Pound-for-Pound Rankings: Shakur Stevenson Remains in the Top 10 Despite Failing to Win a Title
Question: How much entertainment should be involved in pound for pound voting in the sport of boxing?
In many ways, it shouldn’t. In a sport that largely doubles as an entertainment product, where elements like popularity and trash talk can get you ahead, the P4P list has always been a place where meritocracy has had the greatest credence and elite skill value.
So what should the most elite critics make of the undefeated Shakur Stevenson and his victory over the threat of Edwin De Los Santos in their November clash for the WBC vacant lightweight title?
It is an interesting debate to consider.
For many, Stevenson’s defensive mastery did not translate into adequate entertainment, especially after a fight week in which the 2016 US Olympic silver medalist fired nothing but aggressive talk at everyone from De Los Santos, which he promised to put to sleep. Stevenson was also critical of former undisputed lightweight king Devin Haney, whom he blamed for pulling away by choosing to relinquish his title to move up and challenge to 140-pound wrestler Regis Prograis.
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Although he was reluctant to confirm whether it was after the fight, perhaps to avoid excuses, it is clear that Stevenson’s left hand was in danger coming in. He moved back whenever De Los Santos came forward with offense and controlled the bout largely with just his jabs while limited. his Dominican opponent landed a CompuBox record of just 40 pounds over 12 rounds.
So, from a P4P perspective, what Stevenson was able to do despite his injury was excellent as he controlled and confused De Los Santos without taking no penalty in return. In this case, his rating does not affect at all.
That doesn’t mean, however, that Stevenson gets off scot-free in the court of public opinion after his performance fails in any way that wasn’t painful.
Stevenson is set to become one of the sport’s biggest stars but failed miserably amid Thursday night’s ESPN opportunity to build his name as he embarks on such an ambitious campaign to secure a third world title. in as many categories at only 26.
Already one of the most shunned fighters in the sport, Stevenson probably didn’t make matters worse for himself by living and moving forward in such a responsible way that it was obvious that he had openings against De Los Santos but chose not to. Considering Stevenson walked to the ring with current and former P4P king Terence Crawford and Andre Ward, and took a locker room photo beforehand with Floyd Mayweather, his performance was afterwards feeling too safe to be caught or marked.
In the long run, this survival-and-advance performance amidst injury may not be remembered as negatively as it is now. But the short-term result will be true for Stevenson in a sport where you are often not as good as your last performance.
Moving forward, it will be up to Stevenson to fight in a way that justifies the huge amount of hype he continues to receive as the rare active boxer who draws such vivid comparisons to Young Mayweather.
Using criteria that take into account everything from achievements to current form, let’s take a closer look at the main fighters inside the ring. Below is the latest Pound for Pound ranking update following Stevenson’s win in November.
1. Terence Crawford
Undisputed Welterweight Champion (39-0, 29 KOs) | Previous Rank: No. 1
If you were wondering how good Crawford really was, taking out Errol Spence Jr. were not beaten in their long awaited undisputed title match the answers we were so keen on. Crawford wasn’t just better than Spence, he proved that he would be too much for any welterweight in history. He also hasn’t backed up his interest in facing Canelo Alvarez at 168 pounds.
2. Naoya Inoue
Unified Junior Featherweight Champion (22-0, 20 KOs) | Previous Rank: No. 2
How is it possible that the Japanese “Monster” could capture a title in a fourth weight division while dominating unified champion Stephen Fulton Jr. and somehow lose in the ratings? Terence Crawford is the answer. That doesn’t mean that Inoue failed to show us that he is very good in the future.
3. Canelo Alvarez
Undisputed Super Middleweight Champion (60-2-2, 38 KOs) | Previous Rank: No. 3
The former P4P king is still the undisputed champion of one of the hottest divisions in the sport and he proved against Jermell Charlo in their September PPV that he is not done yet at 33. Now fully healthy , Alvarez freed himself from a trio of ho-hum performances over him. the last two years with a major decision win.
4. Oleksandr Usyk
Unified Heavyweight Champion (19-0, 13 KOs | Previous Rank: No. 4
Usyk’s professional run has been as decorated as it was perfect. The former undisputed cruiserweight champion scored a pair of emphatic victories over Anthony Joshua to unify a trio of heavyweight titles. After a stop ofUsyk now finally gets his undisputed four-belt clash against WBC champion Tyson Fury in February.
5. Dmitry Bivol
WBA Light Heavyweight Champion (21-0, 11 KOs) | Previous Rank: No. 5
After an incredible 2022, which included a victory over Canelo Alvarez and almost universal acclaim as the fighter of the year, Bivol has sat out most of this calendar year in hopes of face unified champion Artur Beterbiev in a long-awaited no-doubt fight. To stay busy, Bivol will return in December in Saudi Arabia against Lyndon Arthur.
6. Devin Haney
Undisputed Lightweight Champion (30-0, 15 KOs) | Previous Rank: No. 6
Although the scoring is still debatable, Haney took his overall game to a higher level in finishing former P4P king Vasiliy Lomachenko in May. Haney’s resume is coming together nicely at 24 and he will head north to 140 pounds later this year to challenge WBC titleholder Regis Prograis.
7. Tyson Fury
WBC Heavyweight Champion (34-0-1, 25 KOs) | Previous Rank: No. 7
This was nothing short of a strange 2023 for the “Gypsy King.” Fury has been heavily criticized for delaying his undisputed fight against unification king Oleksandr Usyk, which now takes place in February. And he was lucky to maintain his unbeaten record in his controversial decision win over former UFC champion Francis Ngannou in October, which saw Fury hit the canvas against his ‘ a modern pugilist.
8. Errol Spence Jr.
Welterweight (28-1, 22 KOs) | Previous Rank: No. 8
The former unified welterweight king received a crushing penalty in an undoubtedly disastrous title loss to longtime rival Terence Crawford. A full-time move up to 154 pounds is expected for the 33-year-old Spence, who recently activated his buyout clause with Crawford.
9. Gervonta Davis
Junior lightweight titleholder (29-0, 27 KOs) | Previous rank: 9
It’s time to finally get “Tank” as one of the most dangerous and complete boxers on the planet. Effective sniper Ryan Garcia finished unbeaten with a body shot in Round 7 of their fight in April. Recently released from prison, Davis plans to return in early 2024.
10. Shakur Stevenson
WBC Lightweight Champion (21-0, 10 KOs) | Previous Rank: No. 10
Although Stevenson crushed Edwin De Los Santos to a CompuBox record over 12 rounds of only 40 pounds landed, he was widely criticized for the lackluster nature of his victory in November in the vacant 135-pound title they have Stevenson, who appeared to have an injured left hand, won a title in a third weight division aged just 26 but was widely criticized for not exploiting openings offensively.
Issued: There is none
Honorable Mention: Vasiliy Lomachenko, Artur Beterbiev, Teofimo Lopez Jr., Juan Francisco Estrada, David Benavidez