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Boxing's Best P4P List Continues to Change

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  • Boxing's Best P4P List Continues to Change

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    By Ted Sares

    1. Vasiliy “Hi-Tech” Lomachenko. Lightweight 13-1-0 (10 KOs): The ageless Lomachenko recently KOd a normally difficult-to-KO Anthony Crolla but injured his middle knuckle in the process. The injury may have revealed the only weakness this uniquely skilled fighter has; namely, being injury prone. That said, sooner or later he will need to fight Gervonta “Tank” Davis and/or Teofimo Lopez to cement his status as Number One. An expected win over England’s Luke Campbell in an expected title bout won’t accomplish that.

    2. Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. Middleweight 52-1-2 (34 KOs): A grizzled, albeit unmarked veteran with an old school record but still young (28) puts him firmly in the second spot and a red hair away from number one. His two close matches with Gennady Golovkin answered many questions. Undefeated Rocky Fielding was quickly dispatched and his subsequent workmanlike decision over a huge Danny Jacobs affirmed his all-around skills, especially defensive ones. The A-Side who now calls the shots, he is fast approaching “legendary” status in Mexico and that’s some status. 3.

    3. Terence “Bud” Crawford Jr. Welterweight 35-0-0 (26 KOs): Many think he should be number one, but others think he is caught up with having no viable opposition. A match with Errol Spence would be a mega fight and would answer the lingering question as to who is better. Meanwhile, stoppage wins over a taunting Jose Benavidez, Jr and aging Amir Khan have solidified his stature.

    4. Earl The Truth” Spence Jr. Welterweight 25-0-0 (21 KOs): His UD over Mikey Garcia was so dominant some thought he might have been holding back in the last two rounds. Whatever the case, his upstairs-downstairs work is something to behold and hiding behind that innocent All-American exterior is a mean streak once the bell rings. Bud Crawford should be in his destiny and then we will know, and if Spence should win, a fight with Canelo could be as BIG as big can get.

    5. Gennady “GGG” Golovkin. Middleweight 38-1-1 (34 KOs): New trainer Johnathan Banks hopes to turbo charge Gennady while Father Time lurks. Little-known Canadian fighter Steve Rolls will be his next opponent and most likely his next victim, but GGG will need a bigger scalp to move up on this list. Meanwhile, Rolls says, “When I beat Golovkin, that will be life-changing money…And once I’m victorious, it’s going to be like hitting the Super Lotto.” Uh huh.

    6. Oleksandr Usyk. Moving to Heavyweight 16-0-0 (11 KOs): Another outstanding Ukrainian fighter associated with Egis Klimas management and who possesses superb technical skills. Unfortunately, his first heavyweight test against former world title challenger Carlos Takam has been cancelled due to a bicep injury, but his most recent crunching KO of Tony Bellew keeps him securely on the list. “He’s a great big champion and I lost to a fine man,” Bellew said of Usyk after their fight.

    7. Naoya “Monster” Inoue. Bantamweight 17-0-0 (15 KOs): This practitioner of shock-type knockouts has moved up on the list and is becoming extremely popular among global boxing fans, as he has produced highlight reel material in almost every fight. He will be “tested” by undefeated Emmanuel Rodriguez (19-0) shortly in Glasgow, Scotland, and if things go as expected, he likely will become a global road warrior showcasing his exciting stuff outside of Japan. In other words, follow the money.

    8. Oleksandr “The Nail” Gvozdyk. Light heavyweight 17-0-0 (14 KOs): He did not impress in his last fight against Doudou Ngumbo but that was more the fault of Ngumbo than “The Nail,” as the native of the Democratic Republic Of The Congo proved to be a runner and ran himself into a bad leg injury. The skilled Ukrainian—almost a redundancy in boxing-- is now trained by Teddy Atlas and the two seem to have a positive symbiosis going. The light heavyweight division is chockfull of Eastern European talent and as the best fight the best in exciting matchups, it will sort itself out.

    9. Anthony “AJ” Joshua. Heavyweight 22-0-0 (20 KOs): Continues to be the best of the heavyweights but Tyson Fury is breathing down his neck. His last win over Alexander Povetkin was impressive but his next fight is with Andy Ruiz Jr and the risk -reward is not in AJ’s favor as he will be a prohibitive favorite. However, like Mayweather Jr, and Canelo, Joshua continues to be an “event fighter,” providing his opponents the rare opportunity to earn an early retirement payday.

    10. Artur Beterbiev. Light Heavyweight 14-0 (14 KOs):This heavy-handed Russian who fights out of Canada and has a savvy team behind him has stopped each of his 14 opponents and is building toward a showdown with comebacking Sergey Kovalev who most recently avenged his shocking loss to Eleider Alvarez. Scott Christ of BLH nails it: “Beterbiev is -- how should I put this? -- an educated mauler with terrific close range power.”

    Others

    There is no room for sentiment in boxing. Thus, lists can be unforgiving and that’s the case with lightweight Mikey Garcia (39-1, 30 KOs) and junior bantamweight Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (47-5-1, 41 KOs) who lost in their last fights.

    Fast ascending super lightweight Regis Prograis has the right blend of talent and charisma to make a big splash, as does Teofimo Lopez. Light heavyweight Dmitry Bivol lacks the charisma but not the talent.

    Manny Pacquiao fans will demand to know why he is not on the list, but if he fights and beats Keith Thurman, he will quickly earn a spot. Tevin Farmer, Gervonta Davis, Shakur Stevenson, the Charlo twins, Demetrius Andrade, Jarrett Hurd, and Keith Thurman have Americans piqued with interest. Billy Joe Saunders can make waves but he must stay out of trouble. Talented Callum Smith and Josh Warrington have hit the scene. Thai minimum weight Wanheng Menayothin is 52-0 and it’s getting more difficult to ignore him as he continues to win and win.

    Juan Francisco Estrada (39-3) has Mexican fans excited as do Daniel Roman, Miguel Berchelt, Rey Vargas, and Leo Santa Cruz.

    An argument could be made for the inclusion of Pinoy slickster Donnie Nietes (42-1-5), but then an argument could be made for his exclusion.

    Lists are subject to sharp criticism and attack and this one is no exception. Have at it.

    Ted Sares is one of the world’s oldest active full power lifters and Strongman competitors. He is a lifetime member of Ring 10, and Ring 4’s Boxing Hall of Fame. He also is an Auxiliary Member of the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA).

    Check out more boxing news on video at The Boxing Channel

  • #2
    It's hard to argue against the injury inclined Lomachenko as #1 P4P but Canelo has a solid case for the spot as the most accomplished elite fighter in all of boxing with a quality of competition level that nobody can come close to touching. And that includes Lomachenko whose opponents have not exactly been slouches. Spence a little high here for me. #TooSoon

    Comment


    • Kid Blast
      Kid Blast commented
      Editing a comment
      Good sound comments.................

  • #3
    I've got no beef with this list. A few years from now, in my opinion, Spence Jr. will be higher.

    Comment


    • Kid Blast
      Kid Blast commented
      Editing a comment
      Agreed...................

  • #4
    Had lunch with KO Digest today in North Conway, NH.

    Comment


    • #5
      I had breakfast of champions with Ted The Bull 🥞🥓🍳

      Comment


      • Kid Blast
        Kid Blast commented
        Editing a comment
        KO is 6'11" I was expecting a little guy!!!!

    • #6
      You ate like a bird, me like a bull. 🥓🥞🍳

      Comment


      • #7
        Pound for pound lists are always tricky and open to a lot of debate. Glad to see this one compiled here and can't disagree with any of the reasoning.

        Me personally, I do have Usyk ranked higher. I think he has gotten overlooked some due to recency bias. Just my opinion and like I said can't really disagree with any of the logic in the comments in this list.

        Comment


        • Kid Blast
          Kid Blast commented
          Editing a comment
          Thanks Matt. Coming from you, that is reassuring.

      • #8
        Technically Ted we were in Glen, NH.

        Eat Free or Die! 😎

        Comment


        • Kid Blast
          Kid Blast commented
          Editing a comment
          Ha. Technically, we were in Bartlett. Glen is a part of Bartlett.

          EAT FREE OR DIE.

      • #9
        The Sunrise Shack ☀️ is a top P4P spot for TSS writers! 😎✍️

        #EatFreeORDie

        Comment


        • #10

          Good article, Ted.


          IMO--Bivol deserves a mention. Andas of last night, so does Julian Williams.

          Peter [Wood]


          PS -- I would post this on TSS, but I don't seem to be able to post there.

          Comment


          • Kid Blast
            Kid Blast commented
            Editing a comment
            Fine article. I am trying to sign up so I can make a comment.

            Tex Hasller
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