Top three best boxers you don’t know

Boxing fans scouring the pound for pound rankings will see all of the big names in the sport. You'll see the kingpins at the top like Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather, the guys we love to hate like Wladimir Klitschko, the guys that we can't seem to get rid of like Bernard Hopkins and Juan Manuel Marquez and the breakout stars like Sergio Martinez and Nonito Donaire.

We know all of those guys, but even seasoned boxing fans may be unfamiliar with some of the best fighters in the world. Here are the top 3 boxers in the business who you might not know or might not have gotten the opportunity to watch.

1. Giovani Segura (currently #8 P4P): Segura is coming off two straight wins over longtime Puerto Rican great Ivan Calderon. The two stoppage wins vaulted him into the top 10 pound for pound, and finally made many take notice of his prodigious power, effective aggression and all-around skills.

He has 23 knockouts in 27 wins, he avenged his only loss, a decision to Cesar Canchila, with a 4th round TKO in his next fight, and also holds a number of other notable wins. It's likely that he will be venturing up to Flyweight or maybe even Super Flyweight, which means he may land a few major TV dates against names we are familiar with before long.

2. Omar Andres Narvaez (currently #14 P4P): The Argentinean has been a champion going back about nine years. In that time he has racked up a 19-0-1 record in title fights spanning two weight classes, and is still undefeated as a professional, with a 34 (19) - 0 - 2 ledger. The problem is that he fights almost exclusively from his home country, and the majority of those title wins come against overmatched competition.

There have been good wins mixed in though, wins over Brahim Asloum, Carlos Tamara, and most recently, Cesar Seda, for instance. But he's not on TV and he hasn't fought in the U.S., which means you're not the only boxing fan who knows little if anything about El Huracan. At 35-years-old and with limited time left in the game, perhaps he gets the itch to venture stateside - or at least to Mexico - for a major title bout or unification match.

3. Pongsaklek Wonjongkam (currently #16 P4P): The Thai battler has been a pro for well over 15 years, and over that time has built up a 80 (44) - 3 - 1 record, including a ridiculous 71-1-1 stretch after losing twice in his first 11 bouts. Yes, most of those are meaningless, stay-busy fights. For example, in his past 13 contests, three of his opponents were making professional debuts, three others had losing records with less than five fights, and two others were against overmatched local journeymen.

Still, there's a 20-1-1 record in title fights to be found, with two wins over Daisuke Naito (the man who came back to give him those two title fight blemishes), and other wins over Julio Cesar Miranda, Gilberto Keb Baas, Luis Lazarte, an undefeated Hussein Hussein, and perhaps most impressively of all, his recent effort to regain the WBC flyweight title by earning a decision over the previously undefeated Japanese star Koki Kameda.

They might not be household names - not in houses in this country, anyway - but they are three of the best pound for pound boxers in the world.


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Jake Emen is a member of the Yahoo! Contributor Network.
Updated Thursday, May 19, 2011