Boxing pound-for-pound rankings: A new No. 1 after Canelo Alvarez loses to Dmitry Bivol

Sports

Dmitry Bivol has officially entered the pound-for-pound conversation. Bivol scored a big upset on Saturday in Las Vegas, defeating former No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter Canelo Alvarez. He retained his WBA “super” light heavyweight world title and also earned a spot in ESPN’s top-10 list for the first time in his career.

Alvarez (57-2-2, 39 KOs), the undisputed super middleweight champion who moved up in weight to challenge Bivol at 175 pounds, falls from the No. 1 spot all the way to No. 4. Despite the close and questionable scorecards, Alvarez was dominated by Bivol, failing to implement any of his typical offense. Bivol’s powerful left jab and right hand were used to perfection to hurt Alvarez.

“There is a clear-cut blueprint on how to beat Canelo now,” two-division champion and current ESPN boxing analyst Timothy Bradley Jr. said. “Although he did take a risk by moving up, moral victories at this level don’t exist. You win, you’re a hero. You lose, your stock drops.”

Bradley dropped Alvarez from No. 1 to No. 3 on his list.

ESPN boxing writer Mike Coppinger, who dropped Alvarez from No. 1 all the way to the No. 5 spot on his list, said moving Alvarez down was a tough call.

“On one hand, Alvarez shouldn’t be punished for daring to be great and choosing to challenge an elite fighter at a heavier weight,” Coppinger said. “There’s an argument he should drop to No. 2 behind Crawford.

“On the other hand, Bivol shouldn’t rise too high on the list after one great victory, but it’s difficult to place the Russian behind Alvarez after he so comprehensively defeated him. There’s not much separation between the top seven or eight names on this list. Hopefully, someone will make a statement in the ring and pull away from the pack soon.”

Another fighter making his debut in the top 10 is unified junior lightweight champion Shakur Stevenson. His impressive victory over Oscar Valdez on April 30 got him enough votes to take over the No. 9 spot.

“Stevenson is in a class of his own,” said Bradley, who voted Stevenson at No. 8. “Not only did he beat a great champion, but he completely outclassed a dominant force in Valdez. Michael Jordan made everything look easy, and Stevenson does the most demanding sport in the world and makes it seem peaceful. That is a sign of greatness!”

Our panel of Coppinger, Bradley, Andre Ward, Joe Tessitore, Michael Rothstein, Teddy Atlas, Nick Parkinson, Ben Baby, Eric Raskin, Eric Woodyard, Michelle Joy Phelps, Claudia Trejos, Kel Dansby, Bernardo Pilatti, Charles Moynihan and Salvador Rodriguez share their votes.

More rankings: Divisional rankings and ESPN’s women’s pound-for-pound rankings.

Note: Results are through May 11.


1. TERENCE CRAWFORD     Previous ranking: No. 2

RECORD: 38-0, 29 KOs
DIVISION: Welterweight (champion)
LAST FIGHT: W (TKO10) Shawn Porter, Nov. 20
NEXT FIGHT: TBA


2. NAOYA INOUE     Previous ranking: No. 3

RECORD: 22-0, 19 KOs
DIVISION: Bantamweight (unified champion)
LAST FIGHT: W (KO8) Aran Dipaen, Dec. 14
NEXT FIGHT: June 7 vs. Nonito Donaire


3. ERROL SPENCE JR.     Previous ranking: No. 4

RECORD: 28-0, 22 KOs
DIVISION: Welterweight (unified champion)
LAST FIGHT: W (TKO10) Yordenis Ugas, April 16
NEXT FIGHT: TBA


4. CANELO ALVAREZ     Previous ranking: No. 1

RECORD: 57-2-2, 39 KOs
DIVISION: Super middleweight (undisputed champion)
LAST FIGHT: L (UD12) Dmitry Bivol, May 7
NEXT FIGHT: TBA


5. TYSON FURY     Previous ranking: No. 5

RECORD: 32-0-1, 23 KOs
DIVISION: Heavyweight (champion)
LAST FIGHT: W (TKO6) Dillian Whyte, April 23
NEXT FIGHT: TBA


6. OLEKSANDR USYK     Previous ranking: No. 6

RECORD: 19-0, 13 KOs
DIVISION: Heavyweight (unified champion)
LAST FIGHT: W (UD12) Anthony Joshua, Sept. 25
NEXT FIGHT: July 23 vs. Anthony Joshua


7. VASILIY LOMACHENKO     Previous ranking: No. 7

RECORD: 16-2, 11 KOs
DIVISION: Lightweight
LAST FIGHT: W (UD12) Richard Commey, Dec. 11
NEXT FIGHT: TBA


8. DMITRY BIVOL     Previous ranking: N/R

RECORD: 20-0, 11 KOs
DIVISION: Light heavyweight (champion)
LAST FIGHT: W (UD12) Canelo Alvarez, May 7
NEXT FIGHT: TBA


9. SHAKUR STEVENSON     Previous ranking: N/R

RECORD: 18-0, 9 KOs
DIVISION: Junior lightweight (unified champion)
LAST FIGHT: W (UD12) Oscar Valdez, April 30
NEXT FIGHT: TBA


10. JUAN FRANCISCO ESTRADA     Previous ranking: No. 8

RECORD: 42-3, 28 KOs
DIVISION: Junior bantamweight (champion)
LAST FIGHT: W (SD12) Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez, March 13, 2021
NEXT FIGHT: TBA


The formula

The rankings are based on a descending points system, with a first-place vote receiving 10 points, a second-place vote receiving nine points and so on. A tie goes to the fighter with the highest ranking and then the one with the most votes at that ranking.


Others receiving votes: Josh Taylor (15), Gervonta Davis (10), George Kambosos Jr. (10), Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez (3), Artur Beterbiev (2), Gennadiy Golovkin (2), Jermell Charlo (2), Teofimo Lopez (1).


How our writers voted

Atlas: 1. Crawford, 2. Bivol, 3. Inoue, 4. Usyk, 5. Spence, 6. Alvarez, 7. Lomachenko, 8. Fury, 9. Davis, 10. Beterbiev

Bradley: 1. Crawford, 2. Spence, 3. Alvarez, 4. Inoue, 5. Fury, 6. Usyk, 7. Lomachenko, 8. Stevenson, 9. Taylor, 10. Davis

Ward: 1. Crawford, 2. Fury, 3. Spence, 4. Alvarez, 5. Usyk, 6. Inoue, 7. Lomachenko, 8. Bivol, 9. Taylor, 10. Stevenson

Coppinger: 1. Crawford, 2. Fury, 3. Spence, 4. Bivol, 5. Alvarez, 6. Inoue, 7. Usyk, 8. Lomachenko, 9. Gonzalez, 10. Stevenson

Tessitore: 1. Crawford, 2. Inoue, 3. Usyk, 4. Alvarez, 5. Lomachenko, 6. Spence, 7. Stevenson, 8. Fury, 9. Bivol, 10. Estrada

Parkinson: 1. Crawford, 2. Inoue, 3. Alvarez, 4. Fury, 5. Spence, 6. Usyk, 7. Bivol, 8. Kambosos, 9. Lomachenko, 10. Estrada

Raskin: 1. Crawford, 2. Inoue, 3. Spence, 4. Bivol, 5. Alvarez, 6. Fury, 7. Usyk, 8. Stevenson, 9. Lomachenko, 10. Gonzalez

Baby: 1. Crawford, 2. Alvarez, 3. Usyk, 4. Inoue, 5. Spence, 6. Fury, 7. Estrada, 8. Lomachenko, 9. Stevenson, 10. Davis

Rothstein: 1. Crawford, 2. Inoue, 3. Fury, 4. Alvarez, 5. Spence, 6. Usyk, 7. Lomachenko, 8. Bivol, 9. Davis, 10. Kambosos

Phelps: 1. Crawford, 2. Spence, 3. Alvarez, 4. Inoue, 5. Fury, 6. Usyk, 7. Taylor, 8. Kambosos, 9. Charlo, 10. Lopez

Woodyard: 1. Crawford, 2. Fury, 3. Spence, 4. Alvarez, 5. Inoue, 6. Usyk, 7. Lomachenko, 8. Stevenson, 9. Taylor, 10. Davis

Trejos: 1. Crawford, 2. Alvarez, 3. Inoue, 4. Usyk, 5. Fury, 6. Lomachenko, 7. Estrada, 8. Taylor, 9. Stevenson, 10. Beterbiev

Dansby: 1. Usyk, 2. Crawford, 3. Alvarez, 4. Spence, 5. Fury, 6. Inoue, 7. Lomachenko, 8. Kambosos, 9. Stevenson, 10. Davis

Moynihan: 1. Spence, 2. Crawford, 3. Fury, 4. Inoue, 5. Alvarez, 6. Usyk, 7. Lomachenko, 8. Bivol, 9. Golovkin, 10. Estrada

Pilatti: 1. Crawford, 2. Spence, 3. Inoue, 4. Fury, 5. Lomachenko, 6. Alvarez, 7. Estrada, 8. Usyk, 9. Davis, 10. Stevenson

Rodriguez: 1. Fury, 2. Crawford, 3. Inoue, 4. Spence, 5. Usyk, 6. Alvarez, 7. Lomachenko, 8. Bivol, 9. Taylor, 10. Estrada


ESPN experts’ poll

First place: Crawford (13), Spence (1), Fury (1), Usyk (1)

Second place: Inoue (4), Crawford (3), Spence (3), Fury (3), Alvarez (2), Bivol (1)

Third place: Inoue (4), Spence (4), Alvarez (4), Fury (2), Usyk (2)

Fourth place: Inoue (4), Alvarez (4), Spence (2), Fury (2), Usyk (2), Bivol (2)

Fifth place: Spence (4), Fury (4), Alvarez (3), Usyk (2), Lomachenko (2), Inoue (1)

Sixth place: Usyk (6), Inoue (3), Alvarez (3), Fury (2), Spence (1), Lomachenko (1)

Seventh place: Lomachenko (8), Estrada (3), Usyk (2), Bivol (1), Stevenson (1), Taylor (1)

Eighth place: Bivol (4), Stevenson (3), Kambosos (3), Fury (2), Lomachenko (2), Usyk (1), Taylor (1)

Ninth place: Taylor (4), Stevenson (3), Davis (3), Lomachenko (2), Bivol (1), Gonzalez (1), Golovkin (1), Jermell Charlo (1)

10th place: Estrada (4), Davis (4), Stevenson (3), Beterbiev (2), Kambosos (1), Gonzalez (1), Lopez (1)

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