Arguably, the boxing scene is as interesting as ever.
The past few years have seen heavyweight epics for the ages between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder, have seen Saul “Canelo” Alvarez establish himself as the face of the sport in the eyes of many fans, and have seen repeated displays of technical brilliance from champions in the lightweight classes.
There were upheavals, headliners consolidated, and there was no shortage of drama – Anthony Joshua’s defeats to Andy Ruiz Jr and Oleksandr Usyk stand out as prime examples.
All these fights and results were taken into account The IndependentTop 10 lbs. men’s boxers rankings, updated monthly.
Although there is no exact science to compiling lists like these, a number of factors are taken into account when making the rankings, including each fighter’s overall record, recent record, level of activity and level of opposition.
Independent ratings between sterling
10 – Juan Francisco Estrada (44-3, 28 KOs)
The diminutive Mexican is the world bantamweight champion, having captured the WBA super flyweight title by defeating Roman Gonzalez in March 2021. That victory saw Estrada, 32, avenge his 2012 defeat by “Chocolatito,” but this win’s narrow nature meant the challengers The old ones were about to return last March, until Estrada had to withdraw due to Covid symptoms. Since then, Estrada has outlasted Argi Cortes and prevailed in his postponed three-way match with “Chocolatito” in December, winning the close fight by majority decision. Its innovative use of angles is one of its standout features, which makes for fun viewing every time.
9. Devin Haney (29-0, 15 knockouts)
The undefeated American enters our list after his second consecutive clinic against George Camposos Jr. Haney managed a unanimous decision victory over the Australian on Camposos in June to become the undisputed lightweight champion, before retaining that position in a rematch. October – also in Melbourne. Prior to those clashes, Camposos Jr. was undefeated. At just 24 years old, the best is still ahead of Hani; As such, we expect him to move up in these ratings.
8 – Vasily Lomachenko (17-2, 11 KOs)
He was somewhat surprisingly beaten by former No. 10 holder, Teofimo Lopez, but the 34-year-old bounced back with three straight victories – most recently against Jamaine Ortiz – to maintain his status as one of the best boxers in the world. The Ukrainian Southpaw (one of two on this list…) beat Jorge Linares in 2018 to become the WBA Lightweight Champion and three-welterweight titleholder, before adding more belts with notable victories against the likes of Luke Campbell and Jose Pedraza.
7 – Dmitry Pivoll (21-0, 11 RB)
He entered our list in May 2022 with a stunning win over Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. The Russian remained undefeated and retained the WBA lightweight title with this score, which he achieved by fighting on the front foot, catching his shots wisely, and nearly doubling his opponent’s production. Bevol, 32, won by two points on all three judges’ scorecards, though the margins should have been much wider. A clinical display that greatly raised the Russian’s profile and potentially set up a rematch with Canelo further down the line. Prior to that, Bivol was tasked with overtaking undefeated Gilberto Ramírez in November. Bivol won the points with a strong and sharp performance that moved him up from ninth to seventh on our list.
6. Tyson Fury (33-0-1, 24 KOs)
It was overshadowed by Anthony Joshua K the A household name in British boxing. Fury, 34, returned to the sport in 2018 after three years off due to a long struggle with his mental health. Since then, he has established himself as one of the greatest heavyweights of all time, dethroning Deontay Wilder to become the 2020 WBC pair rematch champion, after controversially tying the American in their first encounter, in 2018.
In October 2021, Fury stopped Wilder for a second straight fight to retain the belt, which he did again in April by easily knocking out Dillian White and again in December with a late stoppage of Derek Chisora. A creative fighter who has shown impressive resilience and heart in the ring, Fury has previously held the WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO titles and will be looking to win them back in a possible showdown with Oleksandr Usyk in 2023. Such a fight would crown the undisputed heavyweight champion.
5. Errol Spence Jr. (28-0, 22 KOs)
The American has not been the most active fighter in recent years, but he has been slowly building an impressive resume. Spence Jr. has racked up impressive wins against the likes of Shawn Porter, Mikey Garcia, Danny Garcia and Carlos Ocampo. Stopping the latter Southpaw, as well as finishing Kell Brook on the home turf of the Brit earlier in his career, the canceled showdown with Manny Pacquiao would have certainly built Spence up even more had it paid off.
Last time out, the 32-year-old took down Yordenis Ugas by gouging the Cuban’s eye, collecting another middleweight belt and raising our ratings in the process. If he can ramp it up, Spence will likely only continue to climb here, especially if a long-awaited meeting with Terrence Crawford happens and Spence manages to win…
4 – Terrence Crawford (39-0, 30 checkpoints)
The WBO welterweight champion has one of the most impressive resumes in the sport, and it just keeps getting better. Four of the Americans’ last 10 challengers before facing him were undefeated, and Crawford stopped all 10 – who has a massive number of knockouts and TKO wins to his name. Victories against famed boxers Brock and Porter in 2020 and 2021 boosted the 35-year-old’s profile, especially his victory over the latter, before Crawford suspended David Avanesian in December 2022.
3 – Saul Canelo Alvarez (58-2-2, 39 KOs)
In the 10 years since his loss to Floyd Mayweather, the Mexican has established himself as the face of boxing, with victories over Irislandy Lara, Miguel Cotto, Amir Khan, Gennady Golovkin, Daniel Jacobs, Billy Joe Saunders, and many more. The 32-year-old’s counter-striking effectiveness, the smoothness of his head movement and the beauty of his body work make him a delight to watch.
Detractors will point to Alvarez’s clenbuterol controversy in 2018 and the fact that some of his victories have come via controversial scorecards. Supporters will give more credence to Canelo’s impressive level of activity and the large number of formidable foes he has fought and defeated. His three wins in 2021 – all stops – saw him eventually become boxing’s first undisputed middleweight champion. The reigning champion in four weight classes, the Mexican failed to add a second light heavyweight title to his collection when he was pinned by undefeated Russia’s Bevol in May 2022.
That result, which surprised a number of fans, marked the second defeat of Canelo’s professional career and saw him drop from No. 1 on our list to No. 4. At this point I’ve only seen him climb one spot here. The aspiring Mexican should go into a rematch with Bevol soon.
2 – Oleksandr Usyk (20-0, 13 points)
He was the sole undisputed cruiserweight champion in the four-belt era before moving up to heavyweight, becoming the WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO champion in 2021 by dethroning Anthony Joshua with relative ease. The 35-year-old Ukrainian is undefeated and last beat Joshua on points for the second time to retain his heavyweight title and move up two places here. Southpaw, an Olympic gold medalist, is as technical and awkward as they come in the heavyweight classes, making a possible matchup with Fury an intriguing prospect.
1 – Naoya Inoue (24-0, 21 points)
One of the lesser-known names on this list for the casual fan, Japanese doesn’t lack the finesse he might lack in profile.
Inoue has the best stopping ratio of any fighter on this list, which is part of what makes him such an exciting fighter to watch – along with his effortless dribbling, brutal body attacks, and fearsome production level. In June, “The Beast” lived up to his nickname once again by disemboweling Nonito Donaire in a rematch, after narrowly outboxing the Filipinos in their first fight.
With this second victory over Donaire, Inoue added the WBC belt to his collection of bantamweight titles, also climbing to the top of this list from No. 5. He then stopped the 29-year-old Paul Butler in the 11th round in December to take the WBO belt and become the undefeated champion. Controversial – and the first Asian boxer to hold four world titles in a weight category at once.
There isn’t much left for the three-weight world champion to do, including a planned move up to super bantamweight after that.
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