ESPN still lists Crawford #1 ahead of Canelo on P4P ranking

Despite Canelo Alvarez’s impressive dethroning of the #1 super middleweight in the division last weekend with his victory over WBA champ Callum Smith, ESPN still has the Mexican star rated at #2 behind #1 Terence Crawford in their pound-for-pound boxing ranking.

Interestingly, ESPN has Crawford ranked so highly given his terribly weak resume, making it extremely difficult to know how good he is.

In this day and age, with wily promoters building up their fighter’s resumes by matching them continually against substandard opposition to fool the public, it’s hard not to view Crawford as being a product of careful match-making.

Whether it’s been intentional or not for Crawford’s match-makers to put him in with beatable opposition virtually his entire 12-year career, the fact remains that his resume is terribly inadequate for him to be ranked #1 in a pound-for-pound list ahead of Canelo Alvarez.

For many boxing fans, Canelo’s dominating performance in beating the previously unbeaten Smith (27-1, 19 KOs) by one-sided 12 round unanimous decision should have been enough to snatch the #1 spot from Crawford (37-0, 28 KOs).

Canelo Alvarez, ESPN, Terence Crawford - Boxing News

ESPN’s team of rating specialists still view Crawford as deserving the #1 spot. The magic question is ESPN’s team rating Crawford over Canelo because he’s one of their own ESPN fighters, or do they really believe that the Nebraska native rates the #1 spot on the pound-for-pound list?

Here’s ESPN’s latest pound-for-pound poll:

1. Terence Crawford
2. Canelo Alvarez
3. Naoya Inoue
4. Errol Spence Jr
5. Teofimo Lopez
6. Tyson Fury
7. Vasily Lomachenko
8. Oleksandr Usyk
9. Juan Francisco Estrada
10. Gennadiy Golovkin, Gervonta Davis

Here’s Boxing 247’s top 10 P4P list:

1. Canelo Alvarez
2. Naoya Inoue
3. Teofimo Lopez
4. Errol Spence Jr
5. Vasily Lomachenko
6. Anthony Joshua
7. Gervonta Davis
8. Tyson Fury
9. Juan Franciso Estrada
10. John Riel Casimero

Crawford doesn’t make our list because he hasn’t beaten the same types of fighters we’ve seen from the other top fighters.

Canelo Alvarez, ESPN, Terence Crawford - Boxing News

If we start giving fighters the #1 rankings in pound-for-pound lists based on wins over shoddy opposition, it could resume in a downward trend, leading to promoters matching their fighters against second-rate opposition to giving the superficial appearance of them being first-rate fighters.

Crawford is an excellent fighter, but they’re a HUGE question mark over his head right now, largely due to the inadequate opposition he’s faced during his 12-year career.

Canelo Alvarez, ESPN, Terence Crawford - Boxing News

You can’t compare the types of fighters Crawford has fought during his career to that of Canelo. To this day, Crawford’s best opponent is still the little 5’5″ Yuriorkis Gamboa from their fight in 2014, and he didn’t look good against him.

In contrast, Canelo has fought these fighters:

  • Gennadiy Golovkin x 2
  • Floyd Mayweather Jr
  • Erislandy Lara
  • Miguel Cotto
  • Shane Mosley
  • Callum Smith
  • Sergey Kovalev
  • Daniel Jacobs
  • Austin Trout

If Top Rank can stop matching Crawford against lesser fighters, he can move into the top 10 pound-for=pound list. But for now, Crawford doesn’t rate a top 10 spot, and certainly not a #1 ranking.