By, oh, the fourth round of his defense of the undisputed middleweight championship on Saturday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas against Jermell Charlo, there was never any doubt that Canelo Alvarez would move up in the Yahoo Sports pound-for-pound ranking of the world’s finest boxers.
The question that one had to mull was how far he’d go up. After a rocky period in which he lost to Dmitry Bivol and then seemed in decline against John Ryder, Alvarez was the brilliant and fearless fighter we’ve come to have known over the years in dismantling Charlo.
As good as he looked, he wasn’t as sensational as Terence Crawford was in unifying all of the welterweight belts in the same ring on July 29 against Errol Spence. Crawford destroyed Spence and put a frightful beating on him before stopping him in the ninth round
Nor was he as impressive as Naoya Inoue, who unified all of the bantamweight belts in December and then on July 25 blew out Stephen Fulton to win two of the super bantamweight titles.
Unified heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk is third, and it didn’t seem right to drop him. He won the undisputed cruiserweight title, moved to heavyweight and has won three of the four belts. He’ll bid for all of them when he meets Tyson Fury either in December or January in a bout in which both men have already signed.
Shakur Stevenson was fourth, and while it says here that it’s not going to be long before he’s first on all of the lists like this one, it’s not that time yet. I bumped Alvarez from six to four because, as Alvarez said, “I’m back.”
There were no changes from seven down.
Below is the most recent pound-for-pound rankings. Given that several of them will fight again before the year is out, things could change. That top group, though, looks extremely good.
Pound for pound rankings as of Oct. 2, 2023
1. Terence Crawford (40-0, 31 KOs), Undisputed welterweight champion. Previous Ranking: 1.
2. Naoya Inoue (25-0, 22 KOs), WBC-WBO super bantamweight champion. Previous Ranking: 2.
3. Oleksandr Usyk (20-0, 13 KOs), IBF-WBA-WBO heavyweight champion. Previous Ranking: 3.
4. Canelo Alvarez (60-2-2, 39 KOs), Undisputed super middleweight champion. Previous Ranking: 6.
5. Shakur Stevenson (19-0, 9 KOs), Lightweight contender. Previous Ranking: 4.
6. Gervonta Davis (29-0, 27 KOs) Secondary WBA lightweight champion. Previous Ranking: 5.
7. Tyson Fury (33-0-1, 24 KOs), WBC heavyweight champion. Previous Ranking: 7.
8. Dmitry Bivol (21-0, 11 KOs), WBA light heavyweight champion. Previous Ranking: 8.
9. Artur Beterbiev (19-0, 19 KOs), IBF-WBC-WBO light heavyweight champion. Previous Ranking: 9.
10. Errol Spence Jr. (28-1, 22 KOs), Welterweight contender. Previous Ranking: 10.