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Boxing pound-for-pound rankings: Oleksandr Usyk overtakes Canelo Alvarez, Tyson Fury

Oleksandr Usyk delivered another impressive performance in a split decision victory over Anthony Joshua on Saturday to retain the WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight world titles. He also added the vacant Ring belt, making him the lineal champion in the division.

This was a rematch of Usyk’s unanimous decision win over Joshua in September 2021.

With the victory, Usyk (20-0, 13 KOs), of Ukraine, picks up two spots in ESPN’s pound-for-pound rankings, leapfrogging Canelo Alvarez and fellow heavyweight champion Tyson Fury in moving to No. 4, behind just Terence Crawford, Naoya Inoue and Errol Spence Jr.

ESPN writer Mike Coppinger moved Usyk up one spot on his list, citing how the champion responded after he was hurt by Joshua’s attack in Round 9.

“I probably undervalued Usyk following his win over AJ last September, but after the way he responded to adversity in Round 10, it’s impossible to deny Usyk’s greatness,” Coppinger said. “The top seven or eight fighters on this list are interchangeable, for the most part. Some big fights this fall should go a long way toward creating separation.”

Fury, the WBC champion, said he was retiring after his TKO win over Dillian Whyte in April. But following Usyk’s victory, Fury said that he’s ready to fight Usyk to finally crown an undisputed champ for the first time in the four-belt era.

That fight could happen sooner than later, according to Fury’s promoter, Frank Warren.

“[Fury] and Usyk would be a really good fight,” Warren told the BBC on Monday. “It’s a fight that I think will be made because both teams would like to see that happen.

“Usyk said after the fight that it’s the only fight he’s interested in, and it’s certainly the same case with Tyson. It’s just a matter of where it will generate the most income, because it’s a unique fight, a historic fight.”

Our panel of Coppinger, Timothy Bradley Jr., Joe Tessitore, Michael Rothstein, Teddy Atlas, Nick Parkinson, Andre Ward, Ben Baby, Eric Raskin, Crystina Poncher, Michelle Joy Phelps, Bernardo Osuna, Eric Woodyard, Claudia Trejos, Kel Dansby, Bernardo Pilatti, Charles Moynihan, Salvador Rodriguez, Carlos Irusta, Mike Mascaro, Jim Zirolli and Aladdin Freeman share their votes.

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

Note: Results are through Aug. 24.


1. TERENCE CRAWFORD     Previous ranking: No. 1

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. 2

RECORD: 23-0, 20 KOs
DIVISION: Bantamweight (unified champion)
LAST FIGHT: W (TKO2) Nonito Donaire, June 7
NEXT FIGHT: TBA


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

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


4. OLEKSANDR USYK     Previous ranking: No. 6

RECORD: 20-0, 13 KOs
DIVISION: Heavyweight (unified champion)
LAST FIGHT: W (SD12) Anthony Joshua, Aug. 20
NEXT FIGHT: TBA


5. CANELO ALVAREZ     Previous ranking: No. 4

RECORD: 57-2-2, 39 KOs
DIVISION: Super middleweight (undisputed champion)
LAST FIGHT: L (UD12) Dmitry Bivol, May 7
NEXT FIGHT: Sept. 17 vs. Gennadiy Golovkin


6. 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


7. ARTUR BETERBIEV     Previous ranking: 7

RECORD: 18-0, 18 KOs
DIVISION: Light heavyweight (unified champion)
LAST FIGHT: W (TKO2) Joe Smith Jr., June 18
NEXT FIGHT: TBA


8. DMITRY BIVOL     Previous ranking: No. 8

RECORD: 20-0, 11 KOs
DIVISION: Light heavyweight (champion)
LAST FIGHT: W (UD12) Canelo Alvarez, May 7
NEXT FIGHT: Nov. 5 vs. Gilberto Ramirez


9. VASILIY LOMACHENKO     Previous ranking: No. 9

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


10. SHAKUR STEVENSON     Previous ranking: No. 10

RECORD: 18-0, 9 KOs
DIVISION: Junior lightweight (unified champion)
LAST FIGHT: W (UD12) Oscar Valdez, April 30
NEXT FIGHT: Sept. 23 vs. Robson Conceicao


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: Devin Haney (19), Gervonta Davis (14), Jermell Charlo (9), Juan Francisco Estrada (4), Josh Taylor (1), Gennadiy Golovkin (1), Stephen Fulton (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. Inoue, 3. Spence, 4. Alvarez, 5. Beterbiev, 6. Fury, 7. Usyk, 8. Stevenson, 9. Charlo, 10. Haney

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

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

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

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

Ward: 1. Crawford, 2. Spence, 3. Inoue, 4. Usyk, 5. Alvarez, 6. Bivol, 7. Stevenson, 8. Beterbiev, 9. Haney, 10. Davis

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

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

Phelps: 1. Crawford, 2. Spence, 3. Alvarez, 4. Inoue, 5. Usyk, 6. Fury, 7. Charlo, 8. Haney, 9. Beterbiev, 10. Bivol

Osuna: 1. Usyk, 2. Crawford, 3. Inoue, 4. Spence, 5. Alvarez, 6. Bivol, 7. Charlo, 8. Stevenson, 9. Beterbiev, 10. Haney

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

Poncher: 1. Crawford, 2. Inoue, 3. Alvarez, 4. Spence, 5. Fury, 6. Usyk, 7. Beterbiev, 8. Stevenson, 9. Charlo, 10. Haney

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

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

Dansby: 1. Usyk, 2. Crawford, 3. Inoue, 4. Alvarez, 5. Spence, 6. Fury, 7. Haney, 8. Beterbiev, 9. Charlo, 10. Stevenson

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

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

Zirolli: 1. Crawford, 2. Inoue, 3. Alvarez, 4. Spence, 5. Fury, 6. Usyk, 7. Stevenson, 8. Beterbiev, 9. Lomachenko, 10. Haney

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

Freeman: 1. Crawford, 2. Inoue, 3. Spence, 4. Alvarez, 5. Beterbiev, 6. Usyk, 7. Fury, 8. Stevenson, 9. Haney, 10. Lomachenko

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


ESPN experts’ poll

First place: Crawford (12), Inoue (6), Usyk (3), Spence (1)

Second place: Crawford (8), Inoue (6), Spence (3), Fury (3), Alvarez (1), Bivol (1)

Third place: Inoue (6), Spence (6), Usyk (4), Alvarez (4), Fury (2)

Fourth place: Alvarez (7), Spence (4), Usyk (4), Inoue (3), Fury (2), Crawford (1), Bivol (1)

Fifth place: Spence (6), Fury (5), Alvarez (3), Usyk (3), Beterbiev (3), Crawford (1), Inoue (1)

Sixth place: Usyk (6), Alvarez (4), Fury (4), Bivol (4), Beterbiev (2), Spence (1), Lomachenko (1)

Seventh place: Lomachenko (4), Alvarez (3), Beterbiev (3), Usyk (2), Fury (2), Stevenson (2), Charlo (2), Bivol (1), Haney (1), Davis (1), Estrada (1)

Eighth place: Beterbiev (6), Stevenson (6), Bivol (3), Haney (3), Fury (1), Lomachenko (1), Davis (1), Charlo (1)

Ninth place: Lomachenko (6), Stevenson (4), Beterbiev (3), Haney (3), Charlo (3), Davis (2), Fury (1)

10th place: Haney (4), Stevenson (4), Bivol (3), Lomachenko (3), Davis (2), Taylor (2), Charlo (1), Beterbiev (1), Golovkin (1), Fulton (1).

Credit: ESPN

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