After his stunning, landmark win over Kell Brook over the weekend, Errol Spence Jr. has re-written the welterweight rankings. Here’s an updated top 10.
No. 1: Errol Spence Jr. Maybe I am jumping the gun here because I’m still pumped up over Spence’s outstanding performance in England last weekend. But he hung tough and then took apart a tough, veteran belt holder. When you knock out another top five fighter, it counts for a lot.
No. 2: Manny Pacquiao I am tempted to list Thurman above the 38-year-old Manny Pacquiao. Back-to-back wins over Porter and Danny Garcia might count for a bit more than Pacquaio’s back-to-back wins over Timothy Bradley and Jessie Vargas, but I’m giving Pac the edge due to his all-time, elite resume.
No. 3: Keith Thurman He has two of the belts, which doesn’t necessarily mean anything. But he also has two straight wins over top contenders–Shawn Porter and Danny Garcia. And that means a lot. It is arguably the best two-win streak in the division.
No. 4: Kell Brook I am not about to downgrade him based on his back-to-back stoppage losses to Gennady Golovkin (at middleweight) and Spence. But he’s broken both orbital bones and might never be the same again.
No. 5: Shawn Porter His only two losses came in competitive fights against Thurman and Brook. Destroyed Paulie Malignaggi, thoroughly beat up Devon Alexander and completely out-hustled Adrien Broner.
No. 6: Danny Garcia Garcia was completely unable to cut the ring off against Keith Thurman earlier this year. He can complain that he “pushed the action” but he threw a hundred less punches than Thurman, so that gripe rings hollow.
No. 7: Amir Khan Struggles to get the respect he deserves, at least in North America, but he would be a tough fight for anybody in the division.
No. 8: Jessie Vargas Vargas is clearly not at the elite level of the division, but he is a tough, competitive warrior. He nearly knocked Timothy Bradley out at the last second of their fight. He looked outstanding knocking out Sadam Ali in March 2016.
No. 9: Lamont Peterson I thought he deserved the nod over Garcia but thought he might have gotten lucky to receive the decision against Felix Diaz. He would make a terrific bout against the likes of Porter or in a rematch with Garcia.
No. 10: Lucas Matthysse The former super lightweight attraction came out of retirement to stop a solid contender in Emmanuel Taylor last May.