match is the best in the world without question. He is #2 on my list by default, hopefully we see him in the ring soon and not hear about another injury. The Derrick Rose of boxing, I tweeted that way before Michelle Beadle said it.
Guillermo Rigondeaux – Rigo is not on my list. I understand why he is viewed the best in the world based on his out classing of Nonito Donaire in Donaires prime years. Part of my criteria for P4P is to have at least 20 professional bouts on your record. What a fighter does in the amateurs wearing head gear should not cross over into the professional rankings, those are amateur bouts. With only 16 fights how can we come to the conclusion of calling Rigo the best in the world? Along with his last two performances people are starting to understand why we shouldn’t prematurely rank these outstanding amateurs.
Canelo Alvarez – Canelo is hands down my favorite fighter in the world right now and his accomplishments in the sport are underrated. He has faced the very best in his division only losing to Mayweather. His team didn’t want him fighting Lara or Trout and he won those matches. He didn’t necessarily move up to face Cotto because of the whole catch weight issue but he fought a first ballot hall of famer with zero advantage and beat him convincingly. Canelo is # 3 in my book, and so he’s not facing a true middleweight in GGG YET, but that will happen later next year, maybe at a catch weight but we will see. I am looking forward to that fight and I think Canelo has earned his spot among the very best in this sport based on performance and opposition.
Terence Crawford – Who is not impressed by this kid Terence Crawford. Outstanding boxer, very poised and unshaken in the ring. I think Crawford is ready for the Pacman and I would also call this fight a toss-up. Terence Crawford is ranked a little higher on my list. I would love to see him beat up Adrien Broner but that won’t happen. He still has a lot of options available to him.
Vasyl Lomanchenko – Loma is not on my list, see what I wrote about Rigo. Also, Loma got beat down by Orlando Salido, how is he the best in the world with a win percentage of 83%?? I know Roy Jones has been damaged in the sport by calling this kid the best in the world, what Loma did with head gear on does not make him the best in this sport.
Here is my list
Honorable mentions: Miguel Cotto, Mikey Garcia, Daniel Jacobs