Ring Magazine “pound-for-pound” list, also known as the best fighters in boxing. It’s one of the most controversial lists in the sport. The fact that every boxing fan has their own opinion on who should be entitled for that list.
Some people rank fighters based on their resume, while others base the ranking on the manner of the boxer’s performances.
The Ring Magazine is the bible of Boxing for presenting. One of the official belts first published in 1922 as a boxing and wrestling magazine.
To this day they regularly release a pound-for-pound ranking to establish a consensus on who the best boxers are. The top five presented below are from the latest update of May 15th 2021.
1. Canelo Alvarez (WBA, WBC, WBO & Ring Magazine super middleweight champion)
Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez is the best fighter in the world today. He become a world champion in 4 different weight classes and being involved in 19 world championship fights. Starting at 15 years of age, he was able to acquire more boxing knowledge on a fight-by-fight basis.
By the age of 20 he beat Matthew Hatton to become a 154lb WBC champion. He subsequently challenged elite fighters such as Shane Mosely, Josesito Lopez & Austin Trout to unify the division.
After Canelo’s loss against Mayweather, he managed to enhance his skill level to a point where he considered unbeatable. He further cemented his position as the best fighter once beating the champion in the middleweight division in Gennady Golovkin.
2. Naoya Inoue (WBA, IBF & Ring Magazine Bantamweight champion)
Naoya ‘the monster’ Inoue is considered one of the most fearsome fighters in the world today. He was a decorated amateur back in Japan. Widely known for being a formidable puncher having amassed 48 KO’s in his 76 amateur wins. A record not seen in that level, knockouts are more difficult to come by.
‘With his explosive power and entrenched fundamentals, he was able to move up the professional ranks very quickly. He won world championship belts in 3 different weight classes within just 16 fights.
An established legacy in the WBSS final against 4-weight world champion Nonito Donaire in his 19th fight in 2019. He is recognized as one of boxing’s most gruesome punchers together alongside Deontay Wilder & Artur Beterbiev.
3. Terence Crawford (WBO Welterweight Champion)
Terence ‘Bud’ Crawford is the best American fighter today along side Errol Spence jr. Having accomplished a record that many fighters aspire to achieve.
Crawford won his first world title against 3-weight world champion Ricky Burns in the lightweight division. He made his first title defense against Olympic gold medalist unified world champion Yuriorkis Gamboa. Crawford as an underdog and is an elite level fighter. He knocked out the Cuban technician in round 9.
Due to his size he inevitably transitioned to light-welterweight and was able to unify the division by beating Thomas Durlorme & Viktor Postol.
During his undisputed fight against Julius Indongo he knocked him out in just 3 rounds to become the first male boxer to hold all four major belts at once since Jermaine Taylor in 2005.
Now being a WBO champion in the welterweight division after beating Jeff Horn in stylistic fashion, he is now one of the most avoided fighters in Boxing.
4. Oleksandr Usyk (Heavyweight Contender)
The 2012 Olympic gold medalist from Ukraine has had an outstanding amateur career finishing with a 335-15 record, and after the Klitschko brothers, him and Lomachenko were portrayed as the new superstars in Ukranian boxing. In Usyk’s 10th fight he beat Krzysztof Glowacki in Poland to become the fastest cruiserweight champion and beating the record of boxing legend Evander Holyfield.
Later on he entered the WBSS and was able to unify against every single champion on away territory to become the 4th boxer to simultaneously hold all four belts and the 1st in this division, to become the best cruiserweight in his era.
Usyk innately transitioned to the heavyweight division and challenged Chaz Witherspoon & Derek Chisora for hist first two bouts. Even though he won against both contenders, he does not seem as confident against the bigger challengers.
However, as a WBO mandatory, Usyk is very likely to challenge Anthony Joshua for the heavyweight title and could possibly come out victorious to become a 2-weight world champion.
5. Josh Taylor (Undisputed Light-welterweight Champion)
The Tartan Tornado just recently became the newest edition in the undisputed category having beaten the undefeated Mexican Jose Ramirez add the WBC & WBO titles to his collection.
It took Taylor just 18 fights to unify the division by beating the very best light-welterweights out there and is now the regarded as the best boxer coming out of the UK. He has the opportunity to move up to welterweight and challenge one of the champions and furthermore cement his legacy in that division.
This is the current ranking of the pound-for-pound list, but that list could change very swiftly as one single fight could make or break a boxers career and put them in positions where they never reach that pre-eminent status again.
Boxing is a very competitive environment with many talented individuals and everyone in those respective divisions would want to challenge these elite champions and be considered the greatest of their era.