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Avila Perspective, Chap. 120: Boxing’s Best Pound for Pound

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  • Avila Perspective, Chap. 120: Boxing’s Best Pound for Pound

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    By David A. Avila

    Avila Perspective, Chap. 120: Boxing’s Best Pound for Pound

    When Saul “Canelo” Alvarez first stepped into a prize ring in the USA in 2008 it never occurred to me or others that the redheaded Mexican would be a world champion in any division, let alone four.

    It’s been quite a journey.

    Canelo is the same height as Terence Crawford and shorter than Errol Spence Jr. He’s once inch taller than Vasyl Lomachenko. Yet, he’s willingly fighting much bigger adversaries than anyone else and winning.

    Can you imagine Crawford or Spence fighting Sergey Kovalev, Gennady Golovkin or Daniel Jacobs?

    That’s a primary reason Alvarez heads my list of Pound-for-Pound best in 2021. Without a doubt he deserves to be at the top of the list by accepting more risks than any other fighter. Of course, someone like Crawford just needs a willing partner to prove his mettle.

    Top 12 Pound for Pound

    1. Saul Alvarez (54-1-2, 36 KOs) Mexico 30 years old – After decisively beating Callum Smith for another super middleweight world title will he finally receive applause? He has won world titles in the super welterweight, middleweight, super middleweight and light heavyweight divisions. The guy is only 5-8 in height. He is shorter than Errol Spence Jr. and the same height as Terence Crawford. Could either of those fighters beat a super middleweight or a light heavyweight? I rest my case.

    2. Terence Crawford (37-0, 28 KOs) USA 33 years old – This switch-hitting Nebraskan needs a marquee fight in the worst way. Will one of the many welterweight stars step up? Talks were underway for a match against Manny Pacquiao, but I just don’t see PacMan accepting a fight that dangerous for a final fight. Crawford is too dangerous for a goodbye fight and apparently too good for other welterweights. He’s got a killer instinct.

    3. Tyson Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) United Kingdom 32 years old – A year ago this giant heavyweight was clubbed to the floor by one of the biggest blows I ever witnessed and got up. It was immediately apparent to me he could win a rematch with Deontay Wilder if they fought again and he did. He has all the tools including an impressive chin. A match against fellow Brit Anthony Joshua would sell in America or Great Britain.

    4. Errol Spence Jr. (27-0, 21 KOs) USA 30 years old – Surviving a near fatal car accident and returning to the ring was a near miracle for the welterweight champion. Now the only question remaining is will he fight Terence Crawford. Words have been exchanged but no contracts have been signed. Will they finally meet in 2021? Spence should demand the fight before it’s too late. Be like Mikey Garcia and take a chance.

    5. Gennady Golovkin (41-1-1, 36 KOs) Kazakhstan 38 years old – “Triple G” only has one loss and a draw yet most of the boxing world seems to think he’s over and done. Fans can be fickle but other fighters know the real deal. Golovkin remains one of the most dangerous fighters on the planet. Now that he has a media platform in DAZN will he meet other avoided fighters like Demetrious Andrade? Or maybe even move up in weight and fight some of his fellow Europeans? He’s not done yet.

    6. Teofimo Lopez (16-0,12 KOs) USA 23 years old – The fast-twitch action by Lopez along with his boxing smarts allowed the Brooklyn fighter to defeat the near legendary Vasyl Lomachenko. Lopez looked very big for a lightweight and will probably be moving up a weight division soon. Too bad. The lightweights are booming right now and a match against the young guns Gervonta Davis, Devin Haney or Ryan Garcia could bring mega bucks. We shall see.

    7. Naoya Inoue (20-0, 17 KOs) Japan 27 years old – The talented bantamweight engaged in one of the best fights of 2019 but was also taught a few lessons by Nonito Donaire. It will serve him well as he continues his journey toward super stardom in America. It’s rare when a smaller weight fighter can attain stardom, but “Monster” Inoue has that special blend of skill and personality needed. Let’s see how far he can go.

    8. Vasyl Lomachenko (14-2, 10 KOs) Ukraine 32 years old – as an amateur he was a superstar, but that may have detracted him from truly adapting to the pro game. He is still young enough to become a more aggressive fighter. He has an abundance of talent and needs to concentrate on going for broke. Strategy only takes you so far. After all, it is called fighting. He has the ability to become a good fighter, not just a good boxer. Some people will not understand this.

    9. Anthony Joshua (24-1, 22 KOs) United Kingdom 31 years old – though he avenged his knockout loss to Andy Ruiz, his method in winning was comical. This huge heavyweight with gargantuan muscles ran around the ring jabbing and avoiding exchanges with the smaller chubby guy. It was ridiculous. However, his last win by knockout over Kubrat Pulev took some of the shame away. A match against Tyson Fury is the answer to redemption for Joshua.

    10. Mikey Garcia (40-1, 30 KOs) USA 33 years old – Few have the talent and ring smarts as this California fighter who began as a featherweight. Yes, he lost to Errol Spence Jr. back in 2019 but it seemed worth the risk. One thing it did teach was that welterweights are just a little too big for him. Who knows? Can he be another Roberto Duran and move up several divisions to seek big money fights or should he drop to super lightweight and compete there? Garcia still has that high fight IQ.

    11. Manny Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs) Philippines 42 years old – The Filipino superstar last fought in July of 2019. We’re in 2021 and PacMan has to get going if he wants to continue in the merciless world of prizefighting. Though he no longer has the power to knock out any of the elite fighters, he seemed to retain most of his speed and that incredible ring knowledge accrued over 26 years as a professional. Does he have one more megafight remaining?

    12. Oleksandr Usyk (18-0, 13 KOs) Ukraine 33 years old – As a cruiserweight he was dominating. As a heavyweight he is a skinny southpaw with not enough pop to beat the big boys who roam the division like massive dinosaurs. Usyk may need to drop down in weight or simply go for the big fight and take a beating for the money. He is too small to compete as a heavyweight. But as a cruiserweight he could dominate for a few years and make a little money.

    Honorable mention: Jermall Charlo, Demetrious Andrade, Roman Gonzalez, Miguel Berchelt, Jermell Charlo, Juan Francisco Estrada, Deontay Wilder, Andy Ruiz

    Check out more boxing news on video at the Boxing Channel

  • #2
    1) Canelo Alvarez

    2) Terance Crawford

    3) Earl Spence Jr..

    4) Naoya Inque

    5) Teofimo Lopez

    6) Vasiliv Lomachenko

    7) Alexsandr Usyk

    8) Gennady Golovkin

    9) ) Juan Francisco Estrada

    10) Artur Beterbiev


    • #3
      Mikey cannot be rated over Manny, I’m sorry.


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