The first half of 2022 was as good a six months as boxing could have asked for. The last three months have been a dramatic slowdown in the pace of the year with hopes for a smashing final quarter.

We don’t know what we’re going to get but there hasn’t been much action to shake things up for this quarter’s update. The top six fighters remain the same. Shakur Stevenson moves up with his third straight top ten win, though it came with the cloud of missing weight for the fight. What results there were resulted in enough movement to bump two fighters out of the top ten and the schedule in the months ahead indicate more changes to come before 2022 is over.   

Here’s a few notes on the update:

  • A pool of 48 fighters was evaluated for this update. They include non-titlists Roman Gonzalez, Gervonta Davis, and Vasyl Lomachenko, all of whom can factor prominently in current pound-for-pound debates. The overall pool has shrunk slightly with removal of recognition by TBRB of Guillermo Rigondeaux as Jr. featherweight champion. 
  • Jr. bantamweight champion Juan Francisco Estrada returned to action in September but faced an unranked Argi Cortes and slipped from the top ten. Other results in the last quarter also bumped bantamweight king Naoya Inoue to just outside the top ten. Both men have big fights in December against ranked opponents and could return by year’s end. 
  • Saul Alvarez retains the top spot by a hair but could slip out of the top ten altogether by year’s end depending on how results shake out. Alvarez’s lead in total points is such that he is likely to remain at number one, or unranked, until the loss to Dmitry Bivol is no longer in his last two starts.
  • Heavyweight titlist Oleksandr Usyk and lightweight champion Devin Haney just missed the top ten in July. The math changed enough to open their way in this update. 
  • Seven of the 48 fighters evaluated have four or more wins against fighters ranked in the top ten by TBRB and/or Ring in their last five fights or since October 1, 2019. Welterweight Errol Spence and Flyweight Junto Nakatani retain the longest win streaks against that pool at four in a row.  

Let’s see how it shakes out with three months to go for this boxing season.

1) Saul Alvarez (58-2-2, 39 KO) 

Overall Points Rank: 1 (42.46 pts)

Unique Rated Wins Rank: 1 (5 unique wins)

Last Two Starts Rank: 24 (7.12 pts)

Age: 32

Current Lineal Titles: World Super Middleweight (2021-Present, 1 Defense)

Current Alphabet Titles: WBA Super Middleweight (2020-Present, 4 Defenses); WBC Super Middleweight (2020-Present, 4 Defenses); WBO Super Middleweight (2021-Present, 2 Defense); IBF Super Middleweight (2021-Present, 1 Defense)

Additional Lineal Titles: 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, 4 Defenses); TBRB Super Middleweight (2021-Present, 1 Defense)

Record in Title Fights: 18-2-1, 10 KO (19-2-1, 11 KO including WBA secondary title fights)

Last Five: Gennadiy Golovkin UD12 (#1 - (160[-]), Dmitri Bivol L12 (Ring #2/TBRB #1 - 175[+]), Caleb Plant TKO11 (#2 - 168), Billy Joe Saunders RTD8 (Ring #5/TBRB #6 - 168), Avni Yildirim RTD3 (Unrated)

Three Year Activity Kicker: Yes - Sergey Kovalev KO11 (#2 - 175[++]); Callum Smith (Ring Champion/TBRB #1 - 168)

Next Opponent: TBA

The Take: Coming off a defeat for the first time since a loss to Floyd Mayweather in 2013, Alvarez built a huge lead against Gennadiy Golovkin and held his own in a few spirited exchanges down the stretch to end their rivalry for good. When we see Alvarez again remains to be seen as he indicated he will be treating some injuries and taking some time off. Will he pursue a rematch with Bivol, as he’s said he wants to, or accept the challenge of consensus number one super middleweight contender David Benavidez? Neither would be an easy assignment. Since the first Golovkin fight, Alvarez has faced only one fighter unranked by TBRB or Ring and he’s one of just two fighters in this top ten with seven fights since October 1, 2019.

2) Jermell Charlo (35-1-1, 19 KO) 

Overall Points Rank: 2 (29.75 pts)

Unique Rated Wins Rank: 8 (3 unique wins)

Last Two Starts Rank: 7 (13.75 pts)

Age: 32 

Lineal Titles: World Jr. Middleweight (2020-Present, 2 Defenses)

Current Alphabet Titles: WBC Super Welterweight (2019-Present, 3 Defenses); WBA “super” Super Welterweight (2020-Present, 2 Defenses); IBF Jr. Middleweight (2020-Present, 2 Defenses); WBO Jr. Middleweight (2022-Present, 0 Defenses) 

Additional Titles: WBC Super Welterweight (2016-18, 3 Defenses); Ring Magazine Jr. Middleweight (2020-Present, 2 Defenses); TBRB Jr. Middleweight (2022-Present, 0 Defenses)

Record in Title Fights: 7-1-1, 6 KO

Last Five Opponents: Brian Castano KO10 (#1/#2 - 154), Brian Castano D12 (#3/#2 - 154), Jeison Rosario KO8 (#2/#1 - 154), Tony Harrison KO11 (#6/#3 - 154), Jorge Cota KO3 (Unrated)

Three Year Activity Kicker: No

Next Opponent: TBA

The Take: Six years after winning his first belt in the division, Jermell Charlo stopped Brian Castano to plant his flag as the defining Jr. middleweight of his era. After a first fight plenty felt Castano had won, Charlo replied in emphatic fashion. Charlo is the first to unify all four major sanctioning body titles in the class and all signs point to Charlo keeping the titles together for at least his next defense. Tim Tszyu may get the first crack, and Sebastian Fundora is looming, but the real question is whether the winner of a Errol Spence-Terence Crawford fight would come for Charlo’s throne.  

3) Errol Spence Jr. (28-0, 22 KO)

Overall Points Rank: 3 (28.31 pts)

Unique Rated Wins Rank: 2 (4 unique wins)

Last Two Starts Rank: 9 (12.5 pts)

Age: 32

Current Alphabet Titles: IBF Welterweight (2017-Present, 6 Defenses); WBC Welterweight (2019-Present, 2 Defenses); WBA Welterweight (2022-Present, 0 Defenses)

Previous Titles: None

Record in Title Fights: 7-0, 4 KO

Last Five Opponents: Yordenis Ugas TKO10 (#3- 147), Danny Garcia UD12 (#6/#7 - 147), Shawn Porter SD12 (#5/#4 - 147), Mikey Garcia UD12 (#1/#2 - 135[--]; Unrated/Champion -140[-]), Carlos Ocampo KO1 (Unrated) 

Three Year Activity Kicker: No

Next Opponent: TBA 

The Take: Spence rebounded from more than a year off and a horrific auto accident to dominate a game Danny Garcia. Then Spence lost another year and change to an eye injury, scuttling a planned showdown with Manny Pacquiao. It did not matter as Spence battered Cuba’s Yordenis Ugas to add a third belt at welterweight and set the table for a showdown with Terence Crawford. That showdown has yet to be announced but optimism remains high it will be next for both.

4) Tyson Fury (32-0-1, 23 KO)

Overall Points Rank: 4 (26 pts)

Unique Rated Wins Rank: 20 (2 unique wins)

Last Two Starts Rank: 2 (16.5 pts)

Age: 34

Current Lineal Titles: World Heavyweight (2015-Present, 8 Defenses)

Current Alphabet Titles: WBC Heavyweight (2020-Present, 2 Defenses)

Additional Titles: IBF Heavyweight (2015); WBA/WBO Heavyweight (2015-16); TBRB Heavyweight (2015-16; 20-22, 1 Defense), Ring (2015-18; 20-22, 1 Defense) 

Record in Title Fights: 8-0-1, 5 KO including all lineal title fights; 4-0-1, 3 KO including only sanctioning body title fights

Last Five: Dillian Whyte TKO6 (#4/#3 - Hvy), Deontay Wilder KO11 (#2 - Hvy), Deontay Wilder TKO7 (#2/#1 - Hvy), Otto Wallin UD12 (Unrated), Tom Schwarz (Unrated)

Three Year Activity Kicker: No

Next Opponent: TBA

The Take: The heavyweight king finished his rivalry with Deontay Wilder in one of the wildest heavyweight shoot-outs of all time. The rivalry ended decisively in Fury’s favor and fight fans saw the encore with a one-sided, one-punch knockout of Dillian Whyte. Fury said he’d retired but never vacated his WBC belt. Now he’s ceaselessly on social media deciding between Anthony Joshua or a laughably undeserving Manuel Charr. The best heavyweight fight out there right now is with unified titlist Oleksandr Usyk to crown an undisputed champion but that won’t happen until at least 2023.. 

5) Artur Beterbiev (18-0, 18 KO)

Overall Points Rank: Tie - 5 (24.5 pts)

Unique Rated Wins Rank: 9 (3 unique wins)

Last Two Starts Rank: Tie - 5 (14 pts)

Age: 37

Current Lineal Titles: World Light Heavyweight (2019-Present, 3 Defenses)

Current Alphabet Titles: WBC Heavyweight (2020-Present, 2 Defenses)

Additional Titles: IBF/TBRB Light Heavyweight (2017-Present, 6 Defenses); WBC Light Heavyweight (2019-Present, 3 Defenses); WBO Light Heavyweight (2022-Present, 0 Defenses) 

Record in Title Fights: 7-0, 7 KO

Last Five: Joe Smith Jr. TKO2 (#3/#2 - 175), Marcus Browne KO9 (#6/#5 - 175), Adam Deines (Unrated), Oleksandr Gvozdyk TKO10 (#1/Champion - 175), Radivoje Kalajdzic KO5 (Unrated)

Three Year Activity Kicker: No

Next Opponent: TBA 

The Take: Beterbiev turned heads early on with knockouts of former titlists Tavoris Cloud and Gabriel Campillo but injuries and inactivity left many wondering about how far he might go. After his knockout of Smith, the question is can anyone stop him? The most fearsome light heavyweight in the world has only the most cerebral, Dmitri Bivol, in the way of joining a growing legion of undisputed champions.  

6) Josh Taylor (19-0, 13 KO)

Overall Points Rank: Tie - 5 (24.5 pts)

Unique Rated Wins Rank: 3 (4 unique wins)

Last Two Starts Rank: 12 (10 pts)

Age: 31

Current Lineal Titles: World Jr. Welterweight (2021-Present, 1 Defense)

Current Alphabet Titles: IBF Jr. Welterweight (2019-Present, 4 Defenses); WBO Jr. Welterweight (2021-Present, 1 Defense)

Additional Titles: Ring Magazine Jr. Welterweight (2019-Present, 3 Defenses); TBRB Jr. Welterweight (2021-Present, 1 Defense); WBA Super Lightweight (2019-22, 3 Defenses); WBC Super Lightweight (2021-22, 1 Defense)

Record in Title Fights: 5-0, 1 KO

Last Five: Jack Catterall SD12 (Unrated/#10 - 140), Jose Ramirez UD12 (#1/#2 - 140), Apinun Khongsong KO1 (Unrated), Regis Prograis MD12 (#1 - 140), Ivan Baranchyk UD12 (#6/#7 - 140)

Three Year Activity Kicker: No

Next Opponent: November 26, 2022 vs. #4/#5 Jack Catterall (26-1, 13 KO) 

The Take: Taylor is here largely by the grace of an official decision. Plenty felt Catterall did enough to beat him. It doesn’t erase other good work for Taylor and Catterall will get an earned rematch now that Taylor has shed the WBC and WBA straps. The two knockdown performance against Ramirez was the culmination of, in terms of total fights, a rapid ascent. 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 and the Ramirez win sealed his place as king. 

7) Shakur Stevenson (19-0, 9 KO)

Overall Points Rank: 7 (24 pts)

Unique Rated Wins Rank: 4 (4 unique wins)

Last Two Starts Rank: Tie - 5 (14 pts)

Age: 25

Current Lineal Titles: World Jr. Lightweight (2022)

Current Alphabet Titles: WBO Jr. Lightweight (2021-22, 1 Defense); WBC Super Featherweight (2022-22, 0 Defenses)

Additional Titles: WBO Featherweight (2019-30); TBRB Jr. Lightweight (2022); Ring Jr. Lightweight (2022)

Record in Title Fights: 3-0, 1 KO (4-0, 1 KO including interim title fights)

Last Five: Robson Conceicao UD12 (#4/#8 - 130), Oscar Valdez UD12 (Unrated*/#2 - 130), Jamel Herring TKO10 (#1/#2 - 130), Jeremia Nakathila UD12 (Unrated - 130), Toka Kahn Clary UD12 (Unrated - 130)

Three Year Activity Kicker: Yes - Joet Gonzalez UD12 (#10/Unrated - 126)

Next Opponent: TBA

The Take: Stevenson lost his Jr. lightweight title on the scales. He still easily won the fight with Robson Conceicao as his parting shot to a division that was never more than a pit stop. Stevenson’s defense will serve him well in the talented lightweight field and his offense is getting more physical. A lightweight field with names like Haney, Lomachenko, and Davis will provide sterner tests. Like Alvarez, Stevenson has seven fights since October 1, 2019.  

*Ring treated the fight as a 1-2 clash by recognizing the winner as champion; Valdez had been suspended from the rankings for a failed PED test.    

8) Stephen Fulton (21-0, 8 KO) 

Points Rank: 9 (20.5 pts)

Unique Rated Wins Rank: 10 (3 unique wins)

Last Two Starts Rank: 3 (15.5 pts)

Age: 28

Current Alphabet Titles: WBO Jr. Featherweight (2021-Present, 2 Defenses); WBC Super Bantamweight (2021-Present, 1 Defense)

Additional Titles: None

Record in Title Fights: 3-0

Last Five Opponents: Daniel Roman (#3 - 122), Brandon Figueroa MD12 (#4/#3 - 122), Angelo Leo UD12 (#6 - 122), Arnold Khegai UD12 (Unrated), Isaac Avelar KO6 (Unrated)

Three Year Activity Kicker: No 

Next Opponent: TBA

The Take: Fulton joined fellow Jr. Featherweight Murodjon Akhmadaliev as a double-belted titlist after a rousing win over Figueroa. It was Fulton’s fourth consecutive win over an undefeated opponent. Fulton made it three in a row against top ten opposition with a lopsided decision over Daniel Roman. Fulton wants to complete unification of the class and, if he does, a showdown with Inoue might emerge as the best fight in all of boxing. 

9) Oleksandr Usyk (20-0, 13 KO)

Overall Points Rank: 11 (19 pts)

Unique Rated Wins Rank: 34 (1 unique win)

Last Two Starts Rank: 1 (19 pts)

Age: 35

Current Lineal Titles: None

Current Alphabet Titles: WBA/IBF/WBO Heavyweight (2021-Present, 1 Defense)

Additional Lineal Titles: World Cruiserweight (2018-19, 1 Defense) 

Additional Titles: WBO Cruiserweight (2016-19, 6 Defenses); WBC Cruiserweight (2018-19, 2 Defenses); WBA Cruiserweight (2018, 1 Defense); IBF Cruiserweight (2018-19, 1 Defense); TBRB Cruiserweight (2018-19, 1 Defense); Ring Cruiserweight (2018-19, 1 Defense); TBRB Heavyweight (2022-Present, 0 Defenses; Ring Heavyweight (2022-Present, 0 Defenses)

Record in Title Fights: 9-0, 3 KO

Last Five: Anthony Joshua SD12 (#2 - Hvy), Anthony Joshua UD12 (#1 - Hvy), Dereck Chisora UD12 (Unrated - Hvy), Chazz Witherspoon RTD7 (Unrated - Hvy), Tony Bellew TKO8 (Unrated - Cruiser)

Three Year Activity Kicker: No

Next Opponent: TBA

The Take: Usyk returns to the top ten after his second consecutive victory over Anthony Joshua. Due to Tyson Fury’s proclamations about retirement, Usyk-Joshua II ended up being recognized as a championship fight by both Ring and TBRB but Fury hasn’t gone anywhere after all and Usyk can never truly claim to be the heavyweight champion until he defeats the Gyspy King. Usyk said he’s not able to go again until next year. When he does, a generational clash awaits. Can Usyk be the first cruiserweight king since Evander Holyfield to climb all the way to boxing’s highest peak and become undisputed in the unlimited class? Let’s hope we find out.     

10) Devin Haney (28-0, 15 KO)

Overall Points Rank: 14 (16.5 pts)

Unique Rated Wins Rank: 12 (3 unique wins)

Last Two Starts Rank: 4 (14.5 pts)

Age: 23

Current Lineal Titles: World Lightweight (2022-Present, 0 Defenses)

Current Alphabet Titles: WBC Lightweight (2019-Present, 5 Defenses); IBF/WBA/WBO Lightweight (2022-Present, 0 Defenses)

Additional Titles: None

Record in Title Fights: 1-0 (6-0, 1 KO including WBC interim/non-franchise title fights)

Last Five: George Kambosos UD12 (Champion - 135), Joseph Diaz UD12 (#6/#9 - 135), Jorge Linares UD12 (#7/Unrated), Yuriorkis Gamboa (Unrated - 135), Alfredo Santiago (Unrated - 135)

Three Year Activity Kicker: No

Next Opponent: October 16, 2022 vs. #1 George Kambosos (20-1, 10 KO)

The Take: Haney enters as the youngest member of this top ten with three straight wins against the rankings. There can be debate about when one should recognize the real beginning of Haney’s reign as WBC beltholder (it says here the WBC franchise tag is no different than the WBA super designation, meaning their primary champion is the guy being allowed to skirt mandatories). There is no debate about who the rightful lightweight king is now. Haney has all the hardware that matters and barely appeared to break a sweat in defeating George Kambosos in June. It shouldn't be any harder the second time and Haney will enter 2023 with a loaded roster of attractive challengers…but how long can Haney safely make lightweight before the even more loaded Jr. welterweight field comes calling. Is Josh Taylor-Devin Haney just as realistic as dreaming of big lightweight contests?

Rest of the Top Thirty: Juan Francisco Estrada (Ranked 9 on Overall Points/10 on Unique Wins/16 on Last Two Starts), Naoya Inoue (8/21/13), Hector Garcia (19/23/8), Tie - Roman Gonzalez (15/13/17)/Vasyl Lomachenko (13/5/22), Tie - Dmitri Bivol (21/25/11)/Jesse Rodriguez (19/23/13), Jai Opetaia (27/36/10), Petchmanee CP Freshmart (12/35/19), Rey Vargas (24/26/18), Hiroto Kyoguchi (18/14/32), Kazuto Ioka (15/6/38), Tie - Josh Warrington (47/33/13)/Jermall Charlo (31/37/19)/Knockout CP Freshmart (31/37/19), Gervonta Davis (26/17/32), Ilunga Makabu (29/29/25), Tie - Sunny Edwards (23/16/35)/Gennadiy Golovkin (22/15/36), Terence Crawford (30/30/25)     

Previous Competition Index Updates

July 2020

November 2020 

January 2021 

March 2021

July 2021

January 2022

May 2022

July 2022

Here’s how it works.

Using the most recent ratings available in a print issue of Ring or the most recent archived Transnational Boxing Rankings Board ratings prior to a fight:

  • Every primary WBA, WBC, IBF, and WBO titlist, some select recent former titlists, and fighters who appeared in either the Ring or TBRB pound for pound top ten in the last year or so were evaluated based on the official results against their last five opponents and/or last three years of activity and what those opponents were rated heading into the fight.
  • Wins over rated opponents started at 11 points for a recognized TBRB or Ring champion down to one point for defeating a number ten contender. Draws got half credit. No points were given for a No Contest or No Decision but the result will be noted.
  • Fighters who have produced a higher activity level were given a kicker score for any wins over rated opposition in the last three years no later than October 1, 2019. Everyone evaluated was scored for their last five opponents even if that was past the three year mark.
  • Losses to rated opponents were given an inverse score, beginning with -1 for a champion down to -11.
  • Losses to unrated opponents received a universal score of -12.
  • Wins over unrated opponents were worth nothing.
  • If there is a difference between a fighter’s Ring and TBRB rankings, the average of the two numbers was used (i.e. a win over a fighter rated second by one body and fifth by the other would be worth 7.5 pts).
  • If a fighter was rated by only Ring or TBRB, half credit was given for a win based on the single rating. A loss total would come from an average of -12 and the point loss that would apply to the rating that was in place. 
  • Moves between weight classes were adjusted for by taking into consideration the body weight shift between weight classes. In other words, if a rated Jr. welterweight jumped up to beat a rated welterweight, the math would work like this: 147/140 multiplied by the divisional rating score. It works in reverse for a win over a fighter rated lower (i.e. 160/168 multiplied by the smaller man’s rating in his class). In an over the weight class fight, the divisions the men were rated in were used.
  • Fighters from a higher class are noted with a [+], from a lower [-], after the weight limit of their respective weight class. 
  • The totals generated result in a rating. 
  • Each fighter evaluated is given a score for how many unique wins they have against rated opponents; beating the same opponent twice counts for only one unique win. They are then rated based on unique wins with tiebreakers decided by whoever holds higher total points. The rating for total points and unique wins is averaged.
  • That average score is then averaged against a rating for the score generated for each man’s last two wins. The top ten remaining after that is then reordered again by total overall score. The remainder of the list is not resorted.   
  • All divisions were treated equally based on the idea fighters can only face the men in their division while they are there and all point totals were applied based on official results.

Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene, a founding member of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, a member of the International Boxing Research Organization, and a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America.  He can be reached at