April was a big month for boxing. Three of the best fighters in the world (World in Sport’s Top 3 P4P) fought and won. Vasyl Lomachenko crushed British challenger Anthony Crolla in four rounds, Terence Crawford dominated Amir Khan to earn a sixth round stoppage victory, and Canelo Alvarez won a close decision over elite middleweight Daniel Jacobs to collect his third belt at 160. Also, Srisaket Sor Rungvisai lost by unanimous decision to Juan Francisco Estrada.
Because all of the Top 3 won this past month, they remain in the same order at the top of the list. Canelo’s win over Jacobs was big, but he did not dominate enough (though he clearly won) to warrant him moving up. However, things are really close, and one more significant win could put Alvarez in my Top 2. Sor Rungvisai drops from #10 to #19, and Estrada enters the rankings all the way up at #11. I decided to keep Danny Jacobs at #12, as he fought a close, competitive fight against the #3 boxer.
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) | 35-0-0
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) | 52-1-2
Notable Wins: Erislandy Lara, Miguel Cotto, Gennady Golovkin, Daniel Jacobs
4 ▬ Oleksandr Usyk (UKR) | 16-0-0
Notable Wins: Krzysztof Glowacki, Mairis Briedis, Murat Gassiev, Tony Bellew
5 ▬ Gennady Golovkin (KAZ) | 38-1-1
Notable Wins: Martin Murray, David Lemieux, Kell Brook, Daniel Jacobs
6 ▬ Mikey Garcia (USA) | 39-0-0
Notable Wins: Orlando Salido, Adrien Broner, Sergey Lipinets, Robert Easter Jr.
7 ▬ Errol Spence Jr. (USA) | 24-0-0
Notable Wins: Chris Algieri, Kell Brook, Lamont Peterson, Mikey Garcia
8 ▬ Naoya Inoue (JPN) | 17-0-0
Notable Wins: Omar Narvaez, Kohei Kono, Jamie McDonnell, Juan Carlos Payano
9 ▬ Leo Santa Cruz (MEX) | 35-1-1
Notable Wins: Abner Mares (x2), Kiko Martinez, Carl Frampton
10 ▲ Anthony Joshua (GBR) | 22-0-0
Notable Wins: Dillian Whyte, Wladimir Klitschko, Joseph Parker, Alexander Povetkin
11 ▲ Juan Francisco Estrada* (MEX) | 39-3-0
Notable Wins: Brian Viloria, Giovani Segura, Carlos Cuadras, Srisaket Sor Rungvisai
12 ▬ Daniel Jacobs* (USA) | 35-2-0
Notable Wins: Sergio Mora (x2), Peter Quillin, Maciej Sulecki, Sergiy Derevyanchenko
13 ▬ Tyson Fury (GBR) | 27-0-1
Notable Wins: Steve Cunningham, Dereck Chisora (x2), Christian Hammer, Wladimir Klitschko
14 ▬ Callum Smith (GBR) | 25-0-0
Notable Wins: Rocky Fielding, Erik Skoglund, Nieky Holzken, George Groves
15 ▬ Deontay Wilder (USA) | 40-0-1
Notable Wins: Bermane Stiverne (x2), Artur Szpilka, Gerald Washington, Luis Ortiz
16 ▬ Keith Thurman (USA) | 29-0-0
Notable Wins: Jesus Soto Karass, Robert Guerrero, Shawn Porter, Danny Garcia
17 ▬ Shawn Porter (USA) | 30-2-1
Notable Wins: Adrien Broner, Andre Berto, Danny Garcia, Yordenis Ugas
18 ▬ Manny Pacquiao (PHL) | 61-7-2
Notable Wins: Timothy Bradley (x2), Jessie Vargas, Lucas Matthysse, Adrien Broner
19 ▼ Srisaket Sor Rungvisai* (THA) | 47-5-1
Notable Wins: Roman Gonzalez (x2), Juan Francisco Estrada, Iran Diaz
20 ▼ Josh Warrington (GBR) | 28-0-0
Notable Wins: Hisashi Amagasa, Kiko Martinez, Lee Selby, Carl Frampton
Dropped from list: Sergey Kovalev (20)
On Saturday, May 18th, Naoya Inoue (#8) will take on Emmanuel Rodriguez in the semi-finals of the World Boxing Super Series for the WBA and IBF bantamweight titles. Also on the 18th, Deontay Wilder (#15) will defend his WBC heavyweight title against Dominic Breazeale. Coming up on June 1st, Anthony Joshua (#10) will defend his WBA “super”/WBO/IBF/IBO heavyweight titles against Andy Ruiz Jr.
Two heavyweight champions fight within the next month, and we will also see the explosive Naoya Inoue in the WBSS. What are the odds that all three fights end in a knockout? Visit World in Sport throughout the coming weeks as we preview each bout.
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.