2019 has been a memorable year so far, full of upsets and comebacks. As we reach the final months of the year, it’s time to review who the best fighters in boxing are. Who has cracked our pound-for-pound list ? Let’s see.
10. Mikey Garcia
It’s easy to forget that Mikey Garcia (39-1, 30KOs) is still one of the best fighters in the entire sport of boxing after his one sided beat-down at the hands of Errol Spence Jr. That fight proved too much for Garcia but still doesn’t take away from the fact that he won major titles at 126, 130, 135 and 140 pounds. He’s one of the top fighters in boxing and can still make some major noise should he choose to drop down.
9. Manny Pacquiao
Manny Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs) became the “super” WBA welterweight champion this past July when he defeated then-unbeaten Keith Thurman by split decision. It was a massive victory for Pacquiao who proved that at 40 years of age, he still has enough to beat some of this generation’s best welterweights. His resume is one of the greatest in the history of the sport as he captured belts in 8 different classes throughout his 20-plus year career. Winning the WBA belt this past July was further testament to his all-time-great abilities and earns him a spot at number 9 on our list.
8. Gennady Golovkin
It wasn’t too long ago that many argued that Gennady Golovkin (40-1-1, 35KOs) was the best fighter in the sport of boxing. He was on an absolute tear in the middleweight division knocking out poor soul after poor soul. These days however, the conversation seems to be more about how much is Golovkin slipping. He is fresh of a razor thin decision over Sergiy Derevyanchenko in what was one of the best fights of the year and in the process, captured the IBF middleweight title. While it is evident that he is on the decline, Golovkin still remains one of the best fighters in the sport and comes in at number 8.
7. Juan Francisco Estrada
This spot was usually reserved for Srisaket Sor Rungvisai but after Estrada’s unanimous decision victory over him earlier this year, it only makes sense that the Mexican enter this list at number 7. Estrada (40-3, 27KOs) is one of the elite fighters in the lower weight classes and is currently the WBO Super flyweight champion. He holds victories over the likes of Sor Rungvisai, Carlos Cuadras, Hernan Marquez and Brian Viloria.
6. Naoya Inoue
In at number 6 is another one of the best fighters in the lower weight classes. Naoya Inoue (18-0, 16KOs) has captured titles at 112, 115, and 118 pounds and is fresh of a destruction of then-unbeaten fighter, Emmanuel Rodriguez in the semifinals of the World Boxing Super Series (WBSS). He currently has a date set with Filipino legend Nonito Donaire in the final of the WBSS. The sky is the limit for the Japanese super star and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him move up in weight again and capture another world title.
5. Errol Spence Jr.
Errol Spence Jr. (26-0, 21KOs) became unified champion of the world last month when he beat Shawn Porter in one of the best fights in the history of the sport. Spence once again proved that he has an argument for being the best welterweight in the world as he now holds the WBC and IBF titles. He has many options for his next fight and will certainly be looking to add the WBA title to his collection, currently held by Manny Pacquiao. Whether that fight comes to fruition remains to be seen but it is clear that Spence wants three welterweight titles before negotiating a fight with another welterweight on this list.
4. Oleksandr Usyk
Oleksandr Usyk (17-0, 14KOs) is fresh off of a dominating victory over Chazz Witherspoon in what was Usyk’s heavyweight debut. Prior to this, Usyk became undisputed champion at cruiserweight, capturing all four major belts and winning the World Boxing Super Series. He is one of the best fighters in all of boxing and now has his eyes set on the heavyweight division. While few will argue that his overall skill set is superior to the current champions of the division, it remains to be seen if he has enough size and power to compete with the division’s elite.
3. Terence Crawford
Entering at number three is the current WBO welterweight champion, Terence Crawford (35-0, 26 KOs). He won his first major title at 135 pounds, became undisputed champion at 140 pounds and is now the WBO champ at 147 pounds. He is undefeated and has rarely ever looked in danger of losing. He has one of the most diverse skill sets in the entire sport and could go down as one of the all time greats if he gets the match-ups he is looking for. Crawford is in a weird spot where he has to take any match-up he can get due to the fact that all the top welterweights are with a promotional company, PBC, which he is not signed to. This is why he currently has a fight lined up with Mean Machine instead of the likes of Errol Spence Jr. However, his talent is undeniable and it is only a matter of time before he gets the fights he wants. I expect Spence to capture the WBA title sometime in 2020 setting up a mouth watering clash with Errol Spence Jr. sometime in 2021.
2. Vasyl Lomachenko
Entering at number 2, Vasyl Lomachenko (14-1, 10KOs) became the unified WBC, WBO and WBA lightweight world champion when he defeated Luke Campbell this past August. It was a tightly contested bout early on before Lomachenko’s skills took over. Despite being undersized in the lightweight division, Lomachenko has shown that skills due in fact pay the bills and has shown it with his victories over Jorge Linares, Jose Pedraza, Anthony Crolla and now Luke Campbell. Prior to this, Lomachenko captured titles at 126 and 130 pounds and should he become undisputed at 135 pounds, he could very well move up on this list.
1. Saul Alvarez
Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez (52-1-2, 35KOs) is the biggest superstar in the sport… and he is a pretty damn good fighter too. He defeated Daniel Jacobs earlier this year to solidify his spot as the best middleweight on the planet and one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the sport. Prior to that, he defeated Rocky Fielding to capture a cheap version of the WBA title at 168 pounds but now has his eyes set on Sergey Kovalev at light heavyweight (175 pounds). Should he defeat Kovalev and capture the WBO light heavyweight title (a legitimate title) he will cement his #1 spot in the pound-for-pound ranking.