Here is World in Sport’s updated pound-for-pound rankings for December to finish up a great year in boxing. Anthony Joshua reclaimed his heavyweight titles in Saudi Arabia with a unanimous decision win over Andy Ruiz Jr. Top P4P fighter Terence Crawford stopped worthy challenger Egidijus Kavaliauskas in the ninth round to remain undefeated. Former middleweight champion Daniel Jacobs defeated Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. after the latter quit following the fifth round due to injury. Most recently, 25-year-old Gervonta Davis became a two-division champion when he knocked out Yuriorkis Gamboa in Round 12 to pick up the WBA (regular) lightweight strap.
Crawford and Jacobs hold their spot in the rankings. Anthony Joshua moves up to #15, the spot previously filled by Andy Ruiz, who drops from our rankings. Gervonta Davis enters the Top 20 with the solid victory (in a second weight class) over a former world champion. Though he did not perform as well as many had expected, Davis still dominated his opponent and finished him.
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.
* = Fighter has fought since last rankings.
1 ▬ Terence Crawford* (USA) | 36-0-0
Notable Wins: Yuriorkis Gamboa, Viktor Postol, Jeff Horn, Amir Khan
2 ▬ Vasyl Lomachenko (UKR) | 13-1-0
Notable Wins: Gary Russell Jr., Nicholas Walters, Guillermo Rigondeaux, Jorge Linares
3 ▬ Saul Alvarez (MEX) | 53-1-2
Notable Wins: Erislandy Lara, Gennady Golovkin, Daniel Jacobs, Sergey Kovalev
4 ▬ Oleksandr Usyk (UKR) | 17-0-0
Notable Wins: Krzysztof Glowacki, Mairis Briedis, Murat Gassiev, Tony Bellew
5 ▬ Naoya Inoue (JPN) | 19-0-0
Notable Wins: Jamie McDonnell, Juan Carlos Payano, Emmanuel Rodriguez, Nonito Donaire
6 ▬ Errol Spence Jr. (USA) | 25-0-0
Notable Wins: Kell Brook, Lamont Peterson, Mikey Garcia, Shawn Porter
7 ▬ Gennady Golovkin (KAZ) | 40-1-1
Notable Wins: Martin Murray, David Lemieux, Daniel Jacobs, Sergiy Derevyanchenko
8 ▬ Mikey Garcia (USA) | 39-1-0
Notable Wins: Orlando Salido, Adrien Broner, Sergey Lipinets, Robert Easter Jr.
9 ▬ Leo Santa Cruz (MEX) | 37-1-1
Notable Wins: Abner Mares (x2), Kiko Martinez, Carl Frampton
10 ▬ Juan Francisco Estrada (MEX) | 39-3-0
Notable Wins: Brian Viloria, Giovani Segura, Carlos Cuadras, Srisaket Sor Rungvisai
11 ▬ Daniel Jacobs* (USA) | 36-3-0
Notable Wins: Sergio Mora (x2), Peter Quillin, Maciej Sulecki, Sergiy Derevyanchenko
12 ▬ Tyson Fury (GBR) | 29-0-1
Notable Wins: Steve Cunningham, Dereck Chisora (x2), Christian Hammer, Wladimir Klitschko
13 ▬ Deontay Wilder (USA) | 42-0-1
Notable Wins: Bermane Stiverne (x2), Artur Szpilka, Gerald Washington, Luis Ortiz (x2)
14 ▬ Callum Smith (GBR) | 25-0-0
Notable Wins: Erik Skoglund, Nieky Holzken, George Groves, John Ryder
15 ▲ Anthony Joshua* (GBR) | 23-1-0
Notable Wins: Dillian Whyte, Wladimir Klitschko, Alexander Povetkin, Andy Ruiz Jr.
16 ▼ Manny Pacquiao (PHL) | 62-7-2
Notable Wins: Timothy Bradley (x2), Jessie Vargas, Lucas Matthysse, Adrien Broner
17 ▲ Josh Taylor (GBR) | 16-0-0
Notable Wins: Ohara Davies, Viktor Postol, Ivan Baranchyk, Regis Prograis
18 ▲ Shawn Porter (USA) | 30-3-1
Notable Wins: Adrien Broner, Andre Berto, Danny Garcia, Yordenis Ugas
19 ▲ Josh Warrington (GBR) | 29-0-0
Notable Wins: Kiko Martinez, Lee Selby, Carl Frampton, Kid Galahad
20 ▲ Gervonta Davis* (USA) | 23-0-0
Notable Wins: Jose Pedraza, Jesus Cuellar, Francisco Fonseca, Yuriorkis Gamboa
Dropped from list: Andy Ruiz Jr. (15)
There are no significant fights with pound-for-pound implications (at last on our list) on the schedule for January.
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.