The latest ESPN pound-for-pound rankings make for interesting reading – and are almost certain to cause debate amongst fight fans. Tyson Fury, fresh off his one-punch (and one-shove) KO of Dillian Whyte, has been elevated to fifth place on ESPN’s pound-for-pound list, behind only Canelo Alvarez, Terence Crawford, Naoya Inoue and Errol Spence.
The new Top-10 reads as follows:
1: Canelo Alvarez
2: Terence Crawford
3: Naoya Inoue
4: Errol Spence
5: Tyson Fury
6: Oleksandr Usyk
7: Vasiliy Lomachenko
8: Juan Francisco Estrada
9: Josh Taylor
10: Gervonta Davis
Most people do agree that Fury, 32-0-1(23) is the proven best big man on the planet today, yet some fans may feel Fury is placed too high on this particular pound-for-pound list. Of course, no such list can possibly please everyone. Fury is certainly at the top of his game right now, perhaps at his very peak. This makes his decision to retire (and Fury does seem to mean it this time) all the more odd as well as disappointing.
We all want to see Fury fight the winner of the Oleksandr Usyk-Anthony Joshua rematch, for all the belts. A commanding win there would perhaps see Fury ranked as high as 1, 2, or 3 in the mythical pound-for-pound rankings. Is Usyk, himself a pound-for-pounder, the only man capable of defeating Fury? Maybe. This is why we want to see the fight (should Usyk repeat his win over AJ).
If Fury does retire and then stays retired, he will have earned membership in a most exclusive club. Is Fury the greatest heavyweight of his generation? Is Fury an all-time great heavyweight champion? Does Tyson Fury deserve to be ranked as the fifth best boxer on the planet, pound-for-pound?
Mike Coppinger argues his case for ranking Fury as high as the second-best pound-for-pound fighter on the planet today:
“Fury looks like the second-best fighter on the planet, a peerless heavyweight who can do it all,” Coppinger writes for ESPN.com. “He shouldn’t be penalized for being a big man. If Terence Crawford and Errol Spence finally meet later this year, the winner should emerge as the No.2 pound-for-pound boxer, but for now it is Fury.”
Agree or disagree?