Boxing Pound for Pound Rankings: Vasiliy Lomachenko, Errol Spence hold firm, welterweights rising
Lomachenko holds steady at the top, but Spence and Terence Crawford are rapidly closing in
It would likely come as no surprise that the best and deepest division in all of boxing would hold such a firm grip on the sport's pound-for-pound rankings. The 147-pound division, often tagged as boxing's money division through two decades of heavyweight instability, currently claims four spots in the CBS Sports top 10 and two honorable mentions, led by a pair of unbeaten champions in Terence Crawford and Errol Spence Jr.
The idea of a Crawford-Spence fight for both welterweight and P4P supremacy remains more hope than reality until rival promoters and networks decide to get creative. Given how deep the pool of welterweight fighters around Spence currently is under the PBC banner, it doesn't bode well for it happening soon.
After outpointing a tough and rugged Shawn Porter over 12 grueling rounds in Los Angeles, Spence still has plenty of options for his future opponents that don't include Crawford. Fox announced after the bout that Danny Garcia will get the next shot at Spence, and could be followed by a bout with WBA champion Manny Pacquiao later next summer.
But make no mistake about it, the gap is closing quickly between current P4P No. 1 Vasiliy Lomachenko and the rest of the field. Lucky for fans, the three-division champion Lomachenko only knows one way and that's to match himself as difficult as possible.
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The pool at lightweight is only getting deeper by the minute, with unbeaten prospect Devin Haney now a mandatory challenger for Lomachenko, who could end up being paired with another phenom-in-waiting should Teofimo Lopez Jr. capture the only 135-pound title that Lomachenko currently doesn't own in December. In addition, Gervonta Davis has moved up to lightweight and Mikey Garcia is still debating whether he should make one more run at the weight class despite recently giving up his two world titles to face Spence.
Not only is the race for best in sport a crowded one at the moment, it's a competition that could be outright won by Japanese power puncher Naoya Inoue should he continue his reign of terror over the next year. Did I mention Canelo Alvarez was moving up two weight divisions to face Sergey Kovalev? What a time to be alive and well atop the sport.
|1. Vasiliy Lomachenko||14-1, 10 KOs||Unified lightweight champion||--|
| Despite fighting in a division far above his optimal weight, Lomachenko continues to dazzle. He secured a third 135-pound title in August by outpointing Luke Campbell in a sensational duel. Lomachenko's future plans likely include a chance at becoming an undisputed champion against the Dec. 14 winner of Richard Commey-Teofimo Lopez Jr. |
|2. Terence Crawford|| 35-0, 25 KOs|| Welterweight champion||--|
Crawford's April dismantling of Amir Khan leaves him void of available elite opponents considering the political and network divide within the division. Unless promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank can get creative with Al Haymon of PBC, Crawford's next fight will inevitably be a step down.
|3. Errol Spence Jr.|| 26-0, 21 KOs||Unified welterweight champion||--|
|At 29, Spence continues to diversify his portfolio and extend his brand as a PPV headliner. Seven months after outboxing Mikey Garcia for 12 rounds, he outslugged a game Shawn Porter in their thriller that will go down as a fight-of-the-year contender. Up next, a third straight PPV headlining role against Danny Garcia. |
|4. Naoya Inoue|| 18-0, 16 KOs||Unified bantamweight champion||--|
| Each time the Japanese "Monster" moves up in weight, he seems to carry his power in even scarier ways. Fresh off a demolition of unbeaten Emmanuel Rodriguez in May to claim a 118-pound title, Inoue will face Nonito Donaire in the Nov. 7 World Boxing Super Series tournament final. |
|5. Canelo Alvarez|| 51-1-2, 30 KOs|| Unified middleweight champion||--|
| Talk about daring to be great. Although Alvarez balked at DAZN's interest in matching him for a third time against Gennady Golovkin in September, the Mexican star chose to move up two weight divisions to challenge light heavyweight titleholder Sergey Kovalev in November. |
| 6. Oleksandr Usyk|| 16-0, 12 KOs||Undisputed cruiserweight champion||--|
| After injury delayed his full-time move to heavyweight, Usyk will finally make his debut on Oct. 12 against unbeaten Tyrone Spong. The bold Ukranian star wants to fight the very best right now and has voiced interest in facing the winner of the Andy Ruiz Jr.-Anthony Joshua rematch in December. |
|7. Manny Pacquiao|| 62-7-2, 39 KOs||Welterweight champion||--|
At the age of 40, Pacquiao produced one of his most impressive wins by dropping and outpointing Keith Thurman in their July PPV bout to win a world title. With his speed and power incredibly still there at an elite level, Pacquiao could see himself facing the winner of Spence-Porter.
|8. Gennadiy Golovkin|| 39-3, 26 KOs||Middleweight||--|
| GGG made quick work of unheralded Steve Rolls in his June debut on DAZN but has been unable to lure bitter rival Alvarez into a trilogy bout. Instead, Golovkin will face Sergiy Derevyanchenko on Oct. 5 for the vacant IBF title recently stripped of Alvarez. |
|9. Juan Francisco Estrada|| 40-3, 27 KOs||Junior bantamweight champion||--|
|At 29, "El Gallo" remains one of the most unsung elite competitors in the sport. His hard-fought decision win over 115-pound king Srisaket Sor Rungvisai in their April rematch was a reminder of just how great Estrada is. |
|10. Mikey Garcia|| 39-1, 30 KOs||Welterweight/lightweight||--|
| A one-sided loss to Spence at welterweight saw Garcia vacate his lightweight titles and continue to feel out offers as one of boxing's hottest free agents. Although talks of a showdown against Danny Garcia fell apart, whispers still linger regarding his interest in Pacquiao.|
Dropped out: Leo Santa Cruz, Keith Thurman
Honorable mention: Tyson Fury, Santa Cruz, Thurman, Donnie Nietes, Regis Prograis, Oleksandr Gvozdyk, Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, Shawn Porter
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