Inside The Independent’s Pound-for-Pound Boxing Rankings: Who Reigns Supreme?


The past few years have seen heavyweight epics for the ages between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder, they have seen Saul “Canelo” Alvarez establish himself as the face of the sport in the eyes of many fans, and they have seen frequent displays of technical brilliance from champions in lighter weight classes.

There have been upsets, title unifications, and there has been no shortage of drama – Anthony Joshua’s defeats by Andy Ruiz Jr and Oleksandr Usyk standing out as prime examples.

All of these fights and results have factored into The Independent’s own top 10, pound-for-pound rankings for men’s boxers, to be updated monthly.

While there is no exact science to putting together lists such as this, a number of factors have been considered in making the rankings, including each fighter’s overall record, recent record, level of activity and calibre of opposition.

The Independent’s pound-for-pound rankings


10. Juan Francisco Estrada (44-3, 28 KOs)

The diminutive Mexican is a two-weight world champion, having obtained the WBA super-flyweight title with his split-decision victory over Roman Gonzalez in March 2021. That win saw Estrada, 33, avenge a 2012 defeat by “Chocolatito”, but its narrow nature meant the old rivals were set to rematch last March, until Estrada had to withdraw due to Covid symptoms. Estrada has since outpointed Argi Cortes and triumphed in his delayed trilogy bout with “Chocolatito” in December, winning a close fight by majority decision. His creative use of angles is one of his standout attributes, making him a fun watch each time out.

9. Vasiliy Lomachenko (17-3, 11 KOs)

The Ukrainian southpaw (one of two on this list…) saw off Jorge Linares in 2018 to become a three-weight title holder, before adding further belts with notable wins against the likes of Luke Campbell and Jose Pedraza. “Loma” was somewhat surprisingly beaten by Teofimo Lopez in 2020, but the 35-year-old bounced back with three straight wins to maintain his status as one of the best boxers in the world. The two-time Olympic champion is in the twilight of his career now, which only made his terrific showing against the next fighter on this list even more impressive. Lomachenko came up narrowly short, but many observers felt that he had won.

8. Devin Haney (30-0, 15 knockouts)

The unbeaten American entered our list following his second straight clinic against George Kambosos Jr. Haney eased to a unanimous-decision win against the Australian on Kambosos’ home turf in June 2022 to become undisputed champion at lightweight, before retaining that status in the pair’s rematch in October – also in Melbourne. Prior to those clashes, Kambosos Jr was undefeated. At just 24 years old, the best is still ahead of Haney, though he must learn from his most recent bout, with Lomachenko in May. It was a fight that Haney won, but not without controversy.


7. Dmitry Bivol (21-0, 11 KOs)

Entered our list in May 2022, following his stunning victory over Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. The Russian remained unbeaten and retained the WBA light-heavyweight title with that result, which he achieved by fighting on the front foot, picking his shots wisely, and almost doubling the output of his opponent. Bivol, 32, won by two points on all three judges’ scorecards, though the margins should have been much wider. A clinical showing that raised the Russian’s profile immensely and likely sets up a rematch with Canelo down the line. Before that, though, Bivol was tasked with getting past the unbeaten Gilberto Ramirez in November. Bivol won on points with an aggressive and sharp performance, which saw him rise from ninth to seventh on our list.

6. Tyson Fury (33-0-1, 24 KOs)

Has eclipsed Anthony Joshua as the household name in British boxing. Fury, 34, returned to the sport in 2018 after three years off due to a long struggle with his mental health. Since then, he has established himself as one of the greatest heavyweights of all time, dethroning Deontay Wilder to become WBC champion in the pair’s 2020 rematch, having controversially drawn with the American in their first clash, in 2018.

5. Errol Spence Jr (28-0, 22 KOs)

The American has not been the most active fighter in recent years, but he has been slowly building a fine resume. Spence Jr holds impressive wins against the likes of Shawn Porter, Mikey Garcia, Danny Garcia and Carlos Ocampo. The southpaw stopped the latter, as well as notably finishing Kell Brook on the Briton’s home turf earlier in his career, and a cancelled clash with Manny Pacquiao would surely have built up Spence even further had it come to fruition.

4. Terence Crawford (39-0, 30 KOs)

The WBO welterweight champion has one of the most impressive resumes in the sport, and it just keeps getting better. Four of the American’s last 10 opponents were undefeated before facing him, and all 10 were stopped by Crawford – who has a tremendous number of knockout and TKO victories to his name. Wins against big-name boxers Brook and Porter in 2020 and 2021 further enhanced the 35-year-old’s profile, especially his victory over the latter, before Crawford stopped David Avanesyan in December 2022. Next up? Spence in late July.


3. Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez (59-2-2, 39 KOs)

In the 10 years since his loss to Floyd Mayweather, the Mexican has established himself as the face of boxing, with wins against Erislandy Lara, Miguel Cotto, Amir Khan, Gennadiy Golovkin, Daniel Jacobs, Billy Joe Saunders and many more of note. The effectiveness of the 32-year-old’s counter-punching, slickness of his head movement and beauty of his body work make him a joy to watch.

2. Oleksandr Usyk (20-0, 13 KOs)

Was the only ever undisputed cruiserweight champion of the four-belt era before moving up to heavyweight, where he became WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO champion in 2021 by outpointing Anthony Joshua with relative ease. The Ukrainian, 36, is undefeated and most recently beat Joshua on points a second time to retain his heavyweight titles and climb two spots here. The southpaw, an Olympic gold medalist, is as technical and awkward as they come in the heavier weight classes, making a potential match-up with Fury an intriguing prospect – though that bout collapsed this spring. Next up for Usyk is mandatory challenger Daniel Dubois in mid-August.

1. Naoya Inoue (25-0, 22 KOs)

One of the lesser-known names on this list to the more casual fan, the Japanese does not lack in prowess what he may lack in profile. Inoue has the best stoppage percentage of any fighter on this list, part of what makes him such an exciting athlete to watch – along with his effortless evasiveness, brutal body attacks, and frightening level of output.


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