In a dumbfounding move, ESPN released their pound for pound rankings on Wednesday with Terence Crawford unbelievably above Canelo Alvarez.
Despite the Mexican superstar proving his class, resume, world title haul, and achievements in the ring are far superior to any other fighter on the planet right now.
Canelo’s victory over Callum Smith, a lineal champion at 168 pounds and World Boxing Super Series winner, was firmly out-classed by the 30-year-old.
In the vast majority of eyes, Canelo is the number one P4P star in the sport. Not for ESPN.
Their panel has voted Crawford. At the summit is an ESPN fighter – might I add, despite an evident gulf in the level of opposition defeated.
Crawford is an unbelievable fighter, one of the best in the world without a doubt, but he needs to biggest names at 147 on his record to get anywhere near Canelo.
Of his 37 victories, only two were rated in the WBN Top 30 when Crawford beat them. And that was six years ago against Ricky Burns and Yuriorkis Gamboa.
Julius Indongo, who Crawford defeated in 2017, had sneaked into the Top 50 at that time but was never really seen as a top world-beater.
Therefore, where is the evidence Crawford can use his exceptional talent to beat Errol Spence, Manny Pacquiao, or even Shawn Porter?
It’s a head-scratcher that Eric Raskin tried to fathom in the ESPN reveal.
“Canelo looked spectacular on Saturday night, dominating a top fighter who was supposed to present a challenge for him,” Raskin told ESPN.
“I don’t know if he’s ‘better’ than Crawford right now. But based on the evidence against Callum Smith, it’s at least a close call.
“And the gulf between their respective resumes over the last three years is vast enough to make up for any slight skill edge Crawford might possess.
“Even in a pound-for-pound comparison where ability matters more than a resume.”
Maybe WBN is using an alternative universe of criteria when choosing Canelo as the best?
WBN’s ratings are World title wins, multi-weight titles, opponents’ caliber, and manner of victories.
Longevity and activity in a calendar year heed consideration for the Pound for Pound list. Skill comes with the ability to compile all those things.
Comparing the two, it’s merely a matter of chalk and cheese at the moment.
CANELO ALVAREZ RESUME
Canelo has won nine world titles at four weights and has been a lineal champion in two different classes.
Crawford has five world titles in two divisions, but his caliber of opponents is questionable. Manner of victories, you could give a slight edge to ‘Bud’ – although here comes that argument of opponents once again.
Longevity is a no-brainer in favor of Canelo. Simultaneously, every prominent fighter on the planet has struggled to get more than one bout in this year.
Despite all this evidence stacking for Canelo, Crawford remains top of the list.
Should he move to Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions, as predicted by Shawn Porter recently, you have to wonder whether that will last.
ESPN POUND FOR POUND TOP TEN
1. Terence Crawford
2. Canelo Alvarez
3. Naoya Inoue
4. Errol Spence
5. Teofimo Lopez
6. Tyson Fury
7. Vasyl Lomachenko
8. Oleksandr Usyk
9. Juan Estrada
T-10. Gennadiy Golovkin
T-10. Gervonta Davis
WBN POUND FOR POUND TOP TEN
1 Canelo Alvarez
2 Errol Spence
3 Tyson Fury
4 Teofimo Lopez
5 Naoya Inoue
6 Terence Crawford
7 Manny Pacquiao
8 Oleksandr Usyk
9 Juan Estrada
10 Vasyl Lomachenko
View the full WBN P4P Top 50 HERE.
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