Top four pound-for-pound boxers hail from across the globe

William Li and Anikait Koppaka

Since Floyd Mayweather’s retirement in 2015, boxing’s pound-for-pound king has been heavily disputed. Several fighters are currently battling to become the world’s greatest boxer. Without further ado, here’s my top four greatest pound-for-pound boxers of today.

1. Saul “Canelo” Alvarez

Mexico’s Saul “Canelo” Alvarez has taken the boxing world by storm in the past couple of years. With Floyd Mayweather retiring a couple years ago, boxing has its new poster boy. He’s the golden boy, recently having signed a $365 million contract with DAZN. Much like Mayweather, Canelo faces his own criticism despite his greatness in the ring. He has his fair share of scandals including a positive PED test and a couple controversial decisions against fellow middleweight Gennady Golovkin. Despite these nicks in Canelo’s reputation, nobody can deny his phenomenal boxing prowess. Alvarez posts a 52-1-2 with his only loss to an all-time great Floyd Mayweather at the young age of twenty-three. Before this loss, he was known as the typical boxer-puncher, coming forward with a solid chin and heavy hands. However after his fight with Mayweather, he seems to have adopted much of his attributes and integrated them into his style seamlessly. He is still the aggressive puncher he was before, but he now also possesses slick defense. In his last fight against Daniel Jacobs, a top three middleweight, he showed his ability to school even the best. He slipped punches with his hands down while applying constant pressure over the taller and heavier Jacobs. However, despite his stacked and voluminous resume, many fail to recognize him as a top pound-for-pound fighter. His next fight against Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev could potentially get him the respect he deserves, but it seems that every quality fighter he defeats is not good enough. Whether these criticisms are warranted or not is yet to be seen, but in my eyes there’s nobody who passes the resume and eye test better than Canelo.

  1. Vasyl Lomachenko

As most people’s choice for the pound-for-pound number one, Vasyl Lomachenko has crashed into the boxing scene following a dominant amateur career. Boasting an impressive 396-1 record, his only loss avenged twice, in the amateurs including two Olympic gold medals for the Ukraine, “Loma” had one of the most anticipated pro debuts ever. Lomachenko lived up to the hype, easily handling his pro competition and gaining a reputation for making his opponents quit during the fight. With a seemingly unimpressive 14-1 record, there’s more to his resume than what meets the eye. His first loss was taken in just his second fight, which was for a world title. And in this fight, there is almost unanimous consensus that Lomachenko won and was robbed by the referee ignoring blatant fouls that his opponent Salido was committing. However, “Loma” didn’t let this early loss demoralize him. He immediately bounced back and fought Gary Russell Jr., the top featherweight at the time, to win the same title he missed out on against Salido. Since his loss, it has been pure domination. Nicknamed “The Matrix” he shows off his revolutionary footwork and insanely quick reflexes. This is all thanks to his boxing mastermind of a trainer, and father, Anatoly Lomachenko. At four-years-old, Anatoly began crafting arguably the most skilled fighter of all time. Vasyl boxed for five years and then his father pulled him out of boxing so he could dance for four years to work on a more graceful art. This four years proved to be incredibly important because now, he possesses some of the greatest footwork of all time. The only reason Vasyl is not first on my list is because of his short resume. Canelo has fought the more challenging opponents in his career that is eight years longer than Lomachenko. As for the future, he’s due for a unification fight and can become the undisputed champion of the lightweight division in 2020, which would be enough to convince me to move him to first place.

  1. Naoya Inoue

The pound-for-pound boxer you’ve never heard of, Japan’s bantamweight Naoya Inoue has knocked out eight straight top tier opponents. With otherworldly power and slick boxing skills to complement, he has begun to cement himself as one of boxing’s new young stars. Easily running through the top competition in three different weight classes, the sky’s the limit for Inoue. He is the complete package with lightning-quick speed, explosive power, pinpoint punching accuracy, and sound fundamentals. Inoue’s stock has continued to trend upwards with each crushing knockout, forcing the boxing community to pay attention to “The Monster.” The only thing holding Inoue back from moving up the pound-for-pound ranks is his competition. He’s fought his way through three weight classes, winning belts in each, but none of these weight classes are nearly as talented as the divisions his pound-for-pound competitors face. Japan’s Inoue will be facing his greatest challenge of his young career fighting southpaw legend Nonito Donaire on Nov. 7, 2019, allowing us to better assess the rising star’s pound-for-pound status. Inoue is the future of boxing, being a consensus top five pound-for-pound fighter at just twenty-five years old.

  1. Errol Spence

Dallas native Errol Spence has seen a slow rise to the top of the welterweight ranks. Sporting a respectable amateur resume winning the U.S. National Golden Gloves in 2009, and representing the U.S. in the Olympics in 2012, Spence’s leap to the top was no surprise. Using a devastating body attack, Spence suffocates his opponents with constant pressure. A win over Brit Kell Brook in 2017 to capture his first world title put Spence in the limelight as a formidable contender in the welterweight division. Despite being seen as a power punching brawler, Spence put his boxing abilities on display last March against Mikey Garcia in their highly anticipated bout. He stuck Garcia with his jab the whole fight and kept up a solid defense, winning him the fight by a wide margin. He will face his next test in a unification fight with Shawn Porter, which will be his biggest fight to date and will be a true test of Spence’s skills. While many consider Spence and Terence Crawford to be the top dogs at the welterweight division, it’s Spence who has fought the more challenging opponents. He hopes to solidify his standing as the number one welterweight with a decisive win over Shawn Porter.