Bernard Hopkins had a strong case for being the best active fighter in the early 2000s, so his pick for who has that honour right now is as valid as any.
‘The Executioner’ racked up wins over four Hall of Fame fighters in his two-weight world championship winning career, namely Roy Jones Jr, Winky Wright, Óscar De La Hoya, and Félix Trinidad.
He hung up the gloves on a campaign just shy of three decades long in 2016, remaining competitive until the final bell and with a final record of 55 wins and only eight losses.
Now that he’s left the fighting to the next generation, Hopkins runs Golden Boy Promotions alongside De La Hoya. When asked by ES News about the best current pound-for-pound fighter, he named the most recent opponent of their charge, Ryan Garcia.
Hopkins believes that the way Gervonta Davis beat his man puts him at the top of the list, above the likes of Terence Crawford, Saul ‘Canelo’ Álvarez, Naoya Inoue, and Oleksandr Usyk.
“Tank Davis because of how he executed Ryan Garcia. The way he did it and how he did it. And I stand on that. He’s been off because of personal, but he’s back and it ain’t got nothing to do with personal, it;s got something to do with my credibility and how I feel.
I’m still rocking with Tank, but Crawford’s performance that he put down [against Spence] you can’t underestimate that. He’s right on the heels of Tank Davis. Canelo is top 3, but I don’t see him on the top. They gotta do some great stuff in 2024, but right now who holds it is Tank.”
Davis stopped Garcia in the seventh round of their Las Vegas main event via a body shot. Following the fight, he was sentence to home detention and subsequently prison time for a previous hit and run case.
There’s little doubt that he’s a superstar in terms of skill and draw, but this year others have made their stong cases for being the best in the world. Japan’s Inoue has become a four-division world champion, continuing his powerful rise throughout the weight classes.
Terence Crawford won all four titles at 147lbs, beating longtime rival Errol Spence Jr much more handily than many predicted. It makes him a three-weight champion and two-time undisputed. Meanwhile, Saul ‘Canelo’ Álvarez has returned to good form with a dominant win over Jermell Charlo.
None of that has given Hopkins enough to knock ‘Tank’ off the top spot. The Baltimore boxer is expected to return to the ring in early 2024, perhaps in a rematch with Isaac ‘Pitbull’ Cruz.