Who are the best pound-for-pound fighters midway through 2017?

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Now that we are at the halfway point of what has been a year filled with exhilarating fights thus far and with the promise of many more exciting fights on the horizon, it’s time that we revisit the top pound-for-pound list. At the beginning of 2017, many had the following top 10 pound-for-pound rankings across all weight classes:

  1. Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez (46-0, 38 KOs)
  2. Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (36-0, 33 KOs)
  3. Terence “T Bud” Crawford (30-0, 21 KOs)
  4. Andre “SOG” Ward (31-0, 15 KOs)
  5. Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (48-1-1, 34 KOs)
  6. Guillermo “The Jackal” Rigondeaux (17-0, 11 KOs)
  7. Keith “On Time” Thurman (27-0-1, 22 KOs)
  8. Leo “El Terremoto” Santa Cruz (33-1-1, 18 KOs)
  9. (tied) Carl “The Jackal” Frampton (23-1, 14 KOs) / Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (30-1-1, 26 KOs)

However, in a year that has been full of shocking surprises and fighter dominance, the top 10 pound-for-pound has been shaken up. Here is our new pound-for-pound list headed into the back half of 2017:

10. Leo “El Terremoto” Santa Cruz (33-1-1, 18 KOs) / Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr. (22-0, 19 KOs)

We start our top ten list with two fighters, Leo Santa Cruz and Errol Spence Jr. Santa Cruz kicked of 2017 with his rematch against then WBA Super featherweight champion, Carl “The Jackal” Frampton. Santa Cruz was able to regain the title, which he had lost six months earlier to Frampton.  Other than his loss to Frampton, Leo Santa Cruz has torn through the bantamweight and featherweight division, having fought all of the top fighters in both divisions.

Errol Spence Jr., is a rising star of great proportions. At 27 years of age, Errol Spence is on an 8 fight knockout streak. With convincing wins over, then welterweight IBF titleholder, Kell Brook in May, and former titleholder Chris Algieri in April  2016, Spence is the talk of the welterweight division. Many fight fans are calling for Spence and Thurman to step into the square-circle and fight for welterweight supremacy and while we think this fight should definitely happen, we would like to see Errol take on one or two other welterweights before stepping into the ring with Thurman. 2017 could be a big year for Spence.

9. Vasily Lomanchenko (8-1, 6 KOs)

Vasily Lomanchenko has made his way onto our top 10 best pound-for-pound list due to his fights over Roman Martinez, Nicholas Walters and Jason Sosa. He’s command of the ring and ability to throw punches from different angles causing his opponents to either retire or end up on the canvas for a ten count has made Vasily one of the top up-and-coming fighters to watch. With all of his success, he is still missing victories over quality, household name opponents. With only 9 total fights under his belt, a lot of his allure is based on his stellar amateur career. Much still remains to be seen about Vasily and whether or not he truly is one of the best fighters in the world. Hopefully he’ll square off against Guillermo Rigondeaux (#6 on Eightcount’s pound-for-pound list) at 130 pounds before the end of 2017.

8. Shinsuke Yamanaka (27-0-2, 19 KOs)

Shinsuke Yamanaka is an unknown to many fight fans, but for those who of us who live and breathe the sport of boxing, Yamanaka is an obvious pick for the best pound-for-pound list. The current WBC and The Ring bantamweight titleholder, Shinsuke has had 12 successful title defenses. He has yet to fight outside of his home country of Japan, which if there was a knock on Shinsuke, that would be it. We’ll keep an eye out for when Yamanaka makes his way stateside. We don’t want to miss it.

7.  Anthony “AJ” Joshua (19-0, 19 KOs)

It’s safe to say that Anthony “AJ” Joshua has put the heavyweight division back on the map. An unblemished record with all victories coming by knockout, Joshua is the premiere heavyweight champion. His epic 11th round knockout of Wladimir Klitcshko, where Joshua retained his IBF title and won the vacant WBA and IBO titles, is a sure shot fight-of-the-year candidate. We can’t wait to see Joshua and Deontay Wilder face off in what we are calling the “War For Independence Part II” – The U.K. vs The USA.

6. Guillermo “The Jackal” Rigondeaux (17-0 w/ 1 no contest, 11 KOs)

Arguably one of the most technically astute fighters in boxing, Guillermo Rigondeaux is the king of the super bantamweight and bantamweight divisions. Despite his most recent bout against Moises Flores being called a no contest after Rigondeaux’s knockout punch was determined to have been thrown after the bell, he is still the beset fighter in his weight class. Fight fans complain that his fighting style leads to boring fights, but his surgical like approach is truly a pleasure to watch for those fans that relish in the artistry of the sweet science. So who’s next for Rigondeaux? Many want him to fight Vasily Lomanchenko (#9 in the Eightcount.tv ranking), and rumor has it that both fighters have agreed to fight at super featherweight (130 lbs). Now its up to the promoters to make the fight happen.

5. Keith “One-Time” Thurman (28-0-1, 22 KOs)

Keith Thurman has moved up two spots in the pound for pound rankings since the beginning of the year and that’s primarily because of his dominance in the welterweight division. After a split decision victory over Danny Garcia and a unanimous decision over Shawn Porter, Thurman sits atop the welterweight perch. It’ll be interesting to see who he fights next. Many suspect that it will take on rising star Errol Spence Jr., who sits in the #10 spot on Eightcount’s best pound-for-pound list.

4. Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (37-0, 33 KOs)

Many considered GGG to be the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. A knockout machine, Golovkin has knocked out 33 of his 37 opponents, including a brutal beat down of Britain’s Kell Brook in September of 2016. However, in March of 2017, Golovkin had a less than stellar performance against Daniel Jacobs earlier this year at Madison Square Garden. Jacobs came into the fight above the weight limit and was able to absorb many of Gennady’s best shots, while also being able to land some solid blows on GGG. The fight definitely left a bit of doubt in the minds of spectators when it comes to Golovkin and given the consistent dominance of Crawford, Alvarez and Ward in there most recent fights, Golovkin has landed in the fourth spot on our pound-for-pound ranking.

3. Terence “T Bud” Crawford (31-0, 22 KOs)

A fast, hard-hitting and highly technical boxer, Terence Crawford has surgically climbed the best pound-for-pound list to the #3 spot, since breaking onto the national scene in 2013. At 31-0, he is considered the best light welterweight in the world. With marquee victories over Felix Diaz, Raymundo Beltran, Yuriorkis Gamboa, “Hammering” Hank Lundy, and John Molina, Jr., all by knockout with the exception of Diaz (retired) and Beltran (UD), T-Bud has positioned himself to become only the second fighter in the era of the four major sanctioning bodies to unify the four titles in any weight class. To achieve this milestone, Crawford will have to go through the undefeated Namibian, Julius Indongo this summer.

2. Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (49-34-1-1, 34 KOs)

Since losing to Floyd Mayweather 4 years ago at the tender age of 23, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez has been on a mission to rise to the top of boxing’s best pound-for-pound list. He has literally steamrolled though a list of talented fighters including – Alfredo Angulo, Erislandy Lara, James Kirkland, Miguel Cotto, Amir Khan, Liam Smith and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.. Four of his last eight fights have come by way of knockout and those that he didn’t KO he beat rather convincingly (with the exception of Erislandy Lara who many believe won the fight against Canelo) . With a victory over Gennady “GGG” Golovkin, in their upcoming bout on September 16th, Canelo could supplant Andre Ward as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world.

1. Andre “SOG” Ward  (32-0, 16 KOs)

After Andre “SOG” Ward’s 8th round KO of Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev, which represented his second successful title defense against the Russian, Ward secured his spot at the top of the Eightcount.tv pound-for-pound list. Let’s be real, this guy hasn’t lost a fight since he was 10 years old. He’s an Olympic gold medalist; a eight-time world title holder, and he stepped up in weight to fight Kovalev twice and beat him both times. He has practically cleaned out his division at super middleweight. The sky is the limit for Andre, who will seek out the next mountain to climb. Will he stay at light heavyweight or move up to cruiserweight or maybe even heavyweight? At only 33 years of age and relatively little wear and tear, Ward conceivably has another five to seven years left in the tank. We’d like to see him take on Adonis Stevenson next and finish off the last opponent in the light heavyweight division that poses any real challenge to Ward’s superior boxing skills.

With 6 months left in 2017 and a lot of top fights on the horizon, stay tuned to EightCount.tv for an updated pound-for-pound list at the end of the year and be sure to tune into all of the upcoming fights.

Do you agree with our rankings? Leave your comments below.

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