There have been numerous changes to the Saturday Night Boxing Pound-for-Pound List since the last update at the end of June. Right at the top, former #1 fighter Andre Ward announced his retirement last week and as a result exits the Rankings. With Ward's departure, there is no unassailable answer as to who is now the best fighter in the sport. Based on the previous SNB Rankings, Terence Crawford now assumes the top spot. Crawford was recently an undisputed champion at junior welterweight after knocking out Julius Indongo (he since relinquished one of his belts) and also a former champion at lightweight. True, top names are missing on his resume but I think that he's the best choice for the #1 spot at this time. Crawford is by no means the only worthy pick for the best, but he is mine.
Another major development in the Rankings resulted from Srisaket Sor Rungvisai's fourth round knockout of Roman Gonzalez, who previously had been SNB's #1 fighter before losing to Srisaket earlier in the year. With the victory, Srisaket moves up to #2 and Gonzalez falls to #14.
Mikey Garcia had a very impressive performance against Adrien Broner in July, winning a comfortable unanimous decision. Garcia has now won belts in three divisions and has beaten a top-ten contender in a fourth weight class (junior welterweight). He clearly is among the top fighters in the sport. He jumps from #19 to #8.
Manny Pacquiao dropped a competitive and controversial decision to Jeff Horn in July. Many had Pacquiao as the winner of the fight (as I did) but the match was certainly competitive. I can't credit Horn for the victory in a pound-for-pound sense because I don't believe that the decision was just; however, it's clear to me that an elite fighter does better with Horn than the most recent version of Pacquiao did. In the new Rankings, Pacquiao drops from #2 to #11.
Juan Estrada eked out a competitive unanimous decision victory over Carlos Cuadras earlier this month. It was Estrada's first win over a top opponent in three years. With the victory, he moves from #12 to #9.
Two fighters are now on the SNB Pound-for-Pound List. Cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk has quickly become the top guy in the division. With wins over Krzysztof Glowacki, Thabiso Mchunu and Marco Huck, he has already amassed some impressive scalps on his ledger. He debuts in the Rankings at #19. Kazuto Ioka returns to the List, re-entering at #20. Ioka is now a three-weight world champion (105, 108 and 112) and in his current run has made five defenses of his flyweight title, including an impressive win over Juan Carlos Reveco.
Finally, Shinsuke Yamanaka exits the Rankings after his KO loss to Luis Nery. After the fight, Nery failed a drug test. The case is still being adjudicated but it's clear that Yamanaka is no longer one of the 20 best fighters in the sport.
Here is the complete Saturday Night Boxing Pound-for-Pound list:
1. Terence Crawford
2. Srisaket Sor Rungvisai
3. Gennady Golovkin
4. Saul Alvarez
5. Sergey Kovalev
6. Naoya Inoue
7. Vasyl Lomachenko
8. Mikey Garcia
9. Juan Estrada
10. Keith Thurman
11. Manny Pacquiao
12. Guillermo Rigondeaux
13. Adonis Stevenson
14. Roman Gonzalez
15. Donnie Nietes
16. Leo Santa Cruz
17. Errol Spence
18. Carl Frampton
19. Oleksandr Usyk
20. Kazuto Ioka
Adam Abramowitz is the founder and head writer of saturdaynightboxing.com
He's a member of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board.
@snboxing on twitter. SN Boxing on Facebook.
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