Sizing up the Current State of the Welterweight Division

This is a good weekend to reflect on the Welterweight division. The rightful champ returns this weekend and the old lion, Manny Pacquaio, slayed another pretender last weekend. Terence Crawford and Errol Spence continue their “Will they / Won’t They?” drama and Shawn Porter regained a championship against Danny Garcia just a couple months ago.

This brings up the question, who stands where in the division. I’m going to try to break down how I see the division.

The A List

  1. Errol Spence – No real surprise here, probably the de facto King of the Welterweight division. A lackluster resume but he meets every criteria on the eye test.
  2. Terence Crawford – Again, not an outlandish pick. Crawford was undisputed at 140 lbs and has taken care of business at 147 lbs, but again none of his competition at 147 (or even 140) has been stellar.
  3. Shawn Porter – I may catch a little flak for this pick, and I get it. Porter looks not on the level of Spence or Crawford. But I would make the argument that his resume is better and he showed great improvement over Garcia.

The B List

  1. Danny Garcia – Garcia is a couple rounds away from being in the A list. But his loss against Porter drops him down a notch. Also, its uncertain where his future lies.

The C List

  1. Adrien Broner – The guy has a lot of talent and a lot of skill. He just doesn’t seem to put it together. I expect we’ll see a few more hype job fights before the final few Broner fans finally give up.
  2. Jessie Vargas – Vargas is a quiet contender. Clearly not the best or most skilled guy in the division, but a tough fighter. Vargas always puts forth a professional effort and has enough to surpise anyone if they aren’t ready.
  3. Yordenis Ugas – I’m not as high on Ugas as some people. His best win to date is Thomas Dulorme and carries 3 losses already in his career. But he is the contender for Shawn Porter’s WBC belt, due to fight on March 9th later this year.

The Wildcards

  1. Keith Thurman – One more time maybe? Thurman seems happier spending time with his family than in the ring. I’m not criticizing that, but I know what it means. Thurman’s return tonight probably won’t tell us much about his future. However, if he does return in full form, there’s no doubt that he is one of the best in the division.
  2. Manny Pacquaio – And we get to the big debate. Love him or hate him, Pac fans vs Mayweather fans, the crowd that says he too old vs the crowd that says he never will. Since the Horn fight, I figure Manny is just on a retirement tour. But his wins over Matthysse and Broner have been dominate. He looks 10 years young since ditching Freddie Roach (a move which has seemed to benefit both men). A year ago, I would have laughed at the idea of Manny taking down Spence or Crawford, maybe even Porter. But with his last two fights, it’s not as clear. Now I get Broner and Matthysse are not top tier Welterweights, if they even are welterweights. But Manny went out and treated lesser competition the way I expect a World Champ to (even if his belt is pretty hollow).

That’s all for now. All we can do is wait and see how the landscape shapes up and hope that fights get made. In the meantime, enjoy the return of One Time tonight.

Nik enjoys bantamweight wars, good body work, and boxers who work on their craft. In his spare time he spends time with his family, or away from them in his work shop.

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