Now Who’s The Reigning Pound-for-Pound King?

By James Slater - 05/20/2024 - Comments

There may not have been a tougher time to compile a top 10 pound-for-pound list in boxing. Not in a long while, anyway. Right now, whichever way you look at it, this from an unbiased, agenda-free pair of eyes, it boils down to three simply magnificently talented boxers: Oleksandr Usyk, Terence Crawford, Naoya Inoue. This when it comes to the current top three. But can we split them!

There are other superb fighters out there, including Gervonta Davis, Canelo Alvarez, Dmitry Bivol, Artur Beterbiev and others. But the race for the top three is being ran by the above listed trio. But who is THE top dog in the mythical rankings we all love so much to debate?

Usyk, a man who has achieved so much with a relatively low number of fights, just 22 pro outings, can easily be looked at as the best of the absolute best right now. The first four-belt cruiserweight champion in history, and now, courtesy of his thrilling to watch decision win over the much, much bigger Tyson Fury, the first-ever four-belt king at heavyweight, Usyk has shown he is super-special.

But so is fellow unbeaten Crawford. Crawford made some history of his own, this by becoming the first man to hold all four belts at 140 pounds, with the cunning switch-hitter repeating the feat as a welterweight. “Bud” is currently a three-weight ruler and he is going for world honours at a fourth weight in August. Chances are, if Crawford does a number on Israil Madrimov and becomes a champ at 154, the Crawford supporters, of which there are many, will again lay it on thick with belief, the insistence that Crawford is THE Man.

But what about Inoue? In terms of history-making, Inoue has also done his share, and he, like Crawford, is a multi-weight world champion, “The Monster” having ruled at four weights with him having unified all four belts in two divisions. Also unbeaten, some would say unbeatable, Inoue is every bit as special as Usyk, as Crawford.

We cannot, however, have a three-way split, instead one guy and one guy alone must reside at the top of the P-4-P rankings.

Here’s a shot at it:

1: Oleksandr Usyk

Not only is Uysk blessed with amazing boxing skills and a rare ring IQ, the southpaw from Ukraine has also won all his big fights on the road, away from home. Be it the UK, against the best the UK had to offer, be it Poland against the best in Poland, be it the German in Germany, the Russian in Russia…….well, you get the point.

Usyk has taken on all comers, he has done it all as the away fighter, and Usyk has taken on so many fighters when they were at or were very close to being at their peak. Usyk has an astonishing engine, he never gets tired in a fight, and he has also shown power, speed, a fine chin, and yes, he can take it to the body. Just think, Usyk could have played it safe and remained at cruiserweight, where he would likely have never lost a single fight. As it is, as a two-weight king, Usyk may well never lose a single fight.

2: Naoya Inoue
3: Terence Crawford
4: Canelo Alvarez
5: Dimitry Bivol
6: Artur Beterbiev
7: Tank Davis
8: Jesse Rodriguez
9: Junto Nakatini
10: Shakur Stevenson

Last Updated on 05/20/2024