April 20, 2024

This just in, it’s getting a bit crowded in the top 10 of the boxing pound-for-pound rankings.  

Not only is there much debate over whether Canelo Alvarez’s loss in a light heavyweight title bout against unbeaten Dmitry Bivol should automatically drop him from the top spot despite him fighting in such a larger division, the number of prime fighters making a case for inclusion throughout the top 10 has never been deeper.  

Undisputed junior middleweight champion Jermell Charlo turned in an career-best performance in May when he knocked out Brian Castano in their rematch. Then there was pay-per-view star Gervonta “Tank” Davis using his poise and power to finish Rolly Romero in their featured lightweight clash. Unbeaten Devin Haney also made a strong case for consideration by traveling to Australia and easily outboxing George Kambosos Jr. to become the undisputed champion at 135 pounds.

The most recent claim for recognition, however, came in the form of unified 122-pound titleholder Stephen Fulton Jr., whose dominant performance in June against former champion Danny Roman spoke for itself as far as P4P recognition is concerned.  

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Fulton, 27, found himself in the fighter of the year discussion in 2021 after winning titles against Angelo Leo and Brandon Figueroa, with the latter serving as the best action fight of the year. Yet “Cool Boy Steph” flipped the script once more by outright avoiding the danger Roman brought to the table through controlling distance and picking him apart as a counter puncher.  

The native of Philadelphia is seemingly only getting better and has multiple ways to win each fight. Fulton hopes to lure fellow unified champion Murodjon Akhmadaliev next and has also shared interest in facing unified bantamweight king Naoya Inoue should he move up in weight.

Using a criteria that takes into account everything from accomplishments to current form, let’s take a closer look at the top fighters inside the ring. Below is the latest Pound for Pound rankings update after Inoue’s destructive TKO in June.

Pound-for-Pound Rankings

1. Canelo Alvarez

Undisputed super middleweight champion (57-2-2, 38 KOs) | Previous ranking: No. 1

The best in the world seemed to find his ceiling as far as dramatic rises in weight are concerned when he dropped a unanimous decision to unbeaten WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol in May. Alvarez still covets a rematch but it will have to come after a September trilogy bout at super middleweight against rival Gennadiy Golovkin. 

2. Naoya Inoue

Unified bantamweight champion (20-0, 18 KOs) | Previous ranking: No. 4

The Japanese “Monster” needed just two rounds to finish off 39-year-old legend Nonito Donaire in their June rematch to unify three of four titles at 118 pounds. Inoue’s power remains scary but his technique and I.Q. are often overlooked. He has teased a move up to a fourth division after his goal of becoming undisputed bantamweight king.

3. Errol Spence Jr. 

Unified welterweight champion (28-0, 22 KOs) | Previous ranking: No. 2 

Despite a 17-month layoff and surgery to repair a detached retina, Spence returned looking better than ever at age 32 in his demolition of Yordenis Ugas to unify three of four world titles. The only fight that makes sense for next is an undisputed showdown with WBO champion Terence Crawford, which is currently in discussion.  

4. Terence Crawford

WBO welterweight champion (37-0, 27 KOs) | Previous ranking: No. 3 

Crawford made an incredible series of adjustments to slow down and finish Shawn Porter in their November pay-per-view clash. As a network and promotional free agent, the time has never been better for Crawford to seek a career-defining test for all four welterweight titles against Spence. 

5. Tyson Fury

WBC heavyweight champion (32-0-1, 24 KOs) | Previous ranking: 5

Is he really retired? Although the 33-year-old “Gypsy King” says yes, no one will accept it as official until he vacates his world title. Fury packed 94,000 fans into London’s Wembley Stadium or his knockout of Dillian Whyte and is likely waiting on who comes out of a Oleksandr Usyk-Anthony Joshua rematch for a shot at the undisputed title.  

6. Oleksandr Usyk

Unified heavyweight champion (19-0, 13 KOs) | Previous ranking: No. 7

The former undisputed cruiserweight champ upset the apple cart at heavyweight by convincingly outpointing Anthony Joshua. A contractually obligated rematch is likely for this summer after Usyk was given clearance by his native Ukraine to begin training despite the ongoing conflict with Russia.

7. Vasiliy Lomachenko

Lightweight (16-2, 11 KOs) | Previous ranking: No. 6

The ongoing conflict in his native Ukraine forced Lomachenko out of a possible title bout against former unified lightweight king George Kambosos Jr. Regardless of when he returns, the 34-year-old Lomachenko used 2021 to remind his critics how dominant he still is by dismantling Masayoshi Nakatani and Richard Commey. 

8. Shakur Stevenson

WBO junior lightweight champion (18-0, 9 KOs) | Previous ranking: No. 7

Already being compared to a young Floyd Mayweather, the 24-year-old southpaw produced a surgical dismantling of fellow unbeaten titleholder Oscar Valdez in their April title unification. Stevenson’s speed, technique and IQ are off the charts. The future is now. 

9. Dmitry Bivol

WBA light heavyweight champion (20-0, 11 KOs) | Previous ranking: NR

Criticized at times for playing it safe in the past, Bivol was anything but in his career-making victory over pound-for-pound king Canelo Alvarez. Bivol acted the part of the bigger man and failed to show Alvarez any respect in the manner that he fought him. An undisputed title bout could be next against the winner of Artur Beterbiev and Joe Smith Jr. 

10. Stephen Fulton Jr.

Unified junior featherweight champion (21-0, 8 KOs) | Previous ranking: NR

Fulton capped off a breakthrough 2021 with the most thorough performance of his career in widely outpointing former unified champion Danny Roman in June. “Cool Boy Steph” is among the most diversified threats in the game and openly covets an undisputed fight against fellow unified champion Murodjon Akhmadaliev.  

Dropped out: Jermell Charlo

Honorable mention: Devin Haney, Jermell Charlo, Gervonta Davis, Juan Francisco Estrada, Artur Beterbiev, Josh Taylor 

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