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Top ten pound-for-pound boxers in the world, including Canelo Alvarez, Vasyl Lomachenko and Josh Taylor

It’s fair to say boxing has no dominant pound-for-pound king today.

Unlike in some past eras – such as Floyd Mayweather’s in the not too distant past – there is now genuine debate about who is boxing’s best.

Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao are previous pound-for-pound kings

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Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao are previous pound-for-pound kings

The pound-for-pound argument is probably one of the most contentious in the sport and everyone seems to have an opinion on it.

Some rank the best fighters in the world based purely on the manner of their performances – how they look.

Some rank them based purely on their résumés and weigh up who has the best recorded wins.

Some take other factors such as activity and official results into account, too, meaning the whole thing becomes one big confusing mess.

Therefore, talkSPORT.com is going to lay out its criteria (based roughly on Ring Magazine’s pound-for-pound criteria) for this list right now:

CRITERIA

  1. Result – The official result always stands and ultimately trumps the other factors. The other three are all equally important.
  2. Performance – The manner in which a fighter wins or loses.
  3. Résumé – The opponents beaten/titles won.
  4. Activity – How often a fighter is fighting against top level opposition


10. Juan Francisco Estrada (40-3, 27 KOs)

Juan Estrada recovered from his light-flyweight title loss to Roman Gonzalez in fantastic fashion as the Mexican went on to win unified titles at flyweight before now winning the WBC belt at super-flyweight. The Mexican two-division champion demonstrated his elite boxing ability against Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, taking the title in impressive fashion.

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Juan Estrada recovered from his light-flyweight title loss to Roman Gonzalez in fantastic fashion as the Mexican went on to win unified titles at flyweight before now winning the WBC belt at super-flyweight. The Mexican two-division champion demonstrated his elite boxing ability against Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, taking the title in impressive fashion.

9. Artur Beterbiev (15-0, 15 KOs)

Artur Beterbiev has knocked out every man he’s faced to date and become a unified WBC & IBF light-heavyweight champion. The Russian’s most recent win over Oleksandr Gvozdyk established him as the 175lbs king.

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Artur Beterbiev has knocked out every man he’s faced to date and become a unified WBC & IBF light-heavyweight champion. The Russian’s most recent win over Oleksandr Gvozdyk established him as the 175lbs king.

8. Josh Taylor (16-0, 12 KOs)

Josh Taylor conquered the World Boxing Super Series super-lightweight tournament in spectacular fashion. The unified WBA & IBF champion beat two top titlists in Ivan Baranchyk and Regis Prograis to also claim the Ring Magazine belt.

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Josh Taylor conquered the World Boxing Super Series super-lightweight tournament in spectacular fashion. The unified WBA & IBF champion beat two top titlists in Ivan Baranchyk and Regis Prograis to also claim the Ring Magazine belt.

7. Gennady Golovkin (40-1-1, 35 KOs)

When GGG finally got the super-fight he’d wanted against Canelo, it was controversially ruled a draw. In their rematch a year, the Mexican was awarded a narrow victory. The Kazakh is now a champion again having beaten Sergiy Derevyanchenko, however his status has taken a hit following his first loss and difficulty of his last win.

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When GGG finally got the super-fight he’d wanted against Canelo, it was controversially ruled a draw. In their rematch a year, the Mexican was awarded a narrow victory. The Kazakh is now a champion again having beaten Sergiy Derevyanchenko, however his status has taken a hit following his first loss and difficulty of his last win.

6. Errol Spence (26-0, 21 KOs)

WBC & IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence has now built an impressive record since defeating Kell Brook to claim the belt in 2017. Spence stopped Lamont Peterson before also dominating Mikey Garcia and unifying against Shawn Porter.

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WBC & IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence has now built an impressive record since defeating Kell Brook to claim the belt in 2017. Spence stopped Lamont Peterson before also dominating Mikey Garcia and unifying against Shawn Porter.

5. Naoya Inoue (18-0, 16 KOs)

Japanese three-weight world champion Naoya Inoue has already blasted through the light-flyweight and super-flyweight ranks, and is now a dominant force at bantamweight. In his last three fights, the 26-year-old blitzed Jaime McDonnell, Juan Carlos Payano and Emmanuel Rodriguez within a combined total of four rounds.

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Japanese three-weight world champion Naoya Inoue has already blasted through the light-flyweight and super-flyweight ranks, and is now a dominant force at bantamweight. In his last three fights, the 26-year-old blitzed Jaime McDonnell, Juan Carlos Payano and Emmanuel Rodriguez within a combined total of four rounds.

4. Oleksandr Usyk (17-0, 13 KOs)

Oleksandr Usyk cleaned out his entire division, becoming undisputed cruiserweight champion in 16 fights. The Ukrainian came through all of his biggest tests in his opponents’ hometowns, travelling to beat the likes of Mairis Briedis in Latvia, Murat Gassiev in Russia and Tony Bellew in the UK. He’s now looking to repeat the feat at heavyweight.

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Oleksandr Usyk cleaned out his entire division, becoming undisputed cruiserweight champion in 16 fights. The Ukrainian came through all of his biggest tests in his opponents’ hometowns, travelling to beat the likes of Mairis Briedis in Latvia, Murat Gassiev in Russia and Tony Bellew in the UK. He’s now looking to repeat the feat at heavyweight.

3. Terence Crawford (35-0, 26 KOs)

America’s Terence Crawford has won world titles in three weight classes, including becoming undisputed super-lightweight king. However, he is yet to face elite opposition. The WBO welterweight champion ranks so highly based on achievements and the manner of his victories, but must unify with the other welterweights if he wants to become pound-for-pound king.

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America’s Terence Crawford has won world titles in three weight classes, including becoming undisputed super-lightweight king. However, he is yet to face elite opposition. The WBO welterweight champion ranks so highly based on achievements and the manner of his victories, but must unify with the other welterweights if he wants to become pound-for-pound king.

2. Canelo Alvarez (52-1-2, 35 KOs)

Canelo has a number of impressive names on his win sheet, including the likes of Gennady Golovkin, Miguel Cotto, Daniel Jacobs, Erislandy Lara, Shane Mosely, Amir Khan and Austin Trout. However, as some of those have come with a fair portion of controversy, he doesn’t quite take our pound-for-pound top spot at present.

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Canelo has a number of impressive names on his win sheet, including the likes of Gennady Golovkin, Miguel Cotto, Daniel Jacobs, Erislandy Lara, Shane Mosely, Amir Khan and Austin Trout. However, as some of those have come with a fair portion of controversy, he doesn’t quite take our pound-for-pound top spot at present.

1. Vasyl Lomachenko (14-1, 10 KOs)

After an historic 396-1 amateur career, double Olympic gold medallist Vasyl Lomachenko turned pro and jumped straight into world class match-ups. The Ukrainian has since become a three-weight champion, utilising his ethereal boxing ability to conquer the likes of Gary Russell Jr, Nicholas Walters, Guillermo Rigondeaux and Jorge Linares.

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After an historic 396-1 amateur career, double Olympic gold medallist Vasyl Lomachenko turned pro and jumped straight into world class match-ups. The Ukrainian has since become a three-weight champion, utilising his ethereal boxing ability to conquer the likes of Gary Russell Jr, Nicholas Walters, Guillermo Rigondeaux and Jorge Linares.

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