POUND FOR POUND RANKINGS

BoxingScene's writers use their expertise to determine their Pound-for-Pound Top Ten. As always, feel free to agree... and disagree. This list is for entertainment purposes only.


Last Updated May 11, 2021

  1. 1

    Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez

    56-1-2, 38 KOs
    AGE

    30


    CURRENT ALPHABET TITLES

    WBA Super Middleweight (2020-Present, 2 Defenses); WBC Super Middleweight (2020-Present, 2 Defenses); WBO Super Middleweight (2021-Present, 0 Defenses)


    LINEAL TITLES

    Lineal World Middleweight (2015-21, 4 Defenses)


    ADDITIONAL TITLES

    WBC Super Welterweight (2011-13, 6 Defenses); Ring Super Welterweight (2013); WBC Middleweight (2015-17, 2 Defenses; 2018-19, 1 Defense); WBO Super Welterweight (2016-17); IBF middleweight (2019); WBO Light Heavyweight (2019); WBA Middleweight (2018-21, 1 Defense); TBRB/Ring Magazine Middleweight (2015-17, 1 Defense; 2018-21, 1 Defense); Ring Magazine Super Middleweight (2020-Present, 2 Defenses)


    RECORD IN TITLE FIGHTS

    16-1-1, 9 KO (17-1-1, 10 KO including WBA secondary title fights)


    LAST 5 OPPONENTS

    Billy Joe Saunders (RTD8), Avni Yildirim (RTD3), Callum Smith (UD12), Sergey Kovalev (KO11), Daniel Jacobs (UD12)


    NEXT OPPONENT

    TBA


    THE TAKE

    The end of the Golden Boy/DAZN/Alvarez partnership took a twist into Alvarez fighting on DAZN three more times. The Callum Smith win gave Alvarez a cemented claim as a four-division titlist. Alvarez exerted his control of the super middleweight division further with a stoppage of Saunders. There are still those who argue about the outcomes of the two fights with Golovkin but they are getting farther in the rear view with every passing round. Alvarez’s star has never been brighter, drawing 70,000 or so for the Saunders clash. Caleb Plant has the only belt left at super middleweight to win, Golovkin still presumably wants a rubber match, and names like David Benavidez, Jermall Charlo, and Demetrius Andrade are out there as well. Alvarez has options and most are likely to get their turn as long as Alvarez keeps winning.


  2. 2

    Naoya Inoue

    20-0, 17 KOs
    AGE

    28


    CURRENT ALPHABET TITLES

    IBF Bantamweight (2019-Present, 2 Defenses); WBA “super” Bantamweight (2019-Present, 1 Defense)


    ADDITIONAL TITLES

    WBC Light Flyweight (2014, 1 Defense); WBO Super Flyweight (2014-18, 7 Defenses); Ring Magazine Bantamweight (2019-Present, 1 Defense)


    RECORD IN TITLE FIGHTS

    13-0, 11 KO (15-0, 13 KO including WBA secondary title fights)


    LAST 5 OPPONENTS

    Jason Moloney (KO7), Nonito Donaire (UD12), Emanuel Rodroguez (KO2), Juan Carlos Payano (KO1), Jamie McDonnell (TKO1)


    NEXT OPPONENT

    June 19, 2021 vs. Michael Dasmarinas (30-2-1, 20 KO)


    THE TAKE

    While his reign at Jr. bantamweight wasn’t all it could have been, Inoue has been making the most of his prime since moving to bantamweight. Five straight legitimate top ten opponents, five straight wins. It’s the longest current streak of top ten wins in the sport. With a little more luck on the count against Donaire, it could have been five straight top ten stoppages. Regardless, Donaire gave him some scary moments and we learned Inoue is more than an offensive dynamo. Foes who know what sort of frightful finishing pop awaits them now have to reckon with the evidence that Inoue can take as good as he gives and come back harder. Losing a unification bout with Johnriel Casimero to COVID was unfortunate but considering the growing war of words (and tweets), there’s no reason Casimero can’t be revisited once Inoue and Casimero have cleared their decks. Inoue has a mandatory on tap and Casimero will have to get by cagey veteran Guillermo Rigondeaux.


  3. 3

    Errol Spence

    27-0, 21 KOs
    AGE

    30


    CURRENT ALPHABET TITLES

    IBF Welterweight (2017-Present, 4 Defenses); WBC Welterweight (2019-Present, 0 Defenses)


    RECORD IN TITLE FIGHTS

    5-0, 3 KO


    LAST 5 OPPONENTS

    Danny Garcia (UD12), Shawn Porter (SD12), Mikey Garcia (UD12), Carlos Ocampo (KO1), Lamont Peterson (RTD7)


    NEXT OPPONENT

    TDB


    THE TAKE

    Spence showed real chops against Brook and Peterson and dug deep in a fantastic battle with Porter. With the fight seemingly still up for grabs, a knockdown in round eleven stamped a big unification victory. Spence has never been short on guts. He went on the road to win his first title from a Brook who had never lost at welterweight and Spence got better as the fight moved along. Then he dominated Peterson who had, outside of a blowout loss to Lucas Matthysse, never been an easy out. Spence in his previous two fights handed first career stoppage losses to a Leonard Bundu and Chris Algieri who had taken Keith Thurman and Manny Pacquiao, respectively, the distance. Mikey Garcia thought he saw something before the fight. Spence arguably didn’t let him see a single winning round. The southpaw can box, has size and speed, can punch, and he knows how to finish. Pegged as the best of the 2012 US Olympic class, Spence let the world know a terrible auto accident took nothing off his fastball in an impressive win over Danny Garcia. Spence’s next fight has not been announced but speculation resides on a unification clash with Yordenis Ugas.


  4. 4

    Terence Crawford

    37-0, 28 KOs
    AGE

    33


    CURRENT ALPHABET TITLES

    WBO Welterweight (2018-Present, 4 Defenses)


    LINEAL TITLES

    World/TBRB/Ring Lightweight (2014-15); World/TBRB/Ring Jr. Welterweight (2016-17, 3 Defenses)


    ADDITIONAL TITLES

    WBO Lightweight (2014-15, 2 Defenses); WBO Light Welterweight (2015-17, 6 Defenses); WBC Super Lightweight (2016-17, 3 Defenses); WBA Super Lightweight (2017); IBF Jr. Welterweight (2017)


    RECORD IN TITLE FIGHTS

    15-0, 12 KO


    LAST 5 OPPONENTS

    Kell Brook (TKO4), Egidijus Kavaliauskas (TKO9), Amir Khan (TKO6), Jose Benavidez Jr. (TKO12), Jeff Horn (TKO9)


    NEXT OPPONENT

    TBD


    THE TAKE

    Crawford hasn’t had much interesting to do since moving to welterweight with a knockout of Jeff Horn. Crawford may be the most complete talent in boxing but he’s veritably locked out of the best fights in the class by promotional concerns. Crawford can box from both sides effortlessly, he can punch, and he’s got an old school chip on his shoulder but recent fights didn’t set pulses racing. Others around him are just getting more opportunities against the best in their weight classes. To many eyes, the best fight in the division is Crawford versus Errol Spence. Spence is part of a stacked roster of welterweights and has dangerous options without crossing the street as displayed in his exciting win over Shawn Porter and upcoming clash with Danny Garcia. Will the politics and business structure of boxing keep Crawford from defining fights in his third weight class? Will Crawford be left to look down the scale at the winner of the 140 lb. unification between Jose Ramirez and Josh Taylor? Or are we now just waiting for a contract to run out to change the game board?


  5. 5

    Teofimo Lopez

    16-0, 12 KOs
    AGE

    23


    CURRENT ALPHABET TITLES

    IBF Lightweight (2019-Present, 1 Defense); WBA Lightweight “Super” (2020-Present, 0 Defenses); WBO Lightweight (2020-Present, 0 Defenses)


    LINEAL TITLES

    World/TBRB/Ring Lightweight (2014-15); World/TBRB/Ring Jr. Welterweight (2016-17, 3 Defenses)


    ADDITIONAL TITLES

    WBO Lightweight (2014-15, 2 Defenses); WBO Light Welterweight (2015-17, 6 Defenses); WBC Super Lightweight (2016-17, 3 Defenses); WBA Super Lightweight (2017); IBF Jr. Welterweight (2017)


    RECORD IN TITLE FIGHTS

    2-0, 1 KO


    LAST 5 OPPONENTS

    Vasyl Lomachenko (UD12), Richard Commey (TKO2), Masayoshi Nakatani (UD12), Edis Tatli (KO5), Diego Magdaleno (KO7)


    NEXT OPPONENT

    June 19, 2021 vs. George Kambosos (19-0, 10 KO)


    THE TAKE

    Lopez has gone from barely more than a prospect to top of the lightweight division in two quick hops. The ways he did it suggest a ceiling that will only get higher over time. Still only 23, Lopez won his first belt with a devastating knockout of a Richard Commey who had never been stopped. Lopez followed by outworking, outboxing, and ultimately solving one of the best technical packages in the sport. Vasyl Lomachenko made him work for it in the second half of the fight but it wasn’t nearly enough. It announces the arrival at the elite level of a notable crop of blue chip talents around 135 lbs. Who will be the next to join Lopez as the future unfolds?


  6. 6

    Oleksandr Usyk

    18-0, 13 KOs)
    AGE

    33


    CURRENT ALPHABET TITLES

    None


    LINEAL TITLES

    World/TBRB/Ring Cruiserweight (2018-19, 1 Defense)


    ADDITIONAL TITLES

    WBA Cruiserweight (2018, 1 Defense); WBO Cruiserweight (2016-19, 6 Defenses), WBC Cruiserweight (2018-19, 2 Defenses); IBF Cruiserweight (2018-19, 1 Defense)


    RECORD IN TITLE FIGHTS

    7-0, 3 KO


    LAST 5 OPPONENTS

    Dereck Chisora (UD12), Chazz Witherspoon (RTD7), Tony Bellew (TKO8), Murat Gassiev (UD12), Mairis Briedis (MD12)


    NEXT OPPONENT

    TBD


    THE TAKE

    As expected, the 2012 Olympic Gold medalist at heavyweight from Ukraine reached the final of the excellent World Boxing Super Series at Cruiserweight. He closed it out in style, turning one of the most anticipated fights of 2018 into a showcase and picking up a rare four-belt unification. That it came in one of boxing’s deepest and most competitive divisions was a bonus. A win over Tony Bellew after the tournament, Bellew having never lost the WBC belt at cruiserweight in the ring, providing a resounding clean out of his era. Usyk’s delayed move into the unlimited class was anti-climactic and the follow-up against Chisora leaves questions about his physical limits above 200 lbs. That’s a small sample. Usyk can set sights on Tyson Fury, Deontay Wilder, and Anthony Joshua to discover if he is the most viable Cruiserweight threat to the whole heavyweight throne since Evander Holyfield.


  7. 7

    Jermell Charlo

    34-1, 18 KOs
    AGE

    30


    CURRENT ALPHABET TITLES

    WBC Super Welterweight (2019-Present, 1 Defense); WBA Super Welterweight “Super” (2020-Present, 0 Defenses); IBF Jr. Middleweight (2020-Present, 0 Defenses)


    LINEAL TITLES

    World/Ring Jr. Middleweight (2020-Present, 0 Defenses)


    LAST 5 OPPONENTS

    Jeison Rosario (KO8), Tony Harrison (KO11), Jorge Cota (KO3), Tony Harrison (L12), Austin Trout (UD12)


    NEXT OPPONENT

    July 17, 2021 vs. Brain Castano (17-0-1, 12 KO)


    THE TAKE

    One of the heaviest handed battlers in the sport has been snakebit since winning history’s crown with a career best knockout of Gvozdyk. COVID and cancellations have meant a year out of the ring. The impression Gvozdyk last made and has made for most of his professional tenure remains. The best fight on paper in the division would be a showdown with WBA titlist Dmitry Bivol but promotional ties might make it easier to match Beterbiev with the winner of Joe Smith-Maxim Vlasov to add the WBO strap. Either bout would promise significant action for fans.


  8. 8

    Juan Francisco Estrada

    42-3, 28 KOs
    AGE

    31


    CURRENT ALPHABET TITLES

    WBC Super Flyweight (2019-Present, 2 Defenses), WBA Super Flyweight (2021-Present, 0 Defenses)


    LINEAL TITLES

    World/TBRB/Ring Jr. Bantamweight (2019-Present, 3 Defenses)


    ADDITIONAL TITLES

    WBA/WBO Flyweight (2013-16, 5 Defenses)


    RECORD IN TITLE FIGHTS

    9-2, 5 KO


    LAST 5 OPPONENTS

    Roman Gonzalez (SD12), Carlos Cuadras (TKO11), Dewayne Beamon (TKO9), Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (UD12, L12), Victor Mendez (RTD7)


    NEXT OPPONENT

    TBA


    THE TAKE

    Arguments about who really won will rage through an expected third fight this fall but the leader in the clubhouse for Fight of the Year came early in Estrada’s rematch win over Roman Gonzalez. It was a highly skilled classic between veterans who have helped fuel a golden era near their weights. Estrada can now say he holds a win over every man he’s ever faced. After a rubber match with Gonzalez, another rubber could be looming with Srisaket Sor Rungvisai. Both series are tied at 1-1.


  9. 9

    Josh Taylor

    17-0, 13 KOs
    AGE

    30


    CURRENT ALPHABET TITLES

    IBF Jr. Welterweight (2019-Present, 2 Defenses); WBA Super Lightweight (2019-Present, 1 Defenses)


    ADDITIONAL TITLES

    Ring Magazine Jr. Welterweight (2019-Present, 0 Defenses)


    RECORD IN TITLE FIGHTS

    3-0, 1 KO


    LAST 5 OPPONENTS

    Apinun Khongsong (KO1), Regis Prograis (MD12), Ivan Baranchyk (UD12), Ryan Martin (TKO7), Viktor Postol (UD12)


    NEXT OPPONENT

    May 22, 2021 vs. Jose Ramirez (26-0, 17 KO)


    THE TAKE

    The World Boxing Super Series provided a platform and opponents for Taylor to go from hot rising contender to halfway toward undisputed at Jr. welterweight. The best fight in his division right now is with the man who holds the other two major alphabet straps, Jose Ramirez. Both took care of business in their last outings to clear the way to make it happen. The winner of that fight might be staring down the barrel at Terence Crawford sooner than later. What comes next matters less right now than what is on tap. Taylor-Ramirez is as good a fight as boxing can produce in 2021 and the clock is ticking until the opening bell.


  10. 10

    Vasyl Lomachenko

    14-2, 10 KOs
    AGE

    32


    ADDITIONAL TITLES

    WBO Featherweight (2014-16, 3 Defenses); WBO Super Featherweight (2016-18, 5 Defenses); WBC Lightweight (2019); WBA Lightweight (2018-20, 3 defenses); WBO Lightweight (2018-20, 2 Defenses); Ring Magazine Lightweight (2018-20, 3 defenses)


    RECORD IN TITLE FIGHTS

    13-2, 9 KO


    LAST 5 OPPONENTS

    Teofimo Lopez (L12), Luke Campbell (UD12), Anthony Crolla (KO4), Jose Pedraza (UD12), Jorge Linares (TKO10)


    NEXT OPPONENT

    June 26, 2021 vs. Masayoshi Nakatani (19-1, 13 KO)


    THE TAKE

    Despite the loss to Lopez, Lomachenko remains highly regarded in part because since moving to lightweight he’s done nothing but fight real contenders and also because his form in two divisions prior was fantastic. One would have to go back to the summer of 2017 to find a Lomachenko opponent who was unrated by TBRB or Ring in any division. All of that is small consolation on the heels of a tough defeat but Lomachenko remains one of the best in the world. Lomachenko will remain at lightweight after speculation about a move down in weight, facing a Nakatani who has proven a tough out.


Extras

FIVE MORE WHO COULD EASILY BE HERE

Artur Beterbiev, Tyson Fury, Gennady Golovkin, Roman Gonzalez, Kazuto Ioka


FIVE FOR THE FUTURE

Gervonta Davis, Stephen Fulton, Anthony Joshua, Jose Ramirez, Ken Shiro


Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene, a founding member of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, and a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be reached at roldboxing@hotmail.com