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Pound-for-pound: Terence Crawford bolsters claim to top spot

Terence Crawford made the decision process easy.

Crawford and Naoya Inoue entered the past week at Nos. 1 and 2 on the Boxing Junkie pound-for-pound list. And both were scheduled to fight, Inoue vs. Stephen Fulton on Tuesday and Crawford vs. Errol Spence Jr. on Saturday.

When Inoue turned in a sensational, virtually flawless performance against the then-unified 122-pound titleholder – stopping him in eight rounds – we thought we might have a new No. 1.

And Spence, No. 4 last week, had a chance to ascend to the top if he turned in a dominating performance against the top man.

Well, in the end, Crawford made our decision for us. He turned in a performance for the ages, embarrassing one of the best fighters in the world by putting him down three times before finally knocking him out in Round 9 to become the greatest 147-pounder of his era.

“Bud” was every bit as good as Inoue and he beat a better fighter than Inoue did, which bolstered his position atop our list.

Crawford’s convincing victory also helped justify Boxing Junkie’s decision to stick with him as our No. 1 fighter since the website came into being in the fall of 2019. Other outlets went with Canelo Alvarez or, more recently, Inoue or Oleksandr Usyk.

We always believed Crawford was the best. And he made us look good on Saturday.

Of course, pound-for-pound is subjective. Some will go with Inoue even now after what everyone witnessed on Tuesday, which one could argue is a reasonable move. We’re comfortable with Crawford topping our list, though. He was never better than he was on Saturday.

What about Spence? Losses come with consequences.

He had to take a tumble after losing such a one-sided fight. The question was, how far? We decided on No. 10, lifting up Nos. 5-10 (going into the weekend) Dmitry Bivol, Tyson Fury, Juan Francisco Estrada, Alvarez, Jermell Charlo and Gervonta Davis one notch each.

Why not drop Spence farther down the list? Consider who he lost to, the best fighter in the world. That had to be factored in.

And, finally, Fulton, an Honorable Mention last week, drops out. He was replaced by unbeaten 112-pounder Sunny Edwards of England, who enters as an Honorable Mention.

Next pound-for-pounder up: No. 3 Usyk is scheduled to defend his three heavyweight titles against Daniel Dubois on Aug. 26 in Poland.

Here’s what the list looks like at the moment:

BOXING JUNKIE
POUND-FOR-POUND

  1. Terence Crawford – No fight scheduled.

  2. Naoya Inoue – No fight scheduled.

  3. Oleksandr Usyk – Scheduled to defend his three heavyweight titles against Daniel Dubois on Aug. 26 in Poland.

  4. Dmitry Bivol – No fight scheduled.

  5. Tyson Fury – Scheduled to face MMA star Francis Ngannou in a boxing match on Oct. 28 in Saudi Arabia.

  6. Juan Francisco Estrada – No fight scheduled.

  7. Canelo Alvarez– Scheduled to defend his 168-pound titles against Jermell Charlo on Sept. 30.

  8. Jermell Charlo – Scheduled to challenge 168-pound champion Canelo Alvarez on Sept. 30.

  9. Gervonta Davis – No fight scheduled.

  10. Errol Spence Jr. – No fight scheduled.

  11. Vasiliy Lomachenko – No fight scheduled.

  12. Artur Beterbiev – Title defense against Callum Smith, scheduled for Aug. 19, was postponed because Beterbiev has a bone infection. No new date has been announced.

  13. Shakur Stevenson – No fight scheduled.

  14. Roman Gonzalez  No fight scheduled.

  15. Devin Haney – Reportedly in talks to challenge 140-pound titleholder Regis Prograis on Oct. 28 but no announcement has been made.

Honorable mention (alphabetical order): David Benavidez (no fight scheduled); Jermall Charlo (no fight scheduled); Sunny Edwards (reportedly will face Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez in a 112-pound title-unification bout in December but no announcement has been made); Kazuto Ioka (no fight scheduled); Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez (reportedly will face Sunny Edwards in a 112-pound title-unification bout in December but no announcement has been made).

Story originally appeared on Boxing Junkie