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. TERENCE CRAWFORD (34-0, 25 KO’S)

 WBO World Welterweight Champion

As expected, Terence “Bud” Crawford stopped Jose Benavidez in his last bout, putting him away in the twelfth round. Crawford was worlds above Benavidez in terms of skill and experience. There is no doubting he is an elite fighter, but we have yet to see him tested. A bout versus Errol Spence Jr. is a long shot, meaning we may be treated to these mismatches going forward. If so, Crawford may lose his number-one slot on this list. For now, a bout versus faded former world champion Amir Khan is next. Not quite the stuff of legends.

Next: TBD

2. SAUL ALVAREZ (51-1-2, 35 KO’s) 

WBC & WBA World Middleweight Champion

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez capped off 2018 by moving up to 168 and walking through minor title-holder Rocky Fielding in three rounds. Coupled with his majority decision win over Gennady Golovkin in September, Golovkin is making a strong case to be considered the world’s best fighter, pound for pound. So what’s next for Golden Boy’s Golden Goose? A May bout versus IBF middleweight champion Daniel Jacobs has been thrown around–so has a third fight between Golovkin. No matter who the opponent is, Canelo is a strong favorite to win.

Next: vs. TBD

3. MIKEY GARCIA (39-0, 30 KO’S)

WBC & IBF World Lightweight Champion 

Mikey Garcia

Mikey Garcia is truly a great fighter. After moving up and winning a world title at 140lbs, Garcia returned to lightweight and unified titles, soundly defeating IBF champion Robert Easter Jr. by unanimous decision. All Garcia does is win, and he’s done it in four divisions. Now he wants welterweight king Errol Spence Jr next. On paper, this may be too big a leap for Mikey but never count the great Mexican-American out.

Next: vs. Errol Spence Jr. on March 16

4. VASYL LOMACHENKO (12-1, 9 KO’S)

WBO World Super Featherweight Champion 

Coming off successful shoulder surgery, Vasyl Lomachenko returned to the ring in December, winning a ho-hum 12-round unanimous decision over Jose Pedraza. Loma will probably have to defend his title versus Anthony Crolla next, but a big fight beckons. Mikey Garcia appears out of reach for now, but we’ll settle for a match versus Richard Commey, provided the powerful Ghanaian defeats Isa Chaniev for the IBF 135lb. title in February.

Next: vs. TBD

5. ERROL SPENCE JR. (24-0, 21 KO’S)

IBF World Welterweight Champion 

Errol Spence Jr.

Errol Spence Jr. will take on the most skilled and talented opponent of his career when he takes on Mikey Garcia March 16. Spence’s supposed size advantage makes him the odds-on favorite, but Garcia can’t be counted. The matchup is mouth-watering enough to serve as PPV, courtesy of PBC and FOX. Expect a healthy crowd at AT&T Stadium for a bout that could produce the Fight of the Year.

Next: vs. Mikey Garcia on March 16

6. LEO SANTA CRUZ (35-1-1, 19 KO’S)

WBA World Featherweight Champion 

The Leo Santa Cruz-Abner Mares rematch delivered fireworks yet again. And once again, Santa Cruz emerged victorious. There’s nothing the Mexican-American doesn’t do well, whether it’s brawling in close quarters or boxing on the outside. Santa Cruz says he wants fellow world featherweight champion Gary Russell Jr. next. What a showdown that would be.

Next: Miguel Flores on February 16

7. OLEKSANDR USYK (16-0, 12 KO’S)

WBC, WBA, IBF & WBO World Cruiserweight Champion

Oleksandr Usyk

Oleksandr Usyk cemented his status as the king of the cruiserweights with a dominant unanimous decision win over Murat Gassiev. Then he closed out his Fighter of the Year campaign in 2018 with a terrific KO of UK’s Tony Bellew. Usyk has set his sights on the heavyweight division and Anthony Joshua. Don’t sleep on him.

Next: vs. TBD

8. JARRETT HURD (23-0, 16 KO’S)

WBA & IBF World Junior Middleweight Champion

Jarret Hurd

“Swift” Jarrett Hurd has had quite the ascension since turning pro. And he’s turned it on over the past year. After winning the IBF title in February 2017 versus Tony Harrison, the Accokeek, Maryland native followed it up with a thrilling, 10th-round stoppage of former world champion Austin Trout in October of that year. Hurd is the only person to ever stop Trout. He followed that up with another Fight of the Year performance, dropping WBA world champion Erislandy Lara in the 12th round to eke out a split decision and unify the titles. Hurd returned in December, making short work of England’s Jason Welborn. A spring date versus the dangerous Julian Williams could be next.

Next: vs. TBD

9. NAOYA INOUE (17-0, 15 KO’S)

 WBA World Bantamweight Champion

Naoya Inoue

Naoya Inoue absolutely obliterated veteran Juan Carlos Payano, putting him away in one round. It was yet another frightening performance for Inoue. Some believe he is rated too low at number-nine. We are inclined to agree but would like to see how those above him fare in their next bouts–and see if Inoue can win the World Boxing Super Series tournament for bantams. Stay tuned.

Next: TBD

10. JERMALL CHARLO (28-0, 21 KO’S) 

WBC Interim World Middleweight Champion

Jermall-Charlo

The oldest of the two twin brother world champions, Jermall “The Hitman” Charlo is the total package. Under the tutelage of Ronnie Shields, Charlo ran through the junior middleweight division and is set to do the same at 160lbs. He’s the WBC mandatory challenger for Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, but that fight isn’t likely to happen anytime soon. This means Canelo may have to drop his belt. Either way, look for Charlo to fight for his second world title in as many divisions within the coming year.

Next: vs. TBD

The Next 10: Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, Gennady Golovkin, Jermell Charlo, Deontay Wilder, Anthony Joshua, Adonis Stevenson, Juan Francisco Estrada, Gary Russell Jr., Keith Thurman, Gervonta Davis