Last Saturday, Errol Spence Jr. (25-0-21 KO’s) put on an absolute clinic to defend his title against Mikey Garcia (39-1-30 KO’s). It was one of the most one-sided performances in recent years, when it comes to marquee events. Prior to the fight it had seemed that Spence was in a lose-lose situation where if he had lost, he would’ve taken a loss to a much smaller man. Had he won, many would claim that it was simply due to his size advantage. This couldn’t have been further from the truth. Spence’s performance raised his stock among the majority of boxing media, who praised his ability to win based on skill.
With that feather in his cap, Spence strengthened his position as the best welterweight on the planet, but where does he rank in the pound-for- pound list ? Does he crack the top 5 ? Lets see.
10. Anthony Joshua
The way the heavyweight division goes, so goes boxing. The pride of the United Kingdom, Anthony Joshua (22-0, 21KOs) holds the IBF, WBO, IBO, and WBA Heavyweight Titles and is looking to fight fellow heavyweight Deontay Wilder (40-0-1, 39KOs) at some point to unify the division. Simply put, Joshua has dominated every fighter that he’s fought and based on his last fight versus Russian, Alexander Povetkin (34-1, 24KOs), which he won by TKO in the seventh round, there is no indication of Joshua slowing down. Next up is the trash talking, Brooklyn, New York native, and undefeated heavyweight Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller (23-0-1, 20 KOs), who has vowed to knockout Joshua. The fight will take place in Miller’s backyard – Madison Square Garden in New York – and by our estimation we see this being a challenging fight for Joshua, but ultimately a victory.
9. Mikey Garcia
Last Saturday was a rough night for Mikey Garcia (39-1, 30KOs) to say the least. His courage to move up in weight and take on Errol Spence Jr should still be applauded, despite coming up short. This also doesn’t take away from the fact that he still one of the elite fighters in the lower weight classes. Starting out at featherweight , he was won titles in the 126, 130, 135, and 140 pound divisions. He would still arguably be the favorite against anyone sub 147 pounds.
8. Naoya Inoue
The 25-year-old phenom has taken boxing by storm. Naoya Inoue (17-0, 15KOs) has cemented himself as an elite fighter in smaller weight classes winning titles in the 112, 115, and 118 divisions. He holds victories over Omar Narvez, Jamie McDonnell and most recently, Juan Carlos Payano in the World Boxing Super Series. His punching power, pressure, and boxing ability are something to behold and we will see if Inoue’s future opponents can find an answer for it.
7. Srisaket Sor Rungvisai
Srisaket sor Rungvisai (47-4, 41 KOs) burst on to the scene in 2017 when he defeated then pound-for-pound elite fighter, Roman Gonzales, and in the process became the new WBC flyweight champion. The victory was controversial, and some claimed Gonzales simply had an off night. This was put to bed in the rematch six months later, where Sor Rungvisai completely flatlined Gonzales , knocking him out in the fourth round. He then went on to defeat another pound-for-pound talent in Juan Francisca Estrada, by split decision. He is set to rematch him later this year and another victory would cement his spot on this list.
6. Gennady Golovkin
It was not too long ago that Gennady Golovkin (38-1-1, 34KOs) was in the top 3 on many pound for pound lists. A draw and then a defeat to Canelo Alvarez has dropped him a few spots, but nonetheless, he remains one of the best fighters in the sport. He holds victories over David Lemieux, Kell Brook, and Daniel Jacobs. He recently signed a deal with DAZN, where potential fights with all the middleweight champions await.
5. Errol Spence Jr.
Errol Spence Jr.’s (25-0, 21KOs) phenomenal performance puts him at number 5 on our pound for pound list. Had he won his fight against Mikey Garcia based on size, it wouldn’t have been nearly as impressive. Instead Spence utilized an excellent jab, movement, and outworked Garcia every single round. Currently the IBF welterweight champion, Spence holds victories over Chris Algieri, Lamont Peterson, Kell Brook, and of course, Mikey Garcia.
4. Oleksandr Usyk
The undisputed cruiserweight champion of the world, Oleksandr Usyk (16-0, 12KOs) made his name in the World Boxing Super Series where he defeated the likes of Krysztof Glowacki, Marco Huck, Mairis Breidis, and ultimately Murat Gassiev in the final. He most recently added Tony Bellew to his resume. Usyk hold every single belt in the weight class and has defeated everyone relevant. A move to heavyweight now awaits him, where success at the weight class could find him on the number 1 spot on this list.
3. Vasyl Lomachenko
What can be said about Vasiliy Lomachenko (12-1, 9KOs) that hasn’t already been said ? To the casual eye it might seem weird having a fighter with 13 fights at the top of the pound-for-pound rankings, but what Lomachenko has accomplished in so few fights is impressive. He has won titles at 126, 130, and 135 pounds defeating the likes of Gary Russell Jr., Nicholas Walters, Roman Martinez, Guillermo Rigondeaux and got his marquee victory when he defeated long time light champion, Jorge Linares last year. Lomachenko is slated to face Anthony Crolla on April 12th, and he is widely expected to dominate. If he doesn’t, there are numerous fighters previously mentioned that also have fights lined up, where impressive victories could place them at the top spot on this list.
2. Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez
Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez (51-1-2, 35KOs) got the biggest victory of his career when he defeated Gennady Golovkin by majority decision last September. As controversial as it may have been, Canelo proved once again he is one of the best fighters in the world, taking the fight to the feared Kazakh and ending his undefeated streak. Canelo is currently the WBC and WBA middleweight champion in the world. Currently scheduled to face Daniel Jacobs in May, Canelo has the opportunity to continue cementing his legacy and steal the number 1 spot in the pound-for-pound rankings.
1. Terence Crawford
Terence ‘Bud’ Crawford (34-0, 25 KOs) is currently the WBO welterweight champion. He previously held titles in the 135 pound weight class as well as the 140 pound weight class, where he was the undisputed champion. He has solid victories over Yuriorkis Gamboa, Raymundo Beltran, Viktor Postol, and Jeff Horn. Crawford is the best switch hitter in the game, having the uncanny ability to fight from the orthodox or southpaw stance. He’s brilliant when he is the aggressor and equally brilliant when he is countering off the back foot. A big win over a marquee fighter could very well put him at number 1 on this list, and he gets the chance to make his case when he faces off against Amir Khan in April.