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 (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 our consensus pick for the world’s best fighter, pound for pound. So what’s next for Golden Boy’s Golden Goose? A May 4 unification bout versus IBF middleweight champion Daniel Jacobs. With a resume that includes Floyd Mayweather, Miguel Cotto, Erislandy Lara, Austin Trout, the aforementioned Golovkin and now Jacobs, Alvarez is proving that he is a throwback to the days when fighters took on the very best.

Next: vs. Daniel Jacobs on May 4

2. ERROL SPENCE JR. (25-0, 21 KO’S)

IBF World Welterweight Champion 

Errol Spence Jr.

It wasn’t just that Errol Spence Jr. defeated undefeated, four-division world champion Mikey Garcia in lopsided fashion. It was how he did it. While everyone expected Spence to walk through his smaller opponent, the former 2012 US Olympian used superior boxing skills to keep the Mexican great off-balance and administer a beatdown that solidified his status as the man at welterweight and a potential superstar. No official date has been announced but a summer/fall showdown versus WBC counterpart Shawn Porter could be next. If Spence wins, we’re looking at Fighter of the Year honors. How he does it will determine if he moves to the top slot on this list.

Next: vs. TBD

3. 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. Crawford has little options, evidenced by his next bout, one versus faded former world champion Amir Khan.

Next: vs Amir Khan on April 20

4. VASYL LOMACHENKO (12-1, 9 KO’S)

WBA & 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 defend his title versus mandatory Anthony Crolla next, but a big fight beckons. Mikey Garcia appears out of reach for now, but we’ll settle for a match versus powerful Ghanaian Richard Commey or rising sensation Teofimo Lopez.

Next: vs. Anthony Crolla on April 12

5. LEO SANTA CRUZ (36-1-1, 19 KO’S)

WBA World Featherweight Champion 

Leo Santa Cruz returned to the ring in February, easily outpointing Mexico’s Rafael Rivera. Rivera was a late substitute for an injured Miguel Flores, but proved to be a tough out. Nevertheless, he was overmatched by Santa Cruz’s skill set. 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: vs. TBD

6. OLEKSANDR USYK (16-0, 12 KO’S)

WBC, IBF & WBO World Cruiserweight Champion

Oleksandr Usyk

Reigning 2018 Fighter of the Year Oleksandr Usyk is planning a big 2019 as well. The undefeated cruiserweight king is now moving up to heavyweight with his sights set on WBA/IBF/WBO champion Anthony Joshua. Don’t sleep on the Ukranian southpaw with sublime boxing skills. Usyk will dip his toes in heavyweight waters versus veteran Carlos Takam, a strong first choice. No date has been set yet but mark your calendars for what could be a gamechanger in the heavyweight division.

Next: vs. TBD

7. 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 current world champion 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. His next opponent, Julian “J-Rock” Williams, will be no pushover. We could be looking at a Fight of the Year candidate for this rising star.

Next: vs. Julian Williams on May 11

8. NAOYA INOUE (17-0, 15 KO’S)

 WBA World Bantamweight Champion

Naoya Inoue

With apologies to Deontay WIlder, Naoya Inoue may be the hardest hitter in boxing, pound for pound. Inoue absolutely obliterated veteran Juan Carlos Payano, putting him away in one round. It was yet another frightening performance for the Japanese slugger. 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. He faces the undefeated Emmanuel Rodriguez in the semi-finals in what could be a barnburner.

Next: vs. Emmanuel Rodriguez on May 18

9. MIKEY GARCIA (39-1, 30 KO’S)

WBC World Lightweight Champion 

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. JERMALL CHARLO (28-0, 21 KO’S) 

WBC Interim World Middleweight Champion

Jermall-Charlo

Jermall “The Hitman” Charlo showed some rust in defeating the formidable Matt Korobov last December. Charlo is the total package, an athletic boxer-puncher who can work the jab on the outside and get down and dirty in close quarters. 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, Deontay Wilder, Anthony Joshua, Oleksander Gvozdyk, Juan Francisco Estrada, Gary Russell Jr., Keith Thurman, Gervonta Davis, David Benavidez