Pound-for-Pound debate: Canelo is gone. Who’s the brand new No. 1 on the earth?

Picture by Ed Mulholland/Matchroom.

When pound-for-pound king Canelo Alvarez misplaced to WBA gentle heavyweight titleholder Dmitry Bivol earlier this month, a protracted back-and-forth debate started so as to decide who’s the most effective fighter on the earth pound-for-pound.

It’s been fairly a debate, with many differing opinions, however all that’s sure is that there actually isn’t any clear No. 1.

At The Ring we had a protracted backwards and forwards dialog mirrored in our common Ring Scores Replace (Dmitry Bivol knocks Canelo from the P4P peak, enters legendary rankings) – The Ring (ringtv.com) as to how issues breakdown and got here up with our collective scores.

Nonetheless, the significance of the controversy led us to take it one step additional, and right here is how 20 media members and varied boxing insiders see issues.

Bear in mind, there isn’t a proper or improper, it’s merely one man or girl’s opinion. As all the time, please benefit from the debate and respect different folks’s opinions.

Right here’s how the consultants see it:



“I feel Usyk is worthy of the highest spot. He was No. 2 behind Canelo. It is smart that he would advance to No. 1 following Canelo’s clear loss to Bivol.”


“At current, Oleksandr Usyk is completely the most effective pound-for-pound fighter on the planet. His present run is sort of unprecedented: cruiserweight Ring/ IBF/WBA/WBC/WBO champion, heavyweight IBF/ WBA/WBO champ, 2018 FOTY – all in lower than 20 professional bouts. Usyk is a pure cruiserweight who at the moment holds three of the 5 titles within the heavyweight division. He achieved this in simply his third bout above 200 kilos. His win towards Anthony Joshua final September made Usyk 11-0 as a professional on overseas territory, with six of these wins coming towards former/present world title holders. Think about the magnitude and that means of his win over Murat Gassiev in Russia a number of years in the past, given the present scenario in Ukraine. Throw in the truth that earlier than even turning professional Usyk had over 300 wins as an newbie, together with two journeys to the Olympics, culminating in a 2011 Gold on the World Championships and 2012 Gold on the London Video games. No different fighter on the earth can boast accomplishments on that degree during the last decade, interval.”


“The actual fact that the pound-for-pound lineup is so deep – I’d say 15-18 fighters have a case of being included on this listing – is an indicator that boxing is, fairly actually, in good palms. For me, Terence Crawford is the present occupant of Mount Olympus as a result of (1) I had him ranked second going into the Bivol-Canelo match and Canelo’s loss strikes “Bud” as much as the highest slot; (2) Crawford is coming off a formidable TKO win over the revered Shawn Porter; (3) Crawford is an undefeated three-division world champion who has defeated 9 championship-level fighters (six by KO) and who’s driving a career-high nine-fight KO streak; and (4) He’s maybe probably the most versatile fighter within the recreation; he can field and slug with equal effectiveness from either side and has high-end boxing IQ. Usyk could be very deserving of consideration on account of being a former undisputed cruiserweight champion, a present three-belt heavyweight king and arguably the best highway fighter of the twenty first Century up to now, however I’ve him second as a result of he hasn’t been on the P4P scene so long as Crawford, and there’s one thing to be stated for longer-term success in the case of this explicit listing.”


“Usyk my quantity No. 1, and checks all of the bins for me. Undefeated, nice newbie capped with Olympic gold, unified a division, moved up and received titles towards larger guys, actually went out of his manner (touring to different champions house nation) to beat different man of their yard, can win by outboxing or outmuscling his opponent, by no means hear him bitch about not getting sufficient cash, might care much less about being B-side of struggle. Looks like legit good-guy on high of all of it.”


“He was No. 1 earlier than Dmitry Bivol’s stunner over Canelo Alvarez. He nonetheless is. His spot atop this pound-for-pound debate will encounter vital challenges all through the remainder of this yr. Hopefully, the most important will come from Errol Spence Jr. in a long-awaited welterweight showdown that can enable Crawford — nonetheless the sport’s most dynamic finisher — to settle the argument, once-and-for-all. Earlier than then, nonetheless, count on a problem from Naoya Inoue in a June 7 rematch with Nonito Donaire. Then, one other one from Oleksandr Usyk in a July rematch with Anthony Joshua. Don’t overlook Canelo, both. If he workouts a clause for an instantaneous rematch towards Bivol, he can rapidly put himself again into the pound-for-pound hunt.”

Oleksandr Usyk



“Errol Spence Jr. is my pound-for-pound No. 1. He has overwhelmed all the most effective 147-pounders he confronted and can cement his pound-for-pound standing by subsequent beating Terence Crawford. He has overwhelmed high quality opposition, Kell Brook, Mikey Garcia, Shawn Porter, Danny Garcia and Yordenis Ugas.”


“I had Canelo at No. 1 however once you lose a struggle you also needs to lose the No. 1 spot. [Dmitry] Bivol must be within the high 10 now however I feel Errol Spence and Terence Crawford are the highest two guys proper now, since each received their first world titles the laborious manner, on the highway. However in my private opinion, I’ve Spence barely forward at No. 1 and if he fights Crawford then the true No. 1 would be the winner.”


“Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis is my No. 1. He’s a southpaw, can field, can struggle, adapts properly, nice timing, can knock you out with both hand. Most significantly nonetheless ready to pay attention and be taught. [I know] he hasn’t overwhelmed anybody but he seems to be the half and you recognize what an aesthetic southpaw can do and might’t look forward to his subsequent struggle that received’t go the space.”


“I really imagine it’s Canelo, sure, that’s appropriate. Let’s not overlook that his final bout was not at his pure weight and was the truth is manner above what we’d have imagined for him years in the past. It’s like and of the highest 147lbs world champions testing the water at 160 or 168 tomorrow and never being profitable. Canelo shouldn’t drop due to the Bivol struggle. No. 1 must be primarily based on degree of opposition that the fighter has overwhelmed and there’s no higher resume in boxing at this time than Canelo Alvarez.”


“Primarily based on high quality of opposition, particularly RECENT high quality of opposition, I’d go along with Usyk, with Inoue an in depth second. And may Spence struggle Crawford, the winner would soar into my primary slot. What makes a fighter pound for pound is a mix of his general resume, his latest kind, and his excellence (no matter division) vs. the opposite candidates.”


“My understanding of a pound-for-pound score is that each one fighters are thought of to be the identical dimension, and P4P is a measure of their talent units.  In different phrases, Tyson Fury is the most important and most expert heavyweight, so hypothetically he beats anybody else on the earth, but when he and everybody else have been on the identical weight (let’s say 160 kilos), then which may not be the case. If he’s on the market, you’ll comprehend it. Really feel it. Give him respect. He’ll be nice, not simply excellent.  It’s normally somebody who transcends a number of weight courses in his profession, however at the moment there isn’t a Henry Armstrong, Sugar Ray Robinson, Emile Griffith, Alexis Arguello, Roberto Duran, Sugar Ray Leonard, Evander Holyfield, Roy Jones, Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather, or another such claimant preventing. Since there’s no dominant famous person, so I don’t see a transparent No. 1 P4P lately.  There are, nonetheless, a number of excellent lively fighters. My brief listing of candidates at this time would come with (in alphabetical order) Bivol, Crawford, Inoue, Spence, Stevenson, and Usyk. Let’s revisit this once more subsequent yr and see if any of them conjures up awe and emerges as a real best-of-the-best.”


“I nonetheless have Canelo as pound-for-pound king. He moved up in weight as soon as once more and dared to be nice towards a younger gifted champion. He fell brief to an even bigger, youthful man, with nice expertise and a troublesome fashion. Guess what? Measurement issues. The pound-for-pound itemizing relies on the truth that Sugar Ray Robinson was so good that in a theoretical realm the place weight didn’t matter- he’d whip everybody. And even he moved as much as struggle Joey Maxim for the sunshine heavyweight title and failed. He moved again right down to his pure weight to regain the middleweight championship and wage a few of his most iconic fights. Pound-for-pound is a thought experiment – not a actuality. Granted, this opens the door for a brand new king however in my eyes, you possibly can’t “win” pound-for-pound with out preventing. If Spence-Crawford occurs earlier than Canelo have been to struggle once more, the winner will probably be pound-for-pound No. 1 (and rightfully so). However within the meantime, my primary spot doesn’t change.”


“Crawford strikes to No. 1 in pound-for-pound. There was a debate about who was No. 1 Canelo or Crawford, and earlier than his convincing loss to Bivol, I had Canelo No. 1. Ability. Skill. Resume. That makes up pound-for-pound. No. 1. Crawford cleaned out 140 and chasing the most effective at 147-pounds. His unimaginable skills make him No. 1 as a result of how he’s overwhelmed down everybody, they put in entrance of him in dominate and entertaining style. Crawford seems to be unbeatable, it doesn’t matter what weight division.”


“This one is simple for me and I do know lots is not going to agree, however palms down it’s proper now Oleksandr Usyk. He cleaned out the cruiserweight division, and never solely did he clear out the division, however he fought nearly each cruiser of their house nation, he didn’t struggle guys on snug grounds, he by no means turned down a problem. Then he strikes to heavyweight, goes to Joshua’s house turf and beats him straightforward. The definition of pound-for-pound for me is the man who can beat everybody (in the event that they have been in the identical weight) on the listing, and I imagine that Usyk beats all of them proper now. Let’s face it, Usyk is a wonderful boxer and a tough man to beat. Individuals might really feel that manner about Fury and I do as properly, however I imagine Usyk beats Fury together with different guys on the listing.”

Ring bantamweight champ Naoya Inoue. Picture by Naoki Fukuda


“Naoya Inoue is my No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter on the earth. Dare to be nice. As a way to be the perfect fighter, a fighter should struggle and beat the most effective in his division(s) and depart little doubt. He fights to win and win large. Not as soon as has he been in a struggle carrying an opponent. If he can get him out within the first spherical, he’ll. He’s moved up in weight and has received titles within the junior flyweight, junior bantamweight and bantamweight divisions. His expertise assist him regulate to any opponent put in entrance of him. His timing is phenomenal. He has carried his energy up in weight. He might have stayed in Japan and made tons of cash however he’s ventured out as a result of he needed to beat the world. Dare to be nice, he’s doing so.”


“A legendary “pound-for-pound” title, for me, is solely this: If, theoretically, every present pound-for-pound prospect fought in the identical weight class, who’s your man (or girl)?. For me, that’s Naoya Inoue. For the next causes: 1. Inoue, at age 29, is at his bodily peak. He’s been a professional for 10 years and received a model of a world title in his sixth professional struggle (in 2014). Therefore, he’s fought at an elite degree for almost his total professional profession. 2. Inoue can be at a psychological peak – he hasn’t but had the “tremendous struggle” that every previous “pound-for-pound” king has on his resume. He nonetheless fights like a hungry fighter, a hunter, moderately than, say, like a Canelo Alvarez, who changed into the hunted. 3. He’s had superior competitors and has destroyed them. Within the final 4 years, his opponents have had a mixed document of 171-13-2. Except Nonito Donaire, Inoue knocked every of them out. 4. The Donaire struggle answered the questions every nice fighter should reply: what occurs once you’re damage? Once you’re reduce? What occurred was Inoue stored his cool and approach. Not like many punchers, he didn’t unravel down the stretch or lose his confidence. He was simply as harmful within the later rounds as he was to start with of the struggle. 5. Nice fighters are nice opponents. Inoue craves competitors. Therefore, he’s assembly Donaire once more (on June 7).”


“You could possibly argue for lots of different boxers however I feel the heavyweights have been lit up by him following his victorious night time in Dusseldorf a number of years again however that basically modified the scene, so that you’ve acquired to present him credit score for that. How I outline pound-for-pound, it’s that how that boxer would be capable of compete at different weights and I feel when you noticed Tyson at a decrease weight, along with his boxing mind, he’d cope at any weight class. A worthy point out, for a fighter who I don’t suppose has acquired the pound-for-pound credit score he deserves is Mairis Briedis. Lots of people can be saying Usyk is pound-for-pound primary however it is a man who many noticed him forward towards Usyk and gave him the struggle of his life. He additionally, received the World Boxing Tremendous Sequence beating all the most effective cruiserweights on the earth and suppose that’s one other expert boxer, who deserves a high 10 place.”


“For me pound-for-pound is extra of a fantasy subject. It’s actually not a query that has a definitive proper reply. I have a look at degree of opposition in addition to probably the quantity of championships a fighter has. My high man is Crawford for that reason.  Mockingly I favor Spence to beat him face to face on account of being larger and stronger nonetheless by way of general resume its laborious to high Crawford when what he’s accomplished by the burden courses and the way he’s accomplished it.”


“That is a straightforward reply for me. It’s clearly Oleksandr Usyk. He’s a extremely embellished newbie and Olympic Gold medalist who moved into the professionals and rapidly received the cruiserweight title in simply his tenth struggle. Then he went on to unify all of the cruiser titles in his 14th and fifteenth fights. After devastating just about each identify within the cruiserweight division, he moved as much as heavyweight, took simply two matches to get accustomed to the upper weight, after which took three of the heavyweight titles from Anthony Joshua, who was thought of to be the category of the division on the time.  I actually don’t understand how a fighter can do greater than that. However Usyk has plans to attempt. As soon as he provides his compulsory rematch to Joshua, Usyk goals to right away unify all the heavyweight titles in a match with Fury. He has the large newbie document and professional success in a number of weight courses. He unified all of the cruiserweight titles in simply his fifteenth struggle after which went on to upset a well-established heavyweight champion in underneath 20 fights. His accomplishments are wonderful.  And all with no single loss. On high of that, Usyk received his titles by beating Glowacki in Gdańsk, Briedis in Riga, Gassiev in Moscow and Joshua in London! Beat each man in his house city. Who even tries that? (aside from Sergey Kovalev in fact!) He additionally confronted Chisora and Bellew in London, Huck in Germany and Hunter and Witherspoon within the US. He hasn’t had the house benefit in a single struggle because the finish of 2015. That to me speaks volumes. He has received each struggle since he started his title run with out ever having the consolation of an adoring, vociferous crowd and pleasant judges. No presents on the playing cards. No controversial endings. Simply strong wins each time in probably the most hostile circumstances. That, to me, is what pound for pound is all about. Or no less than it must be. Usyk has been my pound-for-pound No. 1 since he beat Joshua.”


“Canelo is No. 1 pound-for-pound for me. He has fought a few of the finest in so many various weight classes and likewise has received many world titles. He continues to be the most important boxing attraction and highest paid boxer.”

Questions and/or feedback will be despatched to Anson at [email protected] and you’ll comply with him on [email protected]



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