Jalisco’s Saul “Canelo” Alvarez displaced American Terence “Bud” Crawford -inactive since 11/14/20 when he defeated Kell Brook – and climbed to the top spot in ESPN’s ranking of the 10 best pound-for-pound fighters of the moment by totaling 164 points awarded by the 16 voters with 13 first place votes, 3 second place votes and 1 fourth place vote.
The voting gives the Mexican, a World Boxing Association (WBA), World Boxing Council (WBC) and World Boxing Organization (WBO) super middleweight champion, as noted, a grand total of 164 points in a descending system that confers 10 points to first place, 9 to second and soon.
Alvarez, 30, from Guadalajara, Jalisco, with a record of 56-1-2 and 38 knockouts, climbed to first place in the so-called Top Ten thanks to his win last May 8 in Arlington, Texas, by KOT over the until then undefeated and WBO super middleweight king, British Billy Joe Joe Saunders, who stayed in his corner in the ninth due to a wound in the right cheekbone (caused by an uppercut) that caused a severe eye injury.
The counter punching and skilled Aztec, who has only lost once, to Floyd Mayweather on points in September 2013, had a clear advantage on the scorecards when the fight was stopped. By the time of the finish judges Glen Feldman, Max DeLuca and Tim Cheatham had “Canelo” ahead with scores of 78-74, 78-74 and 77-75, respectively.
The Mexican has been world champion at super welterweight, middleweight, Light-heavyweight and super middleweight. Now he is looking for a fight against American Caleb Plant, IBF 168 lbs. champion, but so far the fight has not been finalized. Plant has 21 wins without a loss, with 12 knockouts, and in theory does not seem to be a real danger opponent for the Jalisco native, a veteran of almost 16 years as a professional while the Nashville, Tennessee native has only 7 years of career (2014-21).
Second place in the PxP is Crawford, 37-0-0, 28 KOs, WBO welterweight (147 lbs., 66.7 kg) champion, while in third place is WBA super bantamweight sensation Naoya Inoue (20-0, 17 Kos), Japan’s Naoya Inoue (20-0, 17 Kos), who in his last fight crushed in just three rounds the Filipino Michael Dasmarinas in a superb demonstration of the power of his fists, which in his relatively short career have crowned him with two other universal belts, light flyweight and super flyweight.
The remaining positions, in order, are held by welterweight champion Errol Spence (WBC and IBF), number 4 and Manny Pacquiao’s opponent on August 21, whom he will face with 27-0, 21 knockouts; the 5th position is held by the New Yorker of Honduran parents Teofimo Lopez, WBA, IBF and WBO lightweight titleholder, with 16-0 and 12 knockouts; Nº 6 is the Englishman Tyson Fury, “The Gypsy King”, WBC heavyweight champion, with 30-0-1 and 21 knockouts, followed by Scottish Josh Taylor, WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO super lightweight champion, winner by KO in 13 of 18; Ukrainian Vasyl Lomachenko, who moved up one step with his resounding victory over Masayoshi Nakatani, whom he overwhelmed in 9 rounds on June 26th.
The ninth is Ukrainian southpaw Oleksandr Usyk, world amateur heavyweight champion (2011) and Olympian (2012), as well as former WBA, WBC, IBF, IBF, WBO and The Ring cruiserweight champion, undefeated 18-0, 13 Kos, who on September 29th has a title clash with English WBA, IBF and The Ring champion Anthony Joshua, WBO, IBF and The Ring champion, and closes the Top Ten the Mexican Juan Francisco “Gallo” Estrada, 42-3, 28 Kos, junior bantamweight or super flyweight champion (115 pounds, 52.2 kilos), who beat Nicaraguan Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez in a controversial decision, and will have a rematch with him on October 16.