Rankings: Alvarez-Golovkin the fight to make at middleweight

— -- Check out my rankings within each division by clicking on the links below.

Who is the best fighter regardless of weight class? See ESPN's pound-for-pound rankings.

For a list of the current champions in all weight classes, click here.

Note: Results through May 9. In an effort to provide the most up-to-date rankings, ESPN.com's division-by-division boxing rankings will be updated every Tuesday.

More Divisional Rankings

Heavyweight - Cruiserweight - Light heavyweight - Super middleweight

Middleweight - Junior middleweight - Welterweight - Junior welterweight

Lightweight - Junior lightweight - Featherweight - Junior featherweight

Bantamweight - Junior bantamweight - Flyweight - Junior flyweight/Strawweight


1. Canelo Alvarez (47-1-1)
With the retirements of Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, Alvarez, the 2015 ESPN.com fighter of the year, is the new face of boxing. He won the lineal title in a decision victory against Miguel Cotto in November in the year's most anticipated fight other than Mayweather-Pacquiao. Unlike that fight, Alvarez-Cotto delivered fans a quality HBO PPV main event that added another chapter to the rich history of the Mexico-Puerto Rico rivalry. Alvarez returned May 7 (on Cinco de Mayo weekend) to open the new T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas to make his first defense in which he knocked Amir Khan cold in the sixth round for the leading KO of the year candidate. Then all attention turned to whether Alvarez will take on Gennady Golovkin in September. Let's hope Alvarez does the right thing and accepts the mandatory fight the world wants to see.
Next: TBA

2. Gennady Golovkin (35-0)
After selling out New York's Madison Square Garden and putting on a flawless performance in a one-sided eighth-round knockout of David Lemieux to unify to titles in October, GGG hoped to fight Canelo Alvarez, for whom he is a mandatory challenger, in a mega fight. Alvarez and his team begged to put it off while they took interim fights, which Golovkin did on April 23. He faced unworthy mandatory challenger Dominic Wade and did as expected, blowing him away in a second-round knockout at the sold-out Forum in Inglewood, California, to retain his title for the 16th time (second-most in division history) and notch his 22nd KO in a row. Now bring on Alvarez (47-1-1)!
Next: TBA

3. Miguel Cotto (40-5)
In the most brilliant performance of his career in June 2014, Cotto moved up in weight and thrilled the heavily Puerto Rican crowd at Madison Square Garden in New York by dropping Sergio Martinez four times (three times in the first round). Cotto stopped Martinez in the 10th round to win the legitimate middleweight championship and seal his Hall of Fame legacy, as he became the first Puerto Rican fighter to win world titles in four weight divisions. After a year off and a change of promoters -- he left Top Rank to sign with Jay Z's Roc Nation Sports -- Cotto returned last June 6 and crushed former unified titlist Daniel Geale in a one-sided, fourth-round annihilation to set up a mega HBO PPV fight against Mexican star Canelo Alvarez on Nov. 21. Cotto gave a great account but lost a unanimous decision to the bigger, stronger man. A return to junior middleweight is likely for his return, but a proposed June 18 fight is off as Cotto will wait until the fall.
Next: TBA

4. Daniel Jacobs (31-1)
Since suffering his only loss in 2010 by knockout against Dmitry Pirog in a vacant title bout, Jacobs has won 11 fights in a row -- all by knockout -- overcome cancer and won a secondary title. He made his third defense on Dec. 5 in the much-anticipated battle of Brooklyn as he faced his longtime pal and former titleholder Peter Quillin at the Barclays Center in their hometown. Rather than a classic fight, Jacobs crushed Quillin, stopping him in 85 violent seconds in a brief, but exciting performance that is by far the biggest win of his career. A potential May 21 fight against former titlist Andy Lee (34-3-1) was discussed but it's dead. Jacobs could face fellow titleholder Billy Joe Saunders (23-0) or former titlist Andy Lee (34-3-1) this summer.
Next: TBA

5. Billy Joe Saunders (23-0)
After two postponements, England's Saunders got his mandatory title shot against Ireland's Andy Lee on Dec. 19 in England. In an otherwise dreadful fight, Saunders dropped Lee twice in the third round and then spent the rest of the fight jabbing a passive Lee to win a majority decision. There were discussions about Saunders next facing Gennady Golovkin in a unification fight, but Saunders eventually turned down the career-high money and took a much easier fight against unaccomplished Ukrainian Max Bursak (34-4-1), who is 3-3 in his last six fights. However, that April 30 bout was called off because Saunders suffered a left hand injury.
Next: TBA

6. Andy Lee (34-3-1)
In December 2014, Ireland's Lee was trailing on all three scorecards -- two by shutout scores -- when he landed a huge right hook and stopped Matt Korobov to win a vacant title, fulfilling the prophecy of the late, great Emanuel Steward, Lee's longtime trainer, that he would win a world title. On April 11, Lee was supposed to make his first defense against former titlist Peter Quillin, but Quillin didn't make weight, so a title was not at stake in their excellent fight that saw both guys get knocked down (Lee twice) and end in a draw. In his second defense, Lee met England's Billy Joe Saunders, the mandatory challenger, on Dec. 19 and lost a majority decision and his belt in a horrible fight that was devoid of action other than Lee getting knocked down twice in the third round.
Next: TBA

7. David Lemieux (35-3)
Lemieux, a big slugger from Montreal, met fellow big hitter Gennady Golovkin on HBO PPV on Oct. 17 at New York's Madison Square Garden in a title unification fight and it did not work out well for Lemieux, who took a beating en route to a one-sided, eighth-round knockout loss. Although HBO owes him a comeback fight, Lemieux's next bout was supposed to come in Montreal against James De La Rosa (23-4) at 163 pounds on March 12. However, Lemieux was 165.8 pounds and the fight was canceled. He returned (and made 160 pounds) on May 7 on the Alvarez-Khan HBO PPV undercard and destroyed Glen Tapia in a one-sided fourth-round knockout victory.
Next: TBA

8. "Kid Chocolate" Peter Quillin (32-1-1)
After giving up his world title in September 2014, Quillin was supposed to challenge Andy Lee (who had won it) in April 2015 on NBC in prime time. However, Quillin failed to make weight and couldn't win the belt in what wound up as a draw in which both fighters were knocked down. Quillin returned Sept. 6 on NBC against obscure Australian Michael Zerafa in a terrible mismatch/tune-up for a big fight against titlist and Brooklyn, New York, rival Daniel Jacobs. Quillin blew away Zerafa in the fifth round and then faced Jacobs on Dec. 5 in the battle for borough bragging rights. It didn't go well for Quillin, who was stopped in 85 seconds in a massively disappointing performance.
Next: TBA

9. Chris Eubank Jr. (22-1)
England's Eubank Jr., son of the former two-division world titleholder, suffered his first loss to countryman Billy Joe Saunders by split decision in November 2014 in a high-stakes grudge match, but he has won four fights in a row since, including the British title on March 26. That was when he engaged in a brutal fight with Nick Blackwell, whom he stopped in the 10th-round, after which Blackwell wound up in a medically induced coma, which he thankfully came out of.
Next: TBA

10. Hassan N'Dam (32-2)
Former titleholder N'Dam went to David Lemieux's turf in Montreal to face him for a vacant belt on June 20. It was a terrific fight, but Lemieux knocked him down four times in an otherwise competitive bout, but all the knockdowns were too much to overcome, and N'Dam lost a clear decision. He made his return on March 12 and won a lopsided eight-round decision -- 80-71, 79-72 and 79-72 -- against French countryman Patrick Mendy in Paris.
Next: TBA