It is rare that the month of January provides much of a shake up to the pound-for-pound rankings. This year has been different. It is already time for an update.
1. Roman Gonzalez Gonzalez remains the top pound-for-pound fighter on my list in lieu of a decisive winner between Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev.
2. Andre Ward I want to emphasize with this position on the list that I am respecting a decision I do not agree with. More fans should be willing to adopt this position, for the greater good of the sport. So long as decisions remain respectable.
3. Sergey Kovalev Do I think Kovalev deserved to defeat Ward last November? Yes, by one point, 114-113. But he did not make a convincing case for himself late in the fight and paid the price.
4. Gennady Golovkin He has demolished some good and even very good fighters, over the course of four years now.
5. Manny Pacquiao The Ring does not even list him. The Transnational Boxing Board still has him No. 4, which seems a more honest assessment of history and the present.
6. Terence Crawford The 140-pound champion has made it a habit to beat very good fighters with ease. His eventual move up to welterweight will be exciting to watch, as would a super fight with Manny Pacquiao, Mikey Garcia or Vasyl Lomachenko.
7. Mikey Garcia After knocking out Dejan Zlaticanin on January 28, Garcia has collected alphabet-soup belts in three divisions, defeating top fighters in the weight class each time he did it.
8. Vasyl Lomachenko Has already won belts in two division, beating Roman Martinez and Gary Russell Jr., both top fighters in the weight class.
9. Naoya Inoue He fights at 115 pounds but his nickname is “Monster.” Hopefully on a collision course with Roman Gonzalez. It would be one of the biggest sub-bantanweight bouts of all time.
10. Saul Alvarez The top-ranked fighter in the world at 154 pounds, if by virtue of a decision over Erislandy Lara that I do not happen to agree with. Holds the lineal middleweight title, as well, although he won it at a catchweight.