Boxing Pound for Pound Rankings: Errol Spence Jr. deserves consideration as best in the sport

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Long a champion of the eye test when it comes to his standing among the pound-for-pound greats in the sport, IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. is finally building enough of a resume to change the conversation. 

Spence's thorough dismantling of unbeaten lightweight champion Mikey Garcia on March 16 was impressive enough to ask an important question: How much longer do we have to wait before giving "The Truth" serious consideration for best fighter in the sport?

The answer, apparently, is not long at all. In fact, right now would be perfectly justifiable. Yes, Garcia moved up two weight divisions to boldly challenge Spence, who had legitimate advantages in size and reach. But the manner in which Spence executed such a surgical beating spoke more about his remarkable skill advantage over Garcia when the two drew more than 47,000 into AT&T Stadium in Texas than it necessarily did his size.

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Spence near-perfect combination of defense, power punching and a mastery of distance left Garcia void of options offensively. Although Garcia was certainly brave and defensively responsible enough to survive the 12-round distance, trying any harder than he had against Spence to win likely would've sent him packed via knockout. 

That's the dilemma opponents of all size face against Spence, who stomped on any thought that he couldn't box as well as he can stalk and punch with such a demonstratively clinical effort. 

One day, should the powers that be in boxing do what's right for the sport and not necessarily their own short-term business preferences, a showdown with fellow unbeaten champion Terence Crawford will be the best fight the sport can produce. If we're being honest, it also might be this generation's answer to classic welterweight showdowns like Ray Leonard-Thomas Hearns and Felix Trinidad-Oscar De La Hoya.

Until then, the debate is out as to which one has shown to be better up to this point when one combines resume, recent performance and the controversial eye test. While Spence remains just a half step behind the likes of Crawford and Vasiliy Lomachenko on this writer's top 10, it certainly wouldn't be unjust to believe Spence is, right now, the most talented and dangerous pugilist the game has to offer. 

Dropped out: Anthony Joshua

Honorable mention: Anthony Joshua, Manny Pacquiao, Keith Thurman, Daniel Jacobs, Jarrett Hurd, Oleksandr Gvozdyk, Donnie Nietes, Sergey Kovalev

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Brian Campbell covers MMA, boxing and WWE. The Connecticut native joined CBS Sports in 2017 and has covered combat sports since 2010. He has written and hosted various podcasts and digital shows for ESPN... Full Bio

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