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Gennady Golovkin works out at the Wild Card (Credit: Getty Images/Josh Lefkowitz)

Gennady Golovkin works out at the Wild Card Boxing Club in Santa Monica, California, on Feb. 8, 2017.

Top 10 pound-for-pound boxers

Newsday's Robert Cassidy ranks the best pound-for-pound boxers in the sport as the 2016 fight calendar ends and 2017 begins. The top 10 are presented below in countdown order.

10. Danny Garcia

Danny Garcia (33-1, 19 KOs) lost his title
(Credit: Getty Images / Drew Hallowell )

Danny Garcia (33-1, 19 KOs) lost his title and unbeaten record to Keith Thurman on March 4. He pressed the action in the middle-to-late rounds but let the bout slip away as Thurman elected to box and move. Garcia was unable to cut off the ring with any regularity.

9. Carl Frampton

Carl Frampton (23-1, 14 KOs) doesn't get penalized
(Credit: Getty Images / Anthony Geathers)

Carl Frampton (23-1, 14 KOs) doesn't get penalized for his first career loss, a majority decision to Leo Santa Cruz. Frampton fought well but was just on the wrong side of a very close majority decision. He is looking for a third fight with Santa Cruz, as are many boxing fans.

8. Leo Santa Cruz

Leo Santa Cruz (33-1-1, 18 KOs) made the
(Credit: AFP/Getty Images/John Gurzinski)

Leo Santa Cruz (33-1-1, 18 KOs) made the right adjustments to beat Carl Frampton in their WBA featherweight title fight. The long, rangy Santa Cruz came away with a majority decision because he was effectively able to use his jab to control the pace of the fight. His long jab and solid combinations were enough to hand Frampton his first career loss.

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7. Terence Crawford

Terence Crawford (30-0, 21 KOs) scored wins over
(Credit: Getty Images / Steve Marcus)

Terence Crawford (30-0, 21 KOs) scored wins over previously unbeaten Viktor Postol and a very tough John Molina Jr. In December, the WBC and WBO super lightweight champion was sentenced to 90 days in jail in connection with a disturbance at an Omaha body shop. So he could be on the shelf for a while.

6. Roman "Chocolatito" Gonzalez

The year 2016 provided something new for Ramon
(Credit: Getty Images)

The year 2016 provided something new for Ramon Gonzalez (46-0, 38 KOs). Yes, he remained unbeaten but also he went the distance in two straight fights for the first time since 2009. He scored decisions over McWilliams Arroyo and Carlos Cuadras. There are reports that "Chocolatito" and Cuadras will fight again as the main undercard bout to the Gennady Golovkin-Danny Jacobs middleweight unification bout at the Garden.

5. Keith Thurman

Keith Thurman (28-0, 22 KOs) showed plenty of
(Credit: Getty Images / Ed Mulholland)

Keith Thurman (28-0, 22 KOs) showed plenty of versatility in winning a split decision over Danny Garcia in their March 4 unification bout at Barclays Center. The fans may not have loved the fight, but the puncher-turned-boxer did what he had to do to secure the win. 

4. Saul "Canelo" Alvarez

Canelo Alvarez (48-1-1, 34 KOs) notched a pair
(Credit: Getty Images)

Canelo Alvarez (48-1-1, 34 KOs) notched a pair of predictable knockouts over Amir Khan and Liam Smith. But the real showdown fans want for the WBC middleweight champion is a unification match with Gennady Golovkin.

3. Sergey Kovalev

There are plenty of ringside observers who felt
(Credit: Getty Images)

There are plenty of ringside observers who felt Sergey Kovalev (30-1-1, 26 KOs) beat Andre Ward in their light heavyweight unification title bout. He dropped Ward but lost as close a unanimous decision as one can lose: 114-113 on all three judges' scorecards. Main Events, Kovalev's promoter, already exercised the rematch clause, so look for this fight to happen again in 2017.

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2. Andre Ward

Undisputed light heavyweight champion Andre Ward (31-0, 15
(Credit: Roc Nation Sports/Khristopher Sandifer)

Undisputed light heavyweight champion Andre Ward (31-0, 15 KOs) rose from the canvas, stayed composed and turned back the biggest challenge of his career in his fight against Sergey Kovalev. The unanimous decision was widely disputed and the rematch looms for these two warriors.

1. Gennady Golovkin

IBF/IBO middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin (35-0, 32 KOs)
(Credit: Getty Images)

IBF/IBO middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin (35-0, 32 KOs) will finally get a high-profile match when he meets WBA champ Daniel Jacobs in a unification match at the Garden on March 18, 2017. On paper, this fight presents the biggest challenge to Golovkin's reign to date.

The next 10

11. Danny Jacobs (pictured) 12. Vasyl Lomachenko 13.
(Credit: Getty Images / Drew Hallowell )

11. Danny Jacobs (pictured)
12. Vasyl Lomachenko
13. Guillermo Rigondeaux
14. Deontay Wilder
15. Kell Brook
16. Adonis Stevenson
17. Erislandy Lara
18. Viktor Postol
19. Shawn Porter
20. Wladimir Klitschko 

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