Sometimes I wonder, can you overthink the meaning of pound for pound? It's tough to really nail the portraiture. So many different views and opinions and who has the right to say each one is right or wrong? It sounds a bit like the story of life, right. I'm a bit rusty at this.
Usually, you'll see me breakdown fights via the YouTube Channel; something I love to do, but sometimes words speak volumes and I think a subject like that of pound for pound requires that little voice in your own head to digest. Did you ever wonder why when you read back things you actually hear it in your own voice too? Back on track.
Pound for Pound, what does it really mean and is there a definition? It's a tough one. Pound for Pound to me is really simple, I look at it and think, right, who has the named individual beat? How many world titles have they won and in how many divisions. Nothing more nothing less. We can all have a preference in style and output, but with what can be such a sensitive topic amongst fans I think you need to strip back personality and work from the facts.
Terence Crawford (36-0)
A name that echos out to all fans of the sport. A fighter who seemed to be of a decent standard. He came to Glasgow on a wet Saturday night in 2014 and ripped the title away from Scotlands Ricky Burns. Did anyone actually then expect him to rip through three weight divisions making light work of fighters like Yuriorkis Gamboa, Ray Beltran, Viktor Postol, Jeff Horn to name a few.
Some fighters just grow into their own role model. I think this sums up 'Bud'. A man who came from a relatively poor background and just scratched, clawed, grabbed every opportunity life gave him and made the absolute most of it. Do we count these things when we talk about pound for pound?
The sheer climb in the class of a fighter who once looked to be a decent world champion but then just decided to keep pushing and see where boxing could take him. That place is unanimously considered to now be the pinnacle as he is very high on my list, he might even be 'The Guy' in my eyes.
For me, he needs that one defining night. I believe Crawford would fight anyone, I truly do. At the moment that one fight isn't happening but in time it could. Crawford needs that one huge name, an Errol Spence a Manny Pacquiao or perhaps even a trip up to Super Welter with a convincing stoppage win of a Jermell Charlo. What a way to throw the pound for pound argument way up in the air if that statement was made.
After losing his second pro fight via split decision which was for a world title may I add, he has never looked back or left anything to chance in his career again. A man who doesn't take losing lightly. A man who enacts the greatest amateur record in the history of boxing. A 396-1 double Olympic winning record, let that sink in. Then let it sink in that after Albert Selimov beat him in the 2007 World Championships 'Loma' decided to avenge that loss not once, but twice.
It's almost non-believable. Is it any wonder why the only man who has beaten him in the pro ranks Orlando Salido has always priced himself out of the rematch? Lomachenko has since ripped his way through three weight divisions, doing it in just twelve fights. Similar to Crawford. Names like Gary Russell, Nicholas Walters, Jorge Linares, and Guillermo Rigondeaux.
Let's go back for a second, do we include his double Olympic win in our consideration of pound for pound. Could anyone argue if you had Lomachenko as your number one? personally I would say no.
Saul "Canelo" Alvarez
The only other man in my eyes that rightly enters debate at this moment in time is the man they call 'Canelo'. Saul Alvarez (53-1-2). Arguably the most improved of the three. Turned pro at 15, like Crawford from a relatively poor background. Turned pro to fight for money and make his life better. Seeing how he has developed has been easy on the eye.
A fighter who once was in a bit of a slugfest with Jose Cotto, developed himself to a level that he could marginally outbox the feared Gennady Golovkin, that has to be respected surely?
Winning World Titles in four different weights from Super Welter through to Light Heavyweight with one blemish, Floyd Mayweather.
Fighting one of the greatest ever fighters would be a task in itself but doing it weight drained and aged 23 is a whole other story. That again has be respected. So far a fifty-six fight career has seen Canelo beat names like Shane Mosley, Erislandy Lara, Miguel Cotto, Gennady Golovkin, Danny Jacobs, and Sergey Kovalev.
All this and he is still only 29. How much more can he accomplish? Again can you argue if someone had Canelo as the best fighter in boxing, personally I would say no.
I still find myself asking, what is pound for pound. Is it just a makeup league that doesn't really matter, or is it a recognition of the man you believe is the name and face you want to carry boxing forward to that next level. I suppose we will just need to accept it as something that will always be debated. However, in my eyes there are only three men as per above that can truly be debated as being 'The Guy'.
How will boxing respond in the future to the subject?
Will there be a recognised title? If so will it be decided by an independent body like the Ring Magazine and if so how will it be judged? Will there be a structure? I guess it would be interesting in a sport that already has more than enough titles, who knows what pound for pound will mean in the future.