It has been some time since there was less clarity and consensus over the rightful pound-for-pound boxer. For more of this century, there has been a more regular state of agreement. It was clearly Floyd. Then he retired and it was clearly Pacquiao. Then Mayweather came back and it was clearly him again, unless you hated Mayweather or were a Pacquiao fanboy–in which case you had to see him get knocked out by Marquez before you would admit the truth.
When Mayweather retired, just about everybody knew the pound-for-pound crown fell to Roman Gonzalez. Then he lost a war, battling in his fourth weight class, and the mantle uneasily settled on Andre Ward, based on his hotly debated victory over Sergey Kovalev. But then Ward TKO’d Kovalev and the title again was clearly defined.
But in the second half of the year, Ward retired and Gennady Golovkin fought Saul Alvarez. Golovkin and Alvarez should have established the rightful replacement for Ward. But instead they battled to a draw.
I think there is probably a pluralistic consensus for Golovkin at this point. He had a knockout streak of historical magnitude which included some definite, higher level contenders. I thought he actually should have been defeated when he edged Daniel Jacobs last March. I had him in a draw versus Canelo, although if I had to pick a winner despite my score, I’d go with Golovkin.
So I guess he should be No. 1. But I am still shading a bit toward Terence Crawford.
Vasyl Lomachenko vs. Guillermo Rigondeaux presents an opportunity for a line jumper on this list. If Rigo can turn in a great performance against Lomo, that is going to give him a case for consideration. He has not defeated a pound-for-pound star since Nonito Donaire over four years ago. If he can come up from super bantamweight to super featherweight now, at age 37, and finesse another elite talent, I will personally slot him in where he belongs, at the top.