The Best Boxers Today, 2014
By Joe Harrison
Below is my list of today’s best boxers in every weight division beginning with the best heavyweight all the way down to the best strawweight.
Plus, the list is concluded with today’s pound-for-pound king.
Wladimir Klitschko -
IBF, WBA, WBO and Ring Magazine Champion:
A champion since 2006, Wladimir continues to defeat every opponent placed in front of him, and rather easily. Now that big brother Vitali has vacated the WBC belt, Wladimir can actually go after the only relevant belt that is missing from his collection, the WBC belt. For now, it can be found around the waste of Bermane Stiverne.
CRUISERWEIGHT (200 POUNDS)
Yoan Pablo Hernandez -
IBF and The Ring Magazine Champion:
Hernandez dethroned Steve Cunningham of the IBF title and retained it in their rematch as well. How Hernandez matches up against the other champions, Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (WBC) and Marco Huck (WBO), remains to be seen. Still, as of now, Hernandez appears to be the best of the bunch.
LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT (175 POUNDS)
Adonis Stevenson -
WBC and The Ring Magazine Champion:
Upon his defeat of Chad Dawson, our previous number-one light heavyweight, we placed Stevenson at the top of the 175-pound division. He is next expected to face Bernard Hopkins (WBA/IBF). Another champion, slugger Sergey Kovalev (WBO), appears to be out of the mix for now.
SUPER MIDDLEWEIGHT (168 POUNDS)
Andre Ward -
WBA and The Ring Magazine Champion:
With the division basically cleaned out, Ward may have to settle for the best middleweight or light heavyweight in the near future. The other titleholders include Carl Froch (IBF), Sakio Bika (WBC) and Arthur Abraham (WBO).
MIDDLEWEIGHT (160 POUNDS)
Miguel Cotto -
WBC and The Ring Magazine Champion:
Upon his victory over Sergio Martinez in June, Cotto became Puerto Rico’s first four-division champion. He also beat the division’s best, which is why he earns the number-one spot here. Most feel that the throne will soon be taken by Gennady Golovkin (WBA), and it may only be a matter of time. Other top names are Sam Soliman (IBF), Peter Quillin (WBO) and Marco Antonio Rubio (WBA ‘regular’).
JR. MIDDLEWEIGHT (154 POUNDS)
Saul “Canelo” Alvarez -
Before suffering his only loss to Floyd Mayweather Junior (WBC), Canelo appeared to be the king of the division. Now that Mayweather is back at the welterweight level, Canelo can regroup himself and reclaim the division. Other top names include Carlos Molina (IBF), Demetrius Andrade (WBO) and Erislandy Lara (WBA).
WELTERWEIGHT (147 POUNDS)
Floyd Mayweather Jr. -
WBC, WBA and The Ring Magazine Champion:
A man who needs no introduction, Mayweather is coming off a close victory over Marcos Maidana. Will this man remain undefeated forever? Currently, other top welterweights are Manny Pacquiao (WBO), Shawn Porter (IBF), Timothy Bradley, Juan Manuel Marquez, and Devon Alexander.
JR. WELTERWEIGHT (140 POUNDS)
Danny Garcia -
WBC/WBA and The Ring Magazine Champion:
Following victories over Amir Khan, Zab Judah, and Lucas Matthysse, Garcia is undoubtedly the best at 140. Now there is the question of how long Garcia remains in this division before moving up to 147. Other notables in the division are Lamont Peterson (IBF), Chris Algieri (WBO), and Jessie Vargas (WBA regular).
LIGHTWEIGHT (135 POUNDS)
Miguel Vazquez -
With Antonio DeMarco dethroned and Adrien Broner moving up to 147, Miguel Vazquez is alone at the top of the 135-pound division. Well, he is almost alone. Terence Crawford (WBO) Makes a fair argument as the division’s best, although he may be moving up. Other titlists are Omar Figueroa (WBC) and Richard Abril (WBA).
JR. LIGHTWEIGHT (130 POUNDS)
Takashi Uchiyama -
Victories over Juan Salgado and Jorge Solis provide evidence of this Japanese boxer’s potential. As Uchiyama continues to defend his title successfully, all eyes are on two-division champion, Miguel “Mikey” Garcia (WBO), although he may be moving up in weight again. Other top names include Takeshi Miura (WBC), Argenis Mendez (IBF) and Rances Barthelemy.
FEATHERWEIGHT (126 POUNDS)
Jhonny Gonzalez -
Just when it appeared that the top name in the division was Abner Mares, he was knocked out in the first round by Jhonny Gonzalez. The rematch should prove to be very interesting, if it ever happens. Other top names include Evgeny Gradovich (IBF), Nonito Donaire (WBA), Vasyl Lomachenko (WBO) and Nicholas Walters (WBA ‘regular’).
JR. FEATHERWEIGHT (122 POUNDS)
Guillermo Rigondeaux -
WBA, WBO and The Ring Magazine Champion:
This two-time Olympic gold medalist defeated top pound-for-pounder Nonito Donaire to unify the WBA and WBO titles. He may not be the most exciting boxer, but he is certainly one of the best. Other top names include Leo Santa Cruz (WBC), Kiko Martinez (IBF) and Scott Quigg (WBA ‘regular’).
BANTAMWEIGHT (118 POUNDS)
Anselmo Moreno -
A champion since 2008, Moreno appears to be the best in the 118-pound division. On the other hand, other names should not be ignored such as Shinsuke Yamanaka (WBC), Paul Butler (IBF), and Paulus Ambunda (WBO).
JR. BANTAMWEIGHT (115 POUNDS)
Omar Andres Narvaez -
Narvaez has shown time and time again that he can compete with the best in boxing, especially at junior bantamweight as well as flyweight, where he previously held a championship belt. He has multiple defenses at 115 on his resume, and he is ready to move forward. Other top jr. bantamweights include Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (WBC) and Kohei Kono (WBA).
FLYWEIGHT (112 POUNDS)
Juan Estrada -
Estrada scored a huge win over Brian Viloria to claim two of the major alphabet belts. Other top names to look out for are Akira Yaegashi (WBC & The Ring Magazine Champion) and Amnat Ruenroeng (IBF).
JR. FLYWEIGHT (108 POUNDS)
Donnie Nietes -
This two-division champion appears to be alone at the top now that Roman Gonzalez has moved up in weight. Okay, so he’s not completely alone. Other top names include Naoya Inoue (WBC) and Kazuto Ioka (WBA).
STRAWWEIGHTS (105 POUNDS)
Hekkie Budler -
In a division where names revolve regularly, Budler earned the full WBA title with a first-round KO over Karlius Diaz in March. Other top names include Oswaldo Novoa (WBC), Francisco Rodriguez (WBO), and Katsunari Takayama (IBF).
Floyd Mayweather Jr. -
WBC Welterweight Champion:
WBC Super Welterweight Champion:
There is no doubt that Floyd Mayweather Junior stands alone as the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world. Perhaps his bout against Maidana showed signs of slippage, but Floyd came out victorious non-the-less. Perhaps a strong case could be made for Andre Ward, but he’s only cleaned out the 168-pound division so far, and refuses to try other weights at this time, let alone fight at all. Mayweather, undefeated in his 46 fights, has held titles in every division from super featherweight to super welterweight. Until he loses, no one should doubt that he is boxing’s king.
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