24
Sep
2020

Roman Gonzalez and the pound for pound debate

Phil Jay 26/04/2016

Another victory for three-weight world champion Roman Gonzalez last weekend has re-opened the debate about who really is the best pound for pound fighter on the planet.

The Nicaraguan stands just five wins away from overhauling Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Rocky Marciano’s retirement record of 49-0 and is currently involved in a hot debate as to whether he can be firmly recognised as the number one.

Obviously, Gennady Golovkin’s promoters K2 and TV network HBO are in no doubt that Gonzalez currently holds the honour as every shred of promotion for the WBC flyweight title holder’s recent defense had ‘consensus P4P king’ in evidence.

On the other hand, many fans see co-feature star ‘GGG’ himself as the top dog due to his destructive run of 22 straight knockouts and fifteen successful WBA middleweight title defenses.

In my view, talented Californian Andre Ward would certainly have had a strong case had Edwin Rodriguez and Paul Smith Jnr not been his only opponents during a forgettable three and a half year period of his career. Ward was involved in a contract dispute with the late Dan Goossen and dropped out of the pound for pound ratings completely during that time.

A win over Sullivan Barrera saw Ward re-enter the Top 10 recently but the American certainly hasn’t done enough since beating Chad Dawson in 2012 to get anywhere near his old number two ranking.

In the WBN Top 50, Floyd Mayweather Jr. will enjoy five more months at the helm, not only because of his exceptional achievements – but due to the fact that it still remains a possibility that ‘Money’ will return to action before the end of the year.

As Mayweather drops away in September, it looks likely that Gonzalez will be named the new flag bearer for the sport unless Gennady Golovkin either defeats Canelo Alvarez or moves up in weight to claim a world title at 168 pounds. Those two scenarios seem to be the only way to stop ‘Chocolatito’ replacing Floyd at the helm, with Ward’s own defining night against light heavyweight force Sergey Kovalev not set to take place until November.

The winner of that encounter would in all likelihood knock Gonzalez off his short-lived perch at the back end of 2016 as the top names in boxing vie to become to new name on everyone’s lips – albeit dependent on Mayweather keeping his promise to stay away.

A comeback by Manny Pacquiao and the winner of Canelo v Khan could also have Gonzalez, Golovkin and the rest looking over their shoulder though as one very special era subsides and a new generation dawns.