Boxing Pound for Pound Rankings: Mikey Garcia making case for best in the sport
Manny Pacquiao drops out and Sergey Kovalev returns after Garcia shakes up the top 10
Three-division champion Mikey Garcia showed plenty of pound-for-pound promise before stepping away from the sport in 2014 for 30 months while sorting out promotional issues.
But the three victories he has recorded since returning have simply left no doubt as to whether he belongs in the same conversation with the best fighters in the world.
A brilliant technical fighter with a powerful right hand to boot, Garcia (37-0, 30 KOs) successfully moved up to 140 pounds on Saturday in athat very much felt like an announcement of Garcia's fully-bloomed talents.
At 29, the Mexican-American boxer is operating at the very peak of his powers and showcased a much-higher volume in terms of his output against Broner than he had previously shown. Poise continues to be Garcia's calling card with another performance that was void of emotion and full of tiny wrinkles in terms of his boxing pedigree, which allow him to control fights with such apparent ease.
Still a titleholder at lightweight, Garcia is open for business anywhere between 135 and 147 pounds, which is an exciting development for fans hoping to see his skills matched against the very best in the game. Future showdowns against fellow P4P top-10 fighters Vasyl Lomachenko or Terence Crawford remain in contention as possibilities with both fighters voicing interest of late.
Finding out how great the incredibly polished Garcia can become will be fun to watch, with his two-plus year break from the sport having done well to recharge him mentally. He's operating as good as any fighter in the game right now and his performances continue to tease that a run at the No. 1 spot in the rankings isn't out of the question should he continue to raise his game on the highest level.
|1. Andre Ward||32-0, 16 KOs||Unified light heavyweight champion||--|
|A stoppage victory over Sergey Kovalev in their June rematch put an exclamation point on the idea that Ward is the undisputed best boxer in the world. While the 33-year-old has teased the idea of moving up in weight, a marquee showdown with 175-pound lineal champ Adonis Stevenson is still on the board. |
|2. Vasyl Lomachenko||8-1, 6 KOs||Junior lightweight champion||--|
What Lomachenko has done -- winning titles in two weight classes just a handful of bouts into his pro career -- doesn't get the recognition it deserves outside of the niche world of boxing. An August showcase bout on ESPN could help that in terms of exposure. The two-time Olympic gold medalist is sublimely talented to the point that he's just as much an artist as prizefighter.
|3. Gennady Golovkin||37-0, 33 KOs||Middleweight champion||--|
|GGG finally secured the one fight he has coveted above all else in September against Mexican star Canelo Alvarez. The knockout sensation looked human last time out against Daniel Jacobs, but has a shot at crossover stardom should he defeat Alvarez.|
|4. Terence Crawford||31-0, 22 KOs||Junior welterweight champion||--|
|Crawford will look to unify 140-pound titles against Julius Indongo on Aug. 19 in just the fourth time all four recognized belts within the same division will be contested for in the same fight. "Bud" can simply do it all in the ring and appears on the verge of chasing the big bucks at welterweight.|
|5. Mikey Garcia||37-0, 30 KOs||Lightweight champion|
|Talk about a statement performance. Garcia's disarming of Adrien Broner in his junior welterweight debut was a legitimate step-up performance. Garcia is arguably the most technically polished fighter in the game and is willing to entertain big-name offers across a trio of divisions.|
|6. Errol Spence Jr.||22-0, 19 KOs||Welterweight champion|
|The Spence era at welterweight is upon us. By traveling to England in May to stop titleholder Kell Brook, "The Truth" showed his true colors as a calculated and dynamic boxer-puncher with unlimited potential.|
|7. Roman Gonzalez||46-1, 38 KOs||Junior bantamweight|
It might be difficult to justify seeing "Chocolatito" go from P4P king to sliding down this list after one contested defeat. But the challenges are proving much more difficult the higher Gonzalez moves up in weight. He'll get a second chance against Srisaket Sor Rungvisai on Sept. 9.
|8. Keith Thurman||28-0, 22 KOs||Welterweight champion||--|
|"One Time" continues to sit out the remainder of 2017 resting his injured elbow following surgery. There will be plenty of challengers lined up upon his return, including a very interested Spence.|
|9. Canelo Alvarez||49-1-1, 34 KOs||Middleweight champion||--|
| Finally a full-fledged middleweight, Alvarez showcased just how much he has grown as a boxer/puncher in a shutout victory over a lifeless Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in May. Now comes the real test in September against Triple G in boxing's most important fight of 2017.|
|10. Sergey Kovalev||30-2-1, 26 KOs||Light heavyweight|
|It's back to the drawing board for the "Krusher," who dropped his trio of world titles and P4P ranking after a pair of losses to Ward. He'll look to restore his frightening aura of invincibility in a comeback bout later this year.|
Missed the cut: Naoya Inoue, Guillermo Rigondeaux, James DeGale, Leo Santa Cruz, Carl Frampton
Dropped out: Manny Pacquiao
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