B/R Boxing Pound-for-Pound Rankings: May 2024 (2024)

B/R Boxing Pound-for-Pound Rankings: May 2024

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    B/R Boxing Pound-for-Pound Rankings: May 2024 (1)

    Al Bello/Getty Images

    Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to boxing season.

    Though it doesn't run on a league-constructed calendar like its non-combat brethren, the sweet science most definitely has an uptick in activity around this time each year.

    The upcoming Cinco de Mayo weekend will yield another almost annual appearance by super middleweight king and undisputed Mexican superstar Canelo Alvarez, while Japanese-based "Monster" Naoya Inoue takes to the ring two days later, followed in two weeks by an eagerly anticipated unification of the heavyweight division.

    And it comes on the heels of the pay-per-view shocker in which Ryan Garcia upset 140-pound champ Devin Haney but was subsequently popped with two failed drug tests.

    It's the sort of flurry that sends the B/R staff into a bobbing and weaving frenzy and we've taken advantage of the buzz to compile another in our series of monthly pound-for-pound rankings pieces. We've discussed the fighters among ourselves and also consulted respected sources like The Ring and others to come up with a definitive top-10 collection.

    Take a look at what we came up with and drop a thought of your own in the comments.

10. Shakur Stevenson

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    B/R Boxing Pound-for-Pound Rankings: May 2024 (2)

    Steve Marcus/Getty Images

    Weight Class: 135 pounds

    Major Titles Held: WBC

    It's official. The B/R staff's on-again/off-again thing for Shakur Stevenson is, thanks to Devin Haney's surprise loss to Ryan Garcia last month, back on again.

    Stevenson is the WBC's lightweight champ and hasn't really come close to losing across 21 fights since turning pro in 2017 but the decidedly nonviolent nature of his fights don't exactly leave the fans or list-compilers begging for more.

    A would-be July date with sixth-ranked contender Artem Harutyunyan isn't likely to change much, but a series of fights with other young stars from 135 to 147 could.

    Until then, he's on the fringes.

9. Tyson Fury

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    Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

    Weight Class: Heavyweight

    Major Titles Held: WBC

    If you're Tyson Fury and you want to erase the ugly taste of a closer-than-it-should-have-been duel with ring newbie Francis Ngannou, what do you do?

    Well, transforming his body on the way to the rescheduled date for a unification with heavyweight rival Oleksandr Usyk is the tack the British champ has taken and the video footage he's released on social media seems to indicate he's ready for battle.

    Given his size and presumably strength advantages over the former 200-pound champ, it'll be incumbent upon Fury to have the gas tank to press the action for as long as needed.

    And if he wins big, he won't stay at No. 9 for too long.

8. Teofimo Lopez

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    B/R Boxing Pound-for-Pound Rankings: May 2024 (4)

    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    Weight Class: 140 pounds

    Major Titles Held: WBO

    Just when it seemed like Devin Haney was the fight for Teofimo Lopez to make at 140 pounds, Haney gets squashed and Ryan Garcia moves to center stage.

    Of course, Garcia's drug tests have brought a cloud to the proceedings but if the innocence he's proclaiming turns out to be legit, a fight with Lopez makes a lot of sense.

    They're the two most recognizable and chattiest fighters at or near the weight class and they've each had the other's name in his mouth, with Lopez issuing the most recent challenge to engage sometime before the end of 2024.

    "It doesn't necessarily have to be in my weight class; it could be a catchweight," Lopez told Punsh Drunk Boxing, "so we don't have to have any problems moving forward."

7. Gervonta Davis

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    B/R Boxing Pound-for-Pound Rankings: May 2024 (5)

    Set Number: X164350 TK1

    Weight Class: 135 pounds

    Major Titles Held: WBA

    Remember Gervonta Davis?

    It's been more than a year since the Baltimore-based "Tank" has been in the ring, but his pay-per-view thrashing of Ryan Garcia has aged well given "KingRy's" demolition of Devin Haney.

    Davis is set to return in mid-June against Frank Martin and it won't be a soft touch, but a victory there will provide a career-enhancement opportunity in the form of a Garcia rematch presuming all fighters remain on the active list going forward.

    Garcia has been quick to call for a re-do with Davis since whipping Haney.

    "Everyone wanna talk about the little stupid Tank," he said on X (formerly Twitter). "Let's fight. (Enough) of that funny talk. Come see me at 144 and (let's) stop the talk. If you beat Frank, let's run it."

6. Artur Beterbiev

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    Mathieu Belanger/Getty Images

    Weight Class: 175 pounds

    Major Titles Held: IBF, WBC, WBO

    There are rivalries. There are callouts. And then there are fights.

    Fortunately, Artur Beterbiev will get his chance in the latter in a few weeks.

    The three-belt light heavyweight claimant will meet one-belt contemporary Dmitry Bivol on June 1 in Saudi Arabia in a duel that'll mean a top-half pound-for-pound slot for the winner and a career rebuild for the loser.

    Beterbiev arrives as the puncher thanks to a perfect KO rate in his 20 wins, including nine straight title fights covering 67 rounds (7.44 rounds apiece).

    "I see another belt. I'm collecting belts and I need one more," he said at a recent press conference. "I'm not thinking (about Bivol), I will prepare for this fight and try to be ready 100%."

5. Dmitry Bivol

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    Richard Pelham/Getty Images

    Weight Class: 175 pounds

    Major Titles Held: WBA

    And here's the other side of the light heavyweight coin.

    Dmitry Bivol isn't the fearsome puncher that Artur Beterbiev is, but his skill set has been just as competitively successful while yielding 22 straight victories, nearly all but wide margins.

    His clinical defeat of Canelo Alvarez is the highest-profile achievement either man has secured, though unifying the division and perhaps setting up an Alvarez rematch would be quite a feather in the cap as well.

    "(Beterbiev) is powerful and it makes me more excited to fight this guy because I love challenges. I love to be tested and this fight is a huge test for me," Bivol said at a recent press conference. "I have good skills, I just believe in my skills."

4. Canelo Alvarez

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    B/R Boxing Pound-for-Pound Rankings: May 2024 (8)

    Sarah Stier/Getty Images

    Weight Class: 168 pounds

    Major Titles Held: IBF, WBA, WBC, WBO

    The six degrees of Canelo Alvarez leads to, well...Canelo Alvarez.

    The cinnamon-haired superstar returns to the ring on Saturday in Las Vegas and he's piqued interest not only in the fight against Jaime Munguia, but also with a verbal barrage against former promoter and mentor Oscar De La Hoya.

    De La Hoya was Alvarez's lead hype man for years and now works with Munguia, who's a former champ at 154 and unbeaten in 43 fights with 34 KOs.

    Alvarez and De La Hoya had to be separated during a recent press conference in which the fighter claimed the promoter is stealing money from clients.

    "Whoever is with him, please get your lawyers involved because he is surely stealing from you," Alvarez said. "That is the only thing he comes to do. He is only here to steal Jaime Munguia's attention; he doesn't come to promote him."

3. Terence Crawford

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    B/R Boxing Pound-for-Pound Rankings: May 2024 (9)

    Al Bello/Getty Images

    Weight Class: 147 pounds

    Major Titles Held: WBA, WBC, WBO

    Terence Crawford has never lost in a ring while ranking up titles in three (so far) weight classes and stopping 31 of 40 opponents.

    His stock has slipped since last July's thrashing of Errol Spence Jr., though, not because of declining skills but simply because he's not been active enough. That could change quickly come early August when Crawford is set to vie for his fourth divisional title against WBA 154-pound claimant Israil Madrimov at BMO Stadium in Los Angeles.

    Madrimov has fought just 11 times as a pro and is a prohibitive underdog against Crawford, who has been installed as a -600 pick by DraftKings. Presuming the fight goes according to chalk, "Bud" will have legitimate reason to believe regaining the top spot is warranted.

2. Oleksandr Usyk

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    B/R Boxing Pound-for-Pound Rankings: May 2024 (10)

    Gabriel Kuchta/Getty Images

    Weight Class: Heavyweight

    Major Titles Held: IBF, WBA, WBO

    Of course, if Crawford is expecting a quick return to the top of the charts, Oleksandr Usyk may have a thing or two to say about it.

    The unbeaten Ukrainian is just more than two weeks away from his Saudi Arabian date with Tyson Fury to unify the heavyweight division for the first time since Lennox Lewis.

    And though Usyk is shorter and will likely be far lighter than Fury on fight night, he's still essentially a pick'em proposition according to DraftKings, where it'll take a $110 wager on him to return a $100 profit.

    That's quite the endorsem*nt for the 37-year-old, who's 21-0 overall and 5-0 with two KOs (including 3-0 in title fights) since a full-time move from cruiserweight in 2019.

1. Naoya Inoue

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    Toru Hanai/Getty Images

    Weight Class: 122 pounds

    Major Titles Held: IBF, WBA, WBC, WBO

    We've saved the best for last. Because in terms of active, successful and ambitious fighters, no one these days compares to Naoya Inoue.

    It's hard to believe the lighter-weight "Monster" is just 31 given all that he's accomplished, including titles in four weight classes and undisputed in two of them. All while winning 26 straight fights and allowing only three foes to hear a final bell.

    His next turn in the spotlight comes early next week when he faces hard-hitting former champ Luis Nery in a first defense of his four belts at 122 pounds.

    Inoue acquired the belts across two fights in 2023, splattering Stephen Fulton Jr. in eight rounds and finishing Marlon Tapales in 10. Only two fighters have lasted the 12-round distance with him, and the most recent one, Nonito Donaire, was squashed in two in a rematch.

    As long as he keeps winning at such a high level, it's his No. 1 position to lose.

B/R Boxing Pound-for-Pound Rankings: May 2024 (2024)


Was Mike Tyson pound for pound? ›

Boxing magazine The Ring began naming the top 10 pound for pound boxers in 1989. The first #1 pound for pound fighter was heavyweight champion Mike Tyson. To reduce the number of tables, a table is only added if there are changes in the rankings. For WBA titles, only titles in the primary champion lineage are listed.

What is the meaning of pound for pound? ›

Pound for pound is a ranking used in combat sports, such as boxing, wrestling, or mixed martial arts, of who the better fighters are irrespective of their weight, i.e. adjusted to compensate for weight class.

What does "pound for pound" mean on Reddit? ›

It means that one person is stronger than the other, relative to their weight.

Who is the hardest puncher in boxing history pound-for-pound? ›

Mike Tyson, Tommy Hearns, George Foreman and Felix Trinidad have all worn this mythical crown in the past: the title of the hardest pound-for-pound puncher in all of boxing. But – fortunately for the chins of modern fighters – those human wrecking machines have all retired.

Why is 1 called a pound? ›

Encyclopædia Britannica states the (pre-Norman) Anglo-Saxon kingdoms had silver coins called sterlings and that the compound noun pound sterling was derived from a pound (weight) of these sterlings.

Why is the pound so valuable? ›

The value of the pound is directly affected by the Bank of England's choices on interest rates and monetary policy. Higher interest rates frequently draw foreign money seeking greater profits on GBP-denominated assets.

Why is it called 1 pound? ›

The British pound has its origins in continental Europe under the Roman era. Its name derives from the Latin word "poundus" meaning "weight". The £ symbol comes from an ornate L in Libra. The pound was a unit of currency as early as 775AD in Anglo-Saxon England, equivalent to 1 pound weight of silver.

What is fly weight in boxing? ›

Flyweight is a class in boxing which includes fighters weighing up to and including 51 kg (112 lb) for a title fight.

What does it mean to be the best pound for pound fighter? ›

Pound for Pound Explained

The phrase, when applied to fighters, refers to a hypothetical comparison of athletes from different weight classes to determine who is the most skilled or accomplished relative to their weight. In essence, it aims to identify the best overall fighter, irrespective of size or weight category.

What does best pound for pound mean in boxing? ›

'Pound for Pound' meaning

Pound-For-Pound, or P4P, is a ranking system used typically in combat sports as a way to compare fighters across the entirety of their respective sport regardless of weight class. It is usually put forth in list form with “Top 10” being the most popular.

Does pound mean to beat? ›

[intransitive, transitive] to hit something or someone hard many times, especially in a way that makes a lot of noise synonym hammer pound at/against/on something Heavy rain pounded on the roof. All she could hear was the sound of waves pounding against the cliffs. Someone was pounding at the door.

Is Conor McGregor retired? ›

Conor McGregor reveals how Mike Tyson convinced him to never fully retire as a fighter. Will Conor McGregor ever think about retirement? Although he does seem like he is already retired, Conor McGregor still says he has big plans to continue his career in combat sports.

What does "undisputed" mean in boxing? ›

What is an undisputed champion? An undisputed champion is a fighter who holds all four major championship belts (IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO) in a division. It's a rare feat that has only been accomplished by just a few boxers in the four-belt era.

Who is the number one pound for pound boxer in history? ›

1. Sugar Ray Robinson. But the term "pound-for-pound" entered the mainstream vernacular largely because of Robinson, who threw his unparalleled speed-power arsenal at the welterweight and middleweight divisions in the 1940s and '50s. He beat a stacked slate of competition, winning the 160-pound title five times.

What boxer prompted pound-for-pound? ›

ESPN.com: The sugar in the sweet science. "Pound for pound, the best." The claim has been used to describe many boxers, but it was invented for Sugar Ray Robinson.

How many pounds of force could Mike Tyson hit? ›

On the average, Mike Tyson punched at 1,400 pounds of force. The maximum is 1,700 pounds of force.

How much did Mike Tyson weigh in his fights? ›

While Tyson's weight on fight night is yet to be seen, in order for a fight to qualify as a heavyweight bout both fighters must weigh in above 200 pounds. In Tyson's most recent exhibition in 2020, which was also a heavyweight fight, Tyson weighed in at 220.4 pounds.


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