A two-time fighter of the year and a three-weight world champion, James Toney was without question one of the best pound for pound fighters in boxing in the 1990s.
In a 90 fight professional career that remarkably went on until 2017, Toney shared the ring with the likes of Roy Jones Jr and Evander Holyfield, and was described by legendary trainer Freddie Roach as the most naturally talented fighter he had ever seen.
That said, there are few better placed than ‘Lights Out’ to evaluate the current crop of fighters and, more specifically, who is the very best of them.
And when asked by Behind The Gloves who his current pound for pound number one is, Toney did not hesitate with his answer.
“Terence Crawford – that’s it.”
Toney’s answer is the most common one amongst fans, fighters and pundits alike, after Crawford cemented his greatness with a stunning performance to capture the undisputed welterweight world championship against Errol Spence Jr back in July
So impressive was ‘Bud’ against Spence, that boxing world has been hypothesising about him jumping up three full weight classes for a shot at undisputed super middleweight world champion and former pound for pound number one Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, with the Omaha man himself even being open to the idea.
However, that and any other potential opponents Crawford has his eye on will have to wait, after news emerged over the past week that Spence has decided to trigger a contractual rematch clause and the pair look set to lock horns once again.
Crawford has said that, despite some talk that the second fight would take place one division up, he’s most likely to be defending his undisputed welterweight status.