We’ve had a few significant fights since World in Sport’s first Top 20 P4P list at the end of last year. IBF featherweight champion Josh Warrington decisively beat Carl Frampton on December 22nd to propel him into my rankings at #18. The unbeaten Warrington will look to unify with another 126lb titlist this year.
A week prior to Warrington’s big win, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez became a three-division world champion when he knocked out Rocky Fielding in just three rounds to pick up the WBA super middleweight title. Canelo remains at #3 on my 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.
* = Fighter has fought since last rankings.
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 (x2), 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 ▲ Josh Warrington (GBR)* | 28-0-0 previously unranked
Notable Wins: Hisashi Amagasa, Kiko Martinez, Lee Selby, Carl Frampton
19 ▼ Jarrett Hurd (USA) | 23-0-0
Notable Wins: Tony Harrison, Austin Trout, Erislandy Lara
20 ▼ Regis Prograis (USA) | 23-0-0
Notable Wins: Joel Diaz Jr., Julius Indongo, Juan Jose Velasco, Terry Flanagan
Dropped from list: Miguel Berchelt (#20)
Future Hall of Famer Manny Pacquiao will face four-division champ Adrien Broner on January 19th. A good performance against Broner would most likely put Pacquiao in my Top 20 rankings.
WBA ‘super’ welterweight champion Keith Thurman will defend his title against Josesito Lopez on January 26th. The fight will be Thurman’s first since 2017, and should he come out victorious, he will be included in my P4P rankings. Also, #12 ranked fighter Eleider Alvarez will rematch veteran Sergey Kovalev on February 2nd. Alvarez stopped Kovalev in seven rounds in August of 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.