The 15 Best Pro Boxers In The World | May 2022 Edition.
ITRBoxing’s pound-for-pound list, where we look at who we think are the best fighters in the world as of right now. One man’s opinion, to help you make time to watch great fights.
01. Tyson Fury
The biggest fighter in the world. Fury might just be the best heavyweight ever, though it feels strange to put him above guys like Joe Louis, Muhammad Ali, Larry Holmes, or Mike Tyson, I am not sure I’d be safe picking against Fury in any of those fights. People will view it as odd to call a heavyweight the best fighter in the world, but he truly is – a six-foot, nine-inch giant, who moves like a middleweight, boxes like a lightweight, and can lean on an opponent as well as Bernard Hopkins or James Toney. The guy is in a league of his own in terms of heavyweights of his era.
Best Wins: Wladimir Klitschko and Deontay Wilder (twice)
Next Fight: TBA, says he is retired.
02. Terence Crawford
Terence Crawford is so good, that if he were to have fought Floyd Mayweather at the end of Mayweather’s run I would have seen the bout as a 50-50 fight, nearly. Crawford has the distinction of being a fighter who beats fighters up so bad, they never look the same after Crawford beats them. Critics will look at his resume and say who is the big names, fans of his will say look at the careers he halted to get to where he is. A three-division world champion and undisputed at 140 lbs currently on a nine-fight KO streak dating back to May of 2017. Crawford is a special talent.
Best Wins: Yuriorkis Gamboa (lightweight), Ricky Burns (lightweight), Jeff Horn (welterweight), Felix Diaz (welterweight), Kell Brook (welterweight), Shawn Porter (welterweight), Viktor Postol (super lightweight).
Next Fight: TBA
03. Oleksandr Usyk
The best cruiserweight ever. Better than Holyfield, better than everyone, who might be the best modern heavyweight, we will see if Fury gives him a chance to prove it, though. Usyk is what many thought Lomachenko would be, an Olympic gold medalist, who unified every title in the cruiserweight division on the road, and then went up to heavyweight and defeated the cash cow Anthony Joshua in his hometown. Usyk is the greatest cruiserweight to ever live, and one of the most underrated fighters of the era. He just had the misfortune of fighting a division void of true stardom or network investment.
Best Wins: Mairis Briedis, Marco Huck, Michael Hunter, Thabiso Mchunu, Krzysztof Glowacki, Murat Gassiev, Anthony Joshua, and Dereck Chisora.
Next Fight: Anthony Joshua rematch, no date set yet.
04. Canelo Alvarez
The greatest Mexican boxer to ever live continues to make history despite losing to Dmitry Bivol, Canelo has redefined an era of Mexican stardom, and picked up where Julio Cesar Chavez left off. Adding to the rich boxing tradition Mexico has had, Canelo has ushered in an a new era of Mexican pressure, adding to the classic style guys before him such as Chavez, Erik Morales and Marco Antonio Barrera perfected.
Best Wins: Austin Trout, Miguel Cotto, Erislandy Lara, Billy Joe Saunders, Callum Smith, Caleb Plant, Sergey Kovalev, and Gennady Golovkin
Next Fight: TBA. More than likely Dmitry Bivol rematch.
05. Errol Spence Jr.
Somewhat the opposite of Terence Crawford in every way possible, charismatic, and committed to just one weight class. Spence carries a lot of the traits of Roman Gonzalez, as he is one of the best modern pressure fighters in the game, who uses a well-placed jab to place people on the ropes. Fighters like Xander Zayas and Vergil Ortiz Jr., remind me of young versions of Spence, as his aggression and power with a solid fundamental grounding make him one of the best fighters in the world. A true blue-collar fighter.
Best Wins: Mikey Garcia, Shawn Porter, Kell Brook, Danny Garcia, and Yordenis Ugas
Next Fight: Anthony Joshua rematch, no date set yet.
06. Naoya Inoue
I will be the first to tell you Inoue should probably be higher on the list, but his run since the pandemic has hit has been slow to none existent. A fighter who carries world-class power with a generational type timing looks to be a lock for the hall-of-fame, but outside of a fight of the year bout with Nonito Donaire, hasn’t really had the impact that he should’ve had on the sport so far. That being said, the lighter-weight fighters often have to fight a bit longer than heavier fighters to get acknowledged for all their achievements.
Next Fight: Nonito Donaire, June 6th in Japan, I haven’t gotten an official word of where the telecast will be broadcast.
07. Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez
Greatness in class, dignity, respect, and a master of the craft in the ring. Roman Gonzalez is everything that is great about the sport of boxing, and defeating a young hungry challenger in Julio Cesar Martinez in his last bout, shows you how special he is. Gonzalez is the type of guy that we realize how good he is until he is gone, since won’t he leaves the sport the flyweight division will have a massive void, as he carried the division for a decade on his back. Chocolatito carried the super flyweight division on his back for a generation, more than a decade, and is the reason many fight fans now tune in to watch that division.
Best Wins: Carlos Cuadros, Juan Francisco Estrada.
Next Fight: TBA.
08. Dmitry Bivol
Sharing anything with Floyd Mayweather is a massive achievement and Dmitry Bivol is now the only other man to beat Canelo Alvarez. Bivol is a talented boxer, who might go down as an all-time great light heavyweight who performed as well if not better on the biggest night of his life. His story from this point forward will dictate where he goes. If he keeps taking big fights, his stock will rise quickly.
Biggest Wins: Canelo Alvarez, Jean Pascal, Joe Smith Jr.
Next Fight: Probably Canelo Alvarez rematch.
09. Shakur Stevenson
Stevenson feels like the next American star in the making and has all the tools to be on this list for a decade to come. Stevenson controls distance, as well as I, have seen since Pernell Whitaker, and beyond that, he is a student of the game. The only thing that can stop him, is himself.
Best Wins: Oscar Valdez, Joet Gonzalez, and Jamel Herring.
Next Fight: TBA
* Tie | 10. Josh Taylor & Artur Beterbiev
Josh Taylor should’ve gotten more respect for his historic run of being fast-tracked and fighting true champions to become an undisputed 140 lbs world champion not long after Terence Crawford had done it. Taylor is a solid boxer, who is mean, and loves to punish his opponents, as he is willing to hit off the break to get an edge, and that is an elite trait. The problem is, after making history with big wins over Regis Prograis and Jose Ramirez, he had the worst performance of his career against Jack Catterall, in which he was dropped and looked bad. The sad truth is, that Taylor who was moved quick, might be through a good chunk of the back nine of his career already, based on the battles he has endured.
Best Wins: Regis Prograis, Jose Ramirez, Viktor Postol, and Ivan Baranchyk
Next Fight: TBA
Artur Beterbiev is a strange case. Winning every fight by knockout and having a fan-friendly style at a higher weight class, you’d assume he’d be a star, but it never happened for me. Beterbiev’s talent has never been in question, but his activity has hurt his career. As Beterbiev, disappears, and fighting in a division, light heavyweight, that also tends to disappear outside of three fighters,
Biggest Wins: Oleksandr Gvozdyk and, Marcus Browne.
Next Fight: Joe Smith Jr., June 18th, ESPN, MSG Theater, New York City, New York.
12. Jermell Charlo
It is pretty clear Jermell Charlo has earned his spot as of now as the best guy at 154 lbs, but that could be all for now, after this Saturday’s clash for all the four belts. Charlo’s path to the world titles isn’t as vibrant as others in other divisions as Jarrett Hurd and Julian Williams both lost before facing him, and Charlo’s success has been longevity in a division in which most people don’t last. The 154 lbs division is sort of like the cruiserweight division, which is a bit of a no man’s land between the historically great divisions of welterweight and middleweight but provides for a lot of action, based on the fighters who actually fight each other.
Best Wins: Gabriel Rosado, Jeison Rosario, John Jackson, Erickson Lubin, and Tony Harrison.
Next Fight: This Saturday, May 14th, against Brian Castano on Showtime.
13. Gervonta Davis
If “Tank” Davis turns out to be the best guy of the era, I wouldn’t be surprised, but that being said, while most are taking on challenges, Davis is opting for money at times over legacy. Davis is still young, but his resume in terms of a hall-of-fame career needs a bit of a pick me up, if he wants to compare to the greats of other eras. That being said, Davis is making a ton of money whenever he fights. Davis should be a staple of the top ten in the next year.
Best Wins: Leo Santa Cruz, Jose Pedraza, and Mario Barrios.
Next Fight: Rolando Romero, May 28th, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, on PPV.
14. George Kambosos Jnr
Though many wouldn’t list Kambosos Jnr, he beat Teofimo Lopez, who beat the man at lightweight in Vasyl Lomachenko, which set up the musical chairs in the division. Kambosos Jnr was thrust into the spotlight after being great one evening. We all love an underdog and Kambosos Jnr. rise to stardom is a unique one, as the puncher with fast hands, has one of the most elite traits of any fighter in the game. A strong mindset that won’t be detoured or mentally defeated.
Biggest Wins: Mickey Bey, Teofimo Lopez, Lee Selby
Next Fight: Devin Haney, June 5th, on ESPN, live from Marvel Stadium in Melbourne, Australia.
15. Gennady Golovkin
In terms of career accomplishments, and what Golovkin looked like in his prime, he should be a lot higher on this list. The problem is, Golovkin is now 40-years-old, fighting as infrequent as ever, and is essentially only in the sport to fight Canelo Alvarez one more time. Golovkin is one of the biggest punchers in middleweight history, and though not quite a Marvin Hagler or Bernard Hopkins, deserves mention amongst those type of middleweights and not just guys from his era. What hurts his career from a historical point is that he wanted to be an undisputed world champion prior to the undisputed era, and never achieved it. His resume is full of mandatory defenses which include a lot of none marquee names.
Best Wins: Gabriel Rosado, Daniel Jacobs, Canelo Alvarez (draw), Martin Murray, Ryota Murata, Kell Brook, Sergiy Derevyanchenko, and Matthew Macklin
Next Fight: TBA