Naoya Inoue has officially been chosen by Ring Magazine staff as their new pound-for-pound king, replacing Terence Crawford for the top sport.

Ring Magazine’s choice is questionable because many pundits feel that Inoue (27-0, 24 KOs) hasn’t beaten the level of opposition to grab the #1 spot from Crawford or even prove that he’s more deserving than several fighters on the list ranked below him.

Ring Magazine was impressed with the way the 31-year-old Japanese star Inoue got off the canvas in the first round to defeat Luis Nery by sixth-round knockout last Monday night at the Tokyo Dome.

Many boxing fans feel that Crawford should still be #1 because his wins in recent years have been against better competition than the pedestrian-level fighters that Naoya Inoue has been padding his record with.

Updated Ring Magazine pound-for-pound rankings

1. Naoya Inoue
2. Terence Crawford
3. Oleksandr Usyk
4. Canelo Alvarez
5. Artur Beterbiev
6. Dmitry Bivol
7. Errol Spence
8. Gervonta Davis
9. Jesse ‘Bam’ Rodriguez
10. Junto Nakatani

Boxing fans would be more willing to view Inoue as deserving of the #1 pound-for-pound king if tested himself by moving up to lightweight to challenge Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis for his WBA ‘regular’ title.

Inoue reportedly rehydrates to the 140s for his fights at super bantamweight, meaning he’s more than big enough to fight Tank Davis at lightweight without the need for a catchweight handicap. If Inoue were willing to fight Tank Davis, fans would see whether he’s as good as some, including the Ring Magazine staff think he is.

I don’t see Inoue as being worthy of the #1 pound-for-pound King, because I don’t rate Luis Nery, and I’m not impressed with Naoya’s other recent wins over these guys:

– Nonito Donaire: 40-years-old
– Paul Butler
– Marlon Tapales
– Stephen Fulton
– Aran Dipaen
– Michael Dasmariñas

Fans would also like to see Naoya Inoue test himself by going up to featherweight, which is only four lbs North of super bantamweight, where he could test himself against numerous talented guys with power similar to his own.

The fact that Inoue has shown no interest in testing himself at 126 suggests to some that he’s afraid because he knows he could lose. So, he’d rather stay at 122 where it’s safe, fighting guys that have already been beaten before and won’t give him any problems, like Luis Nery. That guy had recently been knocked out.

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