Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Boxiana's P4P top ten

1. Floyd Mayweather
The undisputed king of boxing and the best-paid athlete in world sport. Looked more vulnerable than in a long time against Marcos Maidana but is widely expected to win the rematch. Unless he takes higher risk contests, it seems that little can stop him from reaching 49-0 and, ultimately, probably retiring on reaching 50-0. A great fistic talent, but his penchant for cherry-picking oppo at the right times is arguably holding him back from even greater adulation and all-time P4P consideration.

2. Manny Pacquiao
Underwhelming next choice of opponent in Chris Algieri has accentuated the suspicion that he is a faded force and possibly busted flush whose career is treading water. Nonetheless, he remains a phenomenon with an incredible ledger of achievements and, after Mayweather, the biggest name in the sport. The world still yearns for that fight, of course, although we now know it will never happen.

3. Timothy Bradley
An enigmatic talent who disappointed big-time in his rematch against Pacquiao, however his overall record commands respect and his wins against Provodnikov and Márquez, which prefaced the Pacquiao defeat, were impressive for different reasons. Intriguing to see where his career goes next, once he recovers from a calf injury. 

4. Juan Manuel Márquez
Past his best, but has still enjoyed a remarkable and wonderful career. I think we all agree that a fifth fight against Pacquiao holds little lustre, so where he goes next after his victory against Mike Alvarado is a huge question - the answer might be retirement. We will soon see.

5. Andre Ward
Career is stagnating when it should be at its peak. A wonderful talent, but signature wins and fights are sparse, despite potential for some huge fights in and around his division (Golovkin, Froch 2, Stevenson etc). As long as promotional discord keeps him inactive or only sporadically active, he will continue to move inexorably down a P4P list that he should be looking to top. Recent rumours have linked him to contests versus Kessler or Golovkin - let's hope that's true.

6. Guillermo Rigondeaux
A breathtaking talent, although not to everyone’s taste. Indeed, sometimes he doesn’t seem to be to anyone’s taste. Boxiana is a fan of his pure hit and not get hit artistry though. He's not box-office, but is worthy of his place among the current gods of the sport.

7. Gennady Golovkin
Has looked utterly unstoppable at middleweight recently, although he badly needs a signature fight against a better class of opponent to rubber-stamp what many suspect – namely that he’s a middleweight for the ages.

8. Danny García
As far as Boxiana is concerned, a perplexing omission from nearly every current P4P list doing the rounds. García can bang, box and has a superb chin. Totally dismantled the much-avoided and huge hitting Lucas Matthysse, and has defeated everyone else he’s ever faced, although he got a debatable decision versus Mauricio Herrera. Deserves a big fight.

9. Carl Froch
Teak-tough warrior who has been willing to face anyone, any time, any place. Not the most gifted technician, and was schooled by Ward, but his consistently high level of opposition deserves the utmost respect.

10. Bernard Hopkins
Has had an absolutely incredible career, which should demand and command more respect and recognition. A victory against Kovalev is not beyond the bounds of possibility, and his technique and longevity are quite simply without parallel or equal in boxing right now.

P4P lists are probably the most contentious and ridiculous rankings system in boxing, yet they retain an intriguing allure. The main criteria Boxiana has employed in our rankings is to try and combine an assessment of a fighter’s career as a whole along with an assessment of their recent form. Wins against fellow P4P ranked fighters seem to have helped elevate certain fighters to the higher reaches of our rankings – indeed, all of our top five hold at least one victory against another member of the P4P top ten, while no one ranked from 6-10 has beaten a fellow top ten pound for pounder.

Among those Boxiana has seen in other Top Ten P4P lists but opted not to include were as follows - any of these fighters could crack the top ten with a significant win or two:

Nonito Donaire – mixed recent form, lost his biggest fight to Rigondeaux.

Román González - great record but is unfortunate to have been campaigning in low-profile weight divisions. An impressive win against Yaegashi in September could see him crack our top ten.

Miguel Cotto – stellar career but possibly flattered by Martinez victory.

Canelo Álvarez - limitations exposed versus Mayweather and then Lara. 

Wladimir Klitschko - total dominance of a terrible division makes it hard to rank him historically in heavyweight terms and contemporaneously in P4P terms. He’s on a remarkable winning streak, but do all-time-greats suffer defeats against the likes of Puritty, Sanders and Brewster? His constant fouling also irritates Boxiana sufficiently to not place him in the top ten …

Mikey Garcia – great record, lacks a signature win.

Luke G. Williams

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