It’s been a huge summer for boxing and the time is now right to update the pound-for-pound top 10 list. The past couple of months have seen more shake ups than usual.
1. Andre Ward: Ward might never earn the affection of the casuals but hardcore fans realize we are seeing a special talent every time in climbs into the ring.
2. Terence Crawford: Crawford notched a rare accomplishment this summer when he unified all four major belts at 140 pounds. Now the super lightweight champion is poised to make his move on the welterweights.
3. Gennady Golovkin: Golovkin’s wrecking ball ways have come to a halt in his last two bouts, against Daniel Jacobs and Saul Alvarez. But those high-level opponents have given him the opportunity to prove he can truly box.
4. Saul Alvarez: Canelo moved up in weight and took on the best middleweight in the world, fighting Golovkin on very even terms and demonstrating skills he has not previously needed to employ.
5. Vasyl Lomachenko: Lomachenko is just 10 fights into his professional career, but he has already showcased the kind of technical wizardry that is rarely seen.
6. Guillermo Rigondeaux: The true world champion at super bantamweight, he will jump two divisions later this year to take on Lomachenko in a matchup between the two best amateur fighters of recent decades.
7. Naoya Inoue: The Japanese phenom impressed in his U.S. debut this summer. But his best potential fight might be back in Japan against bantamweight star Shinsuke Yamanaka.
8. Mikey Garcia: In a perfect world, Garcia would face Crawford in a superfight. I’d be satisfied if he returned to lightweight to battle Jorge Linares and establish a true champion at 135 pounds.
9. Juan Francisco Estrada: Estrada has been sadly over-looked–that tends to happen to sub-bantamweight talents. But he just defeated Carlos Cuadras, yet another high-level contender that he has bested.
10. Sergey Kovalev: Kovalev is on a two-fight losing streaks, but both of those losses came against Ward and the first bout could easily have gone in his favor. He has a tough return bout scheduled against Vyacheslav Shabranskyy.