By Uppercut Magazine
Publish date: Jan. 15, 2021
Leading Uppercut Magazine’s list of the best fighters pound for pound is Mexico’s Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. His dominating performances in the last two years are bulletproof.
Other new additions to our list since almost a year ago is the arrival of Teofimo Lopez after his scintillating victory over Vasyl Lomachenko. Many doubted he was ready for the Ukrainian but he proved them wrong.
Also, the British are coming and they bring their pair of heavyweight giants into the picture. Welcome Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua.
Here is the list:
Saul Alvarez (54-1-2, 36 KOs) Mexico 30 years old – Despite his rather small height for a super middleweight, the Mexican redhead dominated the much taller Callum Smith and Rocky Fielding to claim their titles. He also has the only victory over Gennady “GGG” Golovkin along with world titles in four weight divisions. He is the same height as Terence Crawford and shorter than Errol Spence yet has a win over a light heavyweight champion. No other fighter should be considered better than Canelo right now.
Terence Crawford (37-0, 28 KOs) USA 33 years old – If only Crawford were allowed to fight the other welterweights in the division. The Nebraskan has all the tools needed to continue beating all other welters he just needs one of the so-called elite fighters to step up and face him. Crawford reminds me of an Aaron Pryor with his fighting skills and mean heart inside a boxing ring. He is running out of time. Can he finally nail down a worthy foe?
Tyson Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) United Kingdom 32 years old – right now the British heavyweight could probably lick any other fighter in the world. A match against fellow British heavyweight Anthony Joshua will be the biggest fight of 2021 if the promoters can make it happen. Fury has that innate ability to do whatever is necessary to win a fight. He also has a granite chin that has allowed him to get off the canvas from a monster blow as he showed in his first fight with Deontay Wilder.
Errol Spence Jr. (27-0, 21 KOs) USA 30 years old – The Texas-based welterweight probably has the best jab in the business. He reminded everyone just how good when he displayed it against Danny “Swift” Garcia in December. Spence also showed he has recovered from severe injuries suffered from a violent car accident. All Spence needs is a showdown with Terence Crawford to prove his abilities. He’s fought all the others in his PBC stable of welterweights. He needs Terence Crawford.
Gennady Golovkin (41-1-1, 36 KOs) Kazakhstan 38 years old – may be a tick slower but no one is clamoring to fight the mighty middleweight. Triple G still remains a dangerous threat to anyone inside the boxing ring. Aside from having knockout power Golovkin also has tremendous fighting skills that go unnoticed. A move to a heavier weight class could mean more opportunities and more money for GGG. Hopefully he doesn’t wait too long. Perhaps one of the Charlo brothers will dare fight Triple G? Or maybe it’s time to face Demetrious Andrade?
Teofimo Lopez (16-0,12 KOs) USA 23 years old – A year ago the fighter self-named the “Takeover” was merely a hot prospect. But after out-boxing the near legendary Vasyl Lomachenko before a worldwide audience, it’s clear Lopez has special talent and intelligence inside a boxing ring. When you combine his intelligence with his quick reflexes and power it equals a special kind of fighter. He is the best of the talented lightweights and right now they are the wow division in the world of prizefighting.
Naoya Inoue (20-0, 17 KOs) Japan 27 years old – Japan’s “Monster” Inoue had a tremendous win over boxing great Nonito Donaire. It was the biggest win of his career but also showed he may have reached his limitations in regard to weight class. Inoue has speed, power and a personality to win over fans worldwide and that’s why Top Rank signed him. Inoue is never in a boring fight. Too bad we’re in a pandemic. Otherwise, fans would be able to witness his talent in person.
Vasyl Lomachenko (14-2, 10 KOs) Ukraine 32 years old – the Ukrainian boxer stepped on the gas too late to make up for the lost rounds against Teofimo Lopez when they fought. It may have been a valuable lesson for Lomachenko that defense and movement is good, but offense wins the fight. He is still young enough to do damage in the lightweight division that is suddenly hot as a smoking cannon. Anyone who faces Loma will be running into a buzz saw this time around. I think he learned his lesson.
Anthony Joshua (24-1, 22 KOs) United Kingdom 31 years old – the jury is still out on the massive and muscular Joshua. His recent win over Kubrat Pulev regained some of the credibility he lost when Andy Ruiz ripped the heavyweight titles away from him by knockout. Though he won the rematch with Ruiz, he looked silly running away from the much smaller and less athletic-looking fighter. Joshua can get a chance to redeem his pride if he can beat Tyson Fury. Hopefully they meet this year. He does have the tools.
Mikey Garcia (40-1, 30 KOs) USA 33 years old – No one should penalize the California fighter for losing to Errol Spence Jr. two years ago. The former featherweight jumped up to welterweight and just wasn’t ready for the bigger guys, yet. Garcia happens to be one of the smartest fighters in any weight class. One loss does not mean the end of a career. Look for Mikey to return in 2021. Ask any of the many current lightweight champions if they want to fight Mikey Garcia. I think not.
Manny Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs) Philippines 42 years old – Pacman has been fighting for 26 years and has gathered enough ring knowledge to trouble anybody in the boxing ring. But how much physical prowess remains? Pacquiao needs to return to the ring quickly before all of his physical gifts evaporate. No longer does he possess extraordinary knockout power, but he still has enough quickness and intelligence to befuddle anyone. It’s been two years since he last fought. Who will Pacquiao fight in 2021?
Oleksandr Usyk (18-0, 13 KOs) Ukraine 33 years old – the former cruiserweight champion discovered just how difficult it will be to win as a heavyweight when he managed to beat Dereck Chisora last October. It was too close for comfort. All of his fancy southpaw tricks were useless against the heavier and more powerful Chisora and it will only get tougher against the better heavyweights. But you can’t blame Usyk for trying. Heavyweight money is much better than cruiserweight money.