It’s another month, so another new pound-for-pound lists.
This month’s arguments are about two big names who won in May, Canelo Alvarez and Devin Haney. Do they stay put? Do they fall out? What to make of a fairly uninspiring win and a controversial one?
Here’s what we’ve got.
The voters: Scott Christ, Wil Esco, John Hansen, Patrick Stumberg, and Lewis Watson
Also Receiving Votes: Kenshiro Teraji 6, Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez 4, Jermell Charlo 3, Regis Prograis 3
(1) Oleksandr Usyk, (2) Naoya Inoue, (3) Terence Crawford, (4) Dmitry Bivol, (5) Errol Spence Jr, (6) Gervonta Davis, (7) Artur Beterbiev, (8) Shakur Stevenson, (9) Devin Haney, (10) Kenshiro Teraji
My changes see Canelo Alvarez dropping out from the No. 8 spot, Shakur moving up from No. 10 to that slot, and Kenshiro Teraji in at No. 10. Really look at Canelo’s last three fights and tell me you still see a top 10 pound-for-pound fighter. I can’t do it, man. I know he fought Bivol at 175 and that was tough and I respect that loss just fine, it’s honestly his iffier performances in wins over GGG and John Ryder that do more damage on the eye test for me. He won both without question, but that’s not the prime Canelo anymore.
I still think he’s a hell of a good fighter and if he fights and beats Bivol in September, hey, things move fast, “what have you done for me lately?” and so on, so he’d be right back in, but right now I just do not see That Guy in Canelo anymore.
I’m not dropping Haney. I scored it 115-113 Lomachenko, but I could see a draw or even a narrow Haney win, I didn’t think Lomachenko got robbed. And again, I thought Haney was excellent in that fight. They both were. I thought about Lomachenko himself at the No. 10, and you could have him in, I’m a bigger believer in his current P4P case right now than I was before that fight.
But that’s always the story. There are always more who have their own cases. Loma based on that Haney fight, Prograis, Bam Rodriguez, Tyson Fury as much as I currently hate talking about him, Juan Francisco Estrada could argue still, Stephen Fulton Jr, Emanuel Navarrete is a three-division titleholder we never even talk about in this context, etc.
(1) Oleksandr Usyk, (2) Naoya Inoue, (3) Artur Beterbiev, (4) Dmitry Bivol, (5) Canelo Alvarez, (6) Errol Spence Jr, (7) Terence Crawford, (8) Jermell Charlo, (9) Devin Haney, (10) Shakur Stevenson
No changes for me this month. Devin Haney beat Vasiliy Lomachenko, but that was exactly my prediction all along so that doesn’t really change much for me. And while I do think Shakur Stevenson would be a tough matchup for Haney, and one I’d favor him in, I’m going to keep Haney positioned just above him for now based on current status and achievement.
(1) Naoya Inoue, (2) Oleksandr Usyk, (3) Dmitry Bivol, (4t) Terence Crawford, (4t) Errol Spence Jr, (6) Artur Beterbiev, (7) Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez, (8) Regis Prograis, (9) Kenshiro Teraji, (10) Gervonta Davis
Spence and Crawford finally made a deal! Both of them count as active again, so they’re both back in my rankings. I’m not going to parse who ranks higher than who right now… That’s for the fight prediction coming in just a few weeks. I won’t split them, I can’t put them above any of my top 3, and I think Beterbiev is in decline, so that’s how I decided where to place them.
Vasiliy Lomachenko and Stephen Fulton Jr must exit to make room. Lomachenko, I’ve probably kept higher and longer than I should, largely because of his success fighting at a higher than natural weight class. This isn’t a statement on his performance in the Haney fight. If I were starting from scratch this month instead of adjusting a running list, I’d probably leave him out. So, he departs now, with respect.
Similar “HE DID NOTHING WRONG!” vibes for Stephen Fulton Jr. Thought about dropping Tank Davis instead, but I’ve been way out in front on Fulton largely due to my conscientious objection to several conventional pound-for-pound fixtures. Fulton is just weeks away from a fight that could catapult him firmly into everyone’s P4P lists if he succeeds. I’ll make him my honorary No. 11 guy, and eagerly look ahead to how he acquits himself against the absolute best in the business.
(1) Naoya Inoue, (2) Oleksandr Usyk, (3) Errol Spence Jr, (4) Terence Crawford, (5) Canelo Alvarez, (6) Dmitry Bivol, (7) Shakur Stevenson, (8) Vasiliy Lomachenko, (9) Artur Beterbiev, (10) Kenshiro Teraji
For the record, I scored Lomachenko-Haney a draw and felt that I’d shaded the majority of the swing rounds to Haney. That said, Haney’s performance was inarguably excellent, by far his best to date. The Ring kept Lomachenko on the pound-for-pound list anyway, citing the fact that Lomachenko kept pace with Haney despite being the smaller man. but I can’t say I agree with their logic.
(1) Oleksandr Usyk, (2) Naoya Inoue, (3) Terence Crawford, (4) Dmitry Bivol, (5) Artur Beterbiev, (6) Errol Spence Jr, (7) Devin Haney, (8) Canelo Alvarez, (9) Kenshiro Teraji, (10) Gervonta Davis
Canelo and Devin Haney’s performances in May arguably call for a bigger shake down in this month’s standings. Canelo falls to No. 8 after underwhelming against Ryder and visibly slowing down in a weight class he has dominated for the last few years. I’m worried I still have the Canelo blinkers on – a fight with Benadvidez at 168 will give us a better understanding of his true spot.
Haney therefore rises to No. 7 and, to be honest, I see quite a gulf between that spot and the jump to No. 6. Lomachenko won that fight in my pointless opinion, but Haney is still officially unbeaten, undisputed and is growing a decent resume of opposition. Lomachenko fought well enough to prove his still has plenty of Lomachenko left in him, but another loss doesn’t warrant replacing Davis in No. 10 spot. If we’re going off the ol’ eye test, then Shakur Stevenson probably now gets my vote as the lightweight with the biggest potential ceiling. But he’s going to have to prove that before leaping into contention.