(First of two parts)
It’s been awhile since we updated our pound for pound rankings. As we look forward to the coming year, Lomachenko’s hold on the top spot is being challenged by Saul Alvarez. If the latter continues to campaign effectively at his new division, he can overtake Loma.
1.) Vasiliy Lomachenko (14-1, 10KOs)—Loma has reigned supreme over these rankings for over a year now. Last August he defeated Luke Campbell, retained the WBO and WBA lightweight titles and gained the vacant WBC title.
As impressive as Alvarez’s victory was over Sergey Kovalev I could not strip Loma on account of that. Loma who previously campaigned in the featherweight division has won all of his four fights at the 135-lb division. I think Canelo’s foray into the light heavyweight division might be a one-time thing, so for now he comes in a close second.
2.) Saul Alvarez (53-1, 36KOs)— Up to the 11th round at the time of the stoppage, I had Kovalev slightly ahead. But Alvarez showed remarkable patience and stuck to his game plan and delivered a vicious combination on a tiring, spent Kovalev.
A truly impressive performance by Alvarez which nets him the second spot, but a single fight at the 175-pound division is not enough to dethrone our reigning king, Lomachenko.
3. ) Terence Crawford (36-0, 27KOs)—Just last week, Crawford scored a stoppage win over Egidjius Kavaliauskas to retain his WBO welterweight title. “Bud” knocked down his game challenger a total of three times before the referee called for the denouement of the fight at 44 seconds of the ninth round. Crawford is due for a career-defining challenge next year, but with Errol Spence still sidelined, he might instead face our very own Manny Pacquiao which should be a very interesting fight.
4.) Naoya Inoue (19-0, 16 KOs)—He recently faced the toughest test of his career when he defeated the formidable Nonito Donaire in the finals of the World Boxing Super Series. Brought to brink of defeat by the still dangerous “Filipino Flash,” Inoue proved to be resilient enough and good enough to eke out a unanimous decision verdict.
5.) Gennady Golovkin (40-1, 35KOs)—GGG had a very decent year defeating both opponents--Sergiy Derevyanchanko via decision and Steve Rolls via stoppage.
Though Golovkin looked unimpressive against Derevyanchenko, a win is a win and he has bounced back from that controversial decision loss to Canelo Alvarez in 2018. (To be continued tomorrow)