Great Eight: The No. 1 boxer in each of the original eight divisions.
Who are the best boxers in each of the original eight weight classes? Check out Boxing Junkie’s “Great Eight” feature.
The proliferation of titles makes it difficult for all but the most astute fans to determine the cream of the boxing crop.
That’s why Boxing Junkie came up with its “Great Eight” feature, which names the best fighter in each of the original eight weight classes –heavyweight, light heavyweight, middleweight, welterweight, lightweight, featherweight, bantamweight and flyweight.
Heavyweight includes cruiserweight (and the WBC’s bridgerweight), light heavyweight includes super middleweight and so on.
It was easy to make our selection in some divisions. For example, Naoya Inoue has been so dominating at 118 pounds that no one in that division or 115 is remotely close to him.
Other weight classes took more thought. And you’ll notice one change has been made since the last time we posted Great Eight.
Here are our current rankings.
HEAVYWEIGHT – Tyson Fury (32-0-1, 23 KOs): The Gypsy King isn’t going anywhere until someone beats him, he turns in a particularly poor performance or he retires.
LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT – Dmitry Bivol (21-0, 11 KOs): The 175-pound champion followed his upset of Canelo Alvarez with another sensational performance, a one-sided decision over Gilberto Ramirez last Saturday. We hope he meets fellow titleholder Artur Beterbiev to leave no doubt about who’s No. 1.
MIDDLEWEIGHT – Jermell Charlo (35-1-1, 19 KOs): No one at 160 or 154 can touch the junior middleweight champion, who can do it all. The top middleweights – including Jermall Charlo, Jermell’s twin brother – aren’t as dominating.
WELTERWEIGHT – Terence Crawford (38-0, 29 KOs). Crawford and Errol Spence Jr. have a chance to leave no doubt here but so far haven’t come to terms on a super fight. No one else at 147 or 140 is as accomplished as the big two.
LIGHTWEIGHT – Gervonta Davis (27-0, 25 KOs): This was a tough choice because strong cases can be made for undisputed 135-pound champ Devin Haney and Shakur Stevenson, both of whom are gifted boxers. We believe Davis is the most-complete fighter at either 135 or 130.
FEATHERWEIGHT – Stephen Fulton (20-0, 8 KOs): The unified junior featherweight titleholder supplanted Gary Russell Jr. after Russell lost his featherweight title to Mark Magsayo in January. Rey Vargas, who took Magsayo’s belt, might be closest to Fulton.
BANTAMWEIGHT – Naoya Inoue (22-0, 19 KOs): The Japanese bantamweight star arguably is the best at any weight. Juan Francisco Estrada, Roman Gonzalezand Bam Rodriguez are special but still a significant step behind Inoue.
FLYWEIGHT – Julio Cesar Martinez (18-2, 14 KOs): This spot opened up when Junto Nakatani moved up to junior bantamweight. Cases can be made for Martinez and the gifted Sunny Edwards. Martinez fell to Roman Gonzalez at 115 pounds but is more accomplished than Edwards at a more natural 112.