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Is Canelo Alvarez the best pound-for-pound boxer?

We take a look at whether or not Canelo Alvarez is the top-rated pound-for-pound boxer heading into his bout with John Ryder.

Saul Canelo Alvarez Press Conference
ZAPOPAN, MEXICO - MARCH 14: Saul Canelo Alvarez poses with his belts during the press conference at Akron Stadium on March 14, 2023 in Zapopan, Mexico. Canelo Alvarez will fight against John Ryder on May 6, 12 years after his last combat in Mexico. The event will take place at Akron Stadium.
Photo by Alfredo Moya/Jam Media/Getty Images

Ahead of Canelo Alvarez’s highly anticipated return to the ring versus John Ryder on May 6, the sport of boxing is currently at a “changing of the guard.” With the light and heavyweight divisions showcasing some of boxing’s brightest young stars at the moment, the pound-for-pound rankings have been in a state of flux in recent years. Still, Canelo remains atop multiple P4P lists, including BoxRec and the Boxing Writers Association of America.

This will be Alvarez’s 62nd career boxing match and he heads in with a 58-2-2 record, showcasing 38 knockouts. Despite losing his penultimate fight exactly one year ago to Dmitry Bivol, Canelo is still one of the most complete fighters in the sport. When you consider his defensive skills and shifty feints/movements, Alvarez is one of the toughest fighters to square up. From there, his lethal counter-punching abilities (to both the head and body) make him a problem for anyone.

Given Canelo’s long track record of success, I don’t mind calling him boxing’s best P4P fighter, but there are others worthy of this designation as well. Let us take a look at some of the most respected pound-for-pound lists around the sport ...

The Ring

No 1: Oleksandr Usyk (20-0, 13 KO) - Heavyweight

Sports Illustrated

No. 1: Terence Crawford (39-0, 30 KO) - Welterweight

CBS Sports

No. 1: Naoya Inoue (21-0, 19 KO) - Bantamweight

Gabriel’s honorable mention: Shakur Stevenson, Dmitry Bivol, Devin Haney and Gervonta Davis.