In what always proves to be a bone of contention, Niall Doran is here to discuss his Top 10 Pound For Pound Boxers for 2014.
Ah yes, another year older and another great year for professional boxing as a sport globally. In a year that saw many twists and turns and new stars emerging within the sweet science, perhaps it is befitting to round up the year with the always challenging, enjoyable and controversial top ten pound for pound (P4P) debate.
I look to formulate P4P rankings based on some key criteria such as: results, performance, level of opposition faced, activity, boxing skills and achievements over recent of years. In a time where there is an abundance of quality prize fighters across the continents regularly applying their trade on the world stage, it’s never easy to compile this list.
No doubt with the huge buzz in boxing at the moment, this list will continue to get trickier in 2015 with more big fights being made, more big stars competing and inevitably more talented prospects emerging as elite level contenders. But here goes, this is the top ten best professional pugilists walking the face of the Earth today:
(Please note Andre Ward is not included as it has been over a full year since he last actively boxed)
10. Terence Crawford (Lightweight: 25-0, 17KO)
It was hard to leave Tim Bradley out of the top ten but Terence Crawford really announced himself on the world stage this year with three top drawer performances in winning the world title against Ricky Burns, stopping Yuriorkis Gamboa and then putting on a boxing clinic against Ray Beltran.
Bradley’s sole fight this year was a shutout loss to Manny Pacquiao and as a result, he misses out on the top ten.
9. Carl Froch (Super Middleweight: 33-2, 24KO)
Froch was involved in one of the biggest boxing events of all time with 80,000 screaming fans pack out Wembley Stadium to watch the Cobra continue his incredible run of years fighting the best out there.
When he ended his grudge with George Groves via a single hard punch to render him unconscious, there was no chance we were not putting him in the top ten.
8. Roman Gonzalez (Flyweight: 41-0, 35KO)
The amazingly explosive flyweight from Nicaragua became a two-weight world champion this year when he captured the WBC flyweight title in a year that saw him blitz through four high level opponents rattling over four devastating knockouts, needing a combined total of only 21 rounds en route to his 4 fight demolition sprees this year.
7. Sergey Kovalev (Light-Heavyweight: 26-0-1, 23KO)
“The Crusher” really showed the boxing world just how good he is this year and proved he has world class boxing skill to back up his incredible punch power when he completely out boxed the legendary Bernard Hopkins via a lopsided unanimous points decision.
6. Juan Manuel Marquez (Welterweight: 56-7-1, 40KO)
The legendary Mexican moves slightly down the rankings for me after a year which saw him box just once; a decent points win over Mike Alvarado.
His pedigree and past achievements in recent years are still enough to have him ranked at least number six on this list going into 2015, however his best days could now be coming to an end at the top level. Next year shall reveal all for the legendary warrior.
5. Wladimir Klitschko (Heavyweight: 63-3, 53KO)
Wlad moves slightly up the list for me at the end of 2014 after what was his first exciting fight in years when he stopped Kubrat Pulev inside the distance.
Love him or loathe him, it’s hard to argue with the incredible run of title defenses he’s on that now stretches all the way back to 2006, and does not look like screeching to a halt any time soon.
4. Guillermo Rigondeaux (Super Bantamweight: 14-0, 9KO)
A frustratingly quiet year for the masterful Cuban saw him record one KO victory over Sod Kokietgym. He will cap off 2014 with a fight in Japan on New Year’s eve.
For technical boxing skills alone and what he’s done in a short time frame in the pro ranks in the last few years, it’s easy to see why this special talent is so high on the pound for pound list.
Marketable, maybe not. Talented, you better believe it. We’re hoping for a big 2015 from Rigo.
3. Gennady Golovkin (Middleweight: 31-0, 28KO)<
The biggest mover up the list out of anyone for me this year has to be the sensational GGG. He continued his terror spree on the middleweight division in an active year with power, poise and humbleness that saw him notch three impressive wins, yet again all inside the distance.
2015 should be a very exciting year for this precocious product of the noble art.
2. Manny Pacquiao (Welterweight: 57-5-2, 38KO)
Pacman had a really good year in 2014 and showed the world he has plenty left at the top level with two impressive wins over Timothy Bradley and Chris Algieri.
We saw some of the old Pacquiao power when he dropped Algieri a number of times on route to a dominant points victory. Is 2015 the year for Mayweather-Pacquiao? Don’t hold your breath.
1. Floyd Mayweather (Welterweight: 47-0, 26KO)
Money Mayweather is still the pound for pound best fighter in the world. 2014 was a good year, with the unbeaten fighter recording two wins over Argentinian Marcos Maidana.
There may have been signs that he is slowing down but The Money Team leader should sign off with an undefeated career, he’s just that good.
2015 will hopefuly finally see him sign the fight that boxing fans all around the world are crying out for – against Manny Pacquiao.
Here’s the first Maidana fight:
Niall Doran, Pundit Arena.