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NOTES FROM THE BOXING UNDERGROUND: THE TOP 25 FREE ASSOCIATION GAME

By Paul Magno | January 18, 2021
NOTES FROM THE BOXING UNDERGROUND: THE TOP 25 FREE ASSOCIATION GAME

You know it's a slow news week when Keith Thurman cutting his ponytail and raging on instagram is headline fodder. Other than Triple K, Sergey Kovalev, getting popped for synthetic testosterone and rumors of Tyson Fury-Anthony Joshua maybe, possibly fighting, there's not all that much happening at the moment. So, this Monday's column is gonna be a bit experimental. 

Let's play some, totally uncensored, completely off the top of my head free association with the top 25 fighters, in order, on BoxRec's sometimes dubious pound-for-pound list. I apologize in advance if I go some weird places...

Saul Alvarez: Best resume in boxing at the moment-- except for out-the-door Pacquiao. Doesn't look like a fighter or dress like a fighter, but works the hardest. Nobody has grown more in the ring.

Tyson Fury: Bravado with a mix of awkwardness will take you far. Masturbates seven times a day "to keep testosterone flowing." No. 1 heavyweight at the moment.

Errol Spence Jr.: No. 1 welterweight. Probably can't beat Terence Crawford, though. My Opinion. Love his seriousness, focus, and discipline in the ring.

Terence Crawford: Best pound-for-pound fighter in the world? Gotta beef up that resume, though. Free agency, please!

Deontay Wilder: Hot mess. From puncher to punch line. Still got redemption in those heavy fists. Get back to business, man.

Anthony Joshua: Island world champ. Not as good as the sum of his parts or on the verge of putting it all together? No more stick and run performances, like against Ruiz, please. 

Manny Pacquiao: Legend leaving. Smart legend leaving. Still good enough to beat any welter in the world. Very smart to not test that theory against Spence and Crawford. Hope he beats Conor McGregor into Irish stew.

Gennadiy Golovkin: Great offensive fighter. Greater sense of entitlement. Coasted comfortably for most of his career, entitled to do so by fawning praise and fapping fan boys. Couldn't prove his greatness when he finally got a chance to. 

Alexander Povetkin: Why's he so high on BoxRec's P4P list? Good second tier player over a long career.

Teofimo Lopez: A little too much adulation now? Very good performance against Lomachenko also showed some holes. It was a fight Lomachenko should've/could've won and WAS winning decisively over the second half. Heresy!

Sergey Kovalev: Poor racist Triple K. Multiple time loser in life. Was once a sublimely skilled wrecking machine. Now he's a sad sack.

Keith Thurman: Less talk, more winning. Never sold on him being greater than the sum of his parts.

Mairis Briedis: Who? Just kidding. Top cruiserweight. Never give him much thought, tbh.

Jermall Charlo: On record, alone, should brother Jermell be here instead? If he were Eastern European, media would be regarding him as avoided, but...

Dmitry Bivol: Bloom has come way off the rose. Stale performances, stale efforts, stale product. Still good, but not all that interesting anymore. 

Shawn Porter: Hardcore. Fight everybody and anybody. Swarming style is best friend and worst enemy. Judges don't always score "swarming" well. 

Mikey Garcia: Sure wish he'd stop this welterweight fantasy so I can get back to appreciating his fucking awesomeness against size-appropriate opponents. Throw him in the 140 mix, at the very least. Jose Ramirez-Mikey Garcia? YES.

Artur Beterbiev: Caveman. Intriguing as all hell. At 35, still waiting on a career-defining performance, though. Injuries and management/promotional issues have been career-defining battles so far.

Oleksandr Usyk: Great cruiser, afterthought heavyweight. Let him get his heavyweight money fight already and be done with him. Maybe then something more size-appropriate.

Gervonta Davis: One of the best young talents in the game. Explosive. Always gonna be walking that tightrope of ring performance vs. outside-the-ring self-sabotage. Time to step up the competition.

Jose Ramirez: Blue collar. Battler. Honest and earnest. 50-50 as to whether he can beat the more gifted Josh Taylor in 4-belt unification. 

Andy Ruiz Jr.: A walking boxing cliché. From rags to riches to maybe rags again. Parlayed the win of a lifetime to a money score and then the poorest performance of his career. Come on, man. 

Miguel Berchelt: Strong, tough, but not talented enough to turn back the young lions at 130-135. Like a rusted pickup that's about to be sold for scrap.

Naoya Inoue: Why's he so low on this list? Truth be told...shhhh...I think media is waaay too smitten with the "Monster." Very good fighter, but fairly untested in the deep end of the talent pool. Solid, solid resume, but enough with the ball washing.

Josh Warrington: Over Lomachenko, Charlo, Taylor, etc.? BoxRec does kinda suck with their rankings lists. Still just as reliable as the dipshit writer rankings, though. Warrington is alright, but ranked about 10-12 spots too high. 

Okay, people...Agree or Disagree?

Got something for Magno? Send it here: paulmagno@theboxingtribune.com

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