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Who is the best pound-for-pound boxer in 2023?

Gabriel Santiago takes a look at who is the top-rated pound-for-pound boxer heading into the Canelo Alvarez vs. John Ryder fight on May 6.

Boxing in London - Tyson Fury v Derek Chisora
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 03: Oleksandr Usyk (L) and Tyson Fury (R) face-off after the wbc heavyweight championship fight at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on December 03, 2022 in London, England.
Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images

Ahead of Canelo Alvarez’s (58-2-2, 39 KO) highly anticipated return to the ring (vs. John Ryder on May 6), the sport of boxing is in a transitive, “changing-of-the-guard” state. With the light and heavyweight divisions showcasing some of boxing’s brightest stars at the moment, the pound-for-pound rankings have been in a state of flux in recent years.

However — since May 2022 — Alvarez has been rated as the top P4P fighter by BoxRec and the Boxing Writers Association of America. With that said, let us glance at a couple of other respected P4P rankings and see who sits atop. Being that Tyson “The Gypsy King” Fury (33-0-1, 24 KO) is technically retired at the moment, he will not be included here.

The Ring

Oleksandr Usyk (20-0, 13 KO) - Heavyweight

Usyk is in a rare class of fighters to have unified the cruiserweight world titles before going on to become a heavyweight world champ. Additionally, the burley southpaw is also an Olympic gold medalist (2012 London). Usyk has fierce skills, presenting a wild blend of ring maneuverability and punching power. After back-to-back victories over Anthony Joshua in his past two consecutive fights, Usyk is the top dog among the active heavyweights—one can only hope that he and Fury will eventually share the ring together.

Sports Illustrated

Terence Crawford (39-0, 30 KO) - Welterweight

Bud Crawford is undeniably one of the most precise fighters of the current era, as the lefty has held world titles in three different divisions. With lightning-quick hand speed and imposing ring generalship, Crawford is one of the most complete fighters in the game. His last time out, he scored a sixth-round knockout over David Avanesyan. Boasting a professional KO rate of 77 percent, Crawford’s past 10 fights have all ended via stoppage. Still (like Usyk), Crawford has recently been linked to a possible super fight—one that would pit him against Errol Spence Jr. (28-0, 22 KO), who also deserves a spot on this list. Rumor has it that Crawford-Spence Jr. is nearing a fight deal for July 2023. The entire boxing community will benefit if that comes to fruition.

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