We’ve got three serious contenders for the top of the P4P list | Philip Fong/AFP via Getty Imgaes, Mohammed Saad/Anadolu via Getty Images, and Al Bello/Getty Images

We’ve got three serious contenders for the top of the P4P list these days, so who’s our No. 1?

Bad Left Hook Pound-For-Pound Top 10

June 2024

The voters: Scott Christ, Wil Esco, John Hansen, Patrick Stumberg, and Lewis Watson

Others Receiving Votes: David Benavidez 2, Vasiliy Lomachenko 1, Subriel Matias 1

Scott Christ

(1) Naoya Inoue, (2) Oleksandr Usyk, (3) Terence “Bud” Crawford, (4) Dmitry Bivol, (5) Artur Beterbiev, (6) Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez, (7) Junto Nakatani, (8) Kenshiro Teraji, (9) Canelo Alvarez, (10) David Benavidez

Usyk moves up, Crawford moves down, Inoue stays put. That’s what I’ve got for now, but this is truly a blessed period for a boxing fan to be talking P4P, unless you strongly prefer there being one king miles ahead of the pack. We’ve got not two but three guys with a strong claim right now, all still operating at an incredible level. For me, it’s just barely Inoue ahead of Usyk, who is just barely ahead of Crawford, and I have no issue whatsoever with any order.

The rest stays the same for me. We’ll have a June with Bam Rodriguez and David Benavidez both in action, as well as P4P list contender Tank Davis, all in fights that can strengthen their cases. If Rodriguez dominates Juan Francisco Estrada moving back to 115 lbs, unless Estrada is just brutally shot — which should not be the expectation — then he probably moves into my top five, that would be another major statement. Dmitry Bivol is also fighting, though not in the fight we hoped to see.

Wil Esco

(1) Terence “Bud” Crawford, (2) Naoya Inoue, (3) Oleksandr Usyk, (4) Dmitry Bivol, (5) Artur Beterbiev, (6) Jaron “Boots” Ennis, (7) Canelo Alvarez, (8) Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez, (9) Kenshiro Teraji, (10) Junto Nakatani

Recency bias is a real thing but I’m going to fight the urge by keeping Terence Crawford as No. 1 for now, at least until I see him in his next outing. I’d get into the thick of it but Scott has already put together a nicely written piece that mostly echoes my sentiments on the matter of Crawford, Inoue, and Usyk.

Usyk’s win over Fury was certainly a big one, but as you all know, I never really rated Fury as P4P. Even still, a legitimate case for all three holding the top spot can be made to the point where I’d otherwise have them all simultaneously holding the No.1 position, but I was forced to split hairs. I truly don’t think there’s a clear standalone #1 guy at the moment, and I perceive that as a good thing in the sense of we’re in an era of supreme talent across weight classes right now. I can’t remember another point in my time following the sport where that’s been the case to this degree.

John Hansen

(1) Naoya Inoue, (2) Terence “Bud” Crawford, (3) Oleksandr Usyk, (4) Dmitry Bivol, (5) Artur Beterbiev, (6) Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez, (7) Kenshiro Teraji, (8) David Benavidez, (9) Junto Nakatani, (10) Subriel Matias

No changes for me, even though Usyk’s recent triumph likely makes that controversial for many of our readers. Possibly several of my colleagues, too.

Right now, we’re blessed to witness three separate all-time greats, any and all of whom have a reasonable argument for The Best Right Now, all of them hitting new heights within the past year. Before the Fury fight, I had Usyk a half-tier below Inoue and Crawford at 1a and 1b. Now, it’s clearly three men who could make an argument for the P4P honor not just right now, but in almost any era.

Historically, people of my heritage judging a beauty contest between three immortals leads to misery and suffering, and I’m sure that will prove true again in the comments below. All I can say is: If you could somehow standardize the sizes of these guys and have them settle it in the ring tomorrow, I don’t think there’s a really clear objective answer, but Inoue-Crawford-Usyk is the order in which I’d favor them, with barely a hint of daylight between any and all.

Crawford feels closest to the cliff, but the man we saw in action last time he fought certainly hadn’t gone over it yet. If he looks a step slower in August, I’ll adjust accordingly.

Patrick Stumberg

(1) Naoya Inoue, (2) Oleksandr Usyk, (3) Terence “Bud” Crawford, (4) Canelo Alvarez, (5) Dmitry Bivol, (6) Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez, (7) Artur Beterbiev, (8) Junto Nakatani, (9) Kenshiro Teraji, (10) David Benavidez

So, here’s my reasoning. Just looking at wins on paper, Oleksandr Usyk toppling Tyson Fury is the most impressive single accomplishment on this list and his two wins over Anthony Joshua, who you know I always go to bat for, are also strong. I’m not going to argue with anyone who puts him in the top spot.

I just can’t overlook the sheer dominance of Naoya Inoue’s victories. Usyk’s wins at heavyweight, though generally clear, are hard-fought and often see him hit at least a few speed bumps along the way. Inoue has had exactly one spot of trouble since beating a generational talent with one functional eye: a full-force counter from arguably the second-hardest single-shot puncher in his division, which he got up from with time to spare and avenged with one of the most violent knockouts of the year. There’s a lot you can say about Luis Nery as a person, but the guy hits like a train and survived 10 impossibly grueling rounds with the implacable Azat Hovhannisyan before pounding him into the dirt. Inoue doing what he did to him is not normal.

Again, you could argue that the quality of Usyk’s recent victories and the size differences involved carry more weight than the trail of good-but-not-great bodies that Inoue has left in his wake as he rises through the weights. Usyk is a masterful, generational talent, but in my eyes, he’s mortal in a way that Inoue simply isn’t.

Lewis Watson

(1) Oleksandr Usyk, (2) Naoya Inoue, (3) Terence “Bud” Crawford, (4) Artur Beterbiev, (5) Dmitry Bivol, (6) Canelo Alvarez, (7) Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez, (8) Kenshiro Teraji, (9) Gervonta “Tank” Davis, (10) Vasiliy Lomachenko

P4P rankings are, by their nature, a moveable feast, and despite Inoue’s destructive performance at the start of the month, Usyk’s toppling of Fury a few weeks later sees the Ukrainian edge to the top of my standings. In truth it’s an eeny, meeny, miny, moe choice from the top three, but Usyk grabbed the tiger by the toe and nearly stopped a man that oversized him on all metrics. The rarity in seeing a cruiserweight clean out the division and then jump up to do the same as a heavyweight (with a 62 lb weight difference between opponents) shouldn’t be treated as a normal accomplishment, and Usyk is well on his way to securing himself as an ATG.

Lomachenko pops his head back into the top 10 after, somewhat, rolling back the years against George Kambosos Jr. I think we have become a little numb to Loma’s dominance in the sport, and have perhaps criticized him unfairly in a lofted weight class

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