April 20, 2024

Boxing’s next great superstar has arrived. At least, that’s how unified 130-pound champion Shakur Stevenson described his situation following last Saturday’s flawless dismantling of fellow unbeaten champion Oscar Valdez.  

It’s becoming difficult to argue with Stevenson (18-0, 9 KOs), a dazzling southpaw who has won world titles in two divisions while showcasing a feel for his craft that belies his age at just 24.  

The 2016 Olympic silver medalist can be just about untouchable when he needs to, given his footwork and commanding control of distance. But like he showed against Valdez, he’s just as willing to stand in the pocket and pick his opponents apart without taking big shots in return.  

Stevenson may one day take his talents as high as 147 pounds. For now, however, the focus is on further unifying titles at junior lightweight before throwing his name into the mix at 135 pounds, where no shortage of big names (both young and old) currently reside.

Can’t get enough boxing and MMA? Get the latest in the world of combat sports from two of the best in the business. Subscribe to Morning Kombat with Luke Thomas and Brian Campbell for the best analysis and in-depth news.

Below is the latest Pound for Pound rankings update after Stevenson’s big win in April.

Pound-for-Pound Rankings

1. Canelo Alvarez

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

The best in the world somehow keeps getting better. Alvarez became the first undisputed king at 168 pounds by stopping unbeaten Caleb Plant last November. The Mexican superstar is slated to return to DAZN and the light heavyweight division when he takes on Dmitry Bivol in May with hopes of a trilogy bout against Gennadiy Golovkin in September.

2. Errol Spence Jr.

Unified welterweight champion (28-0, 22 KOs) | Previous ranking: No. 4

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 in arguably the biggest fight the sport could make.

3. Terence Crawford

WBO welterweight champion (37-0, 27 KOs) | Previous ranking: No. 2

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.

4. Naoya Inoue

Unified bantamweight champion (19-0, 17 KOs) | Previous ranking: No. 3

The Japanese “Monster” closed off 2021 with a stay-busy knockout in his native Japan. Inoue’s combination of power, speed and boxing IQ is among the best in the game. Up next is a June title unification against living legend Nonito Donaire, in a rematch of their 2019 thriller.

5. Tyson Fury

WBC heavyweight champion (32-0-1, 24 KOs) | Previous ranking: 6

At 33, “The Gypsy King” may have authored his most thorough and impressive performance to date when he knocked out Dillian Whyte with one punch in front of 94,000 fans in London. Although Fury has teased both retirement and a mixed rules match against UFC star Francis Ngannou, a shot at the undisputed championship is still at reach.

6. Vasiliy Lomachenko

Lightweight (16-2, 11 KOs) | Previous ranking: No. 5

The ongoing conflict in his native Ukraine forced Lomachenko to the frontlines and out of a possible title bout against 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.

7. Shakur Stevenson

WBO junior lightweight champion (18-0, 9 KOs) | Previous ranking: No. 8

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. 

8. 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. 

9. Gervonta Davis

Secondary lightweight champion (25-0, 24 KOs) | Previous ranking: No. 9

“Tank” battled through an injured hand to outpoint a determined Isaac Cruz in their December pay-per-view bout. Davis will bring his star to the Big Apple when he faces Rolly Romero in a May bout in Brooklyn that promises fireworks.

10. Josh Taylor

Undisputed junior welterweight champion (18-0, 13 KOs) | Previous ranking: No. 10

“The Tartan Tornado” struggled to a split-decision win over mandatory challenger Jack Catterall in February which most felt Taylor had lost. Taylor, who was cut and dropped, along with being outlanded nearly 2-1 overall, announced he is likely heading to 147 pounds.

Dropped out: None

Honorable mention: Juan Francisco Estrada, Artur Beterbiev, Jermell Charlo, Roman Gonzalez, Jermall Charlo  

Source link