Golovkin makes his move into the Top 15 pound-for-pound rankings
Got Golovkin fever? After Gennady Golovkin's crushing win over Matthew Macklin, it's hard not to. Golovkin added another knockout -- his 14th straight -- to his resume and justified a spot on this month's pound for pound list:
Records through July 8.
1. Floyd Mayweather, 44-0-0
The inimitable Mayweather claimed win No. 44 -- along with a check for $32 million -- against Robert Guerrero, showing his usual elusiveness and precision punching. Despite badly bruising his right hand, Mayweather will be back in the ring September 14 against the biggest challenge out there: 154-pound titleholder Saul "Canelo" Alvarez.
2. Andre Ward, 26-0-0
The top 168-pounder in boxing, Ward has been bothered by a shoulder injury that has kept him on the shelf since a dominating knockout win over Chad Dawson in September. Ward's options at super middleweight are limited -- WBO champion Robert Stieglitz is the only top contender he hasn't faced, and Stieglitz doesn't bring a nickel to the table in the U.S. Ward has been beating the drum for a matchup with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., but Top Rank won't feed its big ticket seller to Ward, not unless it gets them Ward on a long term deal in return. At 29, Ward's future may be at light heavyweight.
3. Juan Manuel Marquez, 55-6-1
Marquez, idle since a stunning knockout of Manny Pacquiao last December, is scheduled to return in September against Tim Bradley. At 39, and turning 40 in August, Marquez has shown no signs of slowing down. After Bradley, a lucrative fifth fight with Pacquiao looms in 2014.
4. Manny Pacquiao, 54-5-2
Pacquiao has been quiet since being knocked out cold by Marquez in December, but he will return against Brandon Rios in Macau November 24.
5. Sergio Martinez, 51-2-2
Martinez looked ordinary in a decision win over Martin Murray, and members of his team have acknowledged that Martinez's time in the sport is limited. Still, one bad win doesn't diminish what Martinez has accomplished. A knee injury though will keep Martinez out of the ring until early next year.
6. Abner Mares, 26-0-1
Mares looked sensational in his featherweight debut, dropping Daniel Ponce De Leon twice en route to a ninth-round knockout. Mares is penciled in to be back next month against former titleholder Jhonny Gonzalez, and with a win he could get a lucrative showdown with prospect Leo Santa Cruz. For Mares, the future is bright.
7. Wladimir Klitschko, 60-3-0
Klitschko continued his near decade of dominance in May, stopping Francesco Pianeta in the sixth round. Next up: An anticipated showdown with Alexander Povetkin on October 5. Povetkin's manager, Vladimir Hryunov, won the purse bid for Klitschko's mandatory defense against Povetkin for a whopping $23.3 million, which finally got both sides to lock up a fight.
8. Nonito Donaire, 31-2-0
Donaire struggled in a loss to Guillermo Rigondeaux, blaming an injured shoulder and improper preparation. Shoulder surgery will keep Donaire on the shelf for a few months, and when he returns he could move up to 126 pounds.
9. Guillermo Rigondeaux, 12-0-0
Is Rigondeaux, at times, hard to watch? Yes. Is he effective? Yes there, too. In April, Rigondeaux was brilliant in outpointing Donaire, moving in and out, potshotting Donaire with blurring speed. Still, Rigondeaux's defensive style will make it difficult for Top Rank to put him in a major television fight. He style simply isn't television friendly.
10. Vitali Klitschko, 45-2-0
Klitschko, 41, has been idle since stopping Manuel Charr in four uninspiring rounds last September. Though nothing is official, Klitschko, the WBC heavyweight champion, was quoted last week saying he plans to fight No. 1 contender Bermane Stiverne, who outpointed Chris Arreola last month. After that, a high profile matchup with David Haye could be in the offing.
11. Gennady Golovkin, 27-0
Yup, I'm officially on the Golovkin train. Golovkin wiped out veteran title challenger Matthew Macklin last month, a one sided domination that ended with one of the most crushing body shots in recent memory. In the amateurs, the pros and probably in street fights as a kid, Golovkin has dominated. He is powerful and skilled, and its hard to see too many of the current 160-pounders hanging with him.
12. Tim Bradley, 30-0-0
Bradley won a whole bunch of fans during an entertaining slugfest with Ruslan Provodnikov in March, but may have exposed some weaknesses with his willingness to stand and trade. Bradley showed toughness and heart, two things he will need in September when he defends his WBO welterweight title against Juan Manuel Marquez. A win could position Bradley for a big money rematch with Pacquiao next year.
13. Carl Froch, 31-2-0
Froch won an entertaining slugfest against Mikkel Kessler in May, positioning himself as perhaps the most appealing 168-pounder out there. Froch brings a huge British fan base and lucrative TV money, and there are no shortage of options (Ward, Kessler, Bernard Hopkins) for him to fight.
14. Saul Alvarez, 42-0-1
The popular Alvarez scored easily the biggest win of his career in May, outboxing Austin Trout to win a unanimous decision. The WBA junior middleweight titleholder now has the fight he has always wanted: Mayweather, on September 14. Canelo has expressed a lot of confidence about his chances against Mayweather ... though we have heard that before.
15. - Roman Gonzalez, 35-0
The junior flyweight star continued his romp through the sport, moving up in weight and stopping Ronald Barrera last May. There has not been a huge market for fighters in Gonzalez's weight class(es), but at 26, Gonzalez could make new fans, quickly.