By Jack Price @PriceyJ97.
The Mayweather-Pacquiao era is slowly coming to an end. There was a time when these two men were dominating the pound-for-pound debates. It was debatable between these two, but nobody else even came close. But now these two superstars are aging and clearly slowing down, the pound-for-pound No.1 spot will soon be left wide open for the young, hungry up and coming superstars making their way through the rankings right now.
It's impossible to predict the future, especially in boxing, but we wanted to find out who the fans believe is the "most likely" to be in the P4P No.1 spot in a few years time. So we asked the following question to our Twitter followers (@BoxingOpinions1): Who will be the pound-for-pound king in 5 years time?
There were tons of names mentioned, way more than I actually expected, but two names dominated the discussion: WBC super-bantamweight super-middleweight champion and most people's P4P No.2 Andre Ward, and flamboyant and controversial highly-rated WBC lightweight world champ Adrien 'The Problem' Broner. Let's take a look at why most boxing fans/experts believe it will be these two men battling it out for the No.1 spot in the future.
Record: 26-0, 22 KO's.
Big Wins: Daniel Ponce De Leon, Antonio DeMarco, Gavin Rees.
Target Men: Danny Garcia, Lucas Mattysse, Ricky Burns, Timothy Bradley.
Receiving more votes than any other fighter, this controversial 23-year old American has finally started to give people reasons to believe his hype. He has already achieved an incredible amount for someone of his age, becoming a two-weight world champion and beating some of the best fighters out there with seemingly no problem at all. "The Problem" has already earned his spot in most people's Top 10, but will he move any higher in the future?
The current lightweight No.1's next outing is actually at welterweight against WBA champion Paulie Malignaggi. A win will earn in him a world title in a 3rd weight division but it probably won't move him any higher in the P4P rankings. For Broner to keep moving higher and higher he needs to take on some of the top light-welterweights around right now, as this is where most people believe the toughest fights are for him. Wins over the likes of Garcia, Mattysse and Peterson will push him close to the top 5 and also prove he's ready to move into fights with the serious pound-for-pound contenders and move him closer and closer to that No.1 spot.
Record: 26-0, 14 KO's.
Big Wins: Mikkel Kessler, Sakio Bika, Arthur Abraham, Carl Froch, Chad Dawson.
Target Men: Carl Froch (Rematch), Chad Dawson (At 175lb), Bernard Hopkins, Gennady Golovkin.
Some people actually already have Ward, the WBC super-middleweight champ, as their pound-for-pound No.1. At 29-years old he has basically completely wipe out the 168lb division and also beaten the No.1 fighter at 175 Chad Dawson. However, this has in someway actually worked against him as he lacks a real challenge and a fight that will cement him in that No.1 spot when Floyd Mayweather retires or loses. And then of course there's the question over his physical capability. It's no secret that 'S.O.G' is slightly injury prone, which has led to him being extremely inactive over the past couple of years. Fighting once a year at the moment is okay as there's no one that really comes close to challenging him. But what about when some highly-rated contenders do start coming through and people start questioning Ward's dominance?
For him to take that No.1 spot Ward needs 1 of 2 things; Either a step up to light-heavyweight, or some new, fresh challenges at super-middle. With no real stand-out prospects coming through at 168 at the moment it seems like he'll have to go with the first option. He faces a tougher task to get to that No.1 spot than Broner as he just doesn't have the opponents, but we know one thing; He definitely has the talent and pedigree to be regarded as one of the best fighters in the world no matter what era he is in.
Runners-Up: Mikey Garcia, Kell Brook, Kal Yafai.
Other fighters to receive votes: Saul Alvarez, Gennady Golovkin, Lucas Mathysse, Vasyl Lomachenko, Callum Smith, Nonito Donaire, Gary Russell Jr, Amir Khan, Abner Mares, Keith Thurman.
Adrien Broner 13
Andre Ward 11
Mikey Garcia 2
Kell Brook 2
Kal Yafai 2