I thought about keeping Fury out of these rankings as he has chosen not to fight a real fight this entire year. He needs to fight Usyk ASAP!
I thought Lomachenko beat Haney, but it was a close fight. What will Haney do next? My guess is he won’t do what he should, and in my opinion, that’s fight Stevenson.
Haney was expected to allow him to contest against more elite opposition, yet that has yet to happen. If Stevenson fails to get that fight soon enough, his ability may slip behind those of other fighters who have shown their skills against more challenging opposition.
Beterbiev is probably better than this ranking, but he needs a Bivol showdown to prove it. Hopefully that happens next year.
Canelo has been less than overwhelming lately, but he still has one of the best resumes in the game. He is fighting the wrong Charlo and should win easily. He needs to add Benavidez to his dance card because his competition has not been stellar lately.
The 135-pound division is the center of boxing action right now, and Davis’ seventh-round KO win against Ryan Garcia was huge for himself and the sport. His victory seemed to set off the Crawford-Spence unification bout as well as propel him towards becoming one of the premier fighters in his division, with further wins against Devin Haney, Shakur Stevenson or Vasyl Lomachenko possibly placing him amongst the top five of this class altogether.
Bivol deserves respect despite competing exclusively at 175 pounds for seven years; his performance against Canelo and Ramirez showed why being limited to just one weight-class will never stop his rise to prominence.
Back-to-back victories over Joshua have given Usyk an impressive resume boost, yet its significance at this stage of the game remains unclear. Usyk will put his IBF, WBA, and WBO titles up against Daniel DuBois in Wroclaw next month in an IBF title defense, hopefully after that he gets a fight with Fury!
Had Spence defeated Crawford, it would likely have elevated Inoue into my top spot. The Monster has been nothing short of amazing since beginning his career; and his dominating performance against Fulton after moving up in weight further cemented his position among boxing’s elite.
Crawford didn’t just prove himself the top fighter at 147 pounds – his dominating performance against Spence solidified his legacy as one of the all-time greats and argued why no other could possibly top this pound-for-pound list. I was contemplating after round four how Crawford would have fared against Leonard, Hearns and Duran! That should tell you all you need to know about the level of Crawford’s brilliance!
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