The changing of the guard within boxing's pound-for-pound list has only continued in recent weeks as lightweight champion Mikey Garcia and cruiserweight king Oleksandyr Usyk continued to make big moves in the top 10.
Garcia, 30, moved up two spots after unifying titles at 135 pounds by handing Robert Easter Jr. his first defeat via dominant decision on July 28. The aftermath saw Garcia continue to challenge welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. in a move that would force him to move up two weight classes against arguably the best fighter in the division.
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It's hard to do anything but respect Garcia's dare-to-be-great persona, which has placed the emphasis on proving his greatness above even financial gain. Despite critics already predicting his demise in the proposed bout, an upset victory from Garcia would give him strong consideration for recognition as the best boxer in the sport.
Usyk, a darling of hard-core fans, has yet to make the same crossover splash as his former Ukranian Olympic teammate Vasiliy Lomachenko but he's beginning to catch up to his training partner in terms of P4P recognition.
Consider it a shame that Usyk's brilliant run through the World Boxing Super Series cruiserweight tournament wasn't televised on a major network in the United States. Regardless, Usyk exited the tournament as a star-in-waiting following three impressive victories.
In just his 15th pro fight, Usyk dominated fellow unbeaten champion Murat Gassiev on July 21 in Moscow to unify all four cruiserweight titles and teased a future move to heavyweight where his technical skill may prove to be unmatched.
|1. Vasiliy Lomachenko||11-1, 9 KOs||Light, junior lightweight champion||--|
| "Hi-Tech" is recovering from shoulder surgery after his impressive unification win over Jorge Linares and is expected to return in December. |
|2. Terence Crawford||33-0, 24 KOs|| Undisputed junior welterweight champion||--|
It appears that boxing politics might be the only thing that could KO Crawford's chances of proving he's the best fighter in the world. Although his recent Twitter beef with Danny Garcia was fun, "Bud" continues to operate on the wrong side of the promotional street.
|3. Mikey Garcia||39-0, 30 KOs||Unified lightweight champion|
|While Garcia's hopes of securing an ambitious fight against Spence is commendable, here's to hoping it doesn't rob fans of a necessary lightweight summit against Lomachenko for all four world titles. |
|4. Gennady Golovkin||38-0-1, 34 KOs||Middleweight champion||--|
|Feeling he was wronged by the judges in his first fight against Canelo Alvarez, GGG will finally get his rematch on Sept. 15 in their must-see pay-per-view bout. |
|5. Errol Spence Jr.||24-0, 21 KOs||Welterweight champion|
|If Spence doesn't get a shot at Garcia in the near future, talk of him facing the winner of the Sept. 8 vacant title bout between former champions Danny Garcia and Shawn Porter would be welcome news for the heavily avoided southpaw. |
|6. Oleksandr Usyk||15-0, 11 KOs||Undisputed cruiserweight champion|
|The 6-foot-3 southpaw has nothing left to prove at cruiserweight after unifying all four titles. Up next should be an intriguing move north where only his lack of fight-changing power might hold him back from challenging for titles.|
|7. Canelo Alvarez||49-1-2, 34 KOs||Lineal middleweight champion|
After a gift decision helped Alvarez hang on for a draw in his first bout against Golovkin, a failed drug test in February delayed their rematch and soiled his reputation. Alvarez has a lot of questions to answer come Sept. 15.
|8. Srisaket Sor Rungvisai|| 46-4-1, 41 KOs||Junior bantamweight champion||--|
|The surprising king at 115 pounds scored a first-round knockout in a stay-busy fight at bantamweight in July. He's expected to defend his junior bantamweight titles in October, in a return to his native Thailand. |
|9. Nayoa Inoue||16-0, 14 KOs||Junior bantamweight champion||--|
|Next stop for the Japanese "Monster" is a move up in weight for the WBSS bantamweight tournament beginning this fall. Just 25, Inoue is a terror for the lower weight divisions with power in both hands and continues to take on huge challenges through 16 pro fights. |
|10. Leo Santa Cruz||35-1-1, 19 KOs||Featherweight champion|
|A hard-fought victory over Abner Mares in their June rematch reminded fans just how good LSC can be when he mixes boxing with brawling. There's also no shortage of big fights to make in such a loaded division. |
Dropped out: Keith Thurman (inactivity)
Just missed: Carl Frampton, Jarrett Hurd, Jermall Charlo, Jermell Charlo, Anthony Joshua