Pound-for-pound rankings: A heavyweight takeover? Where do Fury and Usyk land?

Sports

Heavyweight champion Tyson Fury delivered yet another in a long line of great performances to retain his WBC belt, stopping Deontay Wilder in their trilogy fight in Las Vegas.

Fury got up from the canvas twice in Round 4, won five of the next six rounds on all three judges’ scorecards and then stopped Wilder in the 11th. With his second decisive win over Wilder, Fury moves up two spots to No. 4.

“Fury continues to show that he’s not only good, but that he’s great,” ESPN boxing analyst and two-division champion Timothy Bradley Jr. said. “We’ve always known that Fury had the mental toughness, specially after he faced Wilder the first time, went down in Round 12 and rose back up like ‘The Undertaker.’

“But what he just did on Saturday night, you don’t see it often, you really don’t — maybe once every generation,” Bradley continued. “His heart, his will, the skill that he possesses. He’s a complete package. He has every skill set in boxing, including power, speed, you name it, he can do it all — and he also has marketability. He can talk the talk, he walks the walk. I can make an argument for Fury to be No. 1.”

Oleksandr Usyk also made a big jump after defeating Anthony Joshua on Sept. 25 to win the WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight world titles. The victory was enough to convince our panel to put Usyk at No. 5.

Usyk, a former cruiserweight undisputed champion, used his jab to perfection to keep Joshua at bay in a unanimous decision victory.

“Usyk proved he could be a dominant performer in two divisions, which to me gives even more validity in the pound-for-pound rankings,” ESPN writer Michael Rothstein said about putting Usyk at No. 6 on his list. “How he handled Joshua opened my eyes as to what he could bring to the heavyweight division — which is another potentially legitimate challenger to Tyson Fury.”

Our panel of Mike Coppinger, Timothy Bradley Jr., Joe Tessitore, Michael Rothstein, Eric Raskin, Andre Ward, Atlas, Nick Parkinson, Ben Baby, Eric Woodyard, Kel Dansby, Bernardo Pilatti, Charles Moynihan and Salvador Rodriguez share their votes.

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

Note: Results are through Oct. 12.


1. CANELO ALVAREZ     Previous ranking: No. 1

RECORD: 56-1-2, 38 KOs
DIVISION: Middleweight (champion), super middleweight (unified titlist)
LAST FIGHT: W (TKO8) Billy Joe Saunders, May 8
NEXT FIGHT: Nov. 6 vs. Caleb Plant


2. TERENCE CRAWFORD     Previous ranking: No. 2

RECORD: 37-0, 28 KOs
DIVISION: Welterweight (titlist)
LAST FIGHT: W (TKO4) Kell Brook, Nov. 14
NEXT FIGHT: Nov. 20 vs. Shawn Porter


3. NAOYA INOUE     Previous ranking: No. 3

RECORD: 21-0, 18 KOs
DIVISION: Bantamweight (unified titlist)
LAST FIGHT: W (KO3) Michael Dasmarinas, June 19
NEXT FIGHT: TBA


4. TYSON FURY     Previous ranking: No. 6

RECORD: 31-0-1, 22 KOs
DIVISION: Heavyweight (champion)
LAST FIGHT: W (KO11) Deontay Wilder, Oct. 9
NEXT FIGHT: TBA


5. OLEKSANDR USYK     Previous ranking: No. 9

RECORD: 19-0, 13 KOs
DIVISION: Heavyweight
LAST FIGHT: W (UD12) Anthony Joshua, Sept. 25
NEXT FIGHT: TBA vs. Anthony Joshua


6. ERROL SPENCE JR.     Previous ranking: No. 4

RECORD: 27-0, 21 KOs
DIVISION: Welterweight (unified titlist)
LAST FIGHT: W (UD12) Danny Garcia, Dec. 5
NEXT FIGHT: TBA


7. TEOFIMO LOPEZ JR.     Previous ranking: No. 5

RECORD: 16-0, 12 KOs
DIVISION: Lightweight (unified champion)
LAST FIGHT: W (UD12) Vasiliy Lomachenko, Oct. 17
NEXT FIGHT: Oct. 16 vs. George Kambosos Jr.


8. JOSH TAYLOR     Previous ranking: No. 7

RECORD: 18-0, 13 KOs
DIVISION: Junior welterweight (undisputed champion)
LAST FIGHT: W (UD12) Jose Ramirez, May 22
NEXT FIGHT: Dec. 18 vs. Jack Catterall


9. VASILIY LOMACHENKO     Previous ranking: No. 8

RECORD: 15-2, 11 KOs
DIVISION: Lightweight
LAST FIGHT: W (TKO9) Masayoshi Nakatani June 26
NEXT FIGHT: Dec. 11 vs. Richard Commey


10. JUAN FRANCISCO ESTRADA     Previous ranking: No. 10

RECORD: 42-3, 28 KOs
DIVISION: Junior bantamweight (unified champion)
LAST FIGHT: W (SD12) Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez, March 13
NEXT FIGHT: TBA vs. Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez


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: Gervonta Davis (11), Gennadiy Golovkin (2).


How our writers voted

Atlas: 1. Crawford, 2. Alvarez, 3. Inoue, 4. Usyk, 5. Lomachenko, 6. Spence, 7. Fury, 8. Lopez, 9. Davis, 10. Estrada

Bradley: 1. Alvarez, 2. Crawford, 3. Fury, 4. Usyk, 5. Inoue, 6. Lopez, 7. Taylor, 8. Spence, 9. Lomachenko, 10. Davis

Ward: 1. Crawford, 2. Fury, 3. Alvarez, 4. Spence, 5. Spence, 6. Inoue, 7. Lopez, 8. Estrada, 9. Taylor, 10. Davis

Coppinger: 1. Alvarez, 2. Inoue, 3. Fury, 4. Usyk, 5. Crawford, 6. Spence, 7. Lopez, 8. Taylor, 9. Lomachenko, 10. Davis

Tessitore: 1. Alvarez, 2. Crawford, 3. Inoue, 4. Taylor, 5. Lopez, 6. Lomachenko, 7. Usyk, 8. Fury, 9. Estrada, 10. Spence

Parkinson: 1. Alvarez, 2. Inoue, 3. Crawford, 4. Fury, 5. Usyk, 6. Lopez, 7. Taylor, 8. Lomachenko, 9. Spence, 10. Estrada

Baby: 1. Alvarez, 2. Crawford, 3. Usyk, 4. Inoue, 5. Taylor, 6. Fury, 7. Spence, 8. Estrada, 9. Lopez, 10. Lomachenko

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

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

Raskin: 1. Alvarez, 2. Crawford, 3. Inoue, 4. Spence, 5. Lopez, 6. Lomachenko, 7. Fury, 8. Usyk, 9. Taylor, 10. Estrada

Dansby: 1. Alvarez, 2. Usyk, 3. Inoue, 4. Crawford, 5. Fury, 6. Spence, 7. Lopez, 8. Taylor, 9. Lomachenko, 10. Davis

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

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

Rodriguez: 1. Alvarez, 2. Fury, 3. Crawford, 4. Inoue, 5. Usyk, 6. Spence, 7. Taylor, 8. Estrada, 9. Lopez, 10. Lomachenko


ESPN experts’ poll

First place: Alvarez (10), Crawford (3), Inoue (1)

Second place: Crawford (6), Alvarez (2), Inoue (2), Fury (2), Usyk (1), Spence (1)

Third place: Inoue (5), Crawford (3), Fury (3), Alvarez (1), Usyk (1), Spence (1)

Fourth place: Inoue (4), Usyk (4), Fury (2), Alvarez (1), Crawford (1), Spence (1), Taylor (1)

Fifth place: Usyk (4), Fury (2), Spence (2), Lopez (2), Crawford (1), Inoue (1), Taylor (1), Lomachenko (1)

Sixth place: Spence (5), Fury (2), Lopez (2), Lomachenko (2), Inoue (1), Usyk (1), Estrada (1)

Seventh place: Lopez (5), Taylor (4), Fury (2), Usyk (1), Spence (1), Lomachenko (1)

Eighth place: Lomachenko (3), Estrada (3), Usyk (2), Lopez (2), Taylor (2), Fury (1), Spence (1)

Ninth place: Lomachenko (4), Taylor (3), Lopez (2), Davis (2), Spence (1), Estrada (1), Golovkin (1)

10th place: David (7), Estrada (3), Lomachenko (2), Spence (1), Lopez (1),

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