Jesús Cova’s view: Crawford steady at lb. to lb. harassed by Inoue

by
Jesús Cova’s view: Crawford steady at lb. to lb. harassed by Inoue
Jesús Cova's view: Crawford steady at lb. to lb. harassed by Inoue

Jesús Cova’s view: Crawford steady at lb. to lb. harassed by Inoue

by
Jesús Cova’s view: Crawford steady at lb. to lb. harassed by Inoue
Jesús Cova's view: Crawford steady at lb. to lb. harassed by Inoue

Undisputed welterweight world champion Terence “Bud” Crawford remained in the top spot of the Pound for Pound (PxP) or Top Ten, in this first 2024 ranking, a select list whose purpose is to rank the elite fighters of the world, on a scale that goes from 10 points for the first place, in decreasing order, to 1 point for the tenth position.

Likewise, as has happened in the last three or four months, in second place is the unbeaten Japanese Naoya “The Monster” Inoue, for a good legion of fans deserves to be placed at the top of the group. Those who support such criterion rely on the fact that Crawford has fought only once a year, between 1921-23, while the Japanese, quadruple world champion in as many categories (formerly WBC minimum WBO super flyweight, WBA-IBF bantamweight and currently WBO-WBC super bantam) did it half a dozen times in the same period.

Indeed Terence Crawford fought in 2021 with Shaw Porter and won by KO in 10, the following year he faced David Avasnayan whom he knocked out and last year he faced Errol Spence, on 22/7, and won by KOT in 9.

For his part Inoue, a fighter of power, speed and dazzling skill, dispatched in 2021 Michael Desmarinas and Aran Diapaen; both by KO, Donito Donaire and Paul Butler in 2022 and in 2023 Stephen Fulton first and on December 26 he knocked out Filipino Marlon Tapales, all before the limit. Inoue’s supporters claim that Inoue has not been elevated to Top Ten honors because of an unfair underestimation, due to the fact that he fights in the smaller divisions.

THOSE OF THE ELITE GROUP

A superficial review of the reduced group of fighters that have been taken into account for the preparation of the ranking called Top Ten (Ten Best), shows us,  that the N° 1 is the southpaw Terence “Bud” Crawford, from Omaha, Nebraska, USA, 36 years old, 40 performances for as many victories, 39 by KO, the last one in September last year against Errol Spence in a fight that unified the welterweight belt of the 4 main sanctioning bodies. The 2nd of the small lot, Naoya Inoue, Japanese. 30 years old, has won his 26 fights, with 23 knockouts, the most recent against Tagalog Marlon Tapales, in 10 rounds. He is nicknamed “The Monster” and it is impossible to have a more deserved nickname. It is already agreed that he is the greatest Japanese and Asian boxer of all time and, from what he has shown in the ring, the statement does not seem far-fetched.

Next is Ukrainian Oleksandr Usyk, 37, IBF, WBO, IBO and WBA heavyweight king, with 21-0-0, 14 KO. Next is Russian Dmitrfy Bivol, 33 years old, 22-0-0, 11 Kos, WBA Light heavyweight champion since 2017, then comes Aztec Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, who occupies the next step, 33 years old, 60-2-2, 39 KOs, owner of the super middleweight belts of the 4 entities, followed by Devin Haney, 31-0-0, 15 KOs, 25 years old, Californian, IBF-WBO lightweight and WBA-WBC super lightweight champion.

7th is Gervonta Davis, 29, of Baltimore, Maryland, undefeated in 29 with 27 before the limit, for many the best lightweight of the moment and owner of the division’s regular WBA belts, while 8th is the fearsome Russian puncher Artur Beterbiev, 20 KO in 20, WBC-IBF-WBO light heavyweight ruler, who is avoided by many at the weight, and closing the group are super flyweight champion Kenshiro Teraji, New York-Honduran lightweight Teofimo Lopez, Shakur Stevenson and Jesse Rodriguez.

You may notice that those named are more than ten. This is due to the fact that some of those mentioned, such as Teraji, Beterbiev, Rodriguez, Stevenson are names considered with enough merits to be in the Top Ten, while others are left aside.

To this effect we must add that there are three groups or entities in the United States dedicated to elaborate the boxing rankings for which they usually take into consideration, particularly and especially, as it is obvious, the most recent performances of the fighters, the quality of the opponents they face and defeat and the way in which they achieve such triumphs (by KO, by their technical ability, reaction capacity in a fight, etc.).

The most well-known ranking entities are ESPN, an American group of subscription TV channels; the famous specialized magazine The Ring, called The Bible of Boxing, first published in 1922 by the writer Nat Fleitscher, the most renowned historian of the discipline, a publication now owned by Golden Boy Enterprises, the company of former boxer Oscar de la Hoya and, finally, the Transnational Boxing Ranking Board (TBRB, for its acronym in English and in Spanish the Transnational Boxing Ranking Board). 

Fourth, the Boxing Writers, unfortunately we were unable to find any information, hence its absence in this article.

In their most recent issues, from the middle of this month, the 3 aforementioned groups elaborated their rankings as follows:

ESPN:

1) Terence Crawford, 2) Naoya Inoue, 3) Oleksandr Usyk,  4) Dmitry Bivol,  5) Saul Alvarez,  6) Devin Haney,  7) Artur Beterbiev, 8) Gervonta Davis, 9) Shakur Stevenson and 10) Tyson Fury.

THE RING:

1) Terence Crawford (USA, WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO welterweight champion); 2) Naoya Inoue (Japan, super bantamweight world champion); 3) Oleksandr Usyk, Ukraine, heavyweight world champion), 4) Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, Mexico, super middleweight world champion; 5) Artur Beterbiev,  6) Dmitry Bivol  7) Devin Haney (USA. USA) 8) Errol Spence (USA) 9) Gervonta Davis (USA) 10)Teófimo López (USA-Honduras)

TBRB;

1)Terence Crawford, 2) Naoya Inoue, 3) Oleksandr Usyk. 4) Dmitry Bivol, 5) Saúl Álvarez, 6) Devin Haney, 7) Artur Beterbiev, 8) Teófimo López, 9) Kenshiro Teraji (Japan), 10) Jesse Rodríguez (Mexico) 

OUR LIST

We finish with our personal selection, which differs little from the previous three and to which we add statistics such as total fights, individual records, wins by KO and decision, defeats, draws and total percentage of knockouts:

1) Naoya Inoue (26-0-0-23). 2) Terence Crawford (40-0-0-31). 3) Oleksandr Usyk (21-0-0-14). 4) Artur Beterbiev (20-0-20).5)  David Benevidez (28-0-0-24).6), Dmitry Bivol (22-0-0-11), 7) Tyson Fury (34-0-1-24), 8) Saul Alvarez (60-2-2-39), 9) Devin Haney (31-0-0-15), 10) Gervonta Davis (29-0-0-27).

TOTAL FIGHTS: 311/ 

TOTAL WINS: 306/ 

TOTAL WINS BY KO.228/

TOTAL LOSSES:2/

TOTAL DRAWS: 3/

KO PERCENTAGE: 74.50%.

ESPN:

1) Terence Crawford, 2) Naoya Inoue, 3) Oleksandr Usyk,  4) Dmitry Bivol,  5) Saul Alvarez,  6) Devin Haney,  7) Artur Beterbiev, 8) Gervonta Davis, 9) Shakur Stevenson and 10) Tyson Fury.

THE RING:

1) Terence Crawford (USA, WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO welterweight champion); 2) Naoya Inoue (Japan, super bantamweight world champion); 3) Oleksandr Usyk, Ukraine, heavyweight world champion), 4) Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, Mexico, super middleweight world champion; 5) Artur Beterbiev,  6) Dmitry Bivol  7) Devin Haney (USA. USA) 8) Errol Spence (USA) 9) Gervonta Davis (USA) 10) Teófimo López (USA-Honduras)

TBRB;

1)Terence Crawford, 2) Naoya Inoue, 3) Oleksandr Usyk. 4) Dmitry Bivol, 5) Saúl Álvarez, 6) Devin Haney, 7) Artur Beterbiev, 8) Teófimo López, 9) Kenshiro Teraji (Japan), 10) Jesse Rodríguez (Mexico) 

OUR LIST

We finish with our personal selection, which differs little from the previous three and to which we add statistics such as total fights, individual records, wins by KO and decision, defeats, draws and total percentage of knockouts:

1) Naoya Inoue (26-0-0-23). 2) Terence Crawford (40-0-0-31). 3) Oleksandr Usyk (21-0-0-14). 4) Artur Beterbiev (20-0-20).5)  David Benevidez (28-0-0-24).6), Dmitry Bivol (22-0-0-11), 7) Tyson Fury (34-0-1-24), 8) Saul Alvarez (60-2-2-39), 9) Devin Haney (31-0-0-15), 10) Gervonta Davis (29-0-0-27).

TOTAL FIGHTS: 311/ 

TOTAL WINS: 306/ 

TOTAL WINS BY KO.228/

TOTAL LOSSES:2/

TOTAL DRAWS: 3/

KO PERCENTAGE: 74.50%.


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