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Sports Illustrated
Sports Illustrated
Chris Mannix

Boxing’s Latest Pound-for-Pound Rankings

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Oleksandr Usyk is on one of boxing’s most impressive runs.

Four years after establishing himself as the world’s top cruiserweight—a three-year stretch that saw Usyk win the World Boxing Super Series and become the division's first undisputed champion in the four-belt era—Usyk, who picked up a second straight win Saturday over Anthony Joshua, has cemented his place as one of boxing’s top heavyweights. He has been boxing’s road warrior, collecting wins in Latvia, Russia and the U.K. on his way to becoming one of the most accomplished fighters of this era.

“Usyk,” Joshua’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, said after Usyk upended the former champion, “is pound-for-pound No. 1.”

Or is he? In the aftermath of Canelo Álvarez’s decision defeat to Dmitry Bivol, several fighters have staked their claim to the top of the list. Where does Usyk stand? Here are Sports Illustrated’s latest pound-for-pound rankings.

1. Terence Crawford

Record: 38–0

Last Month: 1

Last Fight: TKO win Shawn Porter

Next Fight: TBD

Immediately after Dmitry Bivol’s win over Canelo Álvarez last May, Crawford tweeted, “We know who No. 1 is now.” Indeed, Álvarez’s loss is Crawford’s gain. The former undisputed 140-pound champion has beefed up his 147-pound résumé of late, most recently with a knockout win of Shawn Porter last fall. Crawford, 34, could have a chance to solidify his place atop the list soon: All signs continue to point to Crawford and Errol Spence Jr. finally meeting in a fight that would crown an undisputed welterweight champion.

2.  Oleksandr Usyk

Record: 20–0

Last Month: 4

Last Fight: SD win Anthony Joshua

Next Fight: TBD

Only Canelo Álvarez can claim a better résumé than Usyk, whose résumé includes wins over Marco Huck, Mairis Briedis and Tony Bellew at cruiserweight and now a pair of wins over Anthony Joshua at heavyweight. Usyk has settled nicely into boxing’s glamour division, finding a comfortable weight (around 221 pounds) and fighting style that has made him tough to beat. His next test, though, figures to be his stiffest: Usyk, 35, says he will fight only Tyson Fury, who holds the final piece of the heavyweight puzzle. Fury says he will oblige, which sets up a compelling unification fight, possibly before the end of the year.

Usyk celebrates after beating Anthony Joshua to retain his world heavyweight title Saturday.

Hassan Ammar/AP Photo

3. Saul “Canelo” Álvarez

Record: 57-2-2

Last Month: 2

Last Fight: UD loss Dmitry Bivol

Next Fight: Sept. 17 vs. Gennady Golovkin

Critics will say Álvarez should drop further on this list after his nine-year, 17-fight unbeaten streak came to an end May 7. But Álvarez chased greatness when he moved up in weight (again) to challenge arguably the top light heavyweight in boxing when there were safer, more marketable options at 168 pounds. He lost, but Canelo’s résumé remains the best in boxing, and his status as the undisputed super middleweight champion is intact. He will defend those titles Sept. 17, when he faces longtime nemesis Gennady Golovkin in the third fight of a closely contested rivalry.

4. Naoya Inoue

Record: 23–0

Last Month: 3

Last Fight: KO win vs. Nonito Donaire

Next Fight: TBD

Inoue cemented his status as the top 118-pound fighter in boxing with a sensational second-round knockout of Nonito Donaire in June. In stopping Donaire, Inoue added a third bantamweight title to his collection. He wants to become undisputed—Paul Butler holds the final piece of the divisional crown—but is prepared to move up, where a compelling fight against Stephen Fulton could be waiting in the super bantamweight division.

5. Errol Spence Jr.

Record: 28–0

Last Month: 5

Last Fight: TKO win vs. Yordenis Ugás

Next Fight: TBD

Spence, 31, continued his assault on the top names in the welterweight division last April, stopping Yordenis Ugás to pick up a third piece of the 147-pound title. Despite a series of career-threatening injuries—a car crash in 2019 and an eye injury that forced him out of a scheduled fight with Manny Pacquiao in 2021—Spence continues to roll through the best fighters in his weight class. A showdown with Crawford isn’t just the biggest fight for Spence at welterweight—it’s the only one.

6. Tyson Fury

Record: 31-0-1

Last Month: 6

Last Fight: KO win Dillian Whyte

Next Fight: TBD

April’s knockout win over Dillian Whyte burnished Fury’s credentials as the best heavyweight in boxing. Rarely do fighters in this weight class appear on pound-for-pound lists, but Fury, 33, blends impressive boxing skills with a strong résumé. Early career wins over Derek Chisora and Wladimir Klitschko have been eclipsed by back-to-back knockouts of Deontay Wilder and, most recently, Whyte, who was floored by a savage uppercut in front of north of 90,000 fans at Wembley Stadium. Fury says he is retired, but don’t expect him to pass on a title unification fight against Usyk, which would crown an undisputed champion.

Will Fury remain in retirement?

Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY Sports

7. Shakur Stevenson

Record: 18–0

Last Month: 7

Last Fight: UD win Óscar Valdez

Next Fight: Sept. 23 vs. Robson Conceição

Stevenson, 25, picked up a lopsided decision over Óscar Valdez in May. A 2016 Olympic silver medalist, Stevenson has been on a roll of late, capturing titles in two divisions while dominating the biggest names, including Jamel Herring, whom Stevenson stopped last October. Armed with a pair of 130-pound titles, Stevenson could look to unify further. The biggest fight, though, is a division up, where Vasyl Lomachenko operates. A Stevenson-Lomachenko fight would match two of the top amateurs of this generation—and be one of the biggest fights in the lower weight classes. Up first: a title defense against Conceição, a decorated amateur who gave Valdez a tough fight last year.

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8. Jermell Charlo

Record: 35-1-1

Last month: 8

Last Fight: KO win Brian Castaño

Next Fight: TBD

Charlo earned a place on this list after picking up a spectacular knockout win over Brian Castaño in May, avenging last year’s controversial draw and fully unifying the 154-pound division. Charlo’s résumé at junior middleweight is impressive: He has wins over Erickson Lubin, Austin Trout, Tony Harrison and Jeison Rosario, with his only loss a questionable decision defeat to Harrison. Charlo has consistently taken on the best in the division, which will continue in his next fight, with Charlo penciled in for a title defense against Tim Tszyu, the heavy-handed Australian who is the mandatory challenger for one of Charlo’s belts.

9. Josh Taylor

Record: 19–0

Last Month: 7

Last Fight: SD win Jack Catterall

Next Fight: TBD

Taylor, 31, followed up a clean sweep of the World Boxing Super Series 140-pound tournament—which included wins over then unbeaten Ryan Martin, Ivan Baranchyk and Regis Prograis—with a title-unifying win over José Ramírez and a narrow, and hotly disputed, decision over Jack Catterall in February. After initially signaling a move to 147 pounds, Taylor, who has already vacated three of his titles, intends to remain at 140 for a rematch with Catterall before likely making the jump up to welterweight.

10. Vasyl Lomachenko

Record: 16–2

Last Month: 10

Last Fight: UD win Richard Commey

Next Fight: TBD

No titles, no problem for Lomachenko, who even beltless is the most talented fighter in the 135-pound division. A dominant decision win over Richard Commey last December was Loma’s second straight since an upset loss to Teófimo López in 2020. Lomachenko, whose career has been on pause since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began earlier this year, recently returned to the U.S. Top Rank plans to match Lomachenko with Jamaine Ortiz in the fall. If all goes well, Lomachenko will get the fight he wants: a crack at the undisputed lightweight title against the winner of the rematch between Devin Haney and George Kambosos Jr. 

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