Is he elite though? I remember Ben and V going AT IT back in 2013 on the FH Radio show, when it came to Canelo and elite status, lol.
I also remember us having a HUGE debate about ATG status and what it takes. I swear, if I could find that thread.
The "Elite Fighter" discussion is a truly complicated one. What defines being "elite" ?
To me, it's to look at every weight class and see if there is a fighter who such a bad man, so talented, disciplined, skilled and experienced that he's nigh unbeatable.
On top of being nearly unbeatable in his weight class, he's so good that he could drop a weight class or jump a weight class and most likely, even though being a more limited version of himself, could still wreak havoc.
Lastly, they've generally had at least "defining victory" over a top tier opponent.
"Once-In-A-Generation Level Elite" is the uber version of this, and involves fighters like Floyd or Manny who were able to jump weight classes time and time again and still put ass whoopings on larger men.
Yes, Manny may have had steroid help but this is the Barry Bonds argument all over again: all of these motherfuckers are juicing (Bonds was blasting pitchers who were ABSOLUTELY roided to the gills), and Manny still beat they asses.
So now, looking at the current fighters, who are the "Elites" by this definition?
In my humble opinion, the current unquestionably elite fighters are: Andre Ward, Guillermo Rigondeaux, Roman Gonzalez, Vasyl Lomachenko and Terrence Crawford
The current "contenders" for Elite Status are as follows:
Saul Alvarez, Gennady Golovkin, Leo Santa Cruz, Sergey Kovalev, Manny Pacquiao, Keith Thurman and Errol Spence
These guys seem to have what it takes, but they're missing a marquee victory that would put them over the top. Whoever wins between Alvarez and GGG gets into that elite group.
If Santa Cruz wins his trilogy fight against Frampton, then I think he gets into that group.
If Kovalev beats Ward, then he joins Andre in that group.
Manny is a shade of his former self, but if he beat a young star of a fighter such as Crawford, then we may have to put him back in the Elite category.
Keef Thurman has a marquee victory (Garcia), but he needs work in the skills department.
Errol Spence, if he beats Kell Brook, may be essentially in that group as well.
Just my crazy opinion though, so don't put too much stock into it haha.