With the fight game in a bit of a lull for the second week in a row, let’s take a moment to talk about the top boxers in the game today.
First of all, this won’t be a traditional pound-for-pound list. Berg’s 8 will be a breakdown of who I feel right now is the best fighter on Earth regardless of weight class. It means the criteria of these rankings is based more on who would win if these fighters were the same size and not as heavily weighted on actual in-ring accomplishments.
1. Vasiliy Lomachenko (11-1, 9 KOs): Without question, this is the best boxer in the world. Lomachenko is completely dazzling the perfect combination of what makes fighters great. Combination punching, body work and some of the best defense I can remember. He earned the “NoMasChenko” nickname by making four straight fighters quit, all world title fights. Last time out he won the Ring Magazine and WBA Lightweight titles from Jorge Linares, a solid champion, but needed shoulder surgery after the fight. Top Rank promoter Bob Arum speculates Loma might be back in December. Arum wants a Lightweight Unification fight against WBO Champion Raymundo Beltran. Don’t miss another NoMasChenko fight! Next fight: Likely December
2. Terence Crawford (33-0, 24 KOs): If there is a 1A it’s Terence Crawford. Hopefully you caught “Bud” on ESPN+ annihilating Jeff Horn, who came off the controversial win over Manny Pacquiao. Crawford, like Lomachenko, is a complete fighter; very crisp offensively, great control of the ring, mastered angles to avoid punches and countering off them. Very slick and methodical, another can’t miss fighter. Crawford has been chasing Pacquiao for years, hopefully he finally gets that fight and convincingly sends PacMan into retirement. Next fight: TBD
3. Errol Spence (24-0, 21 KOs): Please, someone get this man a challenge. After blasting out Carlos Ocampo in one round at the Dallas Cowboys practice facility last week, Spence is ready for real main events. He’s in the same division as Crawford for a dream fight. The amount of high level stuff in the ring that night would be special and it’s a pick’em fight. First, Spence will likely fight the winner of Danny Garcia vs. Shawn Porter, set for Aug. 25 on Showtime. Next projected fight: Garcia-Porter winner, TBA
4. Canelo Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 KOs): Alright Gennady Golovkin fans calm down, I had GGG winning the first fight and I am a Triple G guy also. But spoiler alert, Canelo is going to win the rematch. I think as that fight wore on Canelo figured GGG out and will outbox in him the rematch on Sept. 15. Canelo’s bust for drugs hurt’s his legacy and that’s unfortunate but this list is based on the fighters I see in the ring. Among the masses, victories make bad things fade away. Next Fight: GGG
5. Gennady Golovkin (38-0-1, 34 KOs): As mentioned above, he beat Canelo, but the fight was close and I didn’t feel draw was a poor result, minus the awful 118-110 Canelo scorecard. I recalled the Ray Leonard-Marvin Hagler Superfight when Leonard received the same score in a very close fight.
Back to Golovkin. He is still an elite fighter but at 36 the decline is showing. Talent wise he still beats the guys below him on this list, but the window is closing. If he loses to Canelo convincingly, GGG will fall out of my Top 8. Next Fight: Canelo, Sept. 15.
6. Naoya Inoue (16-0, 14 KOs): American fight fans finally got their first taste of Inoue as the Japanese star fought on the Superfly card in Carson, Calif., last September and followed that up with a fight on ESPN+ back in May. For GGG, PacMan fans, the “Monster” is all action. Come forward and look to smash the other guy to the canvas. He’s currently on a six fight KO streak and will next compete in an eight-man World Boxing Super Series bantamweight tournament in September. It features multiple world champions. He’s a can’t miss attraction. Next Fight: September.
7. Mikey Garcia (38-0, 30 KOs): After capturing another World Title in his fourth weight class, Garcia is poised for superstar status. To get there, beat the top guys. He is already in Lomachenko territory. But will probably head to Welterweight going for his fifth weight class world title vs. Spence. Obviously, Garcia will need to beat Robert Easter Jr. to keep the climb going. Next Fight: Robert Easter Jr, July 28.
8. Srisakat Sor Rungvisai (45-4-1, 40 KOs): Rungvisai is the conqueror of GGG undercard star Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez and is a phenominal puncher. In the main event of the Superfly 2 HBO Boxing After Dark card, SSR edged out Juan Francisco Estrada in a fantastic fight. He will keep busy with a 10 round fight in his home of Thailand in July and will headline the Superfly 3 card on Sept. 8. Next TV fight: HBO in Sept.