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 (52-1-2, 35 KO’s) 

WBA World Middleweight Champion

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez continues to challenge himself in a way that would make past Mexican legends proud. Last May, he affirmed his position as the world’s best fighter with a 12-round unanimous decision win over Daniel Jacobs –wresting the IBF belt away from Jacobs and unifying it with Canelo’s WBA and WBA middleweight straps. Now, he’s moving up two divisions to challenge WBO World Light Heavyweight Champion Sergey Kovalev. Canelo is already a Hall of Famer. An impressive win here makes him an all-time great.

Next: vs. Sergey Kovalev on November 2

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: TBD

5. LEO SANTA CRUZ (36-1-1, 19 KO’S)

WBA World Featherweight Champion 

The great Leo Santa Cruz is gunning to become a four-division world champion on November 23, when he faces Miguel Flores for the WBA super world super featherweight title. Santa Cruz, 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.

Next: vs. Miguel Flores on November 23

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 have postponed his move to heavyweight. 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. No new opponent has been announced. Either way, Usyk’s 2019 hasn’t quite panned out the way many would have hoped. THe former undisputed cruiserweight king is now campaigning among the big men–and in search of an opponent. An impressive win over a high-ranked contender puts the division on notice is as there isn’t a single thing that Usyk doesn’t do well in the ring.

Next: vs TBD on October 12

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 is a fast-rising, multi-weight world champion who many believe is arguably the biggest puncher in the sport sans Deontay Wilder. Inoue is now in the finals of the bantamweight portion of the World Boxing Super Series, where he faces rejuvenated former pound for pounder. Another impressive KO win will shoot him up this list.

Next: vs. Nonito Donaire on November 7

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