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The Pound for Pound All-Time Best: Ray Robinson, Henry Armstrong or Willie Pep

Posted on 01/07/2019

By: Ken Hissner

Three boxers are usually always on everyone’s pound for pound best fighter of all-time. This writer’s choice is “Sugar” Ray Robinson. He once defeated Henry “Homicide Hank” Armstrong when the latter was well past his fighting days. Armstrong is another considered to be an all time great as is Willie “Will o’ the Wisp” Pep.

It should be noted that none of these three fought with their names at birth. Robinson was born Walker Smith, Jr., Armstrong was Henry Jackson and Pep was Gugliermo Papaleo.

Robinson had a record of 174-19-6 with 109 stoppages. He held the World Welterweight Title from December 1946 to February 1951 before winning the middleweight title for the first time from February 1951 to July 1951. He would regain it a second time in September 1951 to December 1952. He then won it for a third time holding it from December 1955 to January 1957. Finally for a fourth time from March 1956 to January 1960.

He won his first 40 fights. Robinson lost for the first time to Jake LaMotta but won the next five times they fought. LaMotta commented on fighting Robinson those six times with “I fought Sugar Ray so often, I almost got diabetes.” After reversing a loss to Gene Fullmer he knocked out Fullmer. When Fullmer got off his stool he asked “why is Robinson jumping around?” He was told “because he just knocked you out!”

Robinson challenged for the Light Heavyweight Title that Joey Maxim held and was well ahead after thirteen rounds but couldn’t come out for the fourteenth due to heat exhaustion. The temperature at ringside was 103 degrees. It was the only time in his career he was stopped. He was 132-3-2 and retired for the first time. He came back after thirty months and his record from there on was 42-16-4. Like too many boxer’s he stayed around too long. He defeated fifteen former, reigning, or future world champions.

When Robinson left boxing he dabbled in acting. He was also known for the best rope jumper and a great dancer. In 1069 he founded the Sugar Ray Robinson Youth Foundation in Los Angeles.

Armstrong was 152-21-9 with 101 stoppages. He first won the World Featherweight Title holding it from October 1937 to September 1938. He jumped over the World Lightweight Title and won the World Welterweight title holding it from May of 1938 to October of 1940. During this period he won the World Lightweight Title holding it from August of 1938 to August of 1939. He attempted to win the Middleweight Title from Ceferino Garcia who was recognized in California and New York but the decision ended in a draw.

This is when there was one organization and 10 contenders. Much different than today with 4 or 5 organizations with at least 60 or more contenders. All three were inducted into the IBHOF in 1990.

After retiring Armstrong became an ordained Minister and devoted himself to underprivileged children.

One of Pep’s comments toward Middleweight Champion Rocky Graziano was “you couldn’t hit me with a fist full of stones!” Then pertaining to being married six times he said “All my wives were great housekeepers, after every divorce they kept the house!” Pep won his first 62 fights.

Pep had a record of 229-11-1 with 65 stoppages. Pep held the World Featherweight Title from November 1942 to October 1948. Then, from February 1949 to September 1950. He was 134-1-1 when he lost his title to Sandy Saddler in October of 1948.

Pep came back in March of 1965 after a four year and two month retirement. In his second fight back this writer was at ringside when he defeated Philly’s Jackie Lennon in April of 1965 over six rounds at the Philadelphia Arena. At age 42 he still looked good to me. In his comeback he won 9 straight before losing his final fight in March of 1966.

After retirement Pep became a prominent referee and a Connecticut Boxing Commissioner.

Bert Sugar’s 100 greatest fighters list was No. 1 Robinson, No. 2 Armstrong and No. 3 Pep. I find it hard to argue with that. How about you?

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UK Pound-For-Pound Rankings 2018

Posted on 12/31/2018

By: Ste Rowen

It’s been another great year for UK boxing following a successful 2017. From heavyweight, Anthony Joshua to flyweight, Charlie Edwards, the UK pound-for-pound lists are being collated.

From 10 to 1, here we see who – this writer at least – ranks as the best to ply their trade from Great Britain and Northern Ireland in 2018.

10…Kal Yafai 25-0 (15KOs)
It was a rough end to Yafai’s 2018. The WBA super-flyweight titlist fought and stopped David Carmona in Fresno in May and it all looked setup for the former Olympian to take on either future hall of famer, Roman Gonzalez or IBF champion, Jerwin Ancajas. Neither fight materialised. Instead Kal laboured through 12 rounds with Israel Gonzalez in a bout many observers felt he lost. The scorecards were nothing short of a disgrace, returning as 117-111 and 116-112 (x2). Yafai is going to need a massive 2019 to make up for that performance.

9…Charlie Edwards 14-1 (6KOs)
A new entrant from 2017’s list (https://bit.ly/2Ad2cgp), is newly crowned WBC flyweight champion, Charlie Edwards. 14-1 (6KOs), Edwards started his year with a stoppage victory over Ricky Little, then four months later he finished off Anthony Nelson within three. Just last week, the losing challenger to John Riel Casimero’s IBF title in 2016 scored a unanimous decision win over Cristofer Rosales to become the newest champion at 112lb.

8…George Groves 28-4 (20KOs)
Riding high after finally becoming a world champion in 2017, ‘Saint’ George Groves started the year as the WBA super-middleweight champion, and heading into an all British World Boxing Super Series semi-final with Chris Eubank Jr. It was a fight he was to dominate on the scorecards, and all though he had a few hairy moments late on due to a dislocated shoulder, Groves made it out with another defence under his belt and a place in the WBSS final to face Callum Smith.
It was to be where ‘The Saint’s’ winning run ended as, in the unusual surroundings of King Abdullah Sports City Saudi Arabia, the London-native was to fall to a 6th round body shot KO defeat to the unbeaten Liverpudlian. His impressive showing earlier in the year keeps George in the top 10 for now.

7…Ryan Burnett 19-1 (9KOs)
Ryan Burnett, of Belfast may now have to call himself a ‘former’ world champion, but it was all to do with injury than skill when he took on Nonito Donaire in the Bantamweight WBSS quarter finals. Burnett was the WBA champion as he entered the Super Series in November, having defended it once with a dominant decision victory of Yonfrez Parejo back in March.
It was competitive while it lasted in Ryan’s November bout in Glasgow but late in the 4th, Burnett threw a right hand that triggered the back injury. He recently assured fans that it’s not career-ending so here’s to a 2019 that sees Ryan take on the losers and eventual winner of the 118lb tournament.

6…Dillian Whyte 25-1 (18KOs)
The Body Snatcher’ did his best to maneuverer himself into a world title shot and despite failing on that count, Whyte has undoubtedly had a successful twelve months. In March, Dillian viciously knocked out a lethargic but unbeaten, Lucas Browne. Four months later he took a step up by stepping in with the recently dethroned, Joseph Parker. It was rough going and although Whyte dropped the New Zealander twice, the former WBO champion rallied late on to knock his British foe down and almost out in the final few seconds of the fight. Dillian survived the assault to earn a unanimous decision.
Then to see the year out, he put a sure conclusion to his ongoing domestic rivalry with Dereck Chisora thanks to an 11th round, left-hook knockout of ‘Del Boy’ in the rematch of their controversial 2016 bout. Whyte’s only defeat continues to be at the hands of heavyweight king, Anthony Joshua and a rematch of their 2015 fight is the front runner for AJ’s April Wembley Stadium date.

5…Josh Taylor 14-0 (12KOs)
Scottish southpaw Josh ‘Tartan Tornado’ Taylor is getting better with every performance. After a fantastic 2017, Taylor had his eyes firmly set on the big boys of the super-lightweight division. In March, after veteran, Humberto Soto dropped out late, Josh made easy work of replacement Winston Campos. Then came the big test three months later when he went up against former world champion, Viktor Postol; dropping the Ukrainian en route to a 12-round unanimous victory.
In November, Josh entered the World Boxing Super Series quarter finals where he looked levels above unbeaten American, Ryan Martin. Forcing ‘Blue Chip’ into a 7th round TKO loss. 14-0 (12KOs), it’s Josh’s performance as well as the opposition he’s facing that puts him up at five in this list.
The Scot’s next fight, though it still has no date, will be against Russian and IBF champion, Ivan Baranchyk. A place in the WBSS final awaits the winner, as well as the IBF strap.

4…Tyson Fury 27-0-1 (19KOs)
What more can be said about the return of Tyson Fury? After nearly three years out of the ring and his well-publicized mental health issues, Fury stepped back into the ring, twice against ‘walk-over’ opponents before going up against arguably the biggest puncher in boxing, WBC champion Deontay Wilder, at the start of December.
It was a bout that saw Fury dominate the American for almost every round, but the Brit touched the canvas firstly in round 9 and then was almost wiped out in the 12th where he inexplicably rose in a way that The Undertaker would be proud of.
Knockdowns or not, it was clear to anyone with eyes and a basic understanding of the rules that Tyson won that fight, and although officially he didn’t, his performance was fantastic and earns him a spot back in the top 10.

3…Josh Warrington 28-0 (6KOs)
What a year it’s been for IBF featherweight champion, Josh Warrington. In May, he headlined in his home city at Leeds’s Elland Road Stadium, and defeated long-time rival, Lee Selby to rip the belt from the Welshman. Josh then, in his first defence, was a clear victor over 12 rounds against two-weight champion, Carl Frampton. A fight that included a ‘Round of the Year’ contender from the first bell.
Warrington said recently he’s open to the idea of WBO champion, Oscar Valdez being his next fight. Considering the calibre of his opponents this year, it’s not difficult to believe the Leeds native when he speaks.

2…Callum Smith 25-0 (18KOs)
Entering the 168lb World Boxing Super Series has revitalised Smiths career that was crying out for a legacy fight and as a result, ends 2018 as the WBA and Ring Magazine super-middleweight world champion. ‘Mundo’s’ only fight of 2017 was his decision victory over Erik Skoglund in the WBSS quarter finals, then early this year he was set to face Juergen Braehmer until the German was forced to pull out due to illness. In came kickboxing world champion, Nieky Holzken and after an underwhelming 12 rounds in Germany, Smith dominated the Dutchman to a unanimous points win.
It turned out to just be a taster of what Callum could do. The unbeaten Liverpudlian entered the ring in Jeddah as the underdog but forced his fight onto Groves early, with his power clearly effecting his fellow Brit with every power shot. It all accumulated in a dominant 6th round for Smith where he let loose and fired off the killer body shot that ended the bout.
If not a unification bout next, a matchup with Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez could be up for the champion but with a fairly inactive 2017, the 28-year-old will surely be looking for the biggest fights as soon as possible.

1…Anthony Joshua 22-0 (21KOs)
Tyson Fury may have taken some of the shine from Joshua’s 2018, but the WBA, IBF & WBO heavyweight champion – a non-mover from 2017’s list – still had a successful year with only the failure to make the Wilder fight, as the black mark on his last twelve months.
‘AJ’ firstly added the WBO strap to his collection of championship belts in April with a points win over Joseph Parker, and then took out a very game challenger in Alexander Povetkin three months ago with a six round stoppage victory.
The current #1 in the division, if he fails to make fights with Wilder or Fury next year, Anthony could soon be pipped for the top spot by the Brits behind him on this list.

Notable Omissions
James DeGale – The IBF super-middleweight champion fought twice in 2018 but can you name his second opponent? ‘Chunky’ regained his IBF belt in April with a decision victory in the rematch with Caleb Truax and then KO’d Colombian, Fidel Monterrosa Munoz inside three, five months later. He may be a world champion, but he has no place in this year’s list.

Amir Khan & Kell Brook – It seems only right to group these two together. Will they fight? Who knows? People seemingly do care though, but neither has fought anyone worthy of ascending into 2018’s top 10. Khan made lightwork of Phil Lo Greco & slightly harder work of Samuel Vargas. Brook called out Jarrett Hurd and the recently deposed, Jermell Charlo at the beginning of the year but ended up taking on and beating Sergey Rabchenko & Michael Zerafa.

Carl Frampton – ‘The Jackal’ decisioned future hall of famer, Nonito Donaire at the start of the year, stopped Luke Jackson in the middle, and was a competitive, but clear loser when he fought Josh Warrington to end 2018. The Belfast man’s future is still undecided but having already achieved world titles at super-bantam and featherweight the 31-year-old has very little left to prove if he were to retire.

Billy Joe Saunders – If it weren’t for his collapsed fight with Demetrius Andrade the now former WBO middleweight champion would’ve been in the top 10, but with the situation regarding his failed drug test still up in the air and his only fight of 2018 being a 4th round stoppage over 32-13, Charles Adamu (where he weighed in at 178.5lb), it’s hard to find a place for him in this year’s list.

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Claressa Shields: “I Just Want The Pound-For-Pound Spot”

Posted on 11/14/2018

By: Sean Crose

Claressa “T Rex” Shileds was expecting to have a major bout this weekend against Christina Hammer. That bout, however, fell through. Therefore, the 6-0 Shields will be facing the 5-2 Hannah Rankin this Saturday at the Kansas Star Casino in Mulvane, Kansas, headlining a card that will be aired live by the DAZN streaming service. Shields will be defending her IBF and WBA world middleweight titles. The WBC belt, formerly held by Hammer, will also be at stake. “The WBC crown was in the hands of Christina Hammer,” promoter Matchroom Boxing claims, “whom Shields was slated to meet this weekend in a unification blockbuster for all four belts, with the German also owning the WBO belt.”

“I’m thrilled,” Shields says, “to be able to continue my road to undisputed this weekend…Christina has first in line when I win the belt on Saturday, it’s not a fight that we are looking to avoid. If she’d been fit to face me then that would be the fight this weekend. I wanted that fight bad.” Shields claims she knew something was amiss with Hammer, who had to step out of the fight due to a medical condition that hasn’t been disclosed to the public.

“I felt that when we did the phone interview and we announced that we were fighting,” says Shields, “I sensed in her tone that something was wrong, that she wasn’t as excited as I was about the fight. She didn’t seem happy, and as a champion I sensed something was wrong and I was right as she was sick. As soon as she comes back, we can fight.” Shields, however, is not going to take Rankin lightly. “Hannah has been Christina’s toughest sparring partner,” says Shields of this weekend’s opponent, “so I am going to make her pay just for that. It’s not a let down for me, just getting in the ring and being able to fight is a joy to me, it makes me happy. Hannah has turned down another fight to take this shot and we’re fighting as a co-main event on DAZN, so it should be fun.”

Shields is reportedly willing to go up to super middleweight, or even down to super welterweight, in order to land fights. “None of the girls at 168lbs,” says Shields, “want to fight me. We’ve offered the fight to Alicia many times and fights to so many of them, they’ve all said I’m too big and they are too little, then they say we don’t offer good money – but we have TV and we’re offering good money for sure.” Shields is even open to fighting welterweight Cecilia Braekhus at a catchweight.

“I think I can go as low as 154lbs,” says Shields, “and I would do that to fight Cecilia for the pound-for-pound spot. I don’t want to go to 147lbs as I would only be able to win the fight and not go on to defend the belts. She can keep her belts, I just want the pound-for-pound spot – she can have the belts and be number two, I’m number one. We can meet at 154lbs, that would be huge.”

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Mikey Garcia’s Bid for Pound-for-pound No. 1

Posted on 07/31/2018

By: Kirk Jackson

Mikey Garcia emerged victorious over the weekend improving his record to 39-0 (30 KO’s) and capturing his fifth world title in a lightweight unification bout against Robert Easter 21-1 (14 KO’s).

After another dominant performance, Garcia’s star continues to shine brighter and it’s time for the boxing public to seriously consider Garcia as the top pound-for-pound fighter.

Surveying various pound-for-pound lists, they’re likely framed to feature the likes of Terence Crawford, Vasyl Lomachenko, Gennady Golovkin and Errol Spence.

Undisputed cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk is a fighter who should be considered in the running as one of boxing’s best fighters and is slept on by a vast majority of the mainstream boxing community.

Making a case for Garcia, he has five world titles across four weight classes in seven championship fights. Traveling from weight class to weight class displays the will and desires to be great.

Among his pound-for-pound contemporaries, Garcia faced and defeated a larger tally of world champion fighters. As of now, Garcia defeated 10 world champions, six by knockout.

By comparison, Crawford and Lomachenko defeated six world champions each, Golovkin defeated five, Usyk defeated four and Spence defeated three.

This statistic is not the end-all argument especially considering the multitude of variables at play, but this statistic looks good on paper in favor of Garcia.

Accolades, accomplishments, world titles or records set factor in towards a fighter’s pound-for-pound status. The resume is a crucial factor.

Another measure is the skill-set of pound-for-pound elite fighters and the ability to display these talents against the highest level of opposition.

Garcia displays a certain skill-set required to transcend across several weight divisions. Although not flashy, the subtle adept techniques and overall consistency is what establishes Garcia amongst the greatest fighters of today.

Because Garcia isn’t ostentatious with his lateral movement, punches and overall style, his skills tend to get overlooked.

In the sport of basketball, Tim Duncan for example is considered one of the greatest players of all-time, but his style of play for many observes is bland in comparison to flamboyant players such as Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant.

Lomachenko and Crawford are so skillful and flashy with what they can do, it’s somewhat easier for the common viewer to acknowledge and visualize what makes them great and transcendent as fighters.

As he showcased against Easter, Garcia measures his distance well and can find the right angles to land a variety of well-placed accurate punches.

Not recognized for blazing hand speed, Garcia contends with excellent timing and possessing excellent foot work he can move in and out of range; avoiding danger at pivotal times.

Easter can even attest. “He was just a better man tonight,” Easter said. “I take my hat off to Mikey. He’s a true warrior. … I just couldn’t find the timing and I just couldn’t let my right hand go.”

Another measure establishing and separating the pound-for-pound best from other great fighters worthy of the crown is the risks and challenges that fighter is willing to take to prove his weight in gold so-to-speak.

This year alone, Garcia moved up in weight capturing the vacant IBF junior welterweight title against Sergey Lipinets.

This past weekend he added another world title to his collection defeating undefeated Easter and unifying the light weight division.

As far as seeking greater challenges, Garcia intends to face one of boxing’s most avoided fighters and current IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence.

“There’s no one else that excites me enough, that motivates me and that can challenge me other than Errol Spence, and I’m willing to take that challenge, all the way up, because that’s the fight that will motivate me the most,” said Garcia at the post-fight press conference.

”I’m here to challenge myself. He is the best. He might feel that it’s an easy fight for him, that I’m too small, and that’s fine. Let’s get in the ring and let’s go to work.”

That is the biggest challenge possible. Forgoing further lightweight unification with Lomachenko, if this proposed dream bout against Spence manifests into fruition, this would be the third weight division and third championship bout of the year for Garcia.

“I’m not going to wait around for Lomachenko. I want Errol Spence, bigger threat but bigger reward,” said Garcia. “No one has beat 3 undefeated champions in 3 divisions within 9 months that excites me.”

Not only is this pound-for-pound territory, Garcia would be entering Henry Armstrong like territory.

If Garcia is able to pull of the monumental upset and slay the proverbial monster and one of boxing’s top avoided boogeymen, Garcia without question establishes himself as the best fighter pound-for-pound.

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The Difficulty of Holding the Pound for Pound No. 1 Position

Posted on 05/15/2018

By: Ken Hissner

This writer remembers doing an article about my favorite boxer today WBA, WBC, IBF & IBO Middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin, of KAZ, living in L.A., along with Vasyl “Hi-Tech” Lomachenko, of UKR, living in Oxnard, CA, and Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez from Managua, Nicaragua.

Shortly thereafter Gonzalez was 46-0 at the time holding the WBC World Super Flyweight title and then lost twice to Thailand’s Wisaksil Wangek, then 42-4-1, in 2017.

Golovkin then has what I consider his toughest fight defeating Danny “Miracle Man” Jacobs who skipped the second weigh-in and if Golovkin came in at 170 the following day after making 160 what do you think Jacobs weighed? 185? On top of that he fought southpaw to my surprise. Then in his other 2017 title fight he only gets a draw against Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. This a decision many including me thought was highway robbery after chasing Alvarez the last seven rounds.

Lomachenko over the week-end had it come off the canvas in the sixth round and possibly saved by the bell, only to come back and stop Jorge Linares, for his WBA Super World Lightweight title in the tenth round.

In looking at what this writer considers some of the best ten P4P boxers today I still consider Golovkin and Lomachenko as the best two. Others are Mikey Garcia, 38-0 (30), WBO Featherweight, WBO Junior Lightweight champion, WBC World Lightweight champion and IBF Light Welterweight champion.

Then there is Terence “Bud” Crawford, 32-0 (23), of Omaha, NEB, the former WBO Lightweight, WBO, WBC, WBA and IBF Light Welterweight champion now a welterweight who on June 9th will be challenging WBO Welterweight champion Jeff Horn. Crawford will be a heavy favorite in that one.

There’s the Charlo brothers from Houston, Texas, Jermell “Iron Man” Charlo, 30-0 (15), holder of the WBC World Super Welterweight title. His twin brother is the former IBF World Super Welterweight champion Jermall Charlo, 27-0 (21), currently the interim WBC World Middleweight title.

There’s Keith “One Time” Thurman, 28-0 (22), from Clearwater, FL, holder of the WBA & WBC Welterweight titles that he unified back in March of 2017 and due to injury hasn’t fought since.

There’s Chayaphon Moonsri, 50-0 (18), the WBC Minimum World Champion from Bangkok, Thailand. As long as he keeps winning I have a feeling Floyd “Money” Mayweather is going to keep fighting to stay one win ahead of him.

Finally the two heavyweight champions Anthony “AJ” Joshua, 21-0 (20), who holds the WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO titles, from Watford, UK. Then the WBC heavyweight champion Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder, 40-0 (39), from Tuscaloosa, AL.

Garcia and Lomachenko may be a future unification bout. Joshua and Wilder may be a future unification bout. Crawford winning the WBO title could meet Thurman in a unification bout. Golovkin and Charlo could be in a unification bout. So as you can see if those bouts happen my top ten P4P list four of them would be eliminated.

It’s not like “back in the day” where most of us knew there was only one P4P best and that was “Sugar” Ray Robinson!

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Twelve of the Greatest Pound for Pound Boxers from Boxing’s Early Days

Posted on 03/19/2018

By: Ken Hissner

There have been many lists of who were the greatest boxers of all-time! In this list I go back to the first 50+ years from 1900.

The majority of people would say the former welterweight and middleweight champion “Sugar” RAY ROBINSON who was 174-19-6 with 109 knockouts and only stopped once (by the heat).

In 1939 and 1940 Robinson was the New York Golden Gloves Champion. He was 85-2 with 69 knockouts as an amateur. He won his first 41 fights as a professional before losing to Jake LaMotta. He had previously beaten LaMotta and go on to defeat him three more times after his loss. He was 129-1-2 when he lost his second fight to Randy Turpin in the UK. He would reverse this loss in his next fight in the US.

Robinson was inducted into the IBHOF in 1990.

Another great that is mentioned as the very best by some was HENRY “Homicide Hank” ARMSTRONG who on titles at Featherweight, Welterweight and Lightweight in that order. He was 152-21-9 with 101 knockouts. In 1937 he won the Featherweight title. In 1938 he won the Welterweight title. In 1939 he won the Lightweight title.

He was inducted into the IBHOF in 1990.
WILLIE “Will o’ the Wisp” PEP has also been mentioned as the top boxer of all time. He was 229-11-1 with 65 knockouts.

He won his first 63 fights before losing to Sammy Angott. He was 134-1-1 before he lost to Sandy Saddler. He would reverse that loss but lose to Saddler twice after that. He was the World Featherweight Champion.

He was inducted into the IBHOF in 1990.

Regarded by many as the greatest heavyweight of all-time was JOE “The Brown Bomber” LOUIS, who was 66-3 with 52 knockouts. He had 25 successful title defenses. He won his first 24 fights losing for the first time to Max Schmeling. He would reverse this loss with a first round knockout. He was 52-1 when he lost to Ezzard Charles.

Ring Magazine had JACK “The Galveston Giant” JOHNSON, he was 56-11-8 with 35 knockouts. His record was also listed at 71-11-1. He was the first black heavyweight champion. Prior to that he held the Colored Title.

He was inducted into the IBHOF in 1990.

The heavyweight champion with the greatest record was Rocky Marciano, 49-0 with 43 knockouts. He defeated Joe Louis at the very end of the “Brown Bomber’s” career.

He was inducted into the IBHOF in 1990.

Sam “The Boston Bone Crusher” Langford, was 180-29-39, with 128 knockouts. He was the only fighter the great Jack Dempsey admitted to he didn’t want to fight. 213-43-53 was another record posted. He was as light as 140 and eventually got up to 192. He was also a Colored Champion. He was born in Canada but spent most of his boxing career in the US.

Harry “Pittsburgh Windmill” Greb was middleweight and light heavyweight champion. He was 107-8-3 with 48 knockouts. Some have him as 262-17-18. He was the only boxer to defeat heavyweight champion Gene Tunney. Greb was known to have a “glass eye”. A friend of mine Joe Shannon said they were on the Atlantic City Boardwalk when Greb’s eye fell out.

When he lost that eye is unknown.

He was inducted into the IBHOF in 1990.

Benny “The Ghetto Wizard” Leonard was the Lightweight and Welterweight Champion. He was 89-6-1 with 70 knockouts. 185-22-8 was also mentioned.

He was inducted into the IBHOF in 1990.

Joe “Old Master” Gans was the Lightweight Champion and was 145-10-16 with 100 knockouts. 158-12-21 was also mentioned.

He was inducted into the IBHOF in 1990.

Jack “Manassa Mauler” Dempsey was the Heavyweight Champion and was 54-6-9 with 44 knockouts.

He was inducted in to the IBHOF in 1990.
Mickey “Toy Bulldog” Walker was the Welterweight and Middleweight Champion and was 94-19-4 with 60 knockouts. 131-35-6 was another mentioned.

He was inducted into the IBHOF in 1990.

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UK Pound-For-Pound Rankings

Posted on 12/20/2017

By: Ste Rowen

When I sat down to write something this week, I was struggling, and then it came to me.

In a quiet few weeks for boxing what better way to create unnecessary arguments about a popular but ultimately irrelevant subject?

So here goes, this is my Top 10 Pound-For-Pound UK Boxers.

*I also feel like I have to say, the views expressed in this article are that of the writer and do not represent those of other writers at BoxingInsider.com…. Phew!

10 Tony Bellew 29-2-1 (19KOs)

Despite only fighting once and winning in peculiar circumstances, Bellew keeps a spot in the top 10. Still riding high on his first heavyweight fight, and victory over David Haye, the WBC Cruiserweight Emeritus Champion – no, me neither – was hoping to prove his March 2017 victory over Haye was no fluke but an inevitable injury to the Hayemaker has forced the rematch to take place in May next year instead.

9 Khalid Yafai 23-0-0 (14KOs)

Kal Yafai began 2017 as a world champion, superbly outpointing Luis Concepcion to a unanimous decision in December 2016 for the WBA Super Flyweight title. Aside from Ryan Burnett, featured later, Yafai has perhaps had the quickest ascent, and in an especially stacked division has made his mark. In his two fights of 2017 he earnt unanimous decision victories over former Japanese Fly and Super Flyweight champions Suguru Muranaka and Sho Ishida respectively. If Kal is able to get a place in the upcoming HBO SuperFly 2 card, he would be making the perfect start to 2018.

8 Chris Eubank Jr 26-1-0 (20KOs)

Round about this time last year Chris Eubank Jr was still receiving grief for deciding to dodge the Golovkin fight and nobody quite knew where his career was going. Twelve months and three fights later and Eubank is now one of the biggest players in the super middleweight division. He holds a version of the world titles, the IBO; is less than two months from fighting for the WBA Super belt and, in the UK at least, is now a PPV fighter with the help of ITV. Stand out performances against Arthur Abraham and Avni Yildrim have solidified his status with most bookies as the favourite for his February 17th WBSS semi-final against George Groves.

7 Josh Taylor 11-0-0 (10KOs)

In stark contrast to his former stablemate, Carl Frampton, Josh Taylor has had a fantastic year though it did start off with an awkward win over Alfonso Olvera on the Frampton v Santa Cruz undercard in Vegas. He kicked on by dominating Warren Joubert and then humbling the unbeaten and outspoken Ohara Davies, forcing Davies to quit in the seventh. He finished the year in a risky bout vs Miguel Vauzquez but proved yet again he is well worth the hype by knocking out the former lightweight champion with a killer body shot in the 9th. He’s now at number 9 in the Ring Magazine Jr welterweight rankings, and 5th with the WBC.

6 Lee Selby 26-1-0 (9KOs)

It was difficult to place the IBF Featherweight Champion. Despite a busy 2017, fighting three times with wins that included a 9th round stoppage over Andoni Gago, and dominant displays over Jonathan Barros and an overweight Eduardo Ramirez, the level of opposition and an inactive 2016 have harmed Selby’s standing amongst British fans. However, his long-awaited bout with Josh Warrington has been all but confirmed. If he comes through that with the W, and fights at least once more against Carl Frampton or one of the other title holders, we should see Selby shoot up most rankings.

5 Carl Frampton 24-1-0 (14KOs)

It’s been a bad year for Frampton. Twelve months ago, the two-weight world champion would’ve been top of the list but he started 2017 with a defeat to Leo Santa Cruz in an immediate rematch of their July 2016 bout. Then he split with long time promoter Barry Mcguigan and his son, 2016 trainer of the year Shane McGuigan after his return to Belfast fight fell apart the day before the fight. Ending the year with a, closer than the scorecards suggest, decision win over Horacio Garcia and past victories over Santa Cruz and Scott Quigg keep credit in the bank for Frampton who’ll be hoping for somewhat of a comeback year in 2018.

4 Billy Joe Saunders 26-0-0 (12KOs)

The WBO Middleweight Champion has found himself as a late entrant into the top five of this list after a superior display over former IBF Champion David Lemieux. Even the unanimous scorecards didn’t do justice to the way Saunders played with the Canadian in his own backyard. Billy Joe also scored a unanimous decision over fringe contender Willie Monroe Jr in September. Both victories, but more so the performance in Quebec, see the middleweight in the 4th spot.

3 George Groves 27-3-0 (20KOs)

After re-establishing himself as one of the best super middleweight contenders in 2016, Groves, on the fourth time of asking, became a world champion in April 2017 stopping a durable Fedor Chudinov to win the WBA ‘Super’ World Super Middleweight belt – the proper one. Not only did the win get him his first world title, but also counted towards his number 1 seed into the World Boxing Super Series. His second fight of 2017 saw him body-shot KO unbeaten Jamie Cox to seal his place in the WBSS semi-final, there to face number 8 on this list, Chris Eubank Jr in early 2018.

2 Ryan Burnett 18-0-0 (9KOs)

What a few years it’s been for the WBA and IBF bantamweight champion. Since winning the vacant British title back in November 2015 Burnett has fought six times and in his two bouts this year, he firstly won the IBF title in a dominant decision win over Lee Haskins and then four months later unified the bantamweight division by defeating Zhanat Zhakiyanov in Belfast, in a great display of skill and heart. Already viewed as a standout talent of the lighter weight divisions, a win in 2018 against the likes of Zolani Tete, could boost Burnett into the an overall P4P player.

1 Anthony Joshua 20-0-0 (20KOs)

Almost inevitably, Anthony Joshua tops the list thanks almost completely to his fight of the year contender and almost certainly event of the year, vs Wladimir Klitschko in a bout to unify the IBF and WBA heavyweight belts. 90,000 people packed into Wembley to see the unbeaten Brit drop and get dropped on the way to an 11th round stoppage victory. Then in October he came through a rough test against Carlos Takam to earn his 20th straight victory and stoppage. With a Tyson Fury return looking imminent and potential unification bouts with Deontay Wilder and Joseph Parker in 2018, this time next year AJ could either find himself near the top of the World P4P rankings or pipped to the top of the UK rankings by a fellow Brit.

Notable Omissions

Kell Brook – Consecutive stoppage defeats to Gennady Golovkin and Errol Spence, a bout which lost him his IBF title, have forced the Sheffield welterweight to drop out of the rankings. Moving up to 154 will hopefully kickstart Brook’s career.

Anthony Crolla – The Manchester native may have defeated an outgoing Ricky Burns recently but the former WBA Lightweight Champion was also dealt with twice in pretty dominant fashion by Jorge Linares. Whichever weight he decides to fight at he’s got a big job to get back to the heights he reached in 2016.

Terry Flanagan – One decision victory over Petr Petrov and a move up but, as yet no fights at light welterweight make for a disappointing year for Flanagan who was talking about unification fights with any or all of the champions at lightweight that never materialised.

Jamie Mcdonnell – An overlooked fighter whose two victories over Tomoki Kameda back in 2015 seemingly never got the praise they deserved but the Doncaster native has fought just three times since September 2015, and his one fight in 2017 was a technical draw with Liborio Solis after a clash of heads put an end to their rematch.

Liam Smith – The former WBO Jr middleweight title holder fought twice against the same opponent in 2017. His controversial stoppage of unbeaten Liam Williams in April, and then a majority decision in the rematch weren’t enough to see him reach the top 10.

Callum Smith – The youngest Smith brother undoubtedly had the toughest fight of his career in the first WBSS super middleweight quarter final when he earnt a unanimous decision win over Erik Skoglund, dropping the Swede in the 11th round. Unfortunately, it was the only time we saw ‘Mundo’ all year. 2018 could be a career definer, especially if he gets past Juergen Braehmer to reach the final of the super series.

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Terence Crawford Enters The Stratosphere

Posted on 08/21/2017

By: Sean Crose

There was little doubt after Terence Crawford’s monstrously good performance Saturday night in Lincoln, Nebraska that the man had entered contemporary boxing’s stratosphere. Many, including this writer, had given Crawford’s opponent this past weekend, fellow junior welterweight titlist Julius Indongo, a solid chance of besting the Omaha native. Yet an Indongo upset simply wasn’t meant to be – in large part because Carwford was clearly determined to finish his man as quickly as possible. Deciding not to engage in his usual habit of gathering momentum throughout the fight, Crawford came out hard on Saturday, making it perfectly obvious to all watching – either in person or via ESPN – that Nambia’a Indongo was in way over his head.

Photo Credit: Top Rank Promotions

It was a body shot in the third that finally put a period to the proceedings. Indongo was done the moment he hit the canvas. It was some blow to the guts – one which may well be remembered along with Bernard Hopkins’ gut check of Oscar De La Hoya, Roy Jones Junior’s winder tossed against the torso of Virgil Hill and Bob Fitzimmon’s famous shot to “the slats” of Jim Corbett. No doubt, it was impressive stuff. While Indongo wasn’t a household name, he was a notable fighter, one of a line of notable fighters the undefeated Crawford has taken to the figurative woodshed over these past few years.

While it’s true Crawford hasn’t had a mega bout yet, there is now no denying he’s currently residing among the sport’s elites. His ring skills are too obvious, his opposition too consistently of good quality, for the man to somehow be denied the credit he deserves. The question now, of course, is where to from here for the man they call Bud. Mikey Garcia might make his way back up to junior welterweight, where Crawford now reigns supreme as undisputed champion. Or perhaps Crawford himself might want to step up to welterweight to threaten and challenge fellow new breed headliners Errol Spence Junior and Keith Thurman.

Of course it might not be easy for Crawford to face Spence or Thurman, since they both fight under boxing guru Al Haymon’s banner and Crawford is with competitor Bob Arum. Still, it’s not like Haymon or Arum are beyond working with each other, so perhaps there’s hope for a superfight or two in the future. No one could fault Crawford for staying right where he is at junior welterweight, though. Who says there’s always new worlds to conquer when the one you’ve just taken over may somehow offer a few rewards of its own?

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The World Boxing Super Series Begins

Posted on 07/10/2017

The World Boxing Super Series Begins
By: Matthew N. Becher

Over the past weekend, the newly created World Boxing Super Series held its very first draft, for its very first tournament. The premise of the new tournament is an open competition for any professional boxer that is ranked in the top 15 of the major sanctioning bodies systems.


In theory the best fighters would face off against one another, until the last man was standing, thus making him the #1 boxer in that weight class. Simple. That is the easy part, the hard part is getting the best fighters to all participate in such a tournament, with everyone having different promoters and so forth. Fortunately, it seems to have worked out for the initial Cruiserweight Tournament.

The seeding of the tournament went as follows. The top 4 fighters were ranked 1-4 by the WBSS, with the four belt holders getting the top rankings.

1: Oleksander Usyk (WBO)
2: Murat Gassiev (IBF)
3: Mairis Briedis (WBC)
4: Yunier Dorticos (WBA)

Then from 1-4, the fighter was allowed to pick or draft his opponent from a group of 4 boxers, for their first round fight. (An exception was made for Gassiev, who had a mandatory against Krzysztof Wlodarczyk. That fight was picked for him)

The first round of the tournament looks like this.

Oleksander Usyk (12-0 10KO) v. Marco Huck (40-4-1 27KO)
Murat Gassiev (24-0 17KO) v. Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (53-3-1 37KO)
Mairis Briedis (22-0 18KO) v. Mike Perez (22-2-1 14KO)
Yunier Dorticos (21-0 20KO) v. Dmitry Kudryashov (21-1 21KO)

Literally the best of the best in the Cruiserweight division will be competing against each other, until one is standing with all the belts, the inaugural Muhammad Ali Trophy and possibly a $1 million dollar bonus for advancing though semifinals and the championship round.

The tournament is slated to begin in early September and rap up by Mary of next year. The location of the fights have yet to be determined and will be placed in locations that match up well for each fight.

“To unify a division and spotlight a division that has clearly been underappreciated, even though the fights in the ring are always among the most exciting in the sport, irrespective of the division, that those four champions, if you look at the record – they are all undefeated. Most of their wins, the vast majority have come by knockout. So these are all big punchers, undefeated. I’m really excited,” said Richard Schaefer, the Chairman of the Americas for Comosa, who helped put this field together alongside fellow promoter Kalle Sauerland (the Chief Boxing Officer for Comosa).

This is a very exciting tournament for boxing and especially for the roll out of the new World Boxing Super Series. With formats like this, expect many division to start falling in line and possibly getting to see the best match up against the best in the near future.

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Who Was the Best P4P “Sugar” Ray Leonard, Aaron “The Hawk” Pryor, Pernell “Sweet Pea” Whitaker or Floyd “Money” Mayweather, Jr?

Posted on 05/12/2017

Who Was the Best P4P “Sugar” Ray Leonard, Aaron “The Hawk” Pryor, Pernell “Sweet Pea” Whitaker or Floyd “Money” Mayweather, Jr?
By: Ken Hissner

This writer has met “Sugar” Ray Leonard several times, Aaron “The Hawk” once and Pernell “Sweet Pea” Whitaker once. I never met Floyd “Money” Mayweather. All are IBHOF inductees except Mayweather who has to wait five years after retiring before induction. He hasn’t fought since 2015.

Mayweather media day

As far as an amateur Leonard would be in a class of his own compared to the other three though Whitaker also won an Olympic Gold Medal but against lesser opposition.Leonard was from Palmer Park, MD.

Let’s take a look at Leonard first with an amateur record of 145-5 (75) winning the 1976 Olympic Gold Medal before turning professional on possibly the greatest Olympic team in the history of the Games. He won the 1975 Pan American Games the previous year defeating Cubans for both Gold Medals. He was inducted into the Olympic HOF in 1985 and the IBHOF in 1997 fighting from 1977 thru 1997 with a 36-3-1 (25) record.

In talking with Manny Steward who helped this writer judge 1976 vs 1984 Olympic teams we both agreed Leonard was a better amateur than a professional. Steward told me due to hand injuries as a professional. His manager was Mike Trainer and his trainers were Dave Jacobs, Janks Morton, Adrian Davis, Angelo Dundee and Pepe Correa.

Leonard won the WBC & WBA welterweight titles, WBA Junior middleweight, WBC’s middleweight, super middleweight and light heavyweight titles. Highlights winning world titles by stopping Wildfredo Benitez, winning two of three from Roberto “Hands of Stone” Duran, stopping and drawing with Tommy “Hit Man” Hearns, stopping AyubKalule, defeating “Marvelous” Marvin Hagler and stopping Donny Lalondetwice.
Aaron “The Hawk” Pryor, 39-1 (36), was from Cincinnati, OH. He was 204-16 in the amateurs winning AAU and Golden Gloves titles while being a Silver Medalist in the 1975 Pan Am Games and a 1976 Olympic alternate losing to future Gold Medalist and Van Barker winner Howard Davis. In talking to Davis over the phone I told him I thought he lost against Pryor in the Olympic Trials. He didn’t agree. Pryor won the 1976 Golden Gloves defeating Tommy “Hit Man” Hearns.

At the Pan Am Games in 1975 Olympic members Chuck “White Chocolate” Walker and Davey Armstrong agreed Leonard just got the best of Pryor in sparring in unforgettable performances by both.

Pryor was the IBF and WBA light welterweight champion. He was 35-0 and was inactive for 2½ years coming back and tasting his only career defeat to Bobby Joe Young then winning his last three fights. He fought from 1976 thru 1990. His most notable wins were over Antonio “Kid Pambele” Cervantes, Dujuan Johnson and over Alexis Arguello twice.His manager was Buddy LaRosa and trained by Panama Lewis.

Pernell “Sweet Pea” Whitaker as a professional was 40-4-1 (17), and as anamateur 201-14.In 1982 he was the Silver Medalist in the World Amateur championships reversing the loss by defeating the same Cuban for the Pan Am Games 1983 Gold Medal. The Russians and Cubans didn’t compete in the 1984 Olympics where Whitaker won the 1984 Olympic Gold Medal in the lightweight division.

Whitaker held the WBA, WBC and IBF titles as a lightweight and a light welterweight. His first attempt for the WBC lightweight title was his first career loss to Jose Luis Ramirez but defeated Ramirez the following year for his first world title. He defeated Azuma Nelson, Jorge Paez, BuddyMcGirt twice and drew with Julio Cesar Chavez. He lost to Oscar “Golden Boy” De la Hoya and Felix “Tito” Trinidad. He fought from 1984 thru 2001.

Whitaker was managed by Shelly Finkel while trained by George Benton and Lou Duva as a professional. He was inducted into the IBHOF in 2007. He would become a trainer after retiring.

Floyd “Money” Mayweather, Jr.,was 49-0 (26), as a professional winning the WBC super featherweight, lightweight and light welterweight titles. He won the IBF, WBC, WBA and WBO titles as a welterweight and the WBA & WBC light middleweight titles.

He was managed by Floyd Mayweather, Sr., James Prince and Al Haymon. He was trained by Roger Mayweather, and Mayweather, Sr. He was promoted by Top Rank, Goossen Tutor Promotions, Golden Boy Promotions and Mayweather Promotions.

Mayweather was 84-8 as an amateur winning the 1996 Golden Gloves and the Bronze Medal in the 1996 Olympic Games. As a professional he fought from 1996 thru 2015.

In this writers opinion “Sugar” Ray Leonard was the better P4P boxer than the other three. What do you think?

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Who is the pound-for-pound ruler: April 2017 Edition

Posted on 04/18/2017

Who is the pound-for-pound ruler: April 2017 Edition
By: Kirk Jackson

Ever since September of 2015, there is a void in the landscape of boxing, as the reigning pay-per-view king and perennial pound-for-pound ruler Floyd Mayweather retired after defeating Andre Berto.
Forget numbers and pay-per-view buys, followers of boxing really want to know is who the best fighter ispound-for-pound?


Since Mayweather’s departure towards the end of 2015,Roman Gonzalez 46-1 (38 KO’s), who at the time was relatively unknown by many boxing observers, ascended towards the top of many pound-for-pound lists.
ESPN, Ring magazine and most notably, the HBO commentary teamjoyfully touted the exploits of the four division world champion from Nicaragua affectionately known as “Chocolatito.” And not without good reason.

Gonzalez is an impressive fighter, boasting extraordinary stamina and an offensive arsenal that would make even the high powered Golden State Warriors envious.

In spite of Gonzalez’s greatness and dominance of the lower weight divisions, his standing as pound-for-pound king was not on steady footing.

Other fighters could be argued as no.1 pound-for-pound.

Fighters such as Andre Ward, Gennady Golovkin, Sergey Kovalev, Terence Crawford, Guillermo Rigondeaux, Keith Thurman, along with a few others.

With Gonzalez recently tasting defeat in stunning and controversial fashion, the pound-for-pound ranking reflects the change and displays a new king on the mythical list.

Who steps up to fill the no.1 position?

First thing to establish is the criterion used to judge the qualities of a pound-for-pound fighter
If we are to abide by the “Bible of Boxing” fromRingmagazine,the metrics for analyzing the pound-for-pound list is as follows:

1. Results. This is the most objective criterion and takes precedence over all others.
2. Performance. How a fighter performs in a victory or defeat can be a factor to determine his place in the ratings.
3. Track record: A fighter’s accomplishments in the recent past can be a factor to determine his place in the ratings. That includes quality of opposition.

All bases are covered with this set of criteria. These are great bench marks to test the merit of fighters and to grade the selected few who make up the pound-for-pound list. The criteria can be subjective, just like with scoring a fight.

Scoring the fight ties in with performance. It is important to note the criterion for scoring a round, tallying up points round by round and ultimately scoring a fight.

Effective Aggression: Assuming the role of aggressor may leave an impression of dominance, but the aggressor must actually land punches and avoid counter-punches in return, in order to be effective.Chasing the opponent and throwing punches does not necessarily suggest fighter is effective with their aggression. Cutting off the ring is a sign of effective aggression.

Ring Generalship: The fighter who controls the pace of the fight; the fighter enforces his/her will and is the conductor of the action. Setting the range, establishing the distance in which the fight takes place, which can include clinching/in-fighting or lateral movement and cutting off the ring.

Defense: How well a boxer is blocking, parrying and slipping punches. Clinching/tying up the opponent, moving around the ring, moving from side to side, presenting different angles is considered defense.

It’s not running; there is nothing stated within the rules of boxing that suggests a boxer must only
step forward throwing punches. It’s important to keep in mind good defense is just as important as offense.

Clean/Effective Punches: To the untrained eye, it can appear as if a boxer is landing a lot of punches, when in fact, most are either blocked, not landing flush or grazing punches. A judge or observer needs to look for hard punches that land clean. Hard punches can definitely constitute as effective, but a boxer should not be penalized if he/she is not a powerful puncher.Again, it’s about clean, landed punches. Clean punches score points.

Now that we have a barometer on how to score rounds, fights, and a general consensus for how to analyze and format pound-for-pound lists, let us proceed with the pound-for-pound selection.

The pound-for-pound results post-Gonzalez loss:

My Rankings:
1: Andre Ward 31-0-0 (15 KO’s). Undisputed WBA, IBF and WBO light heavyweight champion.
2: Terence Crawford 30-0-0 (21 KO’s). WBC, WBO, The Ring and lineal junior welterweight champion.
3: Guillermo Rigondeaux 17–0 (11 KO’s). Super WBA and lineal super bantamweight champion.
4: Sergey Kovalev 30-1-1 (26 KO’s).
5: Manny Pacquiao 59-6-2 (38 KO’s).WBO and lineal welterweight champion.
6: Roman Gonzalez 46-1-0 (38 KO’s).
7: Keith Thurman 28–0–0–1 (22 KO’s). WBA and WBC unified welterweight champion.
8: Vasyl Lomachenko 7-1-0 (5 KO’s). WBO Super featherweight champion.
9: Mikey Garcia 36-0 (30 KO’s). WBC Lightweight champion.
10: Gennady Golovkin 36-0-0 (33 KO’s). Super WBA, WBC and IBF middleweight champion.

ESPN Rankings:
Note: Results are through March 23
RECORD: 37-0, 33 KOs
DIVISION: Middleweight (unified champion)
LAST FIGHT: W (UD12) Daniel Jacobs, March 18

RECORD: 31-0, 15 KOs
DIVISION: Light heavyweight (unified titleholder)
LAST FIGHT: W (UD12) Sergey Kovalev, Nov. 19, 2016

RECORD: 7-1, 5 KOs
DIVISION: Junior lightweight (titlist)
LAST FIGHT: W (TKO7) Nicholas Walters, Nov. 26, 2016
NEXT FIGHT: Jason Sosa, April 8

RECORD: 30-1-1, 26 KOs
DIVISION: Light heavyweight
LAST FIGHT: L (UD12) Andre Ward, Nov. 19, 2016

RECORD: 46-1, 38 KOs
DIVISION: Junior bantamweight
LAST FIGHT: L (MD12) SrisaketSorRungvisai, March 18

RECORD: 29-0, 20 KOs
DIVISION: Junior welterweight (unified champion)
LAST FIGHT: W (TKO8) John Molina Jr., Dec. 10, 2016
NEXT FIGHT: Felix Diaz, May 20

RECORD: 48-1-1, 34 KOs
DIVISION: Junior middleweight (titlist)
LAST FIGHT: W (KO9) Liam Smith, Sept. 17, 2016
NEXT FIGHT: Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., May 6

RECORD: 59-6-2, 38 KOs
DIVISION: Welterweight (titlist)
LAST FIGHT: W (UD12) Jessie Vargas, Nov. 5, 2016

RECORD: 28-0, 22 KOs
DIVISION: Welterweight (unified titlist)
LAST FIGHT: W (SD12) Danny Garcia, March 4

RECORD: 17-0, 11 KOs
DIVISION: Junior featherweight (titlist)
LAST FIGHT: W (TKO2) James Dickens, July 16, 2016

Ring Magazine Rankings:
Rank Fighter Record Weight Class Title(s)
1 United States:
Andre Ward 31–0 (15 KO) Light heavyweight Undisputed WBA, IBF and WBO light heavyweight champion
2 Russia:
Sergey Kovalev 30–1–1 (26 KO) Light heavyweight WBC Diamond Champion, WBO Super Champion
3 Kazakhstan:
Gennady Golovkin 37–0 (33 KO) Middleweight Super WBA, WBC, IBF and IBO middleweight champion
4 Nicaragua:
Román González 46–1 (38 KO) Super Flyweight N/A
5 United States:
Terence Crawford 30–0 (21 KO) Junior welterweight WBC, WBO, The Ring and lineal junior welterweight champion
6 Ukraine:
Vasyl Lomachenko 7–1 (5 KO) Super featherweight WBO Super featherweight champion
7 Cuba:
Guillermo Rigondeaux 17–0 (11 KO) Junior featherweight Super WBA and lineal super bantamweight champion
8 Mexico:
SaúlÁlvarez 48–1–1 (34 KO) Junior middleweight The Ring/Lineal middleweight champion, WBO junior middleweight champion
9 Shinsuke Yamanaka 27-0-2 (19 KO) Bantamweight WBC and The Ring bantamweight champion
10 Naoya Inoue 12-0 (10 KO) Super flyweight WBO super flyweight champion

Transnational Board Rankings:
Rank Name Nationality Record Division
1 Andre Ward USA 31-0-0 (15) Light Heavyweight
2 Sergey Kovalev RUS 30-1-1 (26) Light Heavyweight
3 Roman Gonzalez NIC 46-1-0 (38) Jr. Bantamweight
4 Manny Pacquiao PHI 59-6-2 (38) Welterweight
5 Terence Crawford * USA 30-0-0 (21) Jr. Welterweight
6 Gennady Golovkin KAZ 36-0-0 (33) Middleweight
7 Vasyl Lomachenko UKR 7-1-0 (5) Jr. Lightweight
8 Naoya Inoue JPN 12-0-0 (10) Jr. Bantamweight
9 Leo Santa Cruz USA 33-1-1- (18) Featherweight
10 Shinsuke Yamanaka JPN 27-0-2 (19) Bantamweight

ElieSeckbach Rankings:

P4P #boxing

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Who is the pound-for-pound ruler: April 2017 Edition: Who’s Number One?

Posted on 04/07/2017

Who is the pound-for-pound ruler: April 2017 Edition: Who’s Number One?
By: Kirk Jackson

Who is the best fighter pound-for-pound as we close the chapter on the first quarter of the calendar year?
With Roman Gonzalez 46-1 (38 KO’s) recently falling albeit in controversial fashion, this leaves an opportunity for another fighter to seize the no.1 position. Gonzalez was cited by most media outlets at the top pound-for-pound guy prior to his defeat.

Who are the most qualified fighters to occupy the position as the no. 1 guy?


It’s important to know what to look for, so we’ll use criterion from Ring magazine as a set of guidelines.

1. Results. This is the most objective criterion and takes precedence over all others.
2. Performance. How a fighter performs in a victory or defeat can be a factor to determine his place in the ratings.
3. Track record: A fighter’s accomplishments in the recent past can be a factor to determine his place in the ratings. That includes quality of opposition.

This isn’t law, but it provides a rough estimate on what we can use to establish who is fit as the no.1 fighter pound-for-pound.

Here are the candidates.

Gennady Golovkin 36-0-0 (33 KO’s). Super WBA, WBC and IBF middleweight champion.

The Good:

Golovkin is one of the more dominant fighters in recent memory and the most dominant champion in the middleweight division since Bernard Hopkins. ESPN’s Dan Rafael has Golovkin as the best fighter pound-for-pound.

Golovkin has a well decorated amateur background capturing an Olympic silver medal at the 2004 games in Athens. His skills transcended into the professional ranks as he currently holds three middleweight world titles, possessed a 23 fight knock-out streak and is 18-0 (17 KO’s) in world title fights.

Golovkin possesses a piercing, accurate jab, displays great ring generalship with his ability to cut off the ring, has a solid chin (never been knocked down) and has tremendous punching power sporting an 89% knock-out ratio.

The Bad:

The biggest markagainst Golovkin is his lack of quality opposition and the debatable narrative of his boogeyman status within the world of boxing.

As a skilled fighter with punching prowess it’s easy to see how Golovkin may be avoided by some fighters but there are willing participants wanting to face Golovkin and these match-ups have not come into fruition. Erislandy Lara, James DeGale, Andre Ward come to mind.

Politics are a part of boxing and it’s unfair to blame a particular side especially if we do not know the details of hypothetical match-ups.

As Golovkin approaches the age of 35, time may be potentially running short for ‘GGG’ to attract some of bigger names of the sport and to add names to further cement his legacy.

Vasyl Lomachenko 7-1-0 (5 KO’s). WBO Super featherweight champion.

The Good:

Lomachenko is regarded by many boxing analysts as one of the greatest amateur fighters of all time. He won a silver medal at the 2007 World Championships, consecutive gold medals at the 2009 and 2011 World Championships, and consecutive gold medals at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics.

Lomachenko won the WBO featherweight title in his third fight and has a record of 6-1-0 (4 KO) in world title fights. He became a two division world champion in just seven professional fights breaking the record set by Naoya Inoue of two divisional world titles in eight fights set in 2014.

The Ukrainian star also known as ‘Hi-Tech’ possesses excellent hand speed, superb reflexes, offensive versatility and tremendous lateral movement.

The Bad:

From a skill standpoint, Lomachenko is there. He has arguably the best footwork in boxing. But he has less than ten fights on his resume and is it possible for a fighter lacking the professional experience to be regarded as the best pound-for-pound?

Although there is a lack of experience, Lomachenko is facing top opposition.Nicolas Walters and Gary Russell Jr. are elite fighters. Orlando Salido – the only man to defeat Lomachenko, may not be considered elite, but he’s as rugged as they come and a tough match-up for anyone.

Lomachenko’s next opponent Jason Sosa is solid fighter – if not considered elite opposition.

Lomachenko is a few fights away from potentially securing top status as the pound-for-pound king. Perhaps a fight against undefeated three division champion Mikey Garcia 36-0 (30 KO’s) awaits Lomachenko in the near future and may propel him to the top.

Terence Crawford 30-0-0 (21 KO’s).WBC, WBO, The Ring and lineal junior welterweight champion.

The Good:

Crawford is a two division world champion, currently holding the unified WBC, WBO, Ring magazine, and lineal light welterweight titles since 2016.

Crawford previously held the WBO, Ring, and lineal lightweight titles from 2014 to 2015 and was voted Fighter of the Year for 2014 by the Boxing Writers Association of America and ESPN.

Crawford is an extremely gifted fighter equipped with high boxing I.Q., technical prowess, good hand speed, punching power and mental tenacity.

All of these qualities describe a nightmarish match-up for opponents.

Oh yeah, Crawford is also a switch-hitter; likes to switch from the orthodox (right-handed) stance to southpaw (left-handed) ala Marvin Hagler and appears to be more effective from the southpaw stance.

The Bad:

From a technical standpoint the only slight criticism of Crawford is he occasionally has lulls on the defensive end and gets hit with unnecessary punches.

Crawford has the skills and a solid resume.

He effectively cleared out the lightweight division. The switch-hitter defeated the likes of Ricky Burns, Raymond Beltran and YuriorkisGamboa. He even moved up in weight to junior welterweight and defeated Viktor Postol – a fighter regarded as the best in the division.

As great as Crawford is, the career defining super-fight is an ever elusive target. As talks of facing Manny Pacquiao continue to fade, it’s difficult to imagine Crawford getting the super-fight against the high quality pound-for-pound opponent (Pacquiao) he desires.

Andre Ward: 31-0-0 (15 KO’s). Undisputed WBA, IBF and WBO light heavyweight champion.

The Good:

One of the most gifted fighters of his generation, second arguably to Floyd Mayweather, War d is a complete fighter. Defensively oriented, Ward has the ability to fight at any distance and excels at fighting in close proximity.

America’s last male Olympic gold medalist, Ward once ruled the super middleweight division as the winner of the Super Six World Boxing Classic tournament and was the unified WBC, WBA and lineal champion defeating notable fighters such as Mikkel Kessler, Carl Froch, Arthur Abraham and Chad Dawson.

Last November, Ward moved up to the light heavyweight division and battled pound-for-pound contemporary Sergey Kovalev in the most significant fight of 2016. Because of the magnitude of the fight, it was believed by many boxing critics the winner would ascend as the pound-for-pound king.

The Bad:

A criticism in the past about Ward has been his stretches of inactivity. These stretches of inactivity were either due to injury or due to promotional issues – both of which have been resolved for the time being.

Another knock on Ward is with his most recent and significant victory. Many spectators believe Kovalev won the fight and unfortunately for Ward, he is not given the credit for defeating Kovalev.

Perhaps the rematch in June will give both the fighters and observers the resolution and clarity they seek.
Final Take:

How we measure skills is subjective. Each fighter mentioned has a unique skill set, different from each other.
As an observer, it’s okay to have a preference for one style over another. But it’s important to understand the effectiveness of other styles and to have an appreciation for various skill sets as well.

What separates Ward from Crawford, Golovkin and Lomachenko is the level of opposition. The others have good resumes as far as opposition goes but Ward actually faced and defeated a pound-for-pound contemporary (Kovalev). If Kovalev defeats Ward in the rematch later this year, he obviously has a case for the no.1 position pound-for-pound.

Wins over Chad Dawson and Carl Froch – fighters who both had stints on the top ten pound-for-pound list also gives Ward the edge regarding resume.

Again, how we view fighters and measure them against another is all subjective. Each fighter has a valid case for the top spot.

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Forget What You’ve Heard, Pacquiao is Still the Best Welterweight

Posted on 03/24/2017

Forget What You’ve Heard, Pacquiao is Still the Best Welterweight
By: Matthew N. Becher

​The welterweight division has and will always be one of the top divisions in the sport of boxing. At the very moment it is one of the richest with young talent and major fights. Just three weeks ago, undefeated champions, Danny Garcia and Keith Thurman unified two of the major four belts at a sold out and raucous Barclays Center, in what was billed as “the two best welterweights in the world”.


​Just this week, another major welterweight fight was announced for May 27th, against IBF champion Kell Brook and the undefeated Errol Spence Jr., which will take place in front of 30,000 people in the UK. All four of these fighters are toward the very top of the division. All four of these fighters are 30 years old or under (Thurman 28; Garcia 29; Brook 30; Spence 27). They are without a shadow of a doubt the future of the division.

But what everyone keeps seeming to forget is the man that holds the 4th welterweight title. The other man who is pushing 39 years old. The other man that has literally put boxing as his second occupation. That other man is the great Manny Pacquiao. Pacquiao is the WBO welterweight champion. He has 59 wins and is coming off of a year where he dominated Timothy Bradley Jr. for a 3rd time and also destroyed a young top ten welterweight and world champion in Jessie Vargas. Pacquiao is without a question of a doubt, still the very top of the division. Unfortunately he is being left out of the conversation.

​This doesn’t go without saying that Manny has done a great deal to ruin his own name. His position as a congressman in his native Philippines has taken him away from the global day to day spotlight of the boxing world. His completely uncalled for rant about homosexuals a couple of years back that lost him his sponsorships, and the fact that he tried to make a fight with Amir Khan without his promoters backing (and that of a false Dubai Prince), have all hurt the Pacquiao brand.

​After watching “The two best welterweights in the world”, that was Garcia v. Thurman, and the boring affair they presented, one could not help but see, even a 39 year old Pacquiao box circles around these kids. Pacquiao still fights with more speed and angles. His power may have diminished, but it still seems to be on par with the other top welters around today.

​Pacquiao is said to be on his “retirement tour”, when a proposed fight against Australia’s Jeff Horn was in the works, but who else will turn up for a Pacquiao fight? Would Thurman or Garcia’s management let the brand they have grown, take a chance against Pacquiao? Most of these Welterweights are under the same umbrella (PBC) and rarely are matched up against one another, could maybe an Adrien Broner, Shawn Porter, Garcia or Thurman be allowed to take a risk against the top Welterweight in the world. The money is still lucrative, though maybe not as much as it was even five years ago. Just do not be fooled. Manny is still the best active welterweight in the world, pound for pound level even. He may be close to retirement, but he is far from being washed.

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None of the Four P4P Best Were Born in the USA!

Posted on 03/14/2017

None of the Four P4P Best Were Born in the USA!
By: Ken Hissner

The European invasion has been going on for the past ten years in the USA. They are hungry like the Americans were in the 40’s and 50’s. They are action packed fighters from such places as Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Russia and Nicaragua.


No. 4 is from Managua, Nicaragua and is currently 46-0 with 38 knockouts though only 5:03 and goes by the name Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez. The former WBA Minimumweight, WBC Flyweight and now the WBC Super flyweight champion has just come off his toughest fight since becoming champion against Carlos “Principe” Cuadras, now 35-1-1 (27), of Mexico City, MEX. Both Gonzalez and Cuadras will be on the undercard Saturday night of the Golovkin-Jacobs main event at Madison Square Garden, in New York City. If both come boxers come out victorious as expected look for a return rematch.

The 29 year-old Gonzalez will be defending against the former WBC World super flyweight champion Wisaksil Wangek, 41-4-1 (38), from Thailand March 18th. He was 1-3-1 in his first five fights has only lost to Cuadras in the last seven years like most Thai’s has a lot of 13 debut opponents and 15 losing record opponents bringing a grand total of 28 of his 46 bouts. Gonzalez was 88-0 as an amateur it’s been claimed. He is 29 years-old. His trainers are Professor Arnulfo Obano and Luis Gonzalez. He is promoted by K2 Promotions.

A boxer who was on the wrong side of a one sided fight he should have been given that he deservingly was the victor but didn’t thanks to a bias referee named Robert Byrd who ignored 46 forced clinches by Andre “S.O.G.” Ward (see it on www.youtube.com) against my No. 3 pick Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev’s, 30-1-1, 26 knockouts, without taking one point away which would have made the scores even and Kovalev would have kept his three titles. This writer had it 116-112 for Kovalev who lost on “all” judge’s scores by 114-113 from Burt A. Clements, Glenn Trowbridge and John McKaie other words known as the “3 blind mice!” Ward is trying to avoid a rematch and may end up going back to super middleweight to do just that. Per Kovalev’s manager Egis Klimas Ward has nine months to give his fighter a rematch and no one else is to fight Ward prior to Kovalev. As an amateur Kovalev was 193-22 and the Russian Military champion and is 33 years-old. John David Jackson is his trainer and Main Events his promoter.

Klimas the “2016 manager of the year” from Lithuania has two of the four P4P top fighters of which one is Kovalev and the other from Bilhorod-Dnistrovsky, Ukraine, who won three Olympic Gold Medals equaling Laszlo Papp from Hungary and Teofilio Stevenson from Cuba named Vasyl “High-Tech” Lomancheko, 7-1 with five knockouts. He claims to have been 396-1 in the amateurs and is 29 years-old. He was fighting for a world title in his second fight and winning the same title which was vacant after he lost to Orlando Salido by split decision who then vacated that WBO World featherweight title to move up in weight and avoid a rematch with Lomancheko. He is trained by his father Anatoly Lomancheko and promoted by Top Rank.

Salido would go onto win the interim WBO World super featherweight title and then be defeated by Roman Martinez when he challenged him for the WBO super featherweight title. In the return match they battled to a draw. Lomancheko was to fight the winner who due to the draw was still Martinez. Lomancheko would defeat Martinez for the title and is this writer’s No. 2 P4P pick. He is scheduled April 8th to meet WBA World champion Jason Sosa.

There is a boxer from Karagandu, Kazakhstan, who in the amateurs defeated such boxers like Andre Dirrell (future 2-time super middleweight world challenger) in the 2004 Olympics, Daniel Geale (IBF Middleweight and WBA Super World middleweight champion) in 2001 East Asian Games, and in the 2003 World Championships defeated Russian Matvey Korobov (2005 and 2007 world amateur champion and 2008 Olympian who challenged Andy Lee for the vacant WBO 160 title), Ireland’s Andy Lee (future WBO 160 champion), Romania’s Lucian Bute (future IBF super middleweight champion), Cuban Yordani Despaigne (who in the 2004 Olympics defeated Jean Pascal future WBC 175 champion and Hungary’s Karoly Balzsay future WBA 168 champion, then losing to Dirrell who lost to Golovkin) and Golovkin defeated Russian Oleg Mashkin (who represented Russia in the 2004 Olympics) for the 2003 World championship.

He claims to have been 345-5 in the amateurs and is 34 years-old. Abel Sanchez is his trainer and Tom Loeffler of K2 his promoter. He is scheduled March 18th to meet WBA World champion Danny Jacobs.

Today Gennady “GGG” Golovkin, 36-0 with 33 knockouts holds the WBA, WBC and IBF world middleweight titles and is this writers No. 1 P4P pick. Golovkin has won his last 23 bouts by stoppage and will meet WBA World middleweight champion Danny “Miracle Man” Jacobs this Saturday in defense of his three titles and for the title Jacobs has.

Today No. 1 Golovkin lives in L.A., No. 2 Lomachenko in Oxnard, CA, No. 3 Kovalev in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, while Gonzalez still lives in Nicaragua with his last four fights in the USA and this Saturday his fifth in the USA.

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The Night the Two Greatest P4P Boxers Faced Each Other!

Posted on 12/02/2016

The Night the Two Greatest P4P Boxers Faced Each Other!
By: Ken Hissner

There have been many opinions on “who was the greatest P4P boxer in the history of boxing?” Going way back it was Sam “The Boston Tar Baby” Langford, 180-29-30 (128), Stanley “The Michigan Assassin” Ketchel, 51-4-4 (48), Jack “The Galveston Giant” Johnson, 56-11-8 (35), Harry “Pittsburgh Windmill” Greb, 107-8-3 (48), and Willie “Will o” the Wisp” Pep, 229-11-1 (65). In modern times we had “Sugar” Ray Leonard, 36-3-1 (25), Pernell “Sweet Pea” Whitaker, 40-4-1 (17), Julio Cesar Chavez, 107-6-2 (86), and Floyd “Money” Mayweather, 49-0 (26).


There always seemed to be two others on everyone’s P4P list. They met at Madison Square Garden in New York on August 27, 1943 before over 15,000 fans.

In one corner being introduced was a young 22 year-old boxer out of New York City named “Sugar” Ray Robinson, posting a 44-1 record and coming in at 5’11” and 145 lbs. He was 4 fights from losing to Jake LaMotta who he previously beat and after the loss beat again prior to this fight and would win 4 out of 5 overall against LaMotta. He hadn’t won a title yet but would go onto win the welterweight (76th fight) and middleweight titles. He was well ahead in an effort to win the light heavyweight title after 13 rounds but couldn’t continue due to heat exhaustion.

In the other corner was the former NBA, NYSAC featherweight champion who won that title in 1937, won the welterweight title in 1938 and then dropped back to 135 winning the world lightweight title in 1939 while fighting to a disputed draw in 1940 for the middleweight title. In the other corner was the 33 year-old boxer out of L.A. named Henry “Homicide Hank” Armstrong, posting a 134-17-7 record and coming in at 5’5 ½ and 140 lbs. He had a 23-3 record after losing his title in back to back losses to Fritzie Zivic whom he defeated after that and prior to the fight with Robinson.

This was no grudge match. Robinson idolized Armstrong in his youth. It was scheduled for 10 rounds.

The best punches by both boxers were Armstrong rocking Robinson with a left hook to the chin in the fifth round and Robinson staggering Armstrong with a fight right bolo uppercut. Robinson opened up an old gash on Armstrong’s lip in the second round that never proved to be a problem throughout. Armstrong ran out of gas after the fifth round.

In attempting to find who the officials were and how the scoring went this writer came up with zero. Even www.youtube.com didn’t have the fight. Boxing Historian Henry Hascup sent me two newspaper articles about the fight. The only comment I saw was Robinson won every round. Robinson ended up with a 173-19-6 record with 108 knockouts. Armstrong ended up with a 151-21-9 record with 101 knockouts.

Armstrong said after the fight “I’m sorry to go out with such a bad fight and he wouldn’t stand up and mix it. I have to retire now due to scar tissue inside the pupil of my left eye. I can’t take any more chances for I get blurred vision.” The fans were not happy with Robinson moving from side to side and dancing away from Armstrong while landing jabs and occasional rights.

Two other fights that I can think of is when future heavyweight champion Rocky Marciano stopped Joe “The Brown Bomber” Louis and said he cried afterwards since he idolized Louis. Larry Holmes “claims” he felt bad after beating Muhammad Ali for the latter’s only stoppage during his career. But when you remember after the then 44-0 world champion slaughtered Marvis Frazier within 3 minutes of the fight. Afterwards he was heard saying “that’s for the whooping’s your daddy gave me in the gym.” So it makes one wonder about his sincerity.

Another report had the losing Armstrong saying “I couldn’t have licked this kid on the best day I ever saw.” Robinson would admit when he hurt Armstrong he would go into a clinch with him keeping him steady. It was well known that both boxers went broke and kept fighting to either pay the IRS or have a place to lay their heads down.

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