MANILA, Philippines – Some boxing analysts believe that super middleweight king Andre Ward has overtaken Filipino boxer Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao in the pound-for-pound ratings after the American’s dominant performance against Chad Dawson last weekend.
Ward thoroughly outclassed Dawson, the naturally bigger fighter, knocking him down om the third and fourth rounds before putting him away in the tenth. Dawson, who usually competes at light heavyweight, is also considered as one of the best in the world but had absolutely no defense against Ward’s onslaught.
Ward successfully defended the WBA, WBC and the RING super middleweight titles, and proved that while he was an excellent technical fighter, he is also capable of putting on entertaining bouts.
The American’s remarkable performance prompted boxing analysts from ESPN, Sports Illustrated, and Yahoo! Sports to say that Ward has now overtaken Pacquiao and is ready to challenge Floyd Mayweather Jr. for the title of the top pound-for-pound boxer in the world.
Yahoo! Sports’ Kevin Iole said that Ward is “unquestionably one of the best in the game today.” [http://sports.yahoo.com/news/boxing--andre-ward--the-new-hit-king.html
“Given Manny Pacquiao’s less-than-dominant performances the last few times out, it’s clear that Ward has surpassed him,” Iole added. “Only Mayweather might still be ahead of him and there remains a question even about that.”
Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix was so impressed with Ward’s performance that he put the American ahead of Pacquiao on their pound-for-pound list. [http://mma-boxing.si.com/2012/09/09/three-thoughts-from-ward-dawson/?sct=mma_t11_a2]
“My opinion: Ward is no worse than the No. 2 pound-for-pound fighter, ahead of Manny Pacquiao and Sergio Martinez, and just behind Floyd Mayweather,” Mannix wrote.
“You can make a compelling argument that he deserves the top spot,” he added. “Ward has cleaned out the super middleweight division and has now beaten the best light heavyweight in the world.”
“If Ward isn’t No. 1 now, he is nipping right at Mayweather’s heels.”
“Performances get no better than Ward’s in this big-time pound-for-pound showdown,” wrote ESPN’s Dan Rafael. “Simply put, Ward stamped himself as perhaps the best fighter in the world not named Floyd Mayweather Jr.”
“He dominated in stunningly easy fashion against an elite opponent in a fight that most expected to be highly competitive... (Ward) is so good right now that it’s scary,” Rafael added.
“He has ability on the level of a Mayweather or a prime Roy Jones Jr., and he would be the favorite against anyone at super middleweight or light heavyweight.”
Doug Fischer of RingTV said that if the criteria is “what have you done for me lately,” then Ward was the “easy choice” as the top pound-for-pound fighter in the world.
“He cleaned out the super middleweight division in dominant fashion en route to winning the Super Six tournament, unified two alphabet titles, earned The RING championship, and beat the light heavyweight champ, who was also considered an elite boxer,” Fischer wrote.
“Ward has done all of this within the span of three years.”
Fischer said he is unsure if Ward has done enough in his career to supplant Mayweather and Pacquiao at the top of the pound-for-pound ratings of The RING Magazine, but noted that he has “certainly done enough to merit the debate.”
Ward won a gold medal in the 2004 Athens Olympics. He has a 26-0 professional boxing record and has not lost a boxing match since 2004.