BLH P4P Top 10 (Sept. 2023): Usyk wins but stays put, Navarrete, more


It’s another month and another pound-for-pound list!

Glory as we … pretty much repeat last month’s list, but some new votes coming in, too!

September 2023

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

Others Receiving Votes: Errol Spence Jr 7, Jaron “Boots” Ennis 6, Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez 5, Emanuel Navarrete 4, Juan Francisco Estrada 1

Scott Christ

(1) Terence Crawford, (2) Naoya Inoue, (3) Oleksandr Usyk, (4) Dmitry Bivol, (5) Gervonta Davis, (6) Artur Beterbiev, (7) Shakur Stevenson, (8) Devin Haney, (9) Emanuel Navarrete, (10) Kenshiro Teraji

A new arrival. I’d mentioned a couple times in the most recent updates that I was keeping an eye on that Emanuel Navarrete vs Oscar Valdez fight, and I saw a guy who has as much legitimacy in the pound-for-pound top 10 as anyone in the back half.

Navarrete has won world titles in three divisions and has largely dominated since his breakout win over Isaac Dogboe in 2018 (nearly five years ago!). I was a fairly big critic of a lot of the shaft-cranking that went on in boxing media when he fought four times between May and December of 2019 — wow! old school! frequent fights against weak opponents! — but he did it all the same and I also think he has really strong wins over Dogboe (twice), Ruben Villa (his most underrated win), and now Valdez, plus solid wins over Christopher Diaz, Joet Gonzalez, Eduardo Baez, and Liam Wilson in his last six outings.

I believe he’s earned the spot. I know he fights wrong and fights kinda dumb in a way, but there aren’t that many classically skilled slicksters out there who have done what he’s done over the last five years, either. Loads who would love to actually accomplish what he has.

Count me among the “Daniel Dubois did not have certain championship glory robbed from him by Luis Pabon” crowd.

Wil Esco

(1) Terence Crawford, (2) Naoya Inoue, (3) Oleksandr Usyk, (4) Dmitry Bivol, (5) Jaron “Boots” Ennis, (6) Artur Beterbiev, (7) Canelo Alvarez, (8) Shakur Stevenson, (9) Devin Haney, (10) Gervonta Davis

I’m keeping the status quo this month. Despite whatever controversy there was in Oleksandr Usyk’s fight with Daniel Dubois, he ultimately handled the business.

And for whatever it’s worth, I do think Dubois’ shot was a bit low (even if not egregiously) so I have no real issue with the ruling. Hopefully we’ll soon see Usyk in an undisputed unification match against Tyson Fury, which I still find intriguing on multiple levels. Fingers crossed.

John Hansen

(1) Naoya Inoue, (2) Terence Crawford, (3) Oleksandr Usyk, (4) Dmitry Bivol, (5) Artur Beterbiev, (6) Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez, (7) Kenshiro Teraji, (8) Errol Spence Jr, (9) Emanuel Navarrete, (10) Gervonta Davis

There’s only one change for me this month. Emanuel Navarrete jumps in at #9. Some may feel that’s a bit of an overreaction to the Valdez win. Some may feel that I was cruel to drop Devin Haney back out at the first opportunity.

I give a lot of credit to Navarrete for winning and defending legitimate belts at three different weights. That’s not even factoring in that the guy started as a pro at 112 lbs, and didn’t even jump up to 122 for four years after that. Opinions can vary, but I liked what I saw, and I’ve always said that variation in pounds is a major factor for me in a P4P evaluation and ranking.

I’m not making any other adjustments, other than Tank Davis sliding down to 10th since I put Navarrete in at ninth. Sorry to any Daniel Dubois partisans, but I think an Usyk getting a knockdown count would have found his feet and gone on to win that fight anyway, so he stays put.

Looking ahead to September: By this time next month, I don’t anticipate many changes to my rankings. I don’t think there’s anything outside of Canelo-Charlo that could really factor into anyone else’s, either. That doesn’t promise much intrigue to me, as I don’t think even a fading Canelo is in much danger against a 154 lber coming off a lingering injury and fighting for the first time in 16 months. Charlo would definitely merit consideration if he pulls the upset, but I’m not expecting that to happen. Hopefully, we get a good show out of it, at least.

Patrick Stumberg

(1) Naoya Inoue, (2) Terence Crawford, (3) Oleksandr Usyk, (4) Canelo Alvarez, (5) Dmitry Bivol, (6) Shakur Stevenson, (7) Errol Spence Jr, (8) Artur Beterbiev, (9) Devin Haney, (10) Kenshiro Teraji

Nothing to shake up the status quo this month. Usyk was the only one on the list to see action and he took care of business against Daniel Dubois. He got the finish when I didn’t expect him to, but that’s not enough to bump him over “Bud” and “The Monster.”

Yeah, that’s all I really got, but I’ll try and fill the empty space a bit. Y’know, I actually just watched Creed III for the first time a couple weeks back. It unfortunately broke my suspension of disbelief when Russell Mora actually deducted points for an illegal blow.

Lewis Watson

(1) Terence Crawford, (2) Naoya Inoue, (3) Oleksandr Usyk, (4) Dmitry Bivol, (5) Artur Beterbiev, (6) Devin Haney, (7) Canelo Alvarez, (8) Kenshiro Teraji, (9) Gervonta Davis, (10) Juan Francisco Estrada

Usyk needed a near-perfect win over Daniel Dubois in order to break the front of the grid lockout of Crawford and Inoue. There were obviously flashes of brilliance against “DDD” but there are definitely questions growing concerning the Ukrainian’s dislike to take any punishment in the tummy tum. So, Usyk stays at number 3 and I think it’s going to take something special from the chasing pack to come close to breaking into the medal places.

Shameless flex: I am travelling out to Japan for the Teraji-Budler scrap in September, so you can fully expect me to have been groomed by the brilliance of the Japanese junior flyweight by the time the next lists are published, seeing him rocket up into a league of his own.

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