Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Pound-for-Pound Update 12-28-21

After a busy autumn where many of the top fighters in the sport were in action, it's time to update the Saturday Night Boxing Pound-for-Pound List. This update will hit the highlights for the major moves in the Rankings, as well as point out the fighters who have entered the top-20 and those who have been removed. 

At the top, the most notable change has been Oleksandr Usyk, who jumps to #2 after his win over Anthony Joshua. Usyk, the former undisputed cruiserweight champ, now holds three major belts at heavyweight. Also at heavyweight, Tyson Fury moves up to #8 after his thrilling victory over Deontay Wilder in their third fight. 

Oleksandr Usyk continues to ascend the Rankings
Photo courtesy of Mark Robinson

Josh Taylor ascends to #5 after becoming undisputed junior welterweight champion, defeating fellow titleholder Jose Ramirez by unanimous decision. He also scored two knockdowns in the fight. 

The highest debutant in the Rankings is junior featherweight Stephen Fulton, who has won two belts in 2021, beating undefeated titlists Angelo Leo and Brandon Figueroa. Fulton enters the Rankings at #15. Gervonta Davis also makes his debut on the pound-for-pound list. Davis has demonstrated that he can compete on the world-level in three divisions (130, 135, 140), which is the essence of pound-for-pound. Additional top-level opponents could see him further ascend in the Rankings. He debuts at #16. 

Spots 18, 19 and 20 are all new fighters as well. John Riel Casimero enters the list after a less-than-impressive split decision victory over Guillermo Rigondeaux. Still, Casimero has won world titles in three divisions and has proven that on his best night he is an elite fighter. Cruiserweight champion Mairis Briedis enters the Rankings at #19. He's amassed impressive victories over Yuniel Dorticos, Krzysztof Glowacki and Marco Huck in the division, while also giving Usyk his toughest fight to date. And coming in at #20 is Knockout CP Freshmart, the longtime strawweight champion from Thailand. Although his opponents haven't all been terrific (but many have been capable), he's defended his title ten times, an impressive achievement in any context.  

The biggest name to drop out of the Rankings is Teofimo Lopez, who lost a split decision to George Kambosos. Lopez didn't look good in that fight and while he did win some rounds, he didn't have a legitimate case for winning. Without a fight scheduled at the moment, Gennadiy Golovkin drops from the Rankings on account of inactivity. He was supposed to fight Ryota Murata in December, but the bout was cancelled due to COVID-related travel issues. Nevertheless, Golovkin has not faced a top opponent in over two years. 

Manny Pacquiao drops out of the Rankings after his unanimous decision loss to Yordenis Ugas. After the fight, Pacquiao announced his retirement.

Two more notable departures include Mikey Garcia and Kenshiro Teraji. Garcia lost a majority decision to Sandor Martin in a fight where he looked uncomfortable pulling the trigger. Teraji was upset by the relatively unknown Masamichi Yabuki, losing via a tenth-round stoppage. 

Here is the complete Saturday Night Boxing Pound-for-Pound List: 

  1. Saul Alvarez
  2. Oleksandr Usyk
  3. Naoya Inoue
  4. Terence Crawford
  5. Josh Taylor
  6. Juan Estrada
  7. Errol Spence
  8. Tyson Fury
  9. Artur Beterbiev
  10. Srisaket Sor Rungvisai
  11. Roman Gonzalez
  12. Kazuto Ioka
  13. Vasiliy Lomachenko
  14. Stephen Fulton
  15. Jermell Charlo
  16. Gervonta Davis
  17. Jermall Charlo
  18. John Riel Casimero
  19. Mairis Briedis
  20. Knockout CP Freshmart
Adam Abramowitz is the founder and head writer of saturdaynightboxing.comHe's a member of Ring Magazine's Ring Ratings Panel and a Board Member for the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board. 
snboxing on twitter. SN Boxing on Facebook. 

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