There are legends, and there are legends in the making.
Going from second to first is the last step in cementing the legacy of an athlete in the highest spheres of sport, which is the case for several boxers currently exercising their profession in the precarious world of boxing.
Here’s a look at the top current active boxers, according to BoxRec, in all weight classes, ready to join absolute sporting legends in the Promised Land.
In the land of heavyweights, Tyson Fury reign supreme. Fresh out of a haunting trilogy with Deontay Wilder, ‘The Gypsy King’ won over the few critics who were on the fence. A record 31 wins in 32 fights (one draw) is quite an achievement, but Fury’s legacy goes beyond the numbers. The two-time heavyweight world champion has spoken openly about his mental health issues, setting an example for future generations of boxers.
In the cruising weights diagram, Mairis Briedis is the man to talk to. The IBF and Ring Magazine heavyweight champion has achieved 28 wins in 29 fights, of which an astonishing 20 came by knockout. Heavy is the head that wears the crown, they say, but Briedis isn’t, having recently offered an undisputed super middleweight champion Saul ‘Canelo’ Allvarez a blow to its title.
In semi-heavy weight, Callum smith has a thing or two to say. Having previously held the WBA (Super) and Ring Magazine super middleweight titles, the Liverpool-born boxing icon certainly has a pedigree on his side. Even a loss to Canelo cannot shine a career that currently spans 29 fights (28 wins, 20 KOs).
Speaking of Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, the world’s first undisputed super middleweight champion is the king of the ring in his division. Fresh off a scintillating victory over Caleb Plant, Canelo has 57 wins under his belt, not to mention that waist belt. When it comes to super middleweight, Canelo is at the forefront.
The middleweight division also has a clear favorite; Gennady Golovkin. As boxing fans eagerly await his trilogy with Canelo, Golovkin leads the middleweight division with an iron fist, which he lands with laser-guided precision on his opponents. “Triple G” has only one loss under his belt, but if we are talking about sports icons today, the Kazakh middleweight is the man of the hour.
The super welterweight rule is one Jermell Charlo. The unified junior middleweight world champion is ranked as the world’s best active boxer in his division by multiple media outlets, including Ring Magazine. As his fight with Brian Castano ended in a controversial stalemate, the sequel promises to be at the box office. Until then, Charlo will be rather at the top of his division.
A successful victory was the only thing missing from Terence crawfordhis CV, but even that got ticked last weekend when he beat Shawn porter via TKO on the 10th round. Crawford is 16-0 in title fights since 2014, 13 of which have ended in knockouts. The man cemented his legacy as a welterweight icon.
With the WBC, WBA, IBF and WBO belts within reach, Josh taylor has the super light division in the palms of his hands. The first British boxer to unify a division in the era of the four belts, Taylor has won all 18 fights. Here’s number 19, which will see him take on Jack Caterall in February of next year.
Vasyl Lomachenko scares the hearts of his opponents, so it’s only fitting that he is comfortably at the top of the lightweight division. The 5-foot-7-inch Ukrainian southpaw has 15 wins in 17 fights. Reaping praise from his fiercest rivals, Lomachenko has a special place in the lightweight division and doesn’t seem likely to get knocked down anytime soon.
Few people will have a grudge to see Oscar Valdez top of the super featherweight world. The WBC champion retained his title earlier this year, beating Robson Conceicao by unanimous decision, notching his 30th victory in as many fights. His failure on a drug test at training camp may be a slight blemish on his record, but the Mexican star is firmly at the top of his division.
Emmanuel Navarrete takes no prisoners, as was evident in his title defense against Joet Gonzalez. The Mexican featherweight has faltered a few times in this fight, but the mark of a true champion is how well you recover from setbacks. The WBO featherweight champion did it with aplomb, so it’s only fitting that he takes the top spot in his division.
In super bantamweight, Brandon Figueroa dominates his rivals. Figueroa (22-0-1, 17 KOs) is set to face Stephen Fulton this weekend, but he has momentum on his side and the ability to back him up. ‘The Heartbreaker’ has admitted it could be his last fight at 122 pounds, and the Philadelphia fan-favorite boxer will be looking to put on a show if so.
In the bantamweight diagram, Naoya Inoue is the man to talk to. If you’ve seen his last fight against Michael Dasmarinas in Sin City, you’ll know why. After demolishing Dasmarinas in three rounds in Las Vegas, the Japanese WBA and IBF bantamweight champion has earned a reputation as a formidable fighter. 21 fights, 21 victories. Nuff ‘says.
The world of super flyweight is a competitive world, but it doesn’t get any better than Juan Francisco Estrada. A deal for the trilogy fight between him and Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez may be on the cards, but even in case Estrada falters in this fight, the 31-year-old Mexican icon has done more than enough in his 45. – combat career to be ranked the current GOAT of his division.
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Sunny Edwards is only 25 years old and still leads the flyweight division. Yeah. After claiming the IBF flyweight title at Moruti Mthalane in 2021, ‘Showtime Sunny’ is 16-0 with four knockouts to his name. Make no mistake, Edwards is here to stay.
In lightweight flyweight, Japanese champion Masamichi Yabuki starred in one of boxing’s biggest upheavals this year when he beat WBC champion Kenshiro Teraji in the 10th round of a fight for the ages. With 13 wins in 16 fights, few came close to knocking Yabuki off his perch. At first glance, this trend is set to continue.
The minimum weight world champion Panya Pradabsri is a serious and serious man. The Thai champion survived a scare in the seventh round of his fight against Danai Ngiabphukhiaw, but quickly turned to his characteristic aggressive late-fight style to secure the victory. In January, Wanheng Menayothin will be the last to attempt to remove Pradabsri’s belt, but that’s easier said than done, isn’t it?
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