Boxing pound-for-pound rankings: Artur Beterbiev punches his way into the top 10, but who’s out?

Sports

Artur Beterbiev’s demolition of Joe Smith Jr. on June 18 impressed most of our panelists on Saturday night. Now the unified light heavyweight champion sits comfortably at No. 7 in ESPN’s pound-for-pound rankings.

Beterbiev (18-0, 18 KOs) is the only current champion with a perfect KO percentage.

“He’s ‘The Terminator’. He showed everyone that he’s not just a slugger,” two-time boxing champion and current ESPN boxing analyst Timothy Bradley Jr. said. “He’s intelligent and precise and can combine whatever is needed to eliminate any opponent. He’s a trap-setting ticking time bomb, but more importantly, his tactics, unique techniques and devastating punching power is what made me move him all the way to the No. 5 spot on my list.”

ESPN writer Mike Coppinger moved Beterbiev to No. 8, saying Beterbiev’s defeated a tough opponent in Smith.

“Beterbiev was formerly on my list but his recent opposition was lacking,” Coppinger said. “Smith was far from elite, but he entered the ring as a durable, hard-punching light heavyweight who went the distance with Dmitry Bivol and even buckled the Russian. Add in an impressive KO victory over Eleider Alvarez, and Beterbiev’s two-round destruction of Smith looks even better. Beterbiev isn’t just a menacing puncher, he possesses underrated ring IQ and the uncanny ability to precisely place his concussive shots.”

However, boxing writer Ben Baby doesn’t believe Beterbiev deserves a spot in his top 10.

“Beterbiev is the best light heavyweight in the world and has held that claim for some time. And even before Smith was knocked down several times and stopped in the second round, the odds were heavily against Smith changing that fact,” Baby said. “Beterbiev received a grand total of one — yes, one — vote in the last round of pound-for-pound voting. And now he’s vaulted into the top 10 without really presenting any brand new information aside from holding an additional belt.”

To make room for Beterbiev, lightweight undisputed champion Devin Haney falls from the list by just four votes.

Our panel of Coppinger, Bradley, Joe Tessitore, Michael Rothstein, Teddy Atlas, Nick Parkinson, Andre Ward, Baby, Eric Raskin, Michelle Joy Phelps, Eric Woodyard, Claudia Trejos, Kel Dansby, Bernardo Pilatti, Charles Moynihan and Salvador Rodriguez share their votes.

More rankings: Divisional rankings and ESPN’s women’s pound-for-pound rankings.

Note: Results are through June 9.


1. TERENCE CRAWFORD     Previous ranking: No. 1

RECORD: 38-0, 29 KOs
DIVISION: Welterweight (champion)
LAST FIGHT: W (TKO10) Shawn Porter, Nov. 20
NEXT FIGHT: TBA


2. NAOYA INOUE     Previous ranking: No. 2

RECORD: 23-0, 20 KOs
DIVISION: Bantamweight (unified champion)
LAST FIGHT: W (TKO2) Nonito Donaire, June 7
NEXT FIGHT: TBA


3. ERROL SPENCE JR.     Previous ranking: No. 3

RECORD: 28-0, 22 KOs
DIVISION: Welterweight (unified champion)
LAST FIGHT: W (TKO10) Yordenis Ugas, April 16
NEXT FIGHT: TBA


4. CANELO ALVAREZ     Previous ranking: No. 4

RECORD: 57-2-2, 39 KOs
DIVISION: Super middleweight (undisputed champion)
LAST FIGHT: L (UD12) Dmitry Bivol, May 7
NEXT FIGHT: Sept. 17 vs. Gennadiy Golovkin


5. TYSON FURY     Previous ranking: No. 5

RECORD: 32-0-1, 23 KOs
DIVISION: Heavyweight (champion)
LAST FIGHT: W (TKO6) Dillian Whyte, April 23
NEXT FIGHT: TBA


6. OLEKSANDR USYK     Previous ranking: No. 6

RECORD: 19-0, 13 KOs
DIVISION: Heavyweight (unified champion)
LAST FIGHT: W (UD12) Anthony Joshua, Sept. 25
NEXT FIGHT: Aug. 20 vs. Anthony Joshua


7. ARTUR BETERBIEV     Previous ranking: N/R

RECORD: 18-0, 18 KOs
DIVISION: Light heavyweight (unified champion)
LAST FIGHT: W (TKO2) Joe Smith Jr., June 18
NEXT FIGHT: TBA


8. DMITRY BIVOL     Previous ranking: No. 8

RECORD: 20-0, 11 KOs
DIVISION: Light heavyweight (champion)
LAST FIGHT: W (UD12) Canelo Alvarez, May 7
NEXT FIGHT: TBA


9. VASILIY LOMACHENKO     Previous ranking: No. 7

RECORD: 16-2, 11 KOs
DIVISION: Lightweight
LAST FIGHT: W (UD12) Richard Commey, Dec. 11
NEXT FIGHT: TBA


10. SHAKUR STEVENSON     Previous ranking: No. 9

RECORD: 18-0, 9 KOs
DIVISION: Junior lightweight (unified champion)
LAST FIGHT: W (UD12) Oscar Valdez, April 30
NEXT FIGHT: TBA


The formula

The rankings are based on a descending points system, with a first-place vote receiving 10 points, a second-place vote receiving nine points and so on. A tie goes to the fighter with the highest ranking and then the one with the most votes at that ranking.


Others receiving votes: Devin Haney (19), Gervonta Davis (14), Jermell Charlo (9), Juan Francisco Estrada (4), Josh Taylor (1), Gennadiy Golovkin (1), Stephen Fulton (1).


How our writers voted

Atlas: 1. Crawford, 2. Bivol, 3. Inoue, 4. Usyk, 5. Spence, 6. Alvarez, 7. Lomachenko, 8. Fury, 9. Davis, 10. Beterbiev

Bradley: 1. Crawford, 2. Inoue, 3. Spence, 4. Alvarez, 5. Beterbiev, 6. Fury, 7. Usyk, 8. Stevenson, 9. Charlo, 10. Haney

Coppinger: 1. Inoue, 2. Crawford, 3. Fury, 4. Bivol, 5. Alvarez, 6. Spence, 7. Usyk, 8. Beterbiev, 9. Lomachenko, 10. Stevenson

Tessitore: 1. Inoue, 2. Crawford, 3. Usyk, 4. Alvarez, 5. Beterbiev, 6. Spence, 7. Stevenson, 8. Fury, 9. Bivol, 10. Haney

Parkinson: 1. Inoue, 2. Crawford, 3. Alvarez, 4. Fury, 5. Spence, 6. Usyk, 7. Bivol, 8. Beterbiev, 9. Haney, 10. Lomachenko

Raskin: 1. Inoue, 2. Crawford, 3. Spence, 4. Bivol, 5. Alvarez, 6. Fury, 7. Usyk, 8. Beterbiev, 9. Stevenson, 10. Lomachenko

Ward: 1. Crawford, 2. Spence, 3. Inoue, 4. Alvarez, 5. Usyk, 6. Bivol, 7. Stevenson, 8. Beterbiev, 9. Haney, 10. Davis

Baby: 1. Crawford, 2. Alvarez, 3. Usyk, 4. Inoue, 5. Spence, 6. Lomachenko, 7. Fury, 8. Haney, 9. Stevenson, 10. Fulton

Rothstein: 1. Crawford, 2. Inoue, 3. Fury, 4. Alvarez, 5. Spence, 6. Usyk, 7. Lomachenko, 8. Bivol, 9. Davis, 10. Stevenson

Phelps: 1. Crawford, 2. Spence, 3. Alvarez, 4. Inoue, 5. Usyk, 6. Fury, 7. Charlo, 8. Haney, 9. Beterbiev, 10. Bivol

Woodyard: 1. Crawford, 2. Fury, 3. Spence, 4. Alvarez, 5. Inoue, 6. Usyk, 7. Davis, 8. Haney, 9. Stevenson, 10. Taylor

Trejos: 1. Crawford, 2. Spence, 3. Inoue, 4. Fury, 5. Alvarez, 6. Usyk, 7. Beterbiev, 8. Lomachenko, 9. Stevenson, 10. Davis

Dansby: 1. Usyk, 2. Crawford, 3. Inoue, 4. Alvarez, 5. Spence, 6. Fury, 7. Haney, 8. Beterbiev, 9. Charlo, 10. Stevenson

Moynihan: 1. Spence, 2. Crawford, 3. Inoue, 4. Fury, 5. Alvarez, 6. Usyk, 7. Lomachenko, 8. Bivol, 9. Beterbiev, 10. Golovkin

Pilatti: 1. Inoue, 2. Crawford, 3. Spence, 4. Fury, 5. Beterbiev, 6. Alvarez, 7. Davis, 8. Usyk, 9. Lomachenko, 10. Stevenson

Rodriguez: 1. Inoue, 2. Fury, 3. Crawford, 4. Spence, 5. Usyk, 6. Alvarez, 7. Beterbiev, 8. Bivol, 9. Lomachenko, 10. Charlo


ESPN experts’ poll

First place: Crawford (8), Inoue (6), Spence (1), Usyk (1)

Second place: Crawford (7), Spence (3), Inoue (2), Fury (2), Alvarez (1), Bivol (1)

Third place: Inoue (5), Spence (4), Alvarez (2), Fury (2), Usyk (2), Crawford (1)

Fourth place: Alvarez (6), Fury (4), Inoue (2), Bivol (2), Spence (1), Usyk (1)

Fifth place: Spence (5), Alvarez (4), Usyk (3), Beterbiev (3), Inoue (1)

Sixth place: Usyk (5), Fury (4), Alvarez (3), Spence (2), Bivol (1), Lomachenko (1)

Seventh place: Usyk (3), Lomachenko (3), Beterbiev (2), Stevenson (2), Davis (2), Fury (1), Bivol (1), Haney (1), Estrada (1)

Eighth place: Beterbiev (5), Bivol (3), Haney (3), Fury (2), Usyk (1), Lomachenko (1), Stevenson (1)

Ninth place: Stevenson (4), Lomachenko (3), Bterebiev (2), Haney (2), Davis (2), Charlo (2), Bivol (1)

10th place: Stevenson (4), Lomachenko (2), Haney (2), Davis (2), Charlo (2), Beterbiev (1), Bivol (1), Golovkin (1), Fulton (1)

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