After Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez’s defeat against Dmitry Bivol, Oleksandr Usyk has been crowned Boxing Social’s new pound-for-pound king.
The Ukrainian master boxer was the number one pick for eight of our nine-person panel. In our previous poll in December, Usyk had ranked second overall. Although the conflict in his native Ukraine has prevented Usyk from fighting since his seismic victory last autumn against Anthony Joshua, Canelo’s loss has seen the WBA Super, IBF and WBO heavyweight champion and former undisputed cruiserweight king displace the Mexican at the top of our rankings.
WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford is now second in our rankings. One panel member placed Crawford first and all panel members had him somewhere in their top fours.
Perhaps surprisingly, given his reverse against Bivol, Canelo still ranks third in our list, with Bivol in sixth. Garry White, who placed Canelo second despite his defeat, summed up the reasons why several members of the panel still rateCanelo higher than his conqueror in P4P terms. “I give Canelo credit for taking a fight against Bivol that literally no one in his position would have taken,” White said.
“In the past you could have accused him of stepping up against lame duck champions – Yildirim, Fielding et al – but this was a tough fight against a genuinely bigger and stronger opponent. So for me, Canelo still comes out with some credit. He has lived the genuine P4P dream operating from welter to light heavyweight.
“I have Bivol in at five. It was a famous victory. But perhaps one more surprising because of fairly listless wins against Richards and others. Ordinarily, an elite light-heavy beating up on a beefed up (no pun intended!) welterweight wouldn’t cause much surprise/celebration. All it demonstrates is how elite a campaigner Canelo is.”
Naoya Inoue – who topped our inaugural P4P ratings back in November 2020 – is in fourth place. The Japanese ‘Monster’ fought twice in 2021, but neither victory came against truly world-class opposition. Inoue will doubtless hope that this forthcoming rematch with Nonito Donaire enables him to regain some of the career momentum he has lost in the last couple of years. Every single member of our panel ranked Inoue in their top ten.
Errol Spence Jr’s recent impressive win against Yordenis Ugas sees him move up two places from seventh to fifth while Bivol, as mentioned above, makes his top-ten debut in our list at number six. Interestingly, two of our panel did not feel Bivol’s single victory against a naturally smaller foe was enough to move him into their top tens.
WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury’s ruthless destruction of Dillian Whyte sees him rise one place to seventh. Seven of our panel deemed him worthy of a top ten placing, although Fury will drop out of the list if his much threatened retirement is confirmed and his WBC title vacated.
Shakur Stevenson debuts at number eight on our list after his dazzling demolitions of Oscar Valdez and Jamel Herring in his last two fights.
Roman Gonzalez’s impressive victory against top flyweight Julio Cesar Martinez sees him regain a top ten place in ninth, a whisker ahead of perennial rival Juan Francisco Estrada, who some panel members dropped for inactivity.
Josh Taylor – fifth last time – departs from the top ten altogether. Graham Houston summed up the feelings of many on the panel about the Scot’s demotion. “I’m a ‘what have you done for me lately’ guy when it comes to these ratings. That’s why Canelo is so low on my list and also why I don’t include Taylor. The struggling, maybe fortunate win over Catterall was a bad look for Taylor.”
Others to have dropped out of the top ten since December are George Kambosos Jr and Kazuto Ioka.
Boxing Social Pound-for-pound Top 10 (May 2022):
1. Oleksandr Usyk 89 points
2. Terence Crawford 77 points
3. Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez 66 points
4. Naoya Inoue 57 points
5. Errol Spence Jr 55 points
6. Dmitry Bivol 40 points
7. Tyson Fury 30 points
8. Shakur Stevenson 18 points
9. Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez 17 points
10. Juan Francisco Estrada 15 points
Others receiving votes: Josh Taylor (14 points), Vasiliy Lomachenko (6 points), Artur Beterbiev (3 points), George Kambosos Jr (2 points), Stephen Fulton Jr (2 points), Jermell Charlo (2 points), Gennadiy Golovkin (1 point), Kazuto Ioka (1 point)
The voting panel for the Boxing Social Pound-for-pound rankings are: Graham Houston, Mark Butcher, Luke G. Williams, Craig Scott, John Angus MacDonald, Shaun Brown, Garry White, Matt Bevan, Phil Rogers
Individual panel members’ rankings:
4: Spence Jr
5. Spence Jr
Luke G. Williams:
4. Spence Jr
4. Spence Jr
9. Jermell Charlo
John Angus MacDonald:
5. Spence Jr
6. Spence Jr
10. Kambosos Jr
9. Fulton Jr
10. Kambosos Jr
Each panellist ranks their Top 10 in order, with the boxer placed first receiving ten points, second nine points, third eight points and so on. Boxers were then ranked by the overall number of points accrued. If scores are equal then the boxer with the highest individual rating from a judge is ranked higher. If boxers are still equal they are then ranked equal. If there is a tie for first place then the boxer with the most first-place votes is given preference. If boxers are still equal they are then ranked equal.