The welterweight division has long been one of boxing’s glamour division. The division has been home to many of the biggest names and fights in the history of the sport. 147 is again red hot with a deep roster of talent and countless opportunities to produce mega fights. We rank the top 10 guys in the 147-pound division.
10) Jessie Vargas- 28-2-1 (10) Vargas is coming off a tough-luck draw with AB, a fight many thought he won. Vargas is a fundamentally sound fighter who operates just below the elite levels. He throws lots of punches. He is still tall and long for 147 and can give anyone in the division fits. Vargas has fought two A+ fighters in Bradley and Pacquiao and despite almost stopping Bradley in the 12 he lost probably 20 of the 24 rounds against those two A+ fighters. Vargas is a good fight with good skills and solid wins over Antonio DeMarco, Khabib Allakhverdiev, Aaron Martines and of course Sadam Ali in addition to the draw with Broner, a fight we scored as did many for Vargas, he does have some drawing power and would make a competitive fight for anyone.
9) Konstantin Ponomarev- 34-0 (13) Another tall and skilled fighter. The native Russian is going to have some difficulties landing a big-time fight. Due to his skill and style, his name is hardly mentioned for big-time fights. So far Ponomarev’s two best wins are against two unbeaten prospects in Canadian Mikael Zewski and Brad Solomon. Not exactly a world-class resume. Whatever the resume lacks he makes up for with ability. Ponomarev sports excellent head movement, slips punches really well and manages distance and knows how to use his reach. He has a thunderous lead right that his knockout percentage may not suggest. Expect Ponomarev to continue to be avoided, as his skills combined with his lackluster profile means he ain’t worth the risk. He will have to wait until has is someones mandatory to get a big shot.
8) Jamal James- 23-1 (10) James Has bounced back nicely since losing a lopsided decision to Ugas two years ago. He took a year off and then beat Jo Jo Dan and destroyed Diego Chavez in just three rounds and then came back and beat a capable Abel Ramos. Jamal James is one of the tallest 147 pounders we can remember, he displayed power we didn’t think he had in taking apart Chavez. His long snappy jab and right hand can keep anyone in the division at bay and cause anyone stylistic issues.
7) Amir Khan- 32-4 (20) Once a star always a threat. Outside of the joke of a Lo Greco fight its been years since Khan has put together an impressive win. He holds decent wins over Algieri, Alexander, and Collazzo good wins, but nothing since 2015. Yea, he looked good in the first few rounds against Canelo before getting caught and brutally knocked out. That knock out did nothing to help the reputation. Khan has as one of the weakest chins of any world class fighter in recent history. Despite the paper mache chin, Khan has blazing hand speed, perhaps the best in the division, he has an excellent jab and throws crisp, clean combinations. The skill is all there and he has the name and drawing power to get a big fight perhaps with Terence Crawford later this year.
6) Yordenis Ugas- 22-3 (11) Its been two years since Ugas took apart unbeaten prospect Jamal James. The former Cuban Olympian seems to have found his niche at 147 and has run off a few more quality wins against Bryant Perella, Thomas Dulorme, and Ray Robinson. Ugas has earned a chance at a world title and perhaps it will come against Errol Spence Jr later this year. Ugas can switch hit, he throws punches from awkward angles and makes his opponents uncomfortable. He also has the Cuban pedigree to sit back and outbox his man as well. Ugas has seemed to rejuvenate his career since taking some bad losses early in his career and would be a handful for anyone at 147.
5) Manny Pacquiao- 59-7-2 (38) – Yes he is still a top-five guy and should he beat Matthysse next month he will be right back in the picture at 147. He is still a draw, he still offers you a massive payday and he is a scalp everyone wants on their resume. Most fans and critics think the legendary Pac Man is completely shot, however, Pacquiao still possess blazing speed and crazy footwork and athleticism and he is just two years removed from beatdowns of Jessie Vargas and Timothy Bradley, those wins weren’t that long ago so its reasonable to think there is still a little gas left in the tank for Pacquiao. We should get a definitive answer to that in the Matthysse fight.
4) Danny Garcia- 34-1 (20) – Garcia suffered the first loss of his career last year dropping a close decision to Keith Thurman. He bounced back 12 months later in what was a very lackluster performance up until he landed a right hand which is the leader in the clubhouse for KO of the year. Garcia is fighting porter for the WBC strap that Keith Thurman was forced to vacate while on maternity leave. Swift is a two weight class former world champion he has the best resume on this list but for some reason is viewed as “food” for the top names on this list. If he is successful in capturing the vacant WBC strap he will likely be in line for a mega fight with Errol Spence Jr a fight Danny believes is stylistically perfect for him.
3) Shawn Porter- 28-2-1 (17)- Showtime has an August date with Swift for the WBC belt Keith Thurman vacated. Porter and his super aggressive mauling style make him a fan favorite. He has wins over Paulie Malignaggi in destructive fashion as well as Adrien Broner and Devon Alexander. However, in his two super fights, he came up just short. Dropping controversial decisions to both Kell Brook and Keith Thurman. Should Porter get past Garcia and capture the WBC it will set up a unification fight which guarantees non-stop action with Errol Spence in early 2019.
2) Errol Spence- 24-0 (21) Spence is coming off another sensational knockout victory. This time over his mandatory, Carlos Ocampo. Spence is putting together highlight reel knockouts one after another. He is on a 10 fight knockout streak and is shooting up the pound for pound lists of pundits and experts everywhere. The last 13 months have been an unmitigated streak of success for “The Truth” knocking out Kell Brook in the UK to capture the IBF and then stopping Peterson and Ocampo. Spence will likely make another defense of his IBF belt by years end. All of this is putting him on a blockbuster collision course with the #1 fighter on our list.
1) Terence Crawford- 33-0 (24) Bud is the best fighter on the face of the earth and has a firm handle on the top spot of Pound For Pound lists. He captured a world title in his third division in stopping Jeff Horn in devastating fashion. Crawford looked just as dominant at 147 as he did at 135 & 140. Crawford really is the closest thing to the perfect fighter that we have in the sport today. According to Bob Arum, he is scheduled to make the first defense of his WBO strap in October in his home state of Nebraska where he draws incredibly well. Unfortunately, most of the big fights in the 147-pound division are with Al Haymon on the PBC/Showtime side of things. For Bud’s first defense the names Jose Benavidez and Amir Khan have been thrown around but this is are all stops until we get to the final destination that is a unification bout with Errol Spence.