Here are the Top 20 pound-for-pound boxers in the world for February:
WBC featherweight titlist Gary Russell Jr. enters our rankings at #19 after defeating the tough, previously-undefeated Tugstsogt Nyambayar on February the 8th by unanimous decision. A week after that, IBF super-middleweight champ Caleb Plant dominated challenger Vincent Feigenbutz, stopping him in the tenth round. Plant is a solid, undefeated champ who could be one quality win from cracking the Top 20.
This past Saturday, Tyson Fury became the new WBC and The Ring magazine heavyweight champion, knocking out Deontay Wilder in the seventh round to remain undefeated. The one-sided victory not only established Fury as the best heavyweight on the planet, but it cemented his “pound-for-pound” status. Fury jumps up to #9 on our list, while Wilder drops out of the Top 20, if only for the time being.
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 ▲ Tyson Fury (GBR)* | 30-0-1
Notable Wins: Dereck Chisora (x2), Christian Hammer, Wladimir Klitschko, Deontay Wilder
10 ▼ Leo Santa Cruz (MEX) | 37-1-1
Notable Wins: Abner Mares (x2), Kiko Martinez, Carl Frampton
11 ▼ Juan Francisco Estrada (MEX) | 39-3-0
Notable Wins: Brian Viloria, Giovani Segura, Carlos Cuadras, Srisaket Sor Rungvisai
12 ▼ Daniel Jacobs (USA) | 36-3-0
Notable Wins: Sergio Mora (x2), Peter Quillin, Maciej Sulecki, Sergiy Derevyanchenko
13 ▲ Callum Smith (GBR) | 25-0-0
Notable Wins: Erik Skoglund, Nieky Holzken, George Groves, John Ryder
14 ▲ Anthony Joshua (GBR) | 23-1-0
Notable Wins: Dillian Whyte, Wladimir Klitschko, Alexander Povetkin, Andy Ruiz Jr.
15 ▲ Manny Pacquiao (PHL) | 62-7-2
Notable Wins: Timothy Bradley (x2), Jessie Vargas, Adrien Broner, Keith Thurman
16 ▲ Josh Taylor (GBR) | 16-0-0
Notable Wins: Ohara Davies, Viktor Postol, Ivan Baranchyk, Regis Prograis
17 ▲ Shawn Porter (USA) | 30-3-1
Notable Wins: Adrien Broner, Andre Berto, Danny Garcia, Yordenis Ugas
18 ▲ Josh Warrington (GBR) | 29-0-0
Notable Wins: Kiko Martinez, Lee Selby, Carl Frampton, Kid Galahad
19 ▲ Gary Russell Jr.* (USA) | 31-1-0
Notable Wins: Oscar Escandon, Joseph Diaz, Kiko Martinez, Tugstsogt Nyambayar
20 ▬ Gervonta Davis (USA) | 23-0-0
Notable Wins: Jose Pedraza, Jesus Cuellar, Francisco Fonseca, Yuriorkis Gamboa
Dropped from list: Deontay Wilder (13)
On February 29th, Mikey Garcia (#8) will take on former welterweight champ Jessie Vargas in Frisco, TX. The fight will be Garcia’s second straight welterweight bout and his first since losing to Errol Spence Jr. last year.
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.