The term “Pound for Pound” was originally created for Sugar Ray Robinson. Robinson is widely considered the greatest boxer ever. It meant that if all fighters were the same size, Robinson would beat them all. A pound for pound list determines who the best fighters are if, hypothetically, all were the same size.

BoxingAfrica.com determines a fighter’s status primarily by the quality of opposition. Fighting style is also given consideration as we look at head to head matchups but we believe your resume defines your greatness. We hope the list below reflects that and welcome all comments.

1. NAOYA INOUE (22-0, 19 KO’s)

 WBA & IBF World Bantamweight Champion

Naoya Inoue

Undefeated three-division world champion Naoya Inoue closed out his 2021 with December’s eighth-round TKO win over Aran Dipaen. Inoue’s career has stalled since signing with Top Rank. What was expected to be a US invasion has been anything but. However, “The Monster” will get a chance to remind us all of his greatness when he faces WBC champion and boxing legend Nonito Donaire in a rematch of their epic 2019 battle.

Next: vs. Nonito Donaire on June 7

2. TERENCE CRAWFORD (38-0, 29 KO’s)

WBO World Welterweight Champion

Terence “Bud” Crawford finally faced another top welterweight and proved his pedigree, stopping two-time champion Shawn Porter last November. Though Porter seemed past his best and retired afterward, he was still a formidable challenger for the ultra-talented Crawford. So what’s next for the WBO champ? A showdown with Errol Spence Jr. remains a fight fan’s dream but there are other young, hungry welterweights nipping at his heels, including Jaron “Boots” Ennis and Vergil Ortiz. Stay tuned.

Next: vs. TBD

3. ERROL SPENCE JR. (28-0, 22 KO’s)

WBC, WBA & IBF World Welterweight Champion 

Errol-Spence-Jr

Errol Spence Jr. remains the king of the welterweight division after a masterclass against Yordenis Ugas as Spence bulldozed the Cuban to score a 10th-round stoppage in April. Spence showed no signs of rustiness following a 17-month layoff. The American southpaw possesses every skill in the book but it’s his warrior heart and determination that have endeared him to the masses. “The Truth” now holds three belts at 147, the WBA, the WBC and the IBF. Only one belt is left out there and it belongs to archrival Terence “Bud” Crawford. That fight must be next.

Next: vs. TBD

4. SAUL ALVAREZ (57-2-2, 39 KO’s)

WBA,WBC,IBF WBO World Super Middleweight Champion

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez’s eight-year unbeaten streak came to an end when he suffered a unanimous decision defeat to WBA World Light Heavyweight Champion Dmitry Bivol. While some believe going up to 175 was too much for Canelo, we disagree. After all, Alvarez had won a 175-pound title three years ago. Further, Bivol used his skill and smarts to beat Canelo, not size and strength. So what’s next for Canelo? A rematch is in order but some believe he may not be so interested in it given what happened the first time and will instead proceed with a third match against Gennadiy Golovkin. We’ll see.

Next: vs. TBD

5. OLEKSANDR USYK (19-0, 13 KO’S) 

WBA, IBF & WBO World Heavyweight Champion

Oleksandr-Usyk

Oleksandry Usyk upset the odds with his thrilling, brilliant victory over Anthony Joshua to become the unified heavyweight world champion. Usyk displayed the sublime skills and technique that made him undisputed at cruiserweight, and showed the heart, power and will that carried to heavyweight. Usyk now joins Tyson Fury as the kings of boxing’s glamour division. Can he do it again in a rematch versus Joshua?

Next: vs. TBD

6. STEPHEN FULTON JR. (20-0, 8 KO’s)

WBC & WBO World Super Bantamweight Champion

Stephen-Fulton

Stephen Fulton Jr. could have easily won Fighter of the Year for 2021 given the year that he had. Fulton kicked it off with a fantastic unanimous decision over Angelo Leo to capture Leo’s WBO 122-pound belt. Then in November, he added the WBC strap to his collection by defeating incumbent Brandon Figueroa in a Fight of the Year candidate. In both fights Fulton showed pound for pound skill and will. Further, he did it against two of the very best in his division. Fulton is no stranger to challenging the best. He’s had only 20 fights yet has already defeated nine undefeated fighters. Now he faces brilliant former unified champion Danny Roman next. Expect another incredible battle.

Next: vs. Danny Roman on June 4

7. JERMELL CHARLO (34-1-1, 18 KO’s)

WBA, WBC & IBF World Super Welterweight Champion 

Jermell-Charlo

Jermell Charlo is one of the finest boxers in the game and also among the hardest hitters. The holder of three titles at 154, Charlo battled WBO champ Brian Castano to a disputed draw in July. Many felt Castano should have gotten the decision. A rematch is in order here and we will get it in May. Can Charlo assert himself as the man in the division or is Argentina’s Castano just that good?

Next: vs. Brian Castano 2 on May 14

8. GERVONTA DAVIS (26-0, 24 KO’s)

WBA World Lightweight Champion & WBA World Super Lightweight Champion

Gervonta-Davis

Gervonta “Tank” Davis may be on top of this list sooner rather than later. Davis ended 2021 by holding off a determined challenge from the hard-hitting Isaac Cruz in December. Known for his punching power, Davis showed his elite boxing skill against Cruz, just like he did in June 2021 when he moved up to 140-pounds and knocked out undefeated champ Mario Barrios in a brilliant performance. Arguably the hardest hitter in the sport, Davis is already one of its biggest stars. Expect the Floyd Mayweather protege to make even more noise in 2022 as he takes on nemesis Rolando Romero next.

Next: vs. Rolando Romero on May 28

9. ROMAN GONZALEZ (51-3, 41 KO’S)

A sure-fire future Hall of Famer, the legendary Roman Gonzalez is showing no signs of slowing down. Following a controversial split decision loss to Juan Francisco Estrada in March 2021 (a match many thought Gonzalez won), “Chocolatito” returned with a fantastic victory over Julio Cesar Martinez in March. No word on who is next but give this man his flowers before he hangs up the gloves.

Next: vs. TBD

10. JERMALL CHARLO (32-0, 22 KO’S)

WBC World Middleweight Champion 

Jermall-Charlo

Undefeated two-division world champion Jermall Charlo, older twin brother of unified world champion Jermell Charlo, is on a quest to find his career-defining moment. Fresh off the finest victory of his career, a unanimous decision over Sergey Derevyanchenko, Charlo easily outpointed the tough Juan Montiel in his homecoming bout last June, though not without some rough moments.  There are many who believe he is the man to topple Canelo Alvarez but negotiations for that fight ended when Canelo opted for Dmitry Bivol instead. Then talks with unbeaten Jaime Munguia fell apart. Charlo is looking for a big name but would do well not to overlook veteran Maciej Sulecki when they square off.

Next: vs. Maciej Sulecki on June 18

The Next 10: Juan Francisco Estrada, Kazuto Ioka, Artur Beterbiev, Shakur Stevenson, Brian Castano, Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, George Kambosos Jr., Demetrius Andrade, Leo Santa Cruz, Josh Taylor