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Boxing Pound-For-Pound Rankings: Fighter of the year Terence Crawford loses number one spot with Naoya Inoue taking his crown.

Our resident boxing expert Rob Tebbutt takes a look at the leading fighters across men's and women's professional boxing and provides his pound-for-pound top five lists following a mammoth few months of world class fighting.

Men's Pound-For-Pound Rankings
Women's Pound-For-Pound Rankings
British Pound-For-Pound Rankings
 

Men's Pound-For-Pound Top Five
Rob Tebbutt's Picks

No.1 - Naoya Inoue (Previous ranking: No.2)

Here we go then, my number one pound-for-pound fighter is 'The Monster' Naoya Inoue!

It was a straight shootout between the Japanese sensation and Terence Crawford, and whilst it was such a difficult call, I have just edged with Inoue, who is now a four-weight world champion.

He has moved up to super-bantamweight in the last 12 months and went straight after the number one, Stephen Fulton.

Many expected the American to have a tad too much for Inoue, who was moving up weight classes yet again, but Inoue stopped Fulton in ruthless fashion. It was his first fight at this weight class and he became a unified world title holder.

His fight on Boxing Day against Marlon Tapales saw him fully unify the 122lbs code, with his record now reading 26 fights, 26 wins with 23 of those ending inside the distance. More remarkably 21 of his 26 bouts have been for a version of a world title.

'The Monster' - the four-weight world champion and two-weight undisputed champion - is my pound-for-pound number one, as of January 2024.
 

No.2 - Terence Crawford (Previous ranking: No.1)

So, Naoya Inoue's elevation to number one means that Terence 'Bud' Crawford has to drop down a position to number two.

It was such a tight call, and truth be told I could have really gone with a 1a and a 1b when ordering these two fighters, because there is very, very little between them.

For me, Crawford was my fighter of the year for 2023 with that incredible victory over Errol Spence Jr in a bout that we had all looked forward to for so many years.

It was a fight that was a real 50/50 fight, but it absolutely didn't pan out anything like that, with Crawford dominating from the very first bell and establishing himself as a two-weight undisputed world champion - the first man to do just that in the four belt era.

Terence Crawford rightfully takes in the top two, and if there are people questioning this then I absolutely won't be arguing with you, because it was a real toss of a coin call as to who took the number one position.
 

No.3 - Oleksandr Usyk (Previous ranking: No 1)

This is where is gets really interesting, because I do feel that there is a bit of a separation between the top three and all of the other fighters in the male boxing code.

Oleksandr Usyk remains my number three pound-for-pound fighter on the planet, and whilst others don't like to include heavyweights in their pound-for-pound lists, I personally feel it is impossible to do that when you take into consideration Usyk's achievements in the cruiserweight division prior to his step up.

He has since unseated Anthony Joshua in back-to-back performances, and he is looking forward to an undisputed showdown with Tyson Fury in Saudi Arabia in February.

If he prevails then we could see Usyk crack the top two, or even move into top spot, but for me, right now, the Ukrainian wizard, on the back of his stoppage win over Danie Dubois, retains his position as my number three.
 

No.4 - Canelo Alvarez (Previous ranking: No.4)

Canelo

No movement at number four as Canelo Alvarez retains his spot in this position for me.

I know what a lot of people are going to say; 'how can you have Canelo above Bivol after Bivol had beaten him so convincingly?' 

Well, Canelo was up at 175lbs against a brilliant champion in Dimitry Bivol, and he did respond to that defeat by beating Gennady Golovkin, John Ryder and Jermell Charlo to retain his undisputed super-middleweight championship.

For me, Canelo, while maybe not the force he once was, he is still the man to beat in his division, and when you factor everything that he has achieved in his incredible career, it's difficult to overlook him in the top five.

He is still one of the very best fighters on this planet.
 

No.5 - Dmitry Bivol (Previous ranking: No.5)

Still in fifth place is the unbeaten light-heavyweight champion, Dimitry Bivol!

He had a pretty low-key 2023 - only boxing once against Lyndon Arthur in Saudi Arabia in December, and actually looked a little flat in that performance I thought.

Having said that, he did win every round in that fight, scoring a knockdown too. What I would have loved to have seen last year however was Bivol really capitalise on that superb 2022 that he had to push himself further up my top five.

If he can get that mega showdown with Artur Beterbiev made this year, and win that fight, then there is every chance that he will gate-crash the top three.
 

Men's Pound-For-Pound Boxing Top Five:

Position:Rob Tebbutt:The Ring Magazine:
1Naoya InoueTerence Crawford
2Terence CrawfordNaoya Inoue
3Oleksandr UsykOleksandr Usyk
4Canelo AlvarezCanelo Alvarez
5Dimitry BivolDimitry Bivol


Women's Pound-For-Pound Boxing Top Five:

Position:Rob Tebbutt:The Ring Magazine:
1Claressa ShieldsClaressa Shields
2Katie TaylorKatie Taylor
3Chantelle CameronChantelle Cameron
4Amanda SerranoAmanda Serrano
5Savannah MarshallSeniesa Estrada

Katie Taylor is the big mover in the women's pound-for-pound rankings, elevating herself back up to second spot on the back of her sensational victory over Chantelle Cameron to become a two-weight undisputed champion. 
 

Britain's Pound-For-Pound Boxing Top Five:

Position:Rob Tebbutt:
1Tyson Fury
2Sunny Edwards
3Josh Taylor
4Joe Cordina
5Leigh Wood


View the latest Boxing odds
 

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