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Boxing Pound-for-Pound Rankings: Canelo Alvarez slips from No. 1 spot as Mexican star sees stock drop

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For the next level that Canelo Alvarez found himself in 2021, when he ran away with the Fighter of the Year award after becoming the first undisputed four-belt champion at 168 pounds, his results this calendar year have been mixed.

Not only did Alvarez seem to have found his ceiling in terms of dramatic weight gain when he lost to WBA light heavyweight champion Dimitri Bivol in May, the Mexican superstar didn’t look much better in September when he faded away at the end of a decision win. 40-year-old Gennady Golovkin in their fight trilogy.

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At 32, Alvarez is either starting to slow down after a 17-year career that started at 15 (and totaled 62 professional fights), or the four-division champion’s challenging schedule in recent years is starting to catch up. .

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One would believe the latter is true after Alvarez announced this week that he will be out until at least next May due to surgery on his left wrist after his recovery, which could push back his return until September 2023. Considering he fought four times in the 12-month stretch ending last November, a much busier schedule than the average elite fighter, the speculation makes sense.

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In any case, Alvarez’s 2022 campaign saw his total stock holding slightly down amid an already crowded field in the P4P top 10. Yes, Alvarez has been able to take more risks than his contemporaries lately, which is a big reason why he was the last to split. of the year as the best boxer of this era. But he may have gotten a little stuck on it.

Although Alvarez was able to disarm Golovkin with his jab in the first half of their third meeting, he struggled to close the show and almost paid for it with scorecards, as all three judges were much closer than the media’s general opinion ringside and online. observers.

On his return next year, Alvarez will have an interesting decision to make as to whether to run back in a rematch with Bivol, which he seems to prefer, or finally take on the challenge of David Benavidez, a two-time 168-pound champion who, according to To many, the perfect combination of size, skill and mindset to get Alvarez into trouble.

Using criteria that take into account everything from achievement to current form, let’s take a closer look at the best fighters in the ring. Below is the latest update to the Pound for Pound rankings following Alvarez’ win over Golovkin in September.

Rating pound for pound

1. Naoya Inoue

Unified Bantamweight Champion (20-0, 18 KOs) | Previous ranking: No. 2

It took Japan’s Monster just two rounds to finish off 39-year-old legend Nonito Donara in their June rematch to unify three of four 118-pound titles. Inoue’s strength remains intimidating, but his technique and IQ are often overlooked. Next in line is the unification of the four belts in the bantamweight division on December 13 against Paul Butler.

2. Errol Spence Jr.

Unified Welterweight Champion (28-0, 22 KOs) | Previous ranking: No. 2

Despite a 17-month break and surgery to repair a detached retina, Spence returned looking better than ever, defeating Yordenis Ugas to unify three of four world titles. The only fight that makes sense is the undisputed fight with WBO champion Terence Crawford, which was verbally agreed on on November 19th.

3. Terence Crawford

WBO welterweight champion (37-0, 27 KOs) | Previous ranking: No. 3

Crawford made an incredible series of adjustments to slow down and finish off Sean Porter in their pay-per-view clash last fall. After a long hiatus, the promotion’s free agent reportedly agreed to a no-contest fight on November 19 with three-belt champion Errol Spence Jr.

4. Canelo Alvarez

Absolute champion in the second middleweight (58-2-2, 38 KOs) | Previous ranking: No. 1

The combination of losing the light heavyweight title to Dmitri Bivol and beating 40-year-old Gennady Golovkin by an uneven decision in their trilogy left Alvarez slipping a bit at the age of 32. Surgery on his left wrist is expected to keep him out until at least May. 2023 if not September.

5. Oleksandr Usyk

Unified Heavyweight Champion (19-0, 13 KOs | Previous Rating: 5

Usyk’s professional run was as embellished as it was perfect. The former undisputed heavyweight champion even has a strong case for the best fighter in the sport after defeating Anthony Joshua in their August rematch. An undisputed title fight against Tyson Fury will have to be postponed until 2023 while Usyk recovers from nagging injuries.

6. Tyson Fury

WBC heavyweight champion (32-0-1, 24 KOs) | Previous ranking: No. 6

As unified champion Oleksandr Usyk heals numerous injuries, the 34-year-old “Gypsy King” has shown public interest in a December comeback, possibly against former champion Anthony Joshua. Fury’s recent talk of retirement seems to be about that as he moves closer to an undisputed four-belt championship fight.

7. Vasily Lomachenko

Lightweight (16-2, 11 KOs) | Previous ranking: No. 7

The ongoing conflict in his native Ukraine forced Lomachenko to pull out of a possible title fight against former unified lightweight king George Kambosos Jr. But Lomachenko turned down the dangers of the fight to head to training camp for his return on October 29 against former sparring partner Jamaine Ortiz.

8 Shakur Stevenson

WBO junior lightweight champion (18-0, 9 KOs) | Previous ranking: No. 8

Already compared to a young Floyd Mayweather, the 24-year-old southpaw has surgically dismantled the undefeated title holder. Oscar Valdez in the April title unification. Stevenson’s speed, technique and IQ are off the charts. He returns to his native Newark, NJ on September 23 to face Robson Conceicao.

9. Dmitry Bivol

WBA light heavyweight champion (20-0, 11 KOs) | Previous rating: 9

At times criticized for playing it safe in the past, Bivol was anything but his life-changing victory over pound-for-pound king Canelo Alvarez. Bivol played the role of a bigger man and was unable to show Alvarez any respect in the manner in which he fought him. The next match will be on November 5 against undefeated mandatory challenger Gilberto Ramirez.

10. Stephen Fulton Jr.

Unified junior featherweight champion (21-0, 8 KOs) | Previous rating: 10

Fulton ended the 2021 breakout with the most thorough performance of his career, significantly beating former unified champion Danny Roman in June. ‘Step the tough boy’ is one of the most versatile threats in the game, and he’s openly hungry for an undeniable fight against fellow unified champion Murodjon Akhmadaliev.

Dropped: Nobody
Honorable mention: Devin Haney, Jermell Charlo, Gervonta Davis, Juan Francisco Estrada, Artur Beterbiev


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