P4P countdown: No 1: Roman Gonzalez
Luke G. Williams
Over the Christmas and New Year period, Boxing Monthly online is counting down our latest pound for pound top ten, based on the votes of a panel comprising nine of our writers. Today we reveal the man who came first ...
Name: Roman Gonzalez
BM online P4P ranking: 1st
Fight record: 46(38)-0
2016 report card: By Gonzalez's usual standards 2016 was a relatively inactive year, with just two contests, both of which he won unanimously on points. Puerto Rican McWilliams Arroyo was spirited but outgunned in a WBC flyweight title defence in April, but it was a different story in September when 'Chocolatito' moved up to super flyweight to face previously undefeated WBC champ Carlos Cuadras. It proved to be a back and forth slug-fest that most felt the Nicaraguan pound for pound king did enough to win handily enough, although the Mexican questioned the decision afterwards. The victory meant that Gonzalez has now won world titles in four weight categories.
Prospects for 2017: It could be a thrilling year to be a Gonzalez fan - first up in March is a rematch with Cuadras. If he comes through that unscathed, which is no sure thing, then a mouthwatering showdown with Japanese sensation Naoya Inoue could be next, although there is also a mandatory defence against Thailand's Srisaket Sor Rungvisai to negotiate. A rematch with Juan F. Estrada, Gonzalez's old rival from the light flyweight division who is now competing at super fly, could provide another fascinating opponent for Gonzalez, as could John Riel Casimero, who has also joined the stacked ranks at super fly. Oh, and then there's the small matter of the fact that 'Chocolatito', is only three fights shy of equalling Floyd Mayweather and Rocky Marciano's fabled 49-0 record ...
Total points from BM P4P ranking panel: 88 - In a near unanimous decision, eight of the nine members of our voting panel ranked Gonzalez as the P4P top dog, with our other panellist placing him third. It doesn't get much more convincing than that, does it? If Gonzalez emerges still unbeaten from a potentially tough 2017 then his legend will grow yet further.
NB: Voting panel for the BM online P4P rankings were: Mark Butcher, Luke Byron, Luke G. Williams, Andrew Harrison, Paul Zanon, James Oddy, Chris Williamson, Callum Rudge and Michael Montero.
Each panellist ranked their top ten in order, with the boxer placed first receiving ten points, second nine points, third eight points and so on. Boxers were then ranked by the overall number of points accrued.