HBO boxing analyst Max Kellerman made a strong and impassioned case for WBA Super World/WBO super bantamweight champion Guillermo Rigondeaux on Saturday night's latest installment of "The Fight Game With Jim Lampley" when debating the order of his pound-for-pound list with his loquacious colleague.
The two gentleman engaged in a healthy debate regarding the order of their respective pound-for-pound lists on the recent telecast that followed Gennady Golovkin's third round knokout of Matthew Macklin. This discussion centered around whether the talented Rigondeaux (12-0, 8 KO's) had done enough over his relatively brief pro career to warrant inclusion within the top five.
Lampley's list included the following: 1) Floyd Mayweather, Jr. 2) Andre Ward 3) Juan Manuel Marquez 4) Wladimir Klitschko 5) Vitali Klitschko
Kellerman concurred with the selection of Mayweather and Ward atop the list, but had a very different view with respect to the third and fourth spots. He emphatically stated that Rigondeaux had just thoroughly outboxed "2012 Fighter of the Year" and three-division world champion Nonito Donaire who had dominated the best fighters in the lighter weight classes up to that point. Prior to his loss to Rigondeaux, Donaire was securely planted at #3 on many pound-for-pound lists, including Kellerman's.
"Simply because he [Donaire] lost to a guy who put on, in my opinion, one of the most brilliant pure boxing displays I've ever seen, why would I drop him much below guys who had been beaten by lesser lights and also struggled against lesser fighters? I've got Rigondeaux third and Donaire fourth," Kellerman matter-of-factly said, pointing out that Marquez had some difficulty against Michael Katsides and Juan Diaz.
While Lampley acknowledged Rigondeaux's brilliant performance against Donaire this past April, he countered that it drew boos from the crowd, many boxing writers disapprove of his boxing style and his own promoter, Top Rank chief Bob Arum, has expressed anticipated difficulty in promoting the technically-minded Cuban.
Kellerman dismissed all of that.
"The people I grew up watching fights with, all of us right now are compelled to watch Rigondeaux whenever he fights because he's the best in the world at what he does. He just shut out a dominant, three-division champion."
Although passionate for all-out ring wars, such as the two fights between Mike Alvarado and Brandon Rios, Kellerman still highly values the sweet science and those who possess the unique skills to produce such a performance.
"Is there no place in the world for a brilliant boxing exhibition?"
There certainly should be a place for it beyond any pound-for-pound list.
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