Pound-for-pound: Kazuto Ioka proved again that he belongs on list

Pound-for-pound: Kazuto Ioka proved again by beating Joshua Franco that he belongs on Boxing Junkie’s list.

Kazuto Ioka’s unanimous-decision victory over an overweight Joshua Franco to regain a 115-pound title on Saturday wasn’t enough to lift him from Honorable Mention into the Top 15 here.

However, it underscores the Japanese fighter’s staying power.

Ioka won his first world title as a 108-pounder in 2011 and has worn one belt or another almost continuously since then, making him one of the most consistent boxers in the world.

Ioka (30-2-1, 15 KOs) is undefeated (6-0-1) since he lost a split decision to Donnie Nietes in 2018, a setback he avenged last year.

And, even at 35, there is more to come. The victory over Franco, who came in six-plus pounds over the limit, sets up potential fights with fellow titleholders Juan Francisco Estrada, Fernando Martinez and Junto Nakatani or several other big-name junior bantamweights.

The resident of Tokyo might be the underdog against some of the top 115-pounders but don’t be surprised if he ends up with his hand raised. If he’s anything, he’s a winner.

And that could mean he would crack the Top 15 at an age when many fighters are finished.

Next pound-for-pounder up: No. 2 Naoya Inoue will challenge 122-pound titleholder and Honorable Mention Stephen Fulton Jr. on July 25 in Japan.

Here’s what the list looks like at the moment:

BOXING JUNKIE
POUND-FOR-POUND

  1. Terence Crawford – Scheduled to face No. 4 Errol Spence Jr. for the undisputed 147-pound championship on July 29.
  2. Naoya Inoue – Scheduled to challenge 122-pound titleholder and Honorable Mention Stephen Fulton Jr. on July 25 in Tokyo.
  3. Oleksandr Usyk – Reportedly set to defend his three heavyweight titles against Daniel Dubois on Aug. 26 but no announcement has been made.
  4. Errol Spence Jr. – Scheduled to face No. 1 Terence Crawford for the undisputed 147-pound championship on July 29.
  5. Dmitry Bivol – No fight scheduled.
  6. Tyson Fury – No fight scheduled.
  7. Juan Francisco Estrada – No fight scheduled.
  8. Canelo Alvarez– Reportedly in talks to defend his undisputed 168-pound championship against 160-pound titleholder Jermall Charlo on Sept. 16 but no deal has been reached.
  9. Jermell Charlo – No fight scheduled.
  10. Gervonta Davis – No fight scheduled.
  11. Vasiliy Lomachenko – No fight scheduled.
  12. Artur Beterbiev – Scheduled to defend his 175-pound titles against Callum Smith on Aug. 19.
  13. Shakur Stevenson – No fight scheduled.
  14. Roman Gonzalez  No fight scheduled.
  15. Devin Haney – No fight scheduled.

Honorable mention (alphabetical order): David Benavidez (reportedly in talks to face David Morrell in October but no deal is in place); Jermall Charlo (reportedly in talks to challenge 168-pound champion Canelo Alvarez on Sept. 16 but no deal has been reached); Stephen Fulton Jr. (scheduled to defend his 122-pound title against No. 2 Naoya Inoue on July 25 in Tokyo); Kazuto Ioka (no fight scheduled); Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez (scheduled to face Sunny Edwards in a 112-pound title-unification bout in December).

Pound-for-pound: Kazuto Ioka proved again that he belongs on list

Pound-for-pound: Kazuto Ioka proved again by beating Joshua Franco that he belongs on Boxing Junkie’s list.

Kazuto Ioka’s unanimous-decision victory over an overweight Joshua Franco to regain a 115-pound title on Saturday wasn’t enough to lift him from Honorable Mention into the Top 15 here.

However, it underscores the Japanese fighter’s staying power.

Ioka won his first world title as a 108-pounder in 2011 and has worn one belt or another almost continuously since then, making him one of the most consistent boxers in the world.

Ioka (30-2-1, 15 KOs) is undefeated (6-0-1) since he lost a split decision to Donnie Nietes in 2018, a setback he avenged last year.

And, even at 35, there is more to come. The victory over Franco, who came in six-plus pounds over the limit, sets up potential fights with fellow titleholders Juan Francisco Estrada, Fernando Martinez and Junto Nakatani or several other big-name junior bantamweights.

The resident of Tokyo might be the underdog against some of the top 115-pounders but don’t be surprised if he ends up with his hand raised. If he’s anything, he’s a winner.

And that could mean he would crack the Top 15 at an age when many fighters are finished.

Next pound-for-pounder up: No. 2 Naoya Inoue will challenge 122-pound titleholder and Honorable Mention Stephen Fulton Jr. on July 25 in Japan.

Here’s what the list looks like at the moment:

BOXING JUNKIE
POUND-FOR-POUND

  1. Terence Crawford – Scheduled to face No. 4 Errol Spence Jr. for the undisputed 147-pound championship on July 29.
  2. Naoya Inoue – Scheduled to challenge 122-pound titleholder and Honorable Mention Stephen Fulton Jr. on July 25 in Tokyo.
  3. Oleksandr Usyk – Reportedly set to defend his three heavyweight titles against Daniel Dubois on Aug. 26 but no announcement has been made.
  4. Errol Spence Jr. – Scheduled to face No. 1 Terence Crawford for the undisputed 147-pound championship on July 29.
  5. Dmitry Bivol – No fight scheduled.
  6. Tyson Fury – No fight scheduled.
  7. Juan Francisco Estrada – No fight scheduled.
  8. Canelo Alvarez– Reportedly in talks to defend his undisputed 168-pound championship against 160-pound titleholder Jermall Charlo on Sept. 16 but no deal has been reached.
  9. Jermell Charlo – No fight scheduled.
  10. Gervonta Davis – No fight scheduled.
  11. Vasiliy Lomachenko – No fight scheduled.
  12. Artur Beterbiev – Scheduled to defend his 175-pound titles against Callum Smith on Aug. 19.
  13. Shakur Stevenson – No fight scheduled.
  14. Roman Gonzalez  No fight scheduled.
  15. Devin Haney – No fight scheduled.

Honorable mention (alphabetical order): David Benavidez (reportedly in talks to face David Morrell in October but no deal is in place); Jermall Charlo (reportedly in talks to challenge 168-pound champion Canelo Alvarez on Sept. 16 but no deal has been reached); Stephen Fulton Jr. (scheduled to defend his 122-pound title against No. 2 Naoya Inoue on July 25 in Tokyo); Kazuto Ioka (no fight scheduled); Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez (scheduled to face Sunny Edwards in a 112-pound title-unification bout in December).

Pound-for-pound: Teofimo Lopez’s ‘retirement’ prevents him from climbing onto list

Pound-for-pound: Teofimo Lopez’s ‘retirement’ prevents him from climbing onto the Boxing Junkie list.

Teofimo Lopez threw us a curve.

The new 140-pound champion announced his retirement shortly after he defeated Josh Taylor on June 10 in New York, a victory that would’ve lifted him back onto our pound-for-pound list.

We didn’t take his announcement seriously. What 25-year-old titleholder retires? However, on Thursday, he gave up the WBO belt he took from the respect Taylor, which forces our hand.

We have to take Lopez at his word even though we still expect him to return to the ring sometime soon. That means Lopez will not climb onto the list. And Taylor, who was an Honorable Mention going into the fight with Lopez, has created an opening by falling out of the rankings.

The Scot was replaced by Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez, who defeated Carlos Cuadras and Srisaket Sor Rungvisai in succession last year, capped 2022 by outpointing Israel Gonzalez and then decisioned Cristian Gonzalez Hernandez even though he fought half the bout with a broken jaw in September.

Next pound-for-pounder up: No. 2 Naoya Inoue will challenge 122-pound titleholder and Honorable Mention Stephen Fulton Jr. on July 25 in Japan.

Here’s what the list looks like at the moment:

BOXING JUNKIE
POUND-FOR-POUND

  1. Terence Crawford – Scheduled to face No. 4 Errol Spence Jr. for the undisputed 147-pound championship on July 29.
  2. Naoya Inoue – Scheduled to challenge 122-pound titleholder and Honorable Mention Stephen Fulton Jr. on July 25 in Tokyo.
  3. Oleksandr Usyk – Reportedly in talks to defend his three heavyweight titles against Daniel Dubois but nothing concrete has emerged from the negotiations.
  4. Errol Spence Jr. – Scheduled to face No. 1 Terence Crawford for the undisputed 147-pound championship on July 29.
  5. Dmitry Bivol – No right scheduled.
  6. Tyson Fury – No fight scheduled.
  7. Juan Francisco Estrada – No fight scheduled.
  8. Canelo Alvarez– No fight scheduled.
  9. Jermell Charlo – No fight scheduled.
  10. Gervonta Davis – No fight scheduled.
  11. Vasiliy Lomachenko – No fight scheduled.
  12. Artur Beterbiev – Scheduled to defend his 175-pound titles against Callum Smith on Aug. 19.
  13. Shakur Stevenson – No fight scheduled.
  14. Roman Gonzalez  No fight scheduled.
  15. Devin Haney – No fight scheduled.

Honorable mention (alphabetical order): David Benavidez (no fight scheduled); Jermall Charlo (no fight scheduled); Stephen Fulton Jr. (scheduled to defend his 122-pound title against No. 2 Naoya Inoue on July 25 in Tokyo); Kazuto Ioka (scheduled to challenge 115-pound titleholder Joshua Franco on June 24 in Tokyo); Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez (no fight scheduled).

[lawrence-related id=37719,37707]

Pound-for-pound: Teofimo Lopez’s ‘retirement’ prevents him from climbing onto list

Pound-for-pound: Teofimo Lopez’s ‘retirement’ prevents him from climbing onto the Boxing Junkie list.

Teofimo Lopez threw us a curve.

The new 140-pound champion announced his retirement shortly after he defeated Josh Taylor on June 10 in New York, a victory that would’ve lifted him back onto our pound-for-pound list.

We didn’t take his announcement seriously. What 25-year-old titleholder retires? However, on Thursday, he gave up the WBO belt he took from the respect Taylor, which forces our hand.

We have to take Lopez at his word even though we still expect him to return to the ring sometime soon. That means Lopez will not climb onto the list. And Taylor, who was an Honorable Mention going into the fight with Lopez, has created an opening by falling out of the rankings.

The Scot was replaced by Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez, who defeated Carlos Cuadras and Srisaket Sor Rungvisai in succession last year, capped 2022 by outpointing Israel Gonzalez and then decisioned Cristian Gonzalez Hernandez even though he fought half the bout with a broken jaw in September.

Next pound-for-pounder up: No. 2 Naoya Inoue will challenge 122-pound titleholder and Honorable Mention Stephen Fulton Jr. on July 25 in Japan.

Here’s what the list looks like at the moment:

BOXING JUNKIE
POUND-FOR-POUND

  1. Terence Crawford – Scheduled to face No. 4 Errol Spence Jr. for the undisputed 147-pound championship on July 29.
  2. Naoya Inoue – Scheduled to challenge 122-pound titleholder and Honorable Mention Stephen Fulton Jr. on July 25 in Tokyo.
  3. Oleksandr Usyk – Reportedly in talks to defend his three heavyweight titles against Daniel Dubois but nothing concrete has emerged from the negotiations.
  4. Errol Spence Jr. – Scheduled to face No. 1 Terence Crawford for the undisputed 147-pound championship on July 29.
  5. Dmitry Bivol – No right scheduled.
  6. Tyson Fury – No fight scheduled.
  7. Juan Francisco Estrada – No fight scheduled.
  8. Canelo Alvarez– No fight scheduled.
  9. Jermell Charlo – No fight scheduled.
  10. Gervonta Davis – No fight scheduled.
  11. Vasiliy Lomachenko – No fight scheduled.
  12. Artur Beterbiev – Scheduled to defend his 175-pound titles against Callum Smith on Aug. 19.
  13. Shakur Stevenson – No fight scheduled.
  14. Roman Gonzalez  No fight scheduled.
  15. Devin Haney – No fight scheduled.

Honorable mention (alphabetical order): David Benavidez (no fight scheduled); Jermall Charlo (no fight scheduled); Stephen Fulton Jr. (scheduled to defend his 122-pound title against No. 2 Naoya Inoue on July 25 in Tokyo); Kazuto Ioka (scheduled to challenge 115-pound titleholder Joshua Franco on June 24 in Tokyo); Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez (no fight scheduled).

[lawrence-related id=37719,37707]

Pound-for-pound: Devin Haney, Vasiliy Lomachenko settled nothing

Pound-for-pound: Devin Haney and Vasiliy Lomachenko settled nothing in their close fight Saturday in Las Vegas.

Devin Haney and Vasiliy Lomachenko made our job difficult.

Haney defeated Lomachenko by a close, but unanimous decision to retain his undisputed 135-pound championship and perfect record Saturday at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

The scores of 116-112, 115-113 and 115-113 weren’t received well in some circles, with many experts and fans crying robbery.

I scored it 114-114, a draw. I thought Haney landed the cleaner, harder blows – many to the body – in the first half of the fight. Lomachenko rallied to control the latter rounds.

However, we must acknowledge that others were convinced incompetence or corruption on the part of the judges cost Lomachenko a victory he earned.

So how does this impact the Boxing Junkie’s pound-for-pound rankings?

Lomachenko and Haney sat at Nos. 11 and 15, respectively, going into the fight. Should Haney be elevated simply because he had his hand raised? Or do we base our decisions on what our eyes told us?

Here’s what we decided to do after considerable thought: leave things as they were entering the fight.

Lomachenko, the former pound-for-pound king, demonstrated that he remains one of the best in the business by fighting a top young champion on even terms or doing enough to win, according to public opinion.

Thus, we couldn’t justify dropping him in the rankings. That would’ve only added to what many believe was an injustice.

Meanwhile, Haney deserves credit for proving that he can compete on the same level as an opponent ranked higher than he is. Anyone who believes Lomachenko deserved to win a wide decision is as out of line as they believe the official judges were.

At the same time, we couldn’t elevate Haney after a disputed victory. After all, Nos. 12-14 Artur Beterbiev, Shakur Stevenson and Roman Gonzalez sit above him.

His performance against Lomachenko doesn’t merit leapfrogging any of the above.

In the end, if Lomachenko and Haney are going to prove they belong higher on Boxing Junkie’s list, they’ll have to do it against other opponents in coming fights.

Next pound-for-pounder up: Honorable Mention Josh Taylor is scheduled to defend his WBO 140-pound title against Teofimo Lopez on June 10 in New York.

Here’s what the list looks like at the moment:

BOXING JUNKIE
POUND-FOR-POUND

  1. Terence Crawford – Reportedly is near a deal to face No. 4 Errol Spence Jr. for the undisputed 147-pound championship but no announcement has been made.
  2. Naoya Inoue – Scheduled to challenge 122-pound titleholder and Honorable Mention Stephen Fulton Jr. on July 25 in Tokyo.
  3. Oleksandr Usyk – Reportedly in talks to defend his three heavyweight titles against Daniel Dubois but nothing concrete has emerged from the negotiations.
  4. Errol Spence Jr. – Reportedly is near a deal to face No. 1 Terence Crawford for the undisputed 147-pound championship but no announcement has been made.
  5. Dmitry Bivol – Expected to defend his 175-title against Canelo Alvarez in a rematch in September but no agreement has been reached..
  6. Tyson Fury – Reportedly considering a title defense against former beltholder Andy Ruiz Jr. or Zhilei Zhang in July.
  7. Juan Francisco Estrada – No fight scheduled.
  8. Canelo Alvarez– Expected to challenge 175-titleholder Dmitry Bivol in a rematch in September but no agreement has been reached
  9. Jermell Charlo – No fight scheduled.
  10. Gervonta Davis – No fight scheduled.
  11. Vasiliy Lomachenko – No fight scheduled.
  12. Artur Beterbiev – Reportedly near a deal to defend his 175-pound titles against Callum Smith in August in Canada but the deal hasn’t been finalized.
  13. Shakur Stevenson – No fight scheduled.
  14. Roman Gonzalez  No fight scheduled.
  15. Devin Haney – No fight scheduled.

Honorable mention (alphabetical order): David Benavidez (no fight scheduled); Jermall Charlo (no fight scheduled); Stephen Fulton Jr. (scheduled to defend his 122-pound title against No. 2 Naoya Inoue on July 25 in Tokyo); Kazuto Ioka (scheduled to challenge 115-pound titleholder Joshua Franco on June 24 in Tokyo); Josh Taylor (scheduled to defend his WBO 140-pound title against Teofimo Lopez on June 10 in New York).

[lawrence-related id=37504,37470,37466]

Pound-for-pound: Devin Haney, Vasiliy Lomachenko settled nothing

Pound-for-pound: Devin Haney and Vasiliy Lomachenko settled nothing in their close fight Saturday in Las Vegas.

Devin Haney and Vasiliy Lomachenko made our job difficult.

Haney defeated Lomachenko by a close, but unanimous decision to retain his undisputed 135-pound championship and perfect record Saturday at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

The scores of 116-112, 115-113 and 115-113 weren’t received well in some circles, with many experts and fans crying robbery.

I scored it 114-114, a draw. I thought Haney landed the cleaner, harder blows – many to the body – in the first half of the fight. Lomachenko rallied to control the latter rounds.

However, we must acknowledge that others were convinced incompetence or corruption on the part of the judges cost Lomachenko a victory he earned.

So how does this impact the Boxing Junkie’s pound-for-pound rankings?

Lomachenko and Haney sat at Nos. 11 and 15, respectively, going into the fight. Should Haney be elevated simply because he had his hand raised? Or do we base our decisions on what our eyes told us?

Here’s what we decided to do after considerable thought: leave things as they were entering the fight.

Lomachenko, the former pound-for-pound king, demonstrated that he remains one of the best in the business by fighting a top young champion on even terms or doing enough to win, according to public opinion.

Thus, we couldn’t justify dropping him in the rankings. That would’ve only added to what many believe was an injustice.

Meanwhile, Haney deserves credit for proving that he can compete on the same level as an opponent ranked higher than he is. Anyone who believes Lomachenko deserved to win a wide decision is as out of line as they believe the official judges were.

At the same time, we couldn’t elevate Haney after a disputed victory. After all, Nos. 12-14 Artur Beterbiev, Shakur Stevenson and Roman Gonzalez sit above him.

His performance against Lomachenko doesn’t merit leapfrogging any of the above.

In the end, if Lomachenko and Haney are going to prove they belong higher on Boxing Junkie’s list, they’ll have to do it against other opponents in coming fights.

Next pound-for-pounder up: Honorable Mention Josh Taylor is scheduled to defend his WBO 140-pound title against Teofimo Lopez on June 10 in New York.

Here’s what the list looks like at the moment:

BOXING JUNKIE
POUND-FOR-POUND

  1. Terence Crawford – Reportedly is near a deal to face No. 4 Errol Spence Jr. for the undisputed 147-pound championship but no announcement has been made.
  2. Naoya Inoue – Scheduled to challenge 122-pound titleholder and Honorable Mention Stephen Fulton Jr. on July 25 in Tokyo.
  3. Oleksandr Usyk – Reportedly in talks to defend his three heavyweight titles against Daniel Dubois but nothing concrete has emerged from the negotiations.
  4. Errol Spence Jr. – Reportedly is near a deal to face No. 1 Terence Crawford for the undisputed 147-pound championship but no announcement has been made.
  5. Dmitry Bivol – Expected to defend his 175-title against Canelo Alvarez in a rematch in September but no agreement has been reached..
  6. Tyson Fury – Reportedly considering a title defense against former beltholder Andy Ruiz Jr. or Zhilei Zhang in July.
  7. Juan Francisco Estrada – No fight scheduled.
  8. Canelo Alvarez– Expected to challenge 175-titleholder Dmitry Bivol in a rematch in September but no agreement has been reached
  9. Jermell Charlo – No fight scheduled.
  10. Gervonta Davis – No fight scheduled.
  11. Vasiliy Lomachenko – No fight scheduled.
  12. Artur Beterbiev – Reportedly near a deal to defend his 175-pound titles against Callum Smith in August in Canada but the deal hasn’t been finalized.
  13. Shakur Stevenson – No fight scheduled.
  14. Roman Gonzalez  No fight scheduled.
  15. Devin Haney – No fight scheduled.

Honorable mention (alphabetical order): David Benavidez (no fight scheduled); Jermall Charlo (no fight scheduled); Stephen Fulton Jr. (scheduled to defend his 122-pound title against No. 2 Naoya Inoue on July 25 in Tokyo); Kazuto Ioka (scheduled to challenge 115-pound titleholder Joshua Franco on June 24 in Tokyo); Josh Taylor (scheduled to defend his WBO 140-pound title against Teofimo Lopez on June 10 in New York).

[lawrence-related id=37504,37470,37466]

Pound-for-pound: Devin Haney-Vasiliy Lomachenko fight should shake up list

Pound-for-pound: The Devin Haney-Vasiliy Lomachenko fight on Saturday should shake up Boxing Junkie’s pound-for-pound list.

Boxing Junkie’s pound-for-pound list could look considerably different after this coming Saturday.

That’s when No. 11 Vasiliy Lomachenko is set to challenge No. 15 Devin Haney on pay-per-view for Haney’s undisputed 135-pound championship at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Whomever wins has a good chance of climbing the list barring a disputed result or some other unforeseen outcome.

That’s because ranked fighters are actually taking the risk of facing one another in ring, which is the best way to prove you belong among the best in the business.

For Haney, success would merely be more of the same for the fast-rising 24-year-old. For Lomachenko, 35, a victory and boost in the rankings would be redemption after he fell out of favor by losing to Teofimo Lopez in 2020.

We’ll update the list one way or another early next week.

Next pound-for-pounder up: Honorable Mention Josh Taylor is scheduled to defend his WBO 140-pound title against Teofimo Lopez on June 10 in New York.

Here’s what the list looks like at the moment:

BOXING JUNKIE
POUND-FOR-POUND

  1. Terence Crawford – Reportedly is near a deal to face No. 4 Errol Spence Jr. for the undisputed 147-pound championship but no announcement has been made.
  2. Naoya Inoue – Scheduled to challenge 122-pound titleholder and Honorable Mention Stephen Fulton Jr. on July 25 in Tokyo.
  3. Oleksandr Usyk – Reportedly in talks to defend his three heavyweight titles against Daniel Dubois but nothing concrete has emerged from the negotiations.
  4. Errol Spence Jr. – Reportedly is near a deal to face No. 1 Terence Crawford for the undisputed 147-pound championship but no announcement has been made.
  5. Dmitry Bivol – Expected to defend his 175-title against Canelo Alvarez in a rematch in September but no agreement has been reached..
  6. Tyson Fury – Reportedly considering a title defense against former beltholder Andy Ruiz Jr. or Zhilei Zhang in July.
  7. Juan Francisco Estrada – No fight scheduled.
  8. Canelo Alvarez– Expected to challenge 175-titleholder Dmitry Bivol in a rematch in September but no agreement has been reached
  9. Jermell Charlo – No fight scheduled.
  10. Gervonta Davis – No fight scheduled.
  11. Vasiliy Lomachenko – Scheduled to challenge undisputed 135-pound champion and No. 15 Devin Haney on May 20 in Las Vegas.
  12. Artur Beterbiev – Reportedly near a deal to defend his 175-pound titles against Callum Smith in August in Canada but the deal hasn’t been finalized.
  13. Shakur Stevenson – No fight scheduled.
  14. Roman Gonzalez  No fight scheduled.
  15. Devin Haney – Scheduled to defend his undisputed 135-pound championship against No. 11 Vasiliy Lomachenko on May 20 in Las Vegas..

Honorable mention (alphabetical order): David Benavidez (no fight scheduled); Jermall Charlo (no fight scheduled); Stephen Fulton Jr. (scheduled to defend his 122-pound title against No. 2 Naoya Inoue on July 25 in Tokyo); Kazuto Ioka (scheduled to challenge 115-pound titleholder Joshua Franco on June 24 in Tokyo); Josh Taylor (scheduled to defend his WBO 140-pound title against Teofimo Lopez on June 10 in New York).

[lawrence-related id=37361,37355]

Pound-for-pound: Devin Haney-Vasiliy Lomachenko fight should shake up list

Pound-for-pound: The Devin Haney-Vasiliy Lomachenko fight on Saturday should shake up Boxing Junkie’s pound-for-pound list.

Boxing Junkie’s pound-for-pound list could look considerably different after this coming Saturday.

That’s when No. 11 Vasiliy Lomachenko is set to challenge No. 15 Devin Haney on pay-per-view for Haney’s undisputed 135-pound championship at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Whomever wins has a good chance of climbing the list barring a disputed result or some other unforeseen outcome.

That’s because ranked fighters are actually taking the risk of facing one another in ring, which is the best way to prove you belong among the best in the business.

For Haney, success would merely be more of the same for the fast-rising 24-year-old. For Lomachenko, 35, a victory and boost in the rankings would be redemption after he fell out of favor by losing to Teofimo Lopez in 2020.

We’ll update the list one way or another early next week.

Next pound-for-pounder up: Honorable Mention Josh Taylor is scheduled to defend his WBO 140-pound title against Teofimo Lopez on June 10 in New York.

Here’s what the list looks like at the moment:

BOXING JUNKIE
POUND-FOR-POUND

  1. Terence Crawford – Reportedly is near a deal to face No. 4 Errol Spence Jr. for the undisputed 147-pound championship but no announcement has been made.
  2. Naoya Inoue – Scheduled to challenge 122-pound titleholder and Honorable Mention Stephen Fulton Jr. on July 25 in Tokyo.
  3. Oleksandr Usyk – Reportedly in talks to defend his three heavyweight titles against Daniel Dubois but nothing concrete has emerged from the negotiations.
  4. Errol Spence Jr. – Reportedly is near a deal to face No. 1 Terence Crawford for the undisputed 147-pound championship but no announcement has been made.
  5. Dmitry Bivol – Expected to defend his 175-title against Canelo Alvarez in a rematch in September but no agreement has been reached..
  6. Tyson Fury – Reportedly considering a title defense against former beltholder Andy Ruiz Jr. or Zhilei Zhang in July.
  7. Juan Francisco Estrada – No fight scheduled.
  8. Canelo Alvarez– Expected to challenge 175-titleholder Dmitry Bivol in a rematch in September but no agreement has been reached
  9. Jermell Charlo – No fight scheduled.
  10. Gervonta Davis – No fight scheduled.
  11. Vasiliy Lomachenko – Scheduled to challenge undisputed 135-pound champion and No. 15 Devin Haney on May 20 in Las Vegas.
  12. Artur Beterbiev – Reportedly near a deal to defend his 175-pound titles against Callum Smith in August in Canada but the deal hasn’t been finalized.
  13. Shakur Stevenson – No fight scheduled.
  14. Roman Gonzalez  No fight scheduled.
  15. Devin Haney – Scheduled to defend his undisputed 135-pound championship against No. 11 Vasiliy Lomachenko on May 20 in Las Vegas..

Honorable mention (alphabetical order): David Benavidez (no fight scheduled); Jermall Charlo (no fight scheduled); Stephen Fulton Jr. (scheduled to defend his 122-pound title against No. 2 Naoya Inoue on July 25 in Tokyo); Kazuto Ioka (scheduled to challenge 115-pound titleholder Joshua Franco on June 24 in Tokyo); Josh Taylor (scheduled to defend his WBO 140-pound title against Teofimo Lopez on June 10 in New York).

[lawrence-related id=37361,37355]

Pound-for-pound: Where does Canelo Alvarez fit in after victory over John Ryder?

One could interpret Canelo Alvarez’s unanimous decision victory over John Ryder on Saturday in more than one way. The undisputed 168-pound champion outclassed a solid challenger to win at least nine of the 12 rounds, which is a solid performance by …

One could interpret Canelo Alvarez’s unanimous decision victory over John Ryder on Saturday in more than one way.

The undisputed 168-pound champion outclassed a solid challenger to win at least nine of the 12 rounds, which is a solid performance by any measure.

At the same time, the 32-year-old, 17½-year professional veteran didn’t look like one of the best fighters in the world and failed to stop a tough, but far inferior opponent.

Alvarez probably deserved about a 5 on a scale of 1-10. And that might be generous.

So where does that leave him on Boxing Junkie’s pound-for-pound list, on which he sat at No. 8 going into the fight on Saturday night?

The talented Jermell Charlo (No. 9) and Gervonta Davis (No. 10) sit directly below the Mexican superstar and are 10 times hotter than he is at the moment.

Still, we decided we couldn’t demote Alvarez after a clear victory over a legitimate contender. Thus, he holds his position on the list.

It’s important to add one thing, though: Alvarez is expected to face 175-pound champion Dmitry Bivol a second time in September and will be the underdog, meaning his long stint in the Top 10 could come to an end then.

Stay tuned.

Next pound-for-pounder up: No. 15 Devin Haney is scheduled to defend the undisputed 135-pound championship against No. 11 Vasiliy Lomachenko on May 20 in Las Vegas.

Here’s what the list looks like at the moment:

BOXING JUNKIE
POUND-FOR-POUND

  1. Terence Crawford – Reportedly has re-entered talks to face No. 4 Errol Spence Jr. for the undisputed 147-pound championship but no deal has been reached.
  2. Naoya Inoue – Scheduled to challenge 122-pound titleholder and Honorable Mention Stephen Fulton Jr. on July 25 in Tokyo.
  3. Oleksandr Usyk – Reportedly in talks to defend his three heavyweight titles against Daniel Dubois but nothing concreate has emerged from the negotiations.
  4. Errol Spence Jr. – Reportedly has re-entered talks to face No. 1 Terence Crawford for the undisputed 147-pound championship but no deal has been reached..
  5. Dmitry Bivol – Expected to defend his 175-title against Canelo Alvarez in a rematch in September but no agreement has been reached..
  6. Tyson Fury – Reportedly considering a title defense against former beltholder Andy Ruiz Jr. or Zhilei Zhang in July.
  7. Juan Francisco Estrada – No fight scheduled.
  8. Canelo Alvarez– Expected to challenge 175-titleholder Dmitry Bivol in a rematch in September but no agreement has been reached
  9. Jermell Charlo – Expected to defend his undisputed 154-pound championship against top contender Tim Tszyu this summer but no agreement is in place.
  10. Gervonta Davis – No fight scheduled.
  11. Vasiliy Lomachenko – Scheduled to challenge undisputed 135-pound champion and No. 15 Devin Haney on May 20 in Las Vegas.
  12. Artur Beterbiev – Reportedly near a deal to defend his 175-pound titles against Callum Smith in August in Canada but the deal hasn’t been finalized.
  13. Shakur Stevenson – No fight scheduled.
  14. Roman Gonzalez  No fight scheduled.
  15. Devin Haney – Scheduled to defend his undisputed 135-pound championship against No. 11 Vasiliy Lomachenko on May 20 in Las Vegas..

Honorable mention (alphabetical order): David Benavidez (no fight scheduled); Jermall Charlo (no fight scheduled); Stephen Fulton Jr. (scheduled to defend his 122-pound title against No. 2 Naoya Inoue on July 25 in Tokyo); Kazuto Ioka (reportedly scheduled to challenge 115-pound titleholder Joshua Franco on June 24 in Japan but no announcement has been made); Josh Taylor (scheduled to defend his WBO 140-pound title against Teofimo Lopez on June 10 in New York).

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Pound-for-pound: Where does Canelo Alvarez fit in after victory over John Ryder?

One could interpret Canelo Alvarez’s unanimous decision victory over John Ryder on Saturday in more than one way. The undisputed 168-pound champion outclassed a solid challenger to win at least nine of the 12 rounds, which is a solid performance by …

One could interpret Canelo Alvarez’s unanimous decision victory over John Ryder on Saturday in more than one way.

The undisputed 168-pound champion outclassed a solid challenger to win at least nine of the 12 rounds, which is a solid performance by any measure.

At the same time, the 32-year-old, 17½-year professional veteran didn’t look like one of the best fighters in the world and failed to stop a tough, but far inferior opponent.

Alvarez probably deserved about a 5 on a scale of 1-10. And that might be generous.

So where does that leave him on Boxing Junkie’s pound-for-pound list, on which he sat at No. 8 going into the fight on Saturday night?

The talented Jermell Charlo (No. 9) and Gervonta Davis (No. 10) sit directly below the Mexican superstar and are 10 times hotter than he is at the moment.

Still, we decided we couldn’t demote Alvarez after a clear victory over a legitimate contender. Thus, he holds his position on the list.

It’s important to add one thing, though: Alvarez is expected to face 175-pound champion Dmitry Bivol a second time in September and will be the underdog, meaning his long stint in the Top 10 could come to an end then.

Stay tuned.

Next pound-for-pounder up: No. 15 Devin Haney is scheduled to defend the undisputed 135-pound championship against No. 11 Vasiliy Lomachenko on May 20 in Las Vegas.

Here’s what the list looks like at the moment:

BOXING JUNKIE
POUND-FOR-POUND

  1. Terence Crawford – Reportedly has re-entered talks to face No. 4 Errol Spence Jr. for the undisputed 147-pound championship but no deal has been reached.
  2. Naoya Inoue – Scheduled to challenge 122-pound titleholder and Honorable Mention Stephen Fulton Jr. on July 25 in Tokyo.
  3. Oleksandr Usyk – Reportedly in talks to defend his three heavyweight titles against Daniel Dubois but nothing concreate has emerged from the negotiations.
  4. Errol Spence Jr. – Reportedly has re-entered talks to face No. 1 Terence Crawford for the undisputed 147-pound championship but no deal has been reached..
  5. Dmitry Bivol – Expected to defend his 175-title against Canelo Alvarez in a rematch in September but no agreement has been reached..
  6. Tyson Fury – Reportedly considering a title defense against former beltholder Andy Ruiz Jr. or Zhilei Zhang in July.
  7. Juan Francisco Estrada – No fight scheduled.
  8. Canelo Alvarez– Expected to challenge 175-titleholder Dmitry Bivol in a rematch in September but no agreement has been reached
  9. Jermell Charlo – Expected to defend his undisputed 154-pound championship against top contender Tim Tszyu this summer but no agreement is in place.
  10. Gervonta Davis – No fight scheduled.
  11. Vasiliy Lomachenko – Scheduled to challenge undisputed 135-pound champion and No. 15 Devin Haney on May 20 in Las Vegas.
  12. Artur Beterbiev – Reportedly near a deal to defend his 175-pound titles against Callum Smith in August in Canada but the deal hasn’t been finalized.
  13. Shakur Stevenson – No fight scheduled.
  14. Roman Gonzalez  No fight scheduled.
  15. Devin Haney – Scheduled to defend his undisputed 135-pound championship against No. 11 Vasiliy Lomachenko on May 20 in Las Vegas..

Honorable mention (alphabetical order): David Benavidez (no fight scheduled); Jermall Charlo (no fight scheduled); Stephen Fulton Jr. (scheduled to defend his 122-pound title against No. 2 Naoya Inoue on July 25 in Tokyo); Kazuto Ioka (reportedly scheduled to challenge 115-pound titleholder Joshua Franco on June 24 in Japan but no announcement has been made); Josh Taylor (scheduled to defend his WBO 140-pound title against Teofimo Lopez on June 10 in New York).

[lawrence-related id=37257,37253,37218,37213]