Boxers and boxing fans are always about that no. 1 pound-for-pound label, and one particular fighter got some solid endorsement earlier this week.
While guesting on the ESPN show First Take, semi-retired boxer Floyd Mayweather was put on the spot by hosts Max Kellerman and Stephen A. Smith, who asked him to name the sport’s current pound-for-pound king.
After looking away and thinking hard, Mayweather eventually named undefeated welterweight champion, Terrence ‘Bud’ Crawford, with some reluctance:
“At one particular time, I did say Terrence Crawford, but what are we rating these fighters on?”
It’s a tricky subject, and regardless of the sport, naming the best and putting it out there can be really tough, so it was good that he tapped the question back.
Kellerman, however, was adamant to get some quotes, so he said to judge it based on the good ‘ol “eye test,” a personal favourite among analysts everywhere. That’s when Floyd started to give a push for one of his main proteges at Mayweather Promotions, Gervonta Davis, who’s an unbeaten champion at the lightweight and featherweight divisions.
It’s also just in time as Davis has a fight tomorrow, November 1st, against Leo Santa Cruz, where he’ll defend his WBA lightweight title and aim to take Santa Cruz’s the WBA super featherweight belt.
“I look at it like this, [Gervonta Davis] did the same thing that Terrence Crawford did to [Yuriorkis] Gamboa.”
As you know, Davis and Crawford have both stopped Gamboa for a world lightweight title, a former heralded champ.
Kellerman pressed on again, though, and noted that while it’s true, Crawford did beat the younger and stronger Gamboa, whereas Davis faced the 38-year-old, past-his-prime version. Mayweather then rebutted and again made a fair point as he reminded that age doesn’t really matter in that juncture since Crawford is bigger than Davis anyway.
Now, before we get all riled up on Floyd again, he basically clarified that he only wanted Davis to be recognized inside the top 10, and not to be no.1 – Davis is currently not in any major Top 10 Pound-for-Pound rankings.
Mayweather then entered the majority’s no. 1 P4P boxer into the conversation, middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez, who’s also a former foe. They faced back in 2013, and Floyd controversially won by majority decision – some say he put on a defensive masterclass, others say Alvarez did enough to win.
However, while he was very complimentary, Floyd circled back and named Crawford as the P4P king right now.
“Canelo done something amazing when he became light-heavyweight champ … I didn’t even see him going up that heavy, and he did that. But, as of right now, I have to put Terence Crawford as No. 1.”
So, who has the best case for the no.1 P4P label right now?
It’s tough looking past Alvarez. He’s very equipped for many styles of fights, the longevity is there, and to this day, his only loss was that Mayweather bout, which, as we mentioned, was controversial. He’s 53-1-2 with 36 KOs, and title belts across five divisions.
That’s not to say Crawford and the other top-rated P4P boxers have no stake in the argument. Naoya Inoue, Errol Spence Jr., and Vasyl Lomachenko, despite the recent loss, are also great talents that will continue breathing down Canelo’s neck moving forward.