Pound-For-Pound Top 20 Boxers Update, 7/14

Really don’t understand what Riddick Bowe was going for here. (via)

What’s more American than girls’ ding dongs? Lists of the best fighters in the world, regardless of weight. Well, that and maybe reading about great American Jake LaMotta taking out an evil Frenchman. But that was yesterday and today is today and this is what’s happening today.

Not a whole lot of changes to offer in just the third pound-for-pound TQBR update of 2014, and it’s July already. Yes indeed, it’s a slow period for some of the best in the world — not a lot of people are doing things that command movement since last time. But a familiar face departs and a familiar face enters the top 10, so that’s something, and there’s a little movement besides.

As always, the standard is quality wins, especially of recent vintage, but career record and the “eyeball test” also factor into it.

1. Floyd Mayweather, welterweight

The king held onto his throne in May but got one of the harder fights of his career from Marcos Maidana. Now the two are steering toward a rematch in the fall.

2. Andre Ward, super middleweight

If he was doing anything, anything at all, the 168-pound champ might threaten Mayweather. At this point, there’s a strong chance we won’t see him in 2014 thanks to his legal fight with his promoter.

3. Manny Pacquiao, welterweight

Pacquiao doesn’t have anything solid cooking yet for the fall or winter coming off his rematch win over Timothy Bradley in April, so he’ll be sitting tight here for a while.

4. Juan Manuel Marquez, welterweight

That win over Mike Alvarado in May was enough to put him over Bradley, who narrowly beat him in his previous fight. Marquez is aging and Alvarado has his limitations, but it was a fun and good performance.

5. Carl Froch, super middleweight

Froch’s rematch knockout of hated rival George Groves in May did wonders for his rep, which wasn’t as high as it should’ve been. Now he’s moved past Bradley on this list, too.

6. Timothy Bradley, welterweight

It’s not that he has done anything wrong. It’s just that others have done a touch better since he lost to Pac. Bradley had been in discussions for a Miguel Cotto fight in the fall but the odds are against it.

7. Wladimir Klitschko, heavyweight

Nothing doing on the heavyweight champ front until September, but he’s facing the best possible opponent, Kubrat Pulev, at least.

8. Guillermo Rigondeaux, junior featherweight

Rigo is due for one more fight under Top Rank, in July against Sod Kokietgym, a fight that won’t do much for the junior featherweight champion’s p4p standing.

9. Danny Garcia, junior welterweight

The junior welterweight champion is taking about as bad a fight as he can in August, against unremarkable lightweight Rod Salka, and if p4p ratings were determined by shitty fight-taking, he’d rocket up to #1 after that.

10. Miguel Cotto, middleweight

Here’s the biggest shake-up: After beating middleweight champ Sergio Martinez in June, a revitalized Cotto returns to the top 10 he long inhabited, and Martinez, looking just about finished, is out altogether.

11. Adonis Stevenson, light heavyweight

The light heavyweight king got a scare from Andrzej Fonfara in May, but not a “he nearly lost the decision” kind of scare, so he stays put and probably would’ve anyhow.

12. Bernard Hopkins, light heavyweight

Surprise, surprise — the talk suddenly is of Hopkins facing Sergey Kovalev on HBO instead of Stevenson on Showtime.  It’s many months away, though, as Kovalev is booked for next month.

13. Roman Gonzalez, flyweight

If the list restarted from scratch, Gonzalez might be in the top 10. But that’s now how these things work. In September, should he beat flyweight king Akira Yaegashi, he’s a cinch for the 10 best, at least.

14. Nonito Donaire, featherweight

That May win over Simpiwe Vetyeka was shady as hell or maybe he’d be moving up. Maybe. Oh, and naturally he’s now leaning against the rematch he offered right after. Saw that coming. Nicholas Walters might be even scarier, though.

15. Mikey Garcia, junior lightweight

Nothing happening on the Garcia front, as he is tied up in court just like Ward. If it’s not promoters fighting each other these days, or within themselves, it’s fighters fighting their promoters.

16. Juan Francisco Estrada, flyweight

There’s talk of him facing Giovani Segura in September, and it’s a spectacular match-up. Flyweight is so pimp these days. Love it.

17. Gennady Golovkin, middleweight

After spinning his wheels a bit, Golovkin is facing the best opponent of his life, Daniel Geale, later this month. A win might be good for a slot or a few.

18. Jhonny Gonzalez, featherweight

He picked up a stay-busy win in May, after waiting and waiting for the Abner Mares rematch. Now he’s looking at an August or September return, with Jorge Arce and Rocky Juarez angling.

19. Shinsuke Yamanaka, bantamweight

There’s a possibility of Julio Ceja and Suriyan Sor Rungvisai for Yamanaka. Both are solid, but can we pretty please get the Anselmo Moreno already?

20. Abner Mares, featherweight

Fighting Jonathan Oquendo next weekend won’t be enough to fend off the winner of Canelo Alvarez-Erislandy Lara squeezing him out of the top 20 that same night.

As a result of the limited action, no p4p update likely for the next two months.

Honorable mentions, in no particular order: Canelo Alvarez; Terence Crawford; Marco Huck; Sergey Kovalev; Erislandy Lara; Lucas Matthysse; Takashi Uchiyama; Vasyl Lomachenko; Leo Santa Cruz; Carl Frampton; Akira Yaegashi

About Tim Starks

Tim is the founder of The Queensberry Rules and co-founder of The Transnational Boxing Rankings Board (http://www.tbrb.org). He lives in Washington, D.C. He has written for the Guardian, Economist, New Republic, Chicago Tribune and more.