Boxing pound-for-pound rankings: Where does Usyk reside in the Top 12?

Oleksandr Usyk, one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world, was in action at the Wroclaw Stadium in Poland on August 26 and there was high drama in his packed-out showdown with British hopeful Daniel Dubois.

Usyk, who was making the second defense of his unified heavyweight title, was in control for much of the contest and eventually closed out with a pair of knockdowns and a ninth-round stoppage. However, all the drama centered around a sensational moment in Round 5 when Dubois folded the champion in half with what was ruled a low blow by referee Luis Pabon.

MORE: Oleksandr Usyk vs. Daniel Dubois full card results

Opinions vary on the punch that had Usyk on the canvas for approximately 80 seconds and halted the action for four full minutes. Some have sided with the referee, while others feel that Dubois was robbed of world title glory. The shockwaves are sure to continue for several days with Team Dubois looking to have the bout ruled a no-contest and demanding a direct rematch.

We’ll find out what’s next in the coming weeks, but where do things stand on The Sporting News pound-for-pound list?

1. Terence Crawford

  • Record: 40-0 (31 KOs)
  • Current Titles: Undisputed welterweight

Crawford is one of the most decorated and gifted world champions in boxing today. “Bud” followed world title success at lightweight by becoming the undisputed champion at 140 pounds. The 35-year-old boxing master has been campaigning at welterweight since 2018 and he has now taken undisputed honors in that division, too.

Other notable triumphs have come against Ricky Burns (UD 12), Yuriorkis Gamboa (TKO 9), Viktor Postol (UD 12), and Shawn Porter (TKO 10).

Next fight: Spence has already stated he’ll activate his rematch clause and “Bud” will be more than willing to run it back.

2. Naoya Inoue

  • Record: 25-0 (22 KOs)
  • Current Titles: WBC and WBO super bantamweight

Is there a more apt nickname in boxing than “The Monster?” From the moment he turned professional, Inoue, 30, possessed crushing punch power, blazing hand speed, and exemplary technique. Now a three-weight world champion, the Japanese star holds signature wins over Emmanuel Rodriguez (TKO 2) and Nonito Donaire (UD 12/ TKO 2), and Stephen Fulton (TKO 8)

Next fight: Will probably seek to become double undisputed at the expense of IBF and WBA counterpart Marlon Tapalas.

3. Oleksandr Usyk

  • Record: 21-0 (14 KOs)
  • Current Titles: IBF, WBA, WBO, and Ring Magazine Heavyweight

A former Olympic champion, an undisputed cruiserweight champion, and the reigning unified heavyweight champion of the world. Usyk, 35, is arguably the finest technician in boxing today and he’s the complete package. Blessed with rapier hand speed, quick feet, incredible athleticism, and unmatched ring IQ, the Ukrainian wizard holds career-defining wins over Mairis Briedis (MD 12), Murat Gassiev (UD 12), and Anthony Joshua (UD 12, SD 12). Following the fifth-round controversy, the champ successfully defended the IBF, WBA, WBO, and Ring titles he took from Joshua against mandatory challenger Daniel Dubois in Wroclaw, Poland, stopping the Briton in nine. 

Next fight: N/A

4. Canelo Alvarez

  • Record: 59-2-2 (39 KOs)
  • Current Titles: Undisputed super middleweight

Canelo is the biggest star in boxing.

A former champion at super welterweight, middleweight, and light heavyweight, the Mexican star currently holds all the marbles at 168 pounds. With next to no amateur foundation, Canelo learned on the job as a pro and developed into a well-rounded and skilled competitor. Dmitry Bivol got the best of him in May, but Canelo’s resume is the envy of his peers: Erislandy Lara (SD 12), Miguel Cotto (UD 12), Gennadiy Golovkin (MD 12, UD 12), Daniel Jacobs (UD 12), and Sergey Kovalev (KO 11), to name a few.

Next fight: Defends titles against Jermell Charlo on September 30.

5. Dmitry Bivol

  • Record: 21-0 (11 KOs)
  • Current Titles: WBA light heavyweight

He came from out of nowhere and he’s here to stay.

Bivol, 31, was a long-reigning light-heavyweight titleholder when he was drafted in as a sacrificial lamb for boxing superstar Canelo Alvarez. Things didn’t go to plan. The talented and rangy Bivol outclassed the Mexican star over 12 rounds to crash the pound-for-pound list and break free of the pack. In November, the Russian technician impressively outboxed the previously unbeaten Gilberto Ramirez. Bivol also holds victories over Jean Pascal (UD 12) and Joe Smith Jr. (UD 12).

Next fight: Nothing scheduled.

6. Devin Haney

  • Record: 30-0 (15 KOs)
  • Current Titles: Undisputed lightweight

“The Dream” just outpointed Vasiliy Lomachenko in what is undoubtedly a career-best triumph on paper. However, not everyone was convinced by the unanimous decision win, with many fans calling for an immediate rematch.

The quest for respect continues.

Last year, Haney ventured to Australia for an undisputed title clash with George Kambosos Jr., who had unseated unified champ Teofimo Lopez. Haney, 24, outclassed Kambosos (UD 12) to emerge as the first undisputed lightweight champion since Pernell Whitaker in the late 1980s. The young champ’s speed, skill, judgment of distance, and technical know-how are of the highest caliber.

Other impressive wins include Jorge Linares (UD 12), Joseph Diaz Jr. (UD 12), and a rematch win over Kambosos (UD 12).

Next fight: There have been persistent rumors that Haney will move north to 140 pounds.

7. Teofimo Lopez

  • Record: 19-1 (13 KOs)
  • Current Titles: WBO and Ring Magazine super lightweight

Following a history-making triumph over the previously unbeaten Josh Taylor, it’s highly likely that Lopez will be making a return to any pound-for-pound list worth reading.

When he defeated Vasiliy Lomachenko in 2020, Lopez was the toast of the boxing world and a solid pound-for-pound entrant. However, a humbling loss to George Kambosos Jr. and poor performances since left the 25-year-old on the outside looking in.

But in boxing, it only takes one fight to get back on top, and that’s precisely what Lopez has done. Turning in his best effort since beating Lomachenko, Lopez outboxed Taylor over 12 rounds and picked up a unanimous decision triumph.

Next fight: Nothing scheduled.

8. Errol Spence Jr.

  • Record: 28-1 (22 KOs)
  • Current Titles: N/A

While his world just came crashing down against Crawford, the fact remains that Spence is still an elite-level fighter. The 33-year-old Texan is as good on the inside as he is on the outside, and his punch variety is exceptional. Don’t write off “The Truth” from posting more career-defining wins in the future.

Among his top wins are Kell Brook (KO 11), Shawn Porter (SD 12), Danny Garcia (UD 12), and Yordenis Ugas (TKO 10)

Next fight: During his post-fight interview with Showtime, Spence stated that he would activate his rematch clause and face Crawford a second time.

9. Tyson Fury

  • Record: 33-0-1 (24 KOs)
  • Current Titles: WBC heavyweight

Many felt “The Gypsy King” was gone for good when he disappeared from the scene between November 2015 and June 2018. Fury’s first miracle was to lose 140 pounds in weight, which he did before regaining the heavyweight championship of the world.

The Englishman’s height, weight, and dimensions are frequently referenced as the main reason for his success, but that’s blind ignorance – Fury’s ring IQ and fighting heart are beyond reproach. Career-defining wins have come against Wladimir Klitschko (UD 12) and Deontay Wilder (TKO 7, KO 11).

Next fight: Fury faces former UFC star Francis Ngannou on October 29.

MORE: Wait, so why is Fury-Ngannou happening?

10. Shakur Stevenson

  • Record: 20-0 (10 KOs)
  • Current Titles: N/A

Stevenson, 25, doesn’t hold a world title at present but don’t let that fool you. The former featherweight and super featherweight champion is extraordinarily talented and looked excellent in dismantling Shuichiro Yoshino in his lightweight debut. An Olympic silver medallist, Stevenson has adapted brilliantly to the professional ranks and he’s the very definition of a complete fighter.

His best years are likely ahead of him, but the New Jersey-born star already holds impressive victories over Jamel Herring (TKO 10), Oscar Valdez (UD 12), and Robson Conceicao (UD 12).

Next fight: Nothing scheduled.

11. Juan Francisco Estrada

  • Record: 44-3 (28 KOs)
  • Current Titles: WBC and Ring Magazine super-flyweight

Mexican star Estrada successfully marries the blood and guts tenacity of his home country with a cerebral approach to the fight game. A former unified champion at flyweight, “El Gallo” moved up to 115 pounds and has enjoyed considerable success.

He may be closer to the end than the beginning, but the 32-year-old Estrada has already punched his ticket to the Hall of Fame with a plethora of career-defining wins: Brian Viloria (SD 12), Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (UD 12), and Roman Gonzalez (MD 12, SD 12) to name a few.

Next fight: There was talk of a fourth fight with friendly rival Roman Gonzalez. Estrada leads 2-1 in the series.

12. Vasiliy Lomachenko

  • Record: 17-3 (11 KOs)
  • Current Titles: N/A

Following a lackluster showing against rising lightweight force Jemaine Lopez last October, there were many crying out for Lomachenko’s athletic obituary.

Not so fast!

Lomachenko may have lost the decision to undisputed lightweight king Devin Haney on May 20, but he turned in an inspired performance and in the opinion of many he was very unlucky not to have regained the championship.

The same skills that took the Ukrainian wizard to two Olympic gold medals, three professional world titles, and secured victories over Gary Russell Jr. (MD 12), Roman Martinez (KO 5), Nicholas Walters (TKO 7), Guillermo Rigondeaux (TKO 6), and Jorge Linares (TKO 10) are still in evidence.

Next Fight: Losing hope of a rematch with Haney, who is heading north to 140 pounds.

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