COMMENTARY | Despite a firm grasp on the top two spots on most pound-for-pound lists, the United States has struggled recently to produce more than a handful of consistent, elite-level talents.
But all is not lost for the U.S. fight scene.
While it's clear that boxing is becoming more and more of an international sport, the United States still sits atop the world as the country with the most main stage talent.
The emergence of more Mexican-American talent is a cause for optimism on the American fight scene and a small handful of 20-something boxers also give fans reason to believe that the nation's partial drought may be coming to an end. Plus, as hard as boxing tries to rid itself of his presence, Bernard Hopkins just can't be killed off.
In honor of the Fourth of July, here's a look at America's current Top 10:
1. Floyd Mayweather (44-0, 26 KOs)
The undisputed top pound-for-pound fighter in the world and a five-division world champ, Mayweather recently made an easy night's work out of the tough Robert Guerrero and is now set to face Saul "Canelo" Alvarez on September 14. Until proven otherwise, Mayweather is as close to being unbeatable as humanly possible.
2. Andre Ward (26-0, 14 KOs)
Sidelined by injury and promotional conflicts, Ward has already proven himself to be the undisputed best fighter at super middleweight. Still in the prime of his career at 29 years of age, Ward needs to get back in the ring ASAP and keep affirming his status as, perhaps, the best 168 lb. fighter in the history of the division.
3. Mikey Garcia (32-0, 27 KOs)
Maybe a controversial pick for such high placement at just 25 years of age, but Garcia has proven his dominance in the featherweight division with blow-out victories over Juan Manuel Lopez, Orlando Salido, and Jonathan Victor Barros. Displaying picture-perfect technique and tremendous one-punch power, it's hard to come to terms with the fact that this young talent still may be a year or two away from his prime.
4. Adrien Broner (27-0, 22 KOs)
"The Problem" is flashy, crude, and crass. He's also one of the most promising 20-something fighters in the world and a superstar-in-the-making. The 23-year-old recently took the WBA welterweight title from Paulie Malignaggi and adds that belt to world titles also collected at super featherweight and lightweight.
5. Bernard Hopkins (53-6-2, 32 KOs)
The 48-year-old master is obviously well-past his physical peak and will have more and more trouble with prime, athletic talents. However, put "the Executioner" in the ring against someone with less than superb skills and/or a relatively low ring IQ and he will find a way to win. Recent victories over Tavoris Cloud and Jean Pascal prove that point well.
6. Timothy Bradley (30-0, 12 KOs)
Once the undisputed top dog at junior welterweight, Bradley has suffered as a welterweight despite notching high-profile wins in his last two bouts. Last year, Bradley would take a highly controversial split decision over Manny Pacquiao. Then, in March of this year, he would go to war with tough Russian, Ruslan Provodnikov, and barely escape with a unanimous decision. Bradley is now set to face Juan Manuel Marquez in October in the second defense of his WBO welterweight title.
7. Danny Garcia (26-0, 16 KOs)
Garcia is all-around solid and has done enough to deserve his Top Two placement in the jam-packed junior welterweight division. The 25-year-old WBA and WBC world titlist seems headed for a clash with heavy-handed Argentine, Lucas Matthysse. By this time next year, the Matthysse bout may be the reason for Garcia's climb up the rankings or the cause of his Top Ten disappearance.
8. Mike Alvarado (34-1, 23 KOs)
A win over Brandon Rios in his last bout has yet to produce any good fortune for this junior welterweight battler. Rios was given the shot at Manny Pacquiao later this year while Alvarado is still looking for an opponent. Tough, strong, with underrated boxing skills, Alvarado is capable of beating anyone at 140 lbs., but may be frozen out of the picture due to boxing politics.
9. Brandon Rios (31-1-1, 23 KOs)
"Bam Bam" can be outboxed, but nobody has yet been able to outfight him-and that's what makes Rios such a compelling fighter. In November, the 27-year-old gets the opportunity of a lifetime as he faces Manny Pacquiao in a welterweight bout of mega-importance for both fighters.
10. Devon Alexander (25-1, 14 KOs)
Can the talented 26-year-old southpaw ever put it all together and live up to his full potential? Alexander shows brief glimpses of greatness, but generally winds up giving the bare minimum required to win. Still, the defending IBF welterweight champ, even while underachieving, is better than all but a handful of main stage names.
Other Top American Fighters: Peter Quillin, Robert Guerrero, Terrance Crawford, Brian Viloria, Zab Judah, Bryant Jennings, Ishe Smith, Keith Thurman, Jessie Vargas, Gabriel Rosado
Paul Magno was a licensed official in the state of Michoacan, Mexico and a close follower of the sport for more than thirty years. His work can also be found on Fox Sports and as Editor-in-Chief of The Boxing Tribune. In the past, Paul has done work for Inside Fights, The Queensberry Rules and Eastside Boxing. For breaking news, additional analysis, and assorted crazy commentary, follow him on Facebook, @TheBoxingTribune or on Twitter, @BoxingBTBC.
- Sports & Recreation
- Floyd Mayweather
- Danny Garcia
- Bernard Hopkins
- Manny Pacquiao
- Mikey Garcia
- Robert Guerrero
- Andre Ward