Three-division crownholder Terence Crawford has been considered one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world for better parts of the last half decade.
The mythical rankings have shifted in recent years when you consider Canelo Alvarez’s crusade across three weight classes and most recent fall as well as Naoya Inoue’s ascent pulverizing opponents in the lower weight divisions. Errol Spence Jr. has also made a case for himself as the sport’s elite with a string of impressive wins against credible counterparts, as has Oleksandr Usyk after being an undisputed cruiserweight king and by beating Anthony Joshua for the heavyweight titles.
The popular consensus among most pundits is that any of the aforementioned fighters could be strongly considered for the No. 1 pound-for-pound spot. The likes of Jermell Charlo, Dmitry Bivol, Shakur Stevenson, Roman Gonzalez, Artur Beterbiev, Gervonta Davis, and Vasiliy Lomachenko are looking to crack their way into the top mix.
BoxingScene.com's pound-for-pound list compiled by managing editor Cliff Rold with input from the publication’s writers features Inoue in the top spot, followed by Usyk, Spence, Crawford and Alvarez.
If you ask the WBO welterweight champion Crawford, there is no debate for who sits in pole position for the pound-for-pound list.
“I actually know I’m No. 1. There are no ifs, ands or buts about it. I've been No. 1 for years in my eyes. When you ask any diehard boxing fan, they'll say Terence Crawford is No. 1,” Crawford told Showtime Boxing podcast hosts Eric Raskin and Kieran Mulvaney.
“Inoue has looked good in his fights. Canelo looked good in his fights, except this last one. We all look good in our fights. But for them not to give me my just due, it puts a little fire on the flame for this next fight. I need to prove and show the world that I'm really No. 1 when I say I'm No. 1.
“I wouldn't say it's a big ego. I would say it's confidence. Everything that I have done thus far has shown that. Stopping everybody in the welterweight division. Never having a close fight. Dominating every opponent that I ever faced. I think that's showing that I'm No. 1. I'm moving up weight divisions and conquering them one after another. I feel like that goes hand in hand with being No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world. Not just fighting in one or two weight classes and getting a win. It's dominating from one division to another division to another division.”
Crawford recently became the first fighter to stop Shawn Porter, and the Omaha native will further look to prove his case as the best the sport has to offer in his next matchup, which is trending toward a super fight with Spence.
“We're definitely working on that fight to happen. I do believe this is the perfect time the fight is happening. This is for all of the marbles and for undisputed. This is a big moment not only for myself, but for Errol Spence as well to make history in his own right,” said Crawford. “He knows what to expect. I know what to expect. That's going to make a great and exciting fight for the fans.”
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com or on www.ManoukAkopyan.com.