top 10 pound for pound boxers

2015 Rankings: Top 10 Pound For Pound Boxers

Published On December 24, 2015 | By Niall Doran | Boxing News

In a topic that causes debate among fight fans the world over, lets breaks down our end of 2015 top 10 pound for pound boxers list, in what’s been quite the year for the sport.


Top 10 Pound For Pound Boxers On Earth

Another year in boxing has almost been and gone, and this boxing writer is another year older (and hopefully a year wiser!). It’s that time of year again, where as per tradition, we take a look back at the premier professional pugilists on the planet, pound for pound.

In many ways it’s been a year that’s seen a lot of genuine change take place in the sport, at it’s highest level, from the retirement of Floyd Mayweather, to the emergence of a new heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, to the return of boxing maestro Andre Ward, to the long overdue breakthrough exposure of flyweight boss Roman Gonzalez.

Some of the older guard boxing stars are now moving down the ranks of the pound for pound list, at least for me, and we seem to be seeing a real shift at the moment, in terms of new talent emerging and breaking through into the top level of the game.

When coming up with my top ten pound for pound list over the years, I’ve formed it based on three fundamental, key ranking criteria components that I look to stick to – which are:

(a) Level of competition faced and overcome on a regular basis (top levels fighters that at least compete once in a calendar year).

(b) Level of technical boxing ability that translates to different weight divisions/multiple styles of adversary fought.

(c) How well a boxer performs in his wins.

With the above in mind, here’s my end of 2015 – top 10 pound for pound boxers on Earth list.


10. Kell Brook (Welterweight: 35-0, 24KO)

Perhaps not as active a year as the IBF welterweight champion from Sheffield would have liked, but through no fault of his own (due to injury).

Two solid wins this year coming off the back of his stellar capturing of the title itself, on away soil late last year, still gets him into the top pound for pound list at the end of 2015, in my humble opinion.

However, he’ll need a big fight next year to remain here, and indeed if he wants to really progress up the list. A mega fight in the UK with rival Amir Khan is surely on most boxing fan’s Christmas wishlist this year.

(Hat tip to Knockout Extra):

9. Tyson Fury (Heavyweight: 25-0, 18KO)

Maybe a controversial inclusion for some, but certainly not for me. The new heavyweight champion of the world did something this year that no one had done in 11 long years, in beating former kingpin Wladimir Klitschko (who moves out of the top 10 accordingly).

Fury is still undefeated, too, and showed the world this year that betting odds in boxing can often mean diddly squat.

(Hat tip to The Fumble):

8. Canelo Alvarez (Middleweight: 46-1-1, 32KO)

A bumper year for the (amazingly still young) Mexican warrior, that saw him become WBC middleweight champion of the world, and partake in his biggest fight since losing comprehensively to Floyd Mayweather back in September 2013.

Beating Miguel Cotto and James Kirkland this year certainly made it a solid 2015 for Canelo.

(Hat tip to The Fumble):

7. Guillermo Rigondeaux (Super Bantamweight: 16-0, 10KO) 

The legendary ‘Rigo’ has slightly tumbled down the top ten list this year for my buck, due to inactivity mostly, but also when he did fight, it wasn’t perhaps up to his usual sublime standards (that we have become accustomed to).

His stock may have ever so slightly dwindled in the eyes of some fans this year, but his precocious technique will take some eroding, and is still up there and on par with anyone in the sweet science professionally, in my view.

(Hat tip to Knockout Extra):

6. Manny Pacquiao (Welterweight: 57-6-2, 38KO)

The biggest fight of his life finally came this year against longtime American rival Floyd Mayweather, but alas, it wasn’t meant to be for the ‘Pacman’.

After losing a decision to ‘Money’ it emerged afterwards that Pacquiao had a badly injured shoulder going into the fight, a fact that angered some fans who felt a little short changed that their hero didn’t go into an event of such magnitude in top health.

However, his holdings within the sport are still enough to keep this Filipino legend in the top 10 pound for pound best fighters on Earth, as of the end of 2015 anyway.

(Hat tip to Showtime):

5. Terence Crawford (Light Welterweight: 27-0, 19KO)

One of the big unsung heroes not just in boxing but in world sport this year for me has been Omaha native Terence Crawford.

The Top Rank promoted fighter has went about his work in stellar fashion this year, building up a nice hometown fan base in the process.

Two quality stoppage wins this year have seen Crawford move up this mythical list for me, and I can only see even brighter things ahead in 2016 for ‘Bud’.

(Hat tip to HBO):

4. Sergey Kovalev (Light-Heavyweight: 28-0-1, 25KO)

Coming into the ‘big hitters’ so to speak on the list, and things really start to get a little tricky to dissect, and rank.

Sergey ‘Krusher’ Kovalev has a good year for sure, all be it perhaps not as an busy as he may have liked – again in this instance through no fault of his own.

Nonetheless, he’s had two solid wins in 2015 (including one over Jean Paschal who he’s scheduled to rematch in January 2016) and after last year’s spectacular in-ring exploits, he rates very highly on my end of year pound for pound lineup.

(Hat tip to HBO):

3. Andre Ward (Super-Middleweight/Light-Heavyweight: 28-0, 15KO)

Just, and I mean just, barely beating Kovalev to number three spot is the man who alongside Guillermo Rigondeaux and Floyd Mayweather, is probably one of the best ‘pure’ boxers of the last decade, or so.

After a number of outside the ring problems in recent years, including contractual and promotional difficulties, he finally made his return to the ring this year.

Coming off a two year layoff he displayed little ring rust in conclusive stoppage over Liverpool’s Paul Smith. It’s good to have Ward back competing again.

(Hat tip to Knockout Extra)

2. Gennady Golovkin (Middleweight: 34-0, 31KO)

There may be a toss up in many people’s eyes as regards who gets the number one spot at the moment pound for pound, it’s a tough one to call, no doubt.

Gennady Golovkin recently won our fighter of the year poll as voted by the public, but he (just) comes in runner up as it stands at the end of 2015 for my dollar, by a hair of a whisker from losing out on top spot.

He’s had a great year with arguably his best win of his career, that came via a methodical and ruthless beat down of David Lemieux. If ‘GGG’ can land another big fight next year and win, I can see him becoming the number one pound for pound fighter in the sport for a long, long time to come.

(Hat tip to HBO):

1. Roman Gonzalez (Flyweight: 44-0, 38KO)

The real story of the year in professional boxing for many, was Nicaragua’s talented protagonist and Flyweight destruction artist Roman Gonzalez, who finally got a bit of well deserved main stream exposure in the States after airing on HBO Boxing.

Three emphatic stoppage wins in front of the world’s media, and against his stiffest opposition to date from a credibility point of view, sees him sitting on top of the pound for pound best fighter’s in the world list this year for not just me, but boxing pundits and fans around the world. What a talent.

(Hat tip to Knockout Extra):

Honourable mentions to fighters who just missed out:

Keith Thurman, Tim Bradley, Adonis Stevenson, Wladimir Klitschko, Juan Francisco Estrada and
Shinsuke Yamanaka. (Please note: Floyd Mayweather was excluded as he has indicated he is currently a retired fighter and no longer active as a professional boxer).

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About The Author

Niall Doran
Founder of Boxing News and Views (@NiallerDoran). Writer at the Huffington Post. Digital marketing guy. Journalist. Irish tech entrepreneur. Avid Yellow M&M's hound. Favourite boxing related quote: "It's the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen." - Muhammad Ali

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