Is Usyk boxing’s new Pound-for-Pound king?

Oleksandr Usyk produced a boxing masterclass last night to out-think, out-wit, out-box and then out-slug Anthony Joshua in a titanic heavyweight showdown at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

The Ukrainian southpaw is now the unified WBA Super, IBF and WBO heavyweight champion, having previously ruled as undisputed champion at cruiserweight.

Usyk has been a staple of most sound judges’ pound-for-pound top ten lists for a few years now, but does he now deserve to replace Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez as the sport’s top dog and P4P number one?

Four of the Boxing Social team give their take …

Logic would dictate that you could now instate Usyk as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. The argument for Canelo would involve multiple Venn Diagrams, Excel spreadsheets and an understanding of how the governing bodies work, and even the governing bodies don’t know how they work.

Usyk has swept up most of the available titles across two divisions in fewer fights than his main rival.

Ratings aside, Tyson Fury will always put himself down as the pound-for-pound number one, as he sees himself as the apex predator, but seeing Usyk win will surely put a spring into his step going into Deontay Wilder III and, if he beats Wilder again, a fight between him and Usyk would be a real meeting of minds. The added bonus for boxing fans is that it would be a fight for P4P supremacy in the biggest division. – Terry Dooley.

Yes. Usyk ticks both the boxes for both style and substance. It’s not just the belts and the undefeated record, neither of which are as important as people think. It’s the fact he’s cleaned out one of the toughest divisions (cruiser) and stepped up and outclassed an elite heavyweight. His record is littered with tough fights he’s won impressively. A really classy talent. – James Oddy.

Usyk is a supreme technician and worthy of a lofty place in the pound-for-pound rankings. But in the last three years, where recent form should count in the P4P standings, he has beaten Tony Bellew, Chazz Witherspoon, Dereck Chisora and now Anthony Joshua. That’s not enough to hit the No.1 spot compared to Canelo Alvarez, who has defeated champions Gennadiy Golovkin, Sergey Kovalev, Daniel Jacobs, Callum Smith and Billy Joe Saunders during the same period. – Mark Butcher.

For me, Usyk is now the pound-for-pound king, by a whisker from Canelo. His ‘on the road’ record beggars belief, his mastery of distance, time and space are without equal in modern boxing. He unified the cruiserweight division and had no right to win titles in the modern ‘super’ heavyweight division. Yet he went to the UK and dissected Anthony Joshua with surgical precision. He also showed a warrior’s mentality by looking to take AJ out in round 12 when most boxers would have sat back and been content to box with caution. He is the best boxer in the world. – Luke G. Williams.

Main image: Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing.