World Boxing Information gives an entire historical past of the pound-for-pound primary spot starting in 1970, a title revered amongst boxers the world over.
One of many main speaking factors in modern-day boxing is the relevance of the P4P listing amongst the fighters.
A daily characteristic on most fight sports activities retailers, P4P causes scorching debates with followers. Many have opinions on what system will get used to determine who’s the very best fighter on the planet no matter weight class.
For some spells previously, the highest fighter has been a straightforward determination. Like when Mike Tyson dominated the world within the eighties or Muhammad Ali returned to slay the undefeated beast, George Foreman.
Different occasions it’s a way more difficult alternative.
So WBN determined to return when the game started to maneuver away from crowning one sole and recognizable face within the separate weight divisions. To present a definitive rundown of who was primary all through the many years.
In 1970, unified welterweight champion Jose Napoles gave his two victories over Curtis Cokes and a powerful efficiency in opposition to Emile Griffith. These three triumphs noticed Napoles named Fighter of the 12 months for 1969, which he cemented in February of 1970 with a Fifteenth-round stoppage of Ernie Lopez.
Napoles would preserve the tag till December when he finally misplaced for the fifth time in opposition to Billy Backus. Napoles avenged the loss six months later, however ‘Smokin’ Joe Frazier had taken over P4P because the unified heavyweight titleholder.
Frazier stayed on the helm till January 1973, when operating right into a formidable George Foreman. ‘Large George’ overhauled the slugger with a knockout win that put concern into the boxing world.
Everyone knows what occurred subsequent.
Muhammad Ali’s ‘Rumble within the Jungle ‘rope-a-dope’ shock positioned him because the Pound for Pound champ for the primary time in his profession. A reign would final over 4 years till ‘The Biggest’ himself misplaced to underdog Leon Spinks.
‘Fingers of Stone’ Roberto Duran then loved a short time within the seat earlier than Ali regained the world crown for an unprecedented third spell by avenging his loss to Spinks.
As a result of age and loads of brutal fights, Ali’s profession declined rapidly. It was again to Duran to steer the boxing world into the brand new decade.
Duran’s notorious ‘No Mas’ defeat to Sugar Ray Leonard then noticed the baton go till the flashy American retired from the ring originally of 1982 because of an eye fixed damage.
Because the heavyweight division continued a transitional interval, middleweight king Marvin Hagler was the face of the game. ‘The Marvellous One’ demolished his manner by all foes through the mid-’80s.
Hagler’s listing of victims included Duran and Thomas Hearns till Leonard’s spectacular comeback noticed the title swap palms for the primary time in 5 years.
Leonard’s resurgence was transient, as soon as once more because of retirement. Nevertheless, a brand new king of the world was topped later in that yr when the invincible ‘Iron’ Mike Tyson unified the heavyweight titles to turn out to be undisputed.
Tyson remained on the prime for 2 and half years earlier than his universe imploded in opposition to James ‘Buster’ Douglas. This shock left the 200 kilos plus division once more to take a again seat to the decrease weight lessons.
Pernell Whitaker loved a brief stint as pound-for-pound greatest in 1990 till a sure Julio Cesar Chavez received within the last spherical in opposition to Meldrick Taylor. The Mexican legend started a reign that might final till the pair met one another and fought out a stalemate in September 1993.
The Pound for Pound highlight then fell on the heavyweights once more briefly as one other undisputed champion Riddick ‘Large Daddy’ Bowe, took to the summit heading right into a rematch with Evander Holyfield.
Holyfield’s revenge victory at Caesar’s Palace would see the two-weight king paved the way. Till Whitaker was as soon as once more rated because the superior fighter for the second time in April 1994.
ROY JONES JR
‘Candy Pea’ was untouchable through the mid-’90s, rivaled solely by Roy Jones Jr. Earlier than the emergence of the ‘Golden Boy’ Oscar De La Hoya – having fun with an excellent run within the professional ranks contemporary from his success on the 1992 Olympics.
De La Hoya defeated Whitaker on the Thomas and Mack Middle in April 1997 to push himself because the spearhead of boxing. A title he would get pleasure from for nearly two and a half years.
A reverse in opposition to Felix Trinidad in September 1999 caused one more change. And with the Puerto Rican successful world titles at 154 and 160 kilos within the 18 months after taming De La Hoya, it’s exhausting to argue the possibilities of a unified Lennox Lewis or the good Jones Jr, who respectively ran Trinidad shut for the P4P title.
Trinidad’s two-year spell ended when Bernard Hopkins took his belts in September 2001 earlier than some inactivity for ‘The Executioner’ finally led to Jones Jr. getting boosted from the quantity two spot.
Jones loved an extended span as P4P greatest till Antonio Tarver derailed his profession with one fateful blow in Might 2004. The baton then fell again to Hopkins till a assured Floyd Mayweather lastly reached his future. Floyd hit the height when Hopkins shockingly misplaced twice to Jermain Taylor.
Mayweather was in a league of his personal as soon as he’d edged out Oscar De La Hoya in 2007. Manny Pacquiao then started to point out superhuman powers, relentlessly transferring by division after division.
After a conflict with Shane Mosley, a self-imposed Mayweather retirement noticed Pacquiao swoop in earlier than his rival got here again to take the WBC belt from Victor Ortiz in September 2011.
A six-fight take care of Showtime meant Mayweather occurred for an extended renaissance interval, and as no one was in a position to get close to him because of his huge expertise, ‘Cash’ stored his perch till hanging up his gloves in September 2015.
A yr later, and with no signal of Mayweather returning, a brand new pound-for-pound primary took over because the undefeated Nicaraguan Roman Gonzalez hailed the start of the brand new period.
Two months later, although, Manny Pacquiao took over briefly after regaining the WBO title in opposition to Jessie Vargas.
Quickly after, Andre Ward moved up in weight to say Sergey Kovalev’s ‘0’ and paved the way for his first profession.
On September 22, 2017, Ward determined to retire, leaving Gennady Golovkin to take the reigns after a powerful efficiency in opposition to Canelo Alvarez in Las Vegas. Golovkin misplaced out on what ought to have been a defining win over the Mexican celebrity by two judges who carded farcical scores on the T-Cell Area.
5 months after the pair introduced the highly-anticipated rematch, Canelo shockingly examined constructive for a banned substance twice, leaving ‘GGG’ inclined to being overtaken.
A one-sided win over Vanes Martirosyan, a predominant super-welterweight, was by no means sufficient to safe Golovkin’s place. On Might 12, 2018, Vasyl Lomachenko took benefit seven days later.
Lomachenko defeated Jorge Linares over ten rounds after being dropped earlier within the struggle so as to add the skilled primary crown to his legendary newbie standing.
Following an damage suffered through the struggle, ‘Loma’ was out till December 2018, when he returned to unify the division.
Across the identical time, a assured Canelo Alvarez claimed a third-weight world title with a powerful efficiency at MSG.
Months on, and after Lomachenko equally handled obligatory Anthony Crolla, Canelo lastly grabbed the highest cease by unifying at 160 kilos additional.
A elegant triumph in opposition to Daniel Jacobs was sufficient to push Canelo over the road in his fifty fifth outing.
Lomachenko reclaimed his pound-for-pound number-one place with a dominant win over Luke Campbell in London a couple of months later.
Including the WBC light-weight model to his WBO and WBA titles was sufficient to overtake his rival and rule as soon as extra.
It wasn’t lengthy earlier than Canelo clawed again the highest spot with a spectacular knockout of Sergey Kovalev.
Canelo turned a four-weight ruler and undoubtedly cemented his place as an all-time nice.
Firstly of 2020, Canelo had firmly established himself because the primary pound-for-pound fighter within the sport. The Mexican celebrity strengthened his place by turning into undisputed at super-middleweight in 2021.
Touchdown the WBN Fighter of the 12 months Award, Canelo went into 2022 as essentially the most well-known boxer on the planet. Taking over Dmitry Bivol at 175 kilos in Might, all of it got here crumbling down for Canelo.
His excessive ambitions of going by the divisions bought halted by an excellent efficiency by a terrific fighter in Bivol. Measurement does matter, as Bivol proved.
Canelo’s demise was for the achieve of Oleksandr Usyk, who turned the pound-for-pound king. His undisputed and unified achievements at cruiserweight and heavyweight spoke for themselves.
In three years, seven world title belts definitely meant few retailers wanted little argument about who changed Canelo.
Pound for Pound #1 / 1970 – Current day:
Jan: Jose Napoles
Dec: Joe Frazier
Jan: George Foreman
Jan: Muhammad Ali
Feb: Roberto Duran
Sept: Muhammad Ali
Oct: Roberto Duran
Nov: Sugar Ray Leonard
Feb: Marvin Hagler
April: Sugar Ray Leonard
Aug: Mike Tyson
Feb: Pernell Whitaker
Mar: Julio Cesar Chavez
Sep: Riddick Bowe
Nov: Evander Holyfield
April: Pernell Whitaker
April: Oscar De La Hoya
Sept: Felix Trinidad
Sept: Bernard Hopkins
Sept: Roy Jones Jr.
Might: Bernard Hopkins
July: Floyd Mayweather
Nov: Manny Pacquiao
Sept: Floyd Mayweather
Sept: Roman Gonzalez
Nov: Manny Pacquiao / Andre Ward
Sept: Gennady Golovkin
Might: Vasyl Lomachenko
Might: Canelo Alvarez
December: Canelo Alvarez
Might: Oleksandr Usyk
WBN Editor Phil has over ten years of boxing information expertise. Moreover, comply with WBN us on Twitter @WorldBoxingNews.