Boxing B/R Pound for Pound Rankings: August 2023

It’s a sweltering summer. especially in the ring

The long-awaited struggle for unity famous title contenders And bouts between pound-for-pound fighters are common in the mid-2023s, making the transition from heavyweight to flyweight and all scores in-between.

Such a meaningful move has created a movement among elite athletes, and the B/R combat team no longer needs to be persuaded to look at new competitive boundaries and collect a list of the best of the best.

A go-to rubric that includes the most recent results. past performance and information from other sources reliable, including ring and a boxing scene. Scroll through to see what we thought. And leave your own opinion in the comments.

Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images

Weight class: 135 pounds

Held title: do not have

“Boxing face” is a phrase that promoters like to joke about.

Sometimes it was because their fighters were truly gifted. And sometimes they deliberately choose to emphasize style when content is lacking.

But believe us Coupled with Shakur Stevenson, it’s the real thing.

The 26-year-old from Newark, New Jersey is undoubtedly one of the best young fighters in the business. He is rapidly climbing the ranks after winning belts in the 126 and 130-pound divisions and later moving to the 135-pound main event.

He’s 20 bouts unbeaten and isn’t close to losing.

And now, Mexican action star Emmanuel Navarrete leads the underweight division with the Oscar Valdez baton, which Stevenson handles violently. Much less, in April 2022, the drums begin to clash with captivating style.

Warren Little/Getty Images

Weight class: heavyweight

Held title: WBC

There are many opinions about Tyson Fury.

Some admired him for showing off in the ring as the athleticism of a man smaller than 6ft 9in and 270lbs, and others liked him because he was an interesting guy with an interesting backstory and never lost a word. with a microphone nearby.

Meanwhile, others pointed out his dismal lack of recent activity — only three defenses in more than three years as champion — and his pick to lock in matches against MMA opponents. Sover Francis Ngannou instead of fellow champion Oleksandr Usyk.

We will occupy the middle area.

No matter how infrequently he appears, Fury is a solid champion. By sending each of his three challengers to the distance after a brutal KO of Deontay Wilder that earned him the belt in February 2020.

Do we prefer Usyk fight or Anthony Joshua fight over Ngannou fight? certain.

But when he enters the ring against a formidable enemy Fury soon becomes a partner to watch. And that’s good enough for 9th place here.

Albello/Getty Images

Weight class: 147 pounds

Held title: do not have

For the first time in his competitive career, Errol Spence Jr. was rebuilding.

But perhaps the obstacles he tackles outside of the ring indicate his chances.

The 33-year-old recovered and returned to the ring after a major car accident in 2019, then missed a fight for Manny. Pacquiao after retinal detachment injury in 2021

Spence will need that courage again when he’s stripped of his contender status after a horrific knockout defeat to Terence Crawford’s fists in the unification bout. Welterweight last month in Las Vegas.

Spence has the contractual ability to force rematches against his now four belted foes. But it’s unclear if he will do so. Team up with a new opponent, or, as ESPN’s head of talks Stephen A. Smith recently suggested, consider retiring.

Until he pulls the trigger on those or other options, his pre-Crawford prowess earns him a place at the back of our list right now.

Batch number: X164350 TK1

Weight class: 135 pounds

Held title: None (reigning WBA Second Tier)

Looking for another 135-pound boxer to earn the “Face of Boxing” street credit?

You met him in Gervonta Davis.

The 28-year-old from Baltimore claimed his biggest bout of the first half of the year, surrendering Ryan Garcia in the seventh round in April.

Victory in the 136lb catchweight division didn’t earn him any belts, but his record stands at 29-0 with 27 KOs and continues with fan-friendly momentum. which has seen him attract large homes in Las Vegas, Washington, D.C., Brooklyn and Los Angeles.

A rematch with Isaac Cruz, one of the two who can stand up to him. Looks like a worthy next option for Davis. His name was tossed when fighting multi-belt lightweight kings like Devin Haney and Shakur Stevenson.

Sarah Stier/Getty Images

Weight class: 135 pounds

Held title: IBF, WBA, WBO

Want to make people forget the big fight? Create bigger battles

That is today’s resume-building strategy for lightweight king Devin Haney, whose unanimous decision over Vasily Lomachenko was widely postponed due to what many viewed as a questionable decision. Urge to jump to face the famous champion at 140 pounds.

According to ESPN’s Mike Coppinger, promoter Eddie Hearn is in the process of finalizing details for a bout that will pair Haney with WBC super lightweight title holder Regis Prograis. which began occupying second place in the weight class last winter. and since then it has been prevented once

The WBC allowed Haney to vacate his full-time claim to the 135th title status and called him a “Champion on break” ahead of a fight expected later this year if Hearn can get all parties to agree.

It was a weight jump that had been anticipated for some time for the 24-year-old, who had trouble fitting in to the lightweight limits.

A Prograis win should be a permanent goodbye to 135, though it will be opening bouts against Teofimo Lopez, Ryan Garcia and the rest of the former lightweights who now call the weight division home.

Albello/Getty Images

Weight class: 175 pounds

Held title: WBA

When it seemed that Dmitry Bivol was on his way to stardom. he stopped

Kyrgyzstan-born light heavyweight fighter in California. pulled off his 2022 upset when he coached Canelo Alvarez at the WBA Championship in May. And he added a closeout over the then unbeaten Gilberto Ramírez to earn more than a few votes as the year’s leading fighter.

However, instead of engaging Alvarez in a hugely expensive race or locking out partisan claimant Artur Beterbiev for national reunification, Bivol spends 2023 on the sidelines.

His team and Alvarez failed to come to an agreement over money for the second round, and WBC president Mauricio Sulaimán abandoned the idea of ​​boycotting Bivol until the Russian-Ukrainian conflict was settled. Because he views the 32-year-old as a Russian fighter.

Both Alvarez (Jermell Charlo) and Beterbiev (Callum Smith) have another fight on their fall agenda, and Bivol’s manager Vadim Kornilov told Tass (h/t Boxing Scene) that Bivol will fight in October against himself. undetermined enemy

Hector Vivas/Getty Images

Weight class: 168 pounds

Held title: IBF, WBA, WBC, WBO

And as always, Canelo Álvarez has no shortage of options.

He will open three fights against the Premier Boxing Champions, risking his four belts at 168 pounds against a late September bout against Jermell Charlo, and the positive result will spur optimism for his next bout against the Premier Boxing Champions. David Benavidez, who is also a PBC client.

A champion at 154 pounds, Charlo jumps on Jurmall’s twin brother when the brothers tell him he’s not ready to fight. And the Mexican superstar has no shortage of other foes who constantly call his name, including social media harasser Jake Paul.

And while Paul’s compliments are the funniest, But it also underscores Álvarez’s long-held position as the sport’s most recognizable global star since former foe Floyd Mayweather Jr. retired.

He took part in 23 fights in 4 weight classes and won 20 (2 losses and a draw), holding the belt from 154 to 175 pounds and climbing to the 5th place in the ForbesNo other boxer made the top 10 in the ‘Highest Paid Athletes of the Year’ list.

Francois Nel/Getty Images

Weight class: heavyweight

Held title: IBF, WBA, WBO

Oleksandr Usyk is an outstanding cruiser.

He picked up all four belts in the weight class before climbing the ladder. But the heavyweight arrival was not greeted with the prospect of immediate success.

But the Ukrainian proved his doubters wrong and big time.

The 36-year-old ripped off all three of Anthony Joshua’s belts in what was considered a major disappointment in the fall of 2021, but he maintained his status as Joshua’s dominant contender with another clear win over the Conservatives. England hit the bench the following summer.

Discussions of uniting with Tyson Fury naturally followed. But it still hasn’t postponed. This leaves the WBC champion facing the former UFC fighter, while Usyk defends later this month against another Briton, the previously undefeated Daniel Dubois, in London.

Usyk’s unbeaten record, great skill And his success in the doubles puts him third or better on the most respected pound-for-pound list, and a win for Fury—if there’s a fight going on—is almost certain. It’s worth a step or two more.

Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images

Weight class: 122 pounds

Held title: IBF, WBC

at least a few days “Monster” is the king

Naoya Inoue’s track record in belt holdings at 108, 115 and 118 pounds is impressive enough. But the fact that he broke the reigning and unbeaten 122-pound belt at the end of July Tuesday put him atop the pound-for-pound mountains.

with good reason to be sure

Championships in four weight divisions, knockouts in all but three of 25, and beating opponents tall and light are all the evidence the 30-year-old needs to claim.

ring Suddenly erupted, with writer Joe Santoliquito raving that Inoue might be “more machine than human.” He might be more than just the ‘Monster’ nickname he carries. He has a diamond shaped calf that produces a huge amount of torque in his punches. He works at different levels. His fists were extremely sharp. His footsteps were flawless. His subtle movements created gaps in the opponent’s defense.”

In fact, it takes as much acting as outstanding. Inoue’s only real contender for the top spot was Terence Crawford at the welterweight division. to prevent him from walking away here.

But don’t condemn the list with the top two rankings reversed.

Inoue is a true superstar.

Albello/Getty Images

Weight class: 147 pounds

Held title: IBF, WBA, WBC, WBO

Probably because he was very good at fighting so many opponents in so many weight classes. But people probably fell asleep with Terence Crawford.

So much so that when he entered a 147-pound combined with Errol Spence Jr. last month It’s not hard to find someone who offers Texan to replace him at welterweight, or even if Crawford wins, Naoya Inoue deserves it. reigns above this and similar items.

Crawford obviously disagreed.

and his reply to Inoue could be captioned “Hold my beer”.

The 35-year-old smashed the unbeaten Spence with fierce precision that highlighted his previous victory, and his opponent’s seventh-round TKO rightly started the conversation about his place among the greats. forever of this division

For the future, staying at 147 could mean young challenger Jaron Ennis is his turn, although going up to 154 to deal with what’s left behind Canelo Jermell Charlo is of great interest to a man who might. Focus on the fourth weight class title.

“Little boy from Omaha, damn it,” Crawford said at the Omaha parade to celebrate his achievement. “Little boy from Omaha successful person I’ve always said that I’m an overachieving person. Because my dream is to win one title. I am now at the top of Mount Rushmore.”

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