Is it time for a reshuffle as far as the so fiercely debated (and mythical) pound-for-pound rankings are concerned? For so long, Mexican star Canelo Alvarez held the top spot. Then Canelo lost to Dmitry Bivol, and fans began arguing over who deserved the new top slot. Terence Crawford is for many people the man, and has been for a while. While bantamweight destroyer Naoya Inoue deserves the honour in the opinion of others.
What about Oleksandr Usyk? And now, for the first time, light-heavyweight machine Artur Beterbiev is being placed in some Top 10 pound-for-pound lists. And deservedly so, right? Over at ESPN.com, the mighty Russian who holds three of the four major belts at 175 pounds has been placed at #7. Interestingly ranked one spot above countryman Bivol, Beterbiev has impressed the panel at ESPN.com.
The new Top 10 reads as follows:
Errol Spence Jr
Not a bad Top 10, right? Maybe you would make some changes, maybe not. But getting back to Beterbiev, it just might be that the 37 year old deserves to be ranked as the #1 hardest punching fighter today pound-for-pound. Maybe. Beterbiev is something special, we all know that. The one fight that Beterbiev now needs to take and win is one with Bivol – for all the marbles. Assuming he did win that one (and it’s a great match-up, arguably one of the two or three best fights that can be made today), Beterbiev’s P-4-P ranking would go up.
The sport is thriving right now, with so many excellent fighters, from the small guys to the welterweight and middleweights, to the light-heavyweights and the heavyweights, all doing their thing. The depth of talent is deep, and it could certainly be argued how many of today’s best would have been world champions in any era. Imagine of you will, Beterbiev mixing it with the light-heavyweight greats (Beterbiev Vs. Bob Foster is one helluva a Dream Fight!) And Beterbiev is far from done yet, with the 18-0(18) freight train talking about the possibility of moving up to cruiserweight, even to heavyweight. For however long he is around, we should celebrate Artur Beterbiev. After just 83 rounds of pro boxing, Beterbiev has almost cleaned out a weight division. Now that’s impressive.