Yahoo Sports boxing pound-for-pound rankings: Naoya Inoue enters top 3

Kevin Iole
·Combat columnist
·2 min read
(Paul Rosales/Yahoo Sports)
(Paul Rosales/Yahoo Sports)

Every so often, I’ll post my 10 choices for the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world. To understand this, it helps to understand what pound-for-pound means. To me, and the way I’ll be voting, it’s who would win a fight if everyone weighed the same and all of their skills and physical attributes were proportional. For example, if I’m considering a flyweight who is a murderous puncher in his division, I will assume he’d be a murderous puncher in every division, punching proportionally as hard at heavyweight as he did at flyweight.

I will value activity and quality of opposition over inactivity and lighter opposition. That said, I will not arbitrarily remove a fighter from my Top 10 if there is a logical and rational reason why he hasn’t fought. But I will not vote for someone who has been inactive for a lengthy period for no apparent reason. Fighters who are under doping suspensions will not be included.

Boxing pound-for-pound rankings as of Nov. 2

1) Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (53-1-2, 36 KOs), WBC “franchise” and WBA middleweight champion, WBA “regular” super middleweight champion. Previous Ranking: 1

2) Terence “Bud” Crawford (36-0, 27 KOs), WBO welterweight champion. PR: 2

3) Naoya Inoue (20-0, 17 KOs), IBF-WBA bantamweight champion. PR: 4

4) Errol Spence Jr. (26-0, 21 KOs), IBF-WBC welterweight champion. PR: 3

5) Teofimo Lopez (16-0, 12 KOs), WBC “franchise” and IBF-WBA-WBO lightweight champion. PR: 5

6) Vasiliy Lomachenko (14-2, 10 KOs), lightweight contender. PR: 7

7) Manny Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs), WBA welterweight champion. PR: 8

8) Oleksandr Usyk (18-0, 14 KOs), heavyweight contender. PR: 6

9) Artur Beterbiev (15-0, 15 KOs), IBF-WBC light heavyweight champion. PR: 8

10) Shakur Stevenson (14-0, 8 KOs), junior lightweight contender. PR: 9