The boxing landscape is arguably more intriguing than ever before.

The past few years have seen heavyweight epics for the ages in between. Tyson’s Fury and Deontay Wilder have seen Saul “Canelo” Alvarez establish himself as the face of the sport in the eyes of many fans, and they have seen champions in the lighterweight classes often show their technical prowess.

There have been woes, title merges and no shortage of drama – Anthony Joshua’s defeat to Andy Ruiz Jr. and Oleksandr Usik stand out as prime examples.

All these struggles and results, Independent‘s top 10 pound rankings for men’s boxers, updated monthly.

While it’s not an exact science to put together lists like this, a number of factors are taken into account when ranking, including each fighter’s overall track record, final track record, activity level, and opposition caliber.

Independent’s ranking by weight

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

Juan Francisco Estrada celebrates his 2017 win against Carlos Cuadras

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The tiny Mexican is a two-weight world champion who secured the WBA superweight title in a split-decision victory over Roman Gonzalez in March 2021. The tight build meant that former rivals were set for a rematch last March until Estrada had to withdraw due to Covid symptoms. Estrada has since outpaced Argi Cortes and won the belated trilogy match against “Chocolatito” in December, winning a close fight by majority decision. Its creative use of angles is one of its standout features that make it a fun watch every time.

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

Vasily Lomachenko (left) during his fight with Devin Haney in May

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The Ukrainian left-handed (one of the two on this list…) saw Jorge Linares for a three-weight title in 2018, before adding other titles with significant wins against the likes of Luke Campbell and Jose Pedraza. “Loma” was surprisingly defeated by Teofimo Lopez in 2020, but the 35-year-old has bounced back with three consecutive wins to maintain his status as one of the best boxers in the world. The two-time Olympic champion is currently in the twilight of her career and that’s just her great showdown against the next fighter on this list even more impressive. Lomachenko was narrowly behind, but many observers felt he had won.

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

Devin Haney (right) prevailed by unanimous decision in two fights against George Kambosos Jr in 2022.

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The undefeated American made our list after him. Second straight clinic against George Kambosos Jr.. Haney relieved to a unanimous win against Australia On the field of Kambosos in June He will be the undisputed champion in 2022 lightweight, before retaining that status in the couple’s rematch in October – also in Melbourne. Before these clashes, Kambosos Jr was undefeated. Haney, just 24, should learn from his last game with Lomachenko in May, but the best is still ahead of Haney. It was a fight Haney won, but not without controversy..

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

Dmitry Bivol beats Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez for a stunning win

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After that, it entered our list in May 2022. Stunning victory over Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. The Russian was undefeated and retained his WBA light-heavyweight title as he fought on the forefoot, chose his shots wisely and nearly doubled his opponent’s output. Bivol, 32, won by two points on all three judges’ scorecards when the margins should have been much wider. A clinical demonstration that raised the profile of the Russian player immensely and possibly resulted in a rematch with Canelo. But before that, Bivol was tasked with passing the undefeated Gilberto Ramirez in November. Bivol scored with an aggressive and sharp performance that rose from ninth to seventh on our list.

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

Tyson Fury after stopping Deontay Wilder again in a heavy saga in 2021

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Anthony overshadowed Joshua the House name in British boxing. Fury, 34, returned to the sport in 2018 after a three-year hiatus due to a long struggle with his mental health. He has since established himself as one of the greatest heavyweights of all time, dethroning Deontay Wilder, who controversially tied the American in their first match in 2018, to become the WBC champion in the 2020 rematch.

In October 2021, Fury stopped Wilder for the second consecutive fight to retain the belt, and did so again in April. knocking out Dillian Whyte with ease and once again in December Derek Chisora’s late stop. An inventive fighter with extraordinary resilience and heart in the ring, Fury has previously held WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO titles and is looking for ways to regain those titles in a fight against Oleksandr Usyk this spring. However, the fight that would have crowned an undisputed heavyweight champion failed.

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

Errol Spence Jr leaves AT&T Stadium with another welterweight belt

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The American hasn’t been the most active fighter in recent years, but he’s slowly building a good resume. Spence Jr has impressive wins against players like Shawn Porter, Mikey Garcia, Danny Garcia and Carlos Ocampo. Southpaw stopped the latter and, especially early in his career, finished Kell Brook at the Briton’s home court, and an aborted shootout with Manny Pacquiao would have certainly improved Spence further if it had borne fruit.

The 33-year-old player defeated Yordenis Ugas 2-0 in the final timeout. Savagely in the eye of Cuba, picking up another welterweight belt and in the process, we are increasing our rankings. If he can ramp up his activity, Spence will likely continue to climb here, especially since it’s a long-awaited meeting. Terence Crawford passes and Spence can win…

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

Terence Crawford stopped Shawn Porter to stay undefeated in November 2021

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The WBO heavyweight 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 had an enormous number of knockouts and TKO victories to his name. His wins against famous boxers Brook and Porter in 2020 and 2021 have further cemented the 35-year-old’s profile, particularly his victory over the latter before Crawford stopped David Avanesyan in December 2022.

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

Saul Alvarez after his withholding win over Caleb Plant in 2021

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In the 10 years since losing to Floyd Mayweather, the Mexican has established himself as the face of boxing with notable wins from Erislandy Lara, Miguel Cotto, Amir Khan, Gennadiy Golovkin, Daniel Jacobs, Billy Joe Saunders and more. The efficiency of the 32-year-old’s counter punches, the smoothness of his head movements and the beauty of his bodywork are a pleasure to watch.

Detractors will point to Alvarez’s 2018 clenbuterol controversy and the fact that several of his victories came with controversial scorecards. Fans will have more confidence in Canelo’s admirable level of activity and the large number of formidable enemies he has fought and defeated. His three victories in 2021 – all pauses – finally saw him become boxing’s first undisputed super middleweight champion. The Mexican, who has titles in four weight classes, failed to add a second light-heavyweight title to his collection. surpassed by the undefeated Russian Bivol in May 2022.

To the surprise of some fans, the result was Canelo’s second defeat in his professional career and dropped from #1 to #4 on our chart. He rebounded in a decisive point win over his aging rival, Golovkin., but this result proved little at this point and saw only one rank climb here. The ambitious Mexican later defended the super middleweight belts against John Ryder in Guadalajara. Leaving the Briton on their way to a decision win this sees him staying at number 3.

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

Oleksandr Usyk (left) beat Anthony Joshua twice in a row.

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He was the undisputed champion of the four-generation era before transitioning to heavyweight, where he surpassed Anthony Joshua with relative ease and became the WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO champion in 2021. 36-year-old Ukrainian undefeated and the latest Beat Joshua by points for second time to defend heavyweight titles and climb two points here. The Olympic gold medalist left-handed is just as technical and clumsy in the heavyweight classes as he is, making a possible encounter with Fury an intriguing prospect – even though that game crashed this spring.

1. Naoya Inoue (24-0, 21 KOs)

Naoya Inoue (left) stops Paul Butler on Round 11 in December

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One of the lesser-known names to the more casual fans on this list, the Japanese isn’t without the guts that might be missing from his profile.

Inoue has the best stopping percentage of all fighters on this list. In June, he lived up to the nickname “The Beast” once again. hollowing out Nonito Donaire in the rematchnarrowly outstripped the Filipino in their first fight.

With his second victory over Donaire, Inoue added the WBC belt to his collection of bantamweight titles and also rose to the top of the list at #5. He stopped Paul Butler in the 11th round in December To take the WBO belt and become the undisputed champion and the first boxer in Asia to hold four world titles in one weight class at the same time.

The three-weight world champions have a lot ahead of them, including a transition to super bantamweight in July, when he will challenge unified champion Stephen Fulton.

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