Huge fights like Canelo vs. GGG 2 and Wilder vs. Fury headlined a great year for boxing.
What better way to finish 2018 than with World in Sport’s first Top 20 P4P list?
My list is based on a number of factors, ranked below by order of importance:
- 1: Resume – Has he dominated his division? How has he performed against top competition?
- 2: Ability – How special is he in the ring? Is he one-dimensional or well-rounded?
- 3: Weight – Has he moved up in weight with success? Slight bias towards the more competitive divisions.
- 4: Potential – Is the fighter on the decline, or can he get even better?
- 5: Activity – Fighter must have fought at least once within the past year.
1 ▬ Terence Crawford (USA) | 34-0-0
Notable Wins: Yuriorkis Gamboa, Viktor Postol, Julius Indongo, Jeff Horn
2 ▬ Vasyl Lomachenko (UKR) | 12-1-0
Notable Wins: Gary Russell Jr., Nicholas Walters, Guillermo Rigondeaux, Jorge Linares
3 ▬ Saul Alvarez (MEX) | 50-1-2
Notable Wins: Austin Trout, Erislandy Lara, Miguel Cotto, Gennady Golovkin
4 ▬ Mikey Garcia (USA) | 39-0-0
Notable Wins: Orlando Salido, Adrien Broner, Sergey Lipinets, Robert Easter Jr.
5 ▬ Oleksandr Usyk (UKR) | 16-0-0
Notable Wins: Krzysztof Glowacki, Mairis Briedis, Murat Gassiev, Tony Bellew
6 ▬ Gennady Golovkin (KAZ) | 38-1-1
Notable Wins: Martin Murray, David Lemieux, Kell Brook, Daniel Jacobs
7 ▬ Naoya Inoue (JPN) | 17-0-0
Notable Wins: Omar Narvaez, Kohei Kono, Jamie McDonnell, Juan Carlos Payano
8 ▬ Leo Santa Cruz (MEX) | 35-1-1
Notable Wins: Abner Mares (x2), Kiko Martinez, Carl Frampton
9 ▬ Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (THA) | 47-4-1
Notable Wins: Roman Gonzalez (x2), Juan Francisco Estrada, Iran Diaz
10 ▬ Errol Spence Jr. (USA) | 24-0-0
Notable Wins: Chris van Heerden, Chris Algieri, Kell Brook, Lamont Peterson
11 ▬ Anthony Joshua (GBR) | 22-0-0
Notable Wins: Dillian Whyte, Wladimir Klitschko, Joseph Parker, Alexander Povetkin
12 ▬ Eleider Alvarez (COL) | 24-0-0
Notable Wins: Isaac Chilemba, Lucian Bute, Jean Pascal, Sergey Kovalev
13 ▬ Daniel Jacobs (USA) | 35-2-0
Notable Wins: Sergio Mora (x2), Peter Quillin, Maciej Sulecki, Sergiy Derevyanchenko
14 ▬ Shawn Porter (USA) | 29-2-1
Notable Wins: Adrien Broner, Andre Berto, Adrian Granados, Danny Garcia
15 ▬ Tyson Fury (GBR) | 27-0-1
Notable Wins: Steve Cunningham, Dereck Chisora, Christian Hammer, Wladimir Klitschko
16 ▬ Callum Smith (GBR) | 25-0-0
Notable Wins: Rocky Fielding, Erik Skoglund, Nieky Holzken, George Groves
17 ▬ Deontay Wilder (USA) | 40-0-1
Notable Wins: Bermane Stiverne (x2), Artur Szpilka, Gerald Washington, Luis Ortiz
18 ▬ Jarrett Hurd (USA) | 23-0-0
Notable Wins: Tony Harrison, Austin Trout, Erislandy Lara
19 ▬ Regis Prograis (USA) | 23-0-0
Notable Wins: Joel Diaz Jr., Julius Indongo, Juan Jose Velasco, Terry Flanagan
20 ▬ Miguel Berchelt (MEX) | 35-1-0
Notable Wins: Francisco Vargas, Takashi Miura, Jonathan Victor Barros, Miguel Roman
WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford tops my list, having dominated since moving up to 147. Just behind Crawford is Vasyl Lomachenko, who unified the WBA and WBO lightweight titles this past Saturday with a unanimous decision win over Jose Pedraza. Mexican superstar Saul “Canelo” Alvarez slides in at number three after defeating former middleweight king Gennady Golovkin by majority decision, who I have at six (although many, including myself, scored things differently than the judges). Four-division world champion Mikey Garcia and undisputed cruiserweight champ Oleksandr Usyk round out my top five.
Three heavyweights made my list. At eleven sits WBA, WBO, and IBF champion Anthony Joshua, who clearly has the best resume of the three. Lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury is at fifteen a couple spots ahead of WBC titleholder Deontay Wilder; the two fought to a controversial draw earlier this month, though most thought the UK’s Fury deserved the victory.
Comparing fighters across different weight classes is mostly subjective, and everybody has their own opinion. Comment below with who you think deserves to be on the list.