Is the welterweight division tops in boxing?
It’s a debate that has been brewing for the last half-decade or so. Which weight division is the deepest in boxing? The welterweight division has been regarded by many as the tops in the sport. Recently, the 140-pound division has gotten a lot of ink. Thanks to Showtime’s Super Six World Boxing Classic, a positive light has been shined on the 168-pound division. So which division is better? We’ll present the evidence (the top 10 fighters in each division) and allow the reader to decide. My colleague Bobby Cassidy will post a poll to the right of this post later today for readers to vote.
WELTERWEIGHTS – The welterweight division gets most of the publicity because of Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. There are a lot of quality fighters, but the division is a bit top heavy.
1. Floyd Mayweather (41-0), 2. Manny Pacquiao (51-3-2), 3. Miguel Cotto (34-2), 4. Andre Berto (26-0), 5. Shane Mosley (46-6), 6. Joshua Clottey (35-4), 7. Luis Collazo (30-4), 8. Jan Zaveck (29-1), 9. Zab Judah (38-6), 10. Selcuk Aydin (19-0). Outsiders looking in: Mike Jones.
JUNIOR WELTERWEIGHTS – This division is usually a stepping stone for lightweights looking to make more money and stardom. It’s more than a stepping stone now. Unlike the welterweights, the 140-pound division is full of young and hungry fighters.
1.Tim Bradley (25-0), 2. Devon Alexander (20-0), 3. Amir Khan (22-1), 4. Marcos Maidana (28-1), 5. Paulie Malignaggi (27-4), 6. Lamont Peterson (28-1), 7. Lucas Matthysse (26-0), 8. Juan Urango (22-3-1), 9. Andreas Kotelnik (31-3-1), 10. Kaizer Mabuza (23-6-3). Outsiders looking in: Kendall Holt, Nate Campbell, Victor Ortiz.
SUPER MIDDLEWEIGHTS – Showtime has done a fine job showcasing the world’s best super middleweights in the world boxing classic. When it’s all said and done, the last man standing will be able to say in no uncertain terms that he is the best super middleweight in the world.
1. Andre Ward (21-0), 2. Lucian Bute (26-0), 3. Mikkel Kessler (43-2), 4. Carl Froch (26-1), 5. Andre Dirrell (19-1), 6. Allan Green (29-1), 7. Arthur Abraham (31-1), 8. Librado Andrade (28-3), 9. Sakio Bika (28-3-2), 10. Robert Steiglitz (38-2). Outsiders looking in: Kelly Pavlik.
So which division is the deepest? My money is on the junior welterweights. The fact that four of their top five fighters (Bradley, Alexander, Khan, Malignaggi, Maidana) all have one loss or are undefeated and are in their 20s is a big factor. There is also Lamont Peterson (26), and Victor Ortiz (23), who looked great in a unanimous-decision victory over Nate Campbell on Saturday.
The welterweight division certainly has the top pound-for-pound guys in Mayweather and Pa cquiao, but the list thins out after those two. Cotto may be done as a headliner, while, Mosley is 38. Berto is not a proven winner and Clottey looked terrible in his loss to Pacquiao. Zab Judah hasn’t beaten a quality fighter since a win over Cory Spinks in 2005.
The super middleweight division is also stacked with a nice mix of young and older fighters. Andre Ward and Andre Dirrell represent the future of the division, while Carl Froch and Mikkel Kessler are the veterans of the bunch. Allan Green, Lucian Bute and Arthur Abraham are the quality fighters at the mid-point of their careers still looking for worldwide stardom.