The term “Pound for Pound” was originally created for Sugar Ray Robinson. Robinson is widely considered the greatest boxer ever. It meant that if all fighters were the same size, Robinson would beat them all. A pound for pound list determines who the best fighters are if, hypothetically, all were the same size.

BoxingAfrica.com determines a fighter’s status primarily by the quality of opposition. Fighting style is also given consideration as we look at head to head matchups but we believe your resume defines your greatness. We hope the list below reflects that and welcome all comments.

1. SAUL ALVAREZ (53-1-2, 36 KO’s) 

WBO World Light Heavyweight Champion

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez once again cemented his legacy, moving up to light heavyweight and dethroning Sergey Kovalev via brilliant eleventh-round TKO. Kovalev dictated the action for much of the fight but Alvarez took his time, breaking him down with body shots and counter-punches before putting him away with beautiful power punches in the end. No question, “Canelo” is the best fighter in the world and a Hall of Famer–and he’s still only 29.

Next: vs. TBD

2. ERROL SPENCE JR. (26-0, 21 KO’S)

WBC & IBF World Welterweight Champion 

Errol Spence Jr.

Errol Spence Jr. isn’t playing games. Ever since he traveled to England in May 2017 and stopped Kell Brook to win the IBF world welterweight title in Brook’s backyard of Sheffield, the man known as “The Truth” has been on a roll. Last March, he showed incredible boxing skill and technique, defeating previously-undefeated four-division world champion Mikey Garcia in lopsided fashion. Then in September, he displayed grit, power and the ability to get down and dirty, dropping Shawn Porter en route to a split decision win in what should be the Fight of the Year. Spence is now the man at welterweight, holding both the WBC and IBF belts. Danny Garcia may be next. Sounds like another Fight of the Year candidate.

Next: TBD

3. VASYL LOMACHENKO (14-1, 10 KO’S)

WBA, WBC & WBO World Super Featherweight Champion 

Vasiliy Lomachenko showed his versatility last August as he clinically dismantled England’s Luke Campbell and won a comfortable unanimous decision. “The Matrix” now owns three of the four belts at lightweight, his third weight class. But Loma wants to unify all the belts, which means facing the winner of the December 14th showdown between IBF champion Richard Commey of Ghana and undefeated Teofimo Lopez. We can’t wait.

Next: TBD

4. TERENCE CRAWFORD (35-0, 26 KO’S)

WBO World Welterweight Champion

Terence “Bud” Crawford may have the best skills on this list but it’s hard to say for certain as he has yet to face an elite-tier opponent. Crawford dominated the lower divisions, yet his best wins are Viktor Postol and a Yuriorkis Gamboa who was inactive and moving up two divisions. At welterweight, Crawford’s run of opponents has been less than stellar. Such a shame as the Nebraska native as a pure joy to watch. He is scheduled to face his mandatory challenger next, which will surely be another disappointing matchup. Crawford, a victim of boxing’s politics, needs to step up the level of competition sooner rather than later.

Next: vs. Egidijus Kavaliauskas on Dec. 14

5. LEO SANTA CRUZ (37-1-1, 19 KO’S)

WBA World Super Featherweight Champion 

The great Leo Santa Cruz is now a four-division world champion, easily outpointing Miguel Flores over 12 rounds. Santa Cruz, however,  who already owns wins over Abner Mares and Carl Frampton, isn’t satisfied with what he’s accomplished yet. An anticipated showdown versus WBC World Featherweight Champion Gary Russell Jr. hasn’t materialized but if Santa Cruz is unable to land that fight, he wants an even bigger one versus Gervonta “Tank” Davis. We can’t wait.

Next: TBD

6. OLEKSANDR USYK (16-0, 12 KO’S)

Oleksandr Usyk

Reigning 2018 Fighter of the Year Oleksandr Usyk was planning a big 2019 but injuries limited him to one fight. Usyk, who dominated cruiserweight en route to becoming undisputed champion, was scheduled to face Tyron Spong on October 12, but Spong tested positive for a banned substance. New opponent Chazz Witherspoon was game but out of his league — Usyk stopped him in seven. The victory didn’t turn any heads. Usyk will need to defeat a ranked opponent in order to be taken seriously at heavyweight.

Next: TBD

7. JUAN FRANCISCO ESTRADA (40-3, 27 KO’S)

WBC World Super Flyweight Champion

Juan Francisco Estrada

Watching Juan Francisco Estrada operate is almost like watching Juan Manuel Marquez do his thing. Estrada can simply do it all. After knocking out Dewayne Beamon in August, WBC World Super Flyweight Champion Juan Francisco Estrada is now looking to unify at super flyweight. The two-division champion has set his sights on WBA counterpart Kal Yafai. A victory over Yafai would be a huge accomplishment in the decorated career of the great Estrada. “El Gallo” can box, can brawl, take a punch, give a punch and his ring IQ is as high as anyone else’s in the sport. Estrada is on the back nine of his career — enjoy him now while you can.

Next: TBD

8. NAOYA INOUE (18-0, 16 KO’S)

 WBA & IBF World Bantamweight Champion

Naoya Inoue

Naoya Inoue was finally in a tough fight. Former pound-for-pounder Nonito Donaire gave Inoue hell for 12 rounds but the Japanese hard-hitter showed a variety of skills en route to winning a unanimous decision and the Muhammad Ali trophy for the World Boxing Super Series at bantamweight. What’s next? Inoue is bringing his talents to the USA, where he plans to move up in weight and take on some of the sport’s biggest names.

Next: TBD

9. MIKEY GARCIA (39-1, 30 KO’S)

Mikey Garcia

Mikey Garcia, already a great fighter, dared to join rare air by moving up to face world welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. Garcia fell well short of his goal in losing a wide unanimous decision. However, he showed grit and a steel chin, somehow surviving Spence’s furious assault. No word on whether he’ll return to lightweight–where he still holds the WBC world title–or will stay at 147 or go to 140 where he once held a belt. No matter what he does, don’t count Garcia out.

Next: vs. TBD

10. MANNY PACQUIAO (62-7-2, 39 KO’S) 

WBA World Welterweight Champion

Guess who’s back? Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao returns to the mythical pound for pound list following his brilliant 12-round split-decision victory over unbeaten Keith “One Time” Thurman in July. Pacquiao showed that he still has some fight in him. The master craftsman says he isn’t done yet either, targeting a spring return versus Mikey Garcia. All hail the Senator from the Philippines.

Next: TBD

The Next 10: Deontay Wilder, Gervonta Davis, Jose Ramirez, Miguel Berchelt, Luis Nery, Gary Russell Jr, Julian Williams, Oleksander Gvozdyk, Callum Smith, Jermall Charlo