Boxing is at an interesting point in its history now. There are a lot of quality fighters, more than there have been at any point in the last 20 or 25 years, perhaps.
It’s a tough task to squeeze all of them into the pound-for-pound Top 10. Gervonta Davis held down the 10th position in the Yahoo Sports P4P rankings last month, but a good performance by Artur Beterbiev in London on Jan. 28 knocked Davis out of his position.
Beterbiev improved to 19-0 with 19 knockouts when he stopped Anthony Yarde in London. I pushed him up slightly ahead of Davis because I felt Beterbiev had faced better competition and had a 100 percent knockout rate.
There are at least six, maybe more, fighters who are both talented enough and accomplished enough to be ranked in the Top 10 pound-for-pound yet find themselves on the outside looking in.
Last month, I mentioned Beterbiev, Jermell Charlo, Stephen Fulton, Joshua Franco, Juan Francisco Estrada, Vasiliy Lomachenko and Jesse Rodriguez as fighters who were considered for the 10th spot. In addition to Davis, I should have added Regis Prograis, David Benavidez, Caleb Plant, Josh Taylor and Kazuko Ioka to those considered.
It’s a good time for boxing fans. The key is to get the fights made.
Boxing pound-for-pound rankings as of Feb. 14
Terence Crawford (39-0, 30 KOs), WBO welterweight champion. Previous Ranking: 1
Naoya Inoue (24-0, 21 KOs), Undisputed bantamweight champion. Previous Ranking: 2
Oleksandr Usyk (20-0, 13 KOs), IBF-WBA-WBO heavyweight champion. Previous Ranking: 3
Canelo Alvarez (58-2-2, 39 KOs), Undisputed super middleweight champion. Previous Ranking: 4
Errol Spence Jr. (28-0, 22 KOs), IBF-WBA-WBC welterweight champion. Previous Ranking: 5
Shakur Stevenson (19-0, 9 KOs), Lightweight contender. Previous Ranking: 6
Devin Haney (29-0, 15 KOs), Undisputed lightweight champion. Previous Ranking: 7
Tyson Fury (33-0-1, 24 KOs), WBC heavyweight champion. Previous Ranking: 8
Dmitry Bivol (21-0, 11 KOs), WBA light heavyweight champion. Previous Ranking: 9
Artur Beterbiev (19-0, 19 KOs), Unified light heavyweight champion. Previous ranking: NR