Boxing’s best: Ranking the top 100 men in the sport

Boxing

Five of ESPN’s top 10 heavyweights — three of them former champions — compete Saturday in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on one of the most stacked cards in years (ESPN+ PPV, 11 a.m. ET).

Anthony Joshua meets Otto Wallin in the main event while Deontay Wilder faces Joseph Parker in the co-feature. If both Joshua and Wilder win — no foregone conclusion — they have a deal in place to finally meet on March 9 in Riyadh, sources told ESPN.

Also on the undercard: ESPN’s No. 1 light heavyweight, Dmitry Bivol, and No. 1 cruiserweight, Jai Opetaia.

No. 8 heavyweight Filip Hrgovic will compete as well on Saturday. There are also talented heavyweight boxers on this eight-fight card that sit just outside ESPN’s rankings, like Frank Sanchez, Arslanbek Makhmudov and Daniel Dubois, who meets Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller.

The following week, Naoya “The Monster” Inoue attempts to become an undisputed champion in a second weight class in 12 months with a fight against Marlon Tapales on Tuesday in Tokyo (ESPN+, 3 a.m. ET).

But where do they all rank among the top 100 boxers in the world?

The age-old pound-for-pound debate rages on year after year. Just who is the baddest man on the planet?

Fighters jockey for position in their respective weight classes, but they’re also measured against each other time and again. Those who can rack up titles in multiple weight classes sometimes are pushed ahead of others during these water-cooler arguments across the world, and really, it’s impossible to have a consensus No. 1 no matter who’s competing at the time.

This is all subjective. After all, most of the fighters on this list will never face each other, sometimes even when they’re competing in the same weight class. That’s the reality of today’s fractured boxing landscape.

But we can still try to determine who deserves to stand above the rest across global boxing, taking into account accomplishments, current form, talent level, potential, and most of all, the vaunted eye test. Some fighters just look the part.


1. Terence Crawford, 36, undisputed welterweight champion

Record: 40-0, 31 KOs
Last fight: July 29 – W, TKO9 vs. Errol Spence Jr.
Next fight: TBA
Previous ranking: No. 2  

In a career-defining fight, Crawford proved his greatness with a virtuoso performance that resulted in a ninth-round stoppage of Errol Spence Jr. Crawford showed off all his tools in the highly anticipated fight. Among them: uncanny counterpunching ability, unmatched strength and a ruthless killer instinct.

At 147 pounds, Crawford owns eight KOs in eight fights. The American has developed into a certifiable puncher, and it’s hard to see many flaws in his game. An encore bout vs. Spence could come next for the switch-hitting Crawford. But there are other intriguing matchups out there for Crawford, who has plans to move up to 154 pounds in the near future. What about Tim Tszyu? Or if Crawford remains at 147, Jaron “Boots” Ennis?

Whomever he fights next, Crawford has proven that he’s exactly who he said he was all along.


2. Naoya Inoue, 30, WBC/WBO junior featherweight champion

Record: 25-0, 22 KOs
Last fight: July 25 – W, TKO8 vs. Stephen Fulton
Next fight: Dec. 26 vs. Marlon Tapales
Previous ranking: No. 1  

“The Monster” picked up the most impressive win of his career in July, a pulverizing seventh-round TKO of Stephen Fulton. Not only did Inoue knock off the top guy at 122 pounds in his debut at the weight, the Japanese star did so in trademark dominant fashion.

With a victory on Tuesday vs. Tapales, Inoue can become undisputed champion for the second time in 12 months spanning two weight divisions — an unprecedented achievement for an unprecedented fighter.

Already, Inoue has reigned atop four weight classes. How far can he continue to climb in weight? He told ESPN on Tuesday that he plans to remain at 122 pounds for the foreseeable future, where future matchups with Luis Nery and Murodjon Akhmadaliev could await assuming Inoue pushes past Tapales.


3. Oleksandr Usyk, 36, WBA/WBO/IBF heavyweight champion

Record: 21-0, 14 KOS
Last fight: Aug. 26 – W, KO9 vs. Daniel Dubois
Next fight: Feb. 17 vs. Tyson Fury
Previous ranking: No. 3  

The Ukrainian finally fought in a heavyweight title bout against someone other than Anthony Joshua, and again Usyk proved his power carried to heavyweight with a ninth-round KO of Daniel Dubois.

At long last, Usyk meets Tyson Fury in February in one of the best heavyweight championship clashes (on paper) in recent memory. Usyk has a chance to cement himself as one of the all-time greats if he’s able to beat Fury and become the undisputed heavyweight champion.


4. Dmitry Bivol, 33, WBA light heavyweight champion

Record: 21-0, 11 KOs
Last fight: Nov. 5 – W, UD12 vs. Gilberto Ramirez
Next fight: Dec. 23 vs. Lyndon Arthur
Previous ranking: No. 5  

Bivol was 2022 ESPN’s Fighter of the Year, but he still hasn’t competed during this campaign. That changes Saturday when the smooth-boxing Russian defends his title against Lyndon Arthur in a bout he’s heavily favored to win.

Bivol lost some momentum after he knocked off Canelo Alvarez with his inactivity this year — he underwent right hand surgery in April — but can gain it all back if he’s able to land a clash with Artur Beterbiev next year for the undisputed light heavyweight championship.


5. Canelo Alvarez, 33, undisputed super middleweight champion

Record: 60-2-2, 39 KOs
Last fight: Sept. 30 – W, UD12 vs. Jermell Charlo
Next fight: TBA
Previous ranking: No. 6  

Alvarez remains boxing’s top star and reminded everyone he’s still one of the sport’s best, too. Following hand surgery last October, Alvarez returned to Guadalajara with a win over John Ryder in a slugfest in front of 50,000-plus fans.

For an encore, the Mexican defeated Jermell Charlo — who moved up two divisions — with ease. He scored a knockdown and afterward declared “Nobody can beat this Canelo.” The one man who might be able to is David Benavidez, who is the public’s clear-cut top choice for an Alvarez meeting in 2024.


6. Devin Haney, 25, undisputed lightweight champion

Record: 31-0, 15 KOs
Last fight: Dec. 9 – W, UD12 vs. Regis Prograis
Next fight: TBA
Previous ranking: No. 9  

There were questions regarding Haney’s power and punch resistance ahead of his 140-pound debut. The 25-year-old provided resounding answers in the form of his shutout victory over Regis Prograis this month.

Haney floored Prograis, absorbed only 38 punches — a CompuBox record for a championship fight — and was the only one who inflicted damage. He’s no longer the undisputed lightweight champion, but Haney is elite and on his way to stardom. Now he just needs the super fights. Ryan Garcia could be next.


7. Artur Beterbiev, 38, WBC/WBO/IBF light heavyweight champion

Record: 19-0, 19 KOs
Last fight: Jan. 28 – W, TKO8 vs. Anthony Yarde
Next fight: Jan. 13 vs. Callum Smith
Previous ranking: No. 8  

Beterbiev turns 39 next month, but he’s shown no signs of slowing down yet. The Russian-Canadian remains boxing’s only champion with a 100% knockout ratio and is elite at breaking down foes.

Beterbiev has shown a somewhat vulnerable chin — he was dropped by Callum Johnson and stunned in the thrilling Anthony Yarde fight — but he always recovers. If Beterbiev can turn back another tough challenger in Callum Smith, he could move on to a long-awaited showdown with Bivol for the undisputed light heavyweight championship.


8. Gervonta Davis, 29, WBA “regular” lightweight champion

Record: 29-0, 27 KOs
Last fight: April 22 – W, KO7 vs. Ryan Garcia
Next fight: TBA
Previous ranking: No. 16  

“Tank” Davis is coming off the biggest win of his career, a seventh-round KO of Ryan Garcia in April’s superfight that cemented him as one of sport’s top draws. Davis, however, ended up in jail following the fight​​ after he violated house arrest.

And while he was the winner, it was Garcia, the KO victim, who was back in the ring before the conclusion of 2023. Davis still doesn’t have a scheduled fight, but when he does return to the ring, he’ll do so in search of another rousing performance that shows off his precise timing, counter-punching ability and power.


9. Teofimo Lopez Jr., 26, WBO junior welterweight champion

Record: 19-1, 13 KOs
Last fight: June 10 – W, UD12 vs. Josh Taylor
Next fight: Feb. 8 vs. Jamaine Ortiz
Previous ranking: No. 36  

Lopez reminded the world just how good he is when he’s on his game with a superb outing against Josh Taylor in June. Lopez was an underdog against the former undisputed champion following three consecutive lackluster performances, but he was a completely different fighter on that night.

Lopez returned to his fun self in the ring. He showboated while he connected on power shots and made Taylor miss badly in return. That version of Lopez is an incredibly tough out for anyone in the division.


10. Tyson Fury, 35, WBC and lineal heavyweight champion

Record: 34-0-1, 24 KOs
Last fight: Oct 28 – W, SD10 vs. Francis Ngannou
Next fight: Feb. 17 vs. Oleksandr Usyk
Previous ranking: No. 4  

“The Gypsy King” is an all-time great, but it’s fair to wonder if he’s starting to slow down following his performance against Francis Ngannou. It’s probable that Fury didn’t take the former UFC star seriously — he claims there was a hard 12-week training camp — but he was still dropped and only escaped with a split decision.

The good news: Fury has a chance to erase that outing with ​​a summit meeting against Oleksandr Usyk in Saudi Arabia, the biggest heavyweight championship fight in recent memory.


11. Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez, 23, junior bantamweight

Record: 19-0, 12 KOs
Last fight: Dec. 16 – TKO 9 vs. Sunny Edwards
Next fight: TBA
Previous ranking: No. 19  

“Bam” Rodriguez, ESPN’s top fighter under the age of 25, proved his greatness with a spellbinding performance in the toughest matchup of his career. With an active jab, an uncanny ability to cut off the ring and punch variety, Rodriguez busted up Sunny Edwards’ face and broke him down.

With a right hand that planted Edwards on the canvas at the end of Round 9, Rodriguez placed a punctuation mark on the performance to cement himself as the world’s best flyweight. Next up could be a meeting with future Hall of Famer Juan Francisco Estrada.


12. David Benavidez, 26, WBC interim super middleweight champion

Record: 28-0, 24 KOs
Last fight: Nov, 25 – W, TKO6 vs. Demetrius Andrade
Next fight: TBA
Previous ranking: No. 17  

“The Mexican Monster” truly broke out this year with impressive victories over Caleb Plant and Demetrius Andrade. There’s only one man left for Benavidez to fight, and that’s Canelo Alvarez.

Benavidez has earned the shot against boxing’s top attraction, and it’s easily the biggest realistic fight out there for Canelo. With his nonstop pressure, volume punching and size, Benavidez presents a stiff challenge for Alvarez. Now, he needs to get him in the ring.


13. Vasiliy Lomachenko, 35, lightweight

Record: 17-3, 11 KOs
Last fight: May 20 – L, UD12 vs. Devin Haney
Next fight: April/May vs. George Kambosos Jr.
Previous ranking: No. 14  

Lomachenko was considered over the hill by many entering the Devin Haney fight. After all, Loma struggled to a decision win over Jamaine Ortiz prior. But against Haney, Lomachenko proved that he’s still elite.

He consistently beat Haney to the punch, still possessing his trademark foot speed and expert use of angles. He didn’t earn the decision, but he won over the crowd and showed he’s still the same fighter headed for the Hall of Fame. Next up is a clash with George Kambosos Jr. in April or May in Australia for the vacant IBF lightweight title.


14. Shakur Stevenson, 26, WBC lightweight champion

Record: 21-0, 10 KOs
Last fight: Nov. 16 – W, UD12 vs. Edwin De Los Santos
Next fight: TBA
Previous ranking: No. 10  

Stevenson is an uber-talented boxer, an Olympic silver medalist capable of rendering his opponent’s best weapon useless. He’s already won titles in three weight classes and barely lost a round, but Stevenson has yet to face top-flight opposition.

Against perhaps his best foe yet, Stevenson escaped with a razor-thin decision win in a lackluster performance against Edwin De Los Santos that dropped him a few spots on this list. However, it would be a surprise if Stevenson didn’t rebound and concludes 2024 back inside the top 10.


15. Juan Francisco Estrada, 33, WBC and lineal junior bantamweight champion

Record: 44-3, 28 KOs
Last fight: Dec. 3, 2022 – W, MD12 vs. Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez
Next fight: TBA
Previous ranking: No. 11  

The Mexican cemented himself as an all-time great by emerging from his trilogy with Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez up 2-1. Estrada didn’t fight in 2023, but he was ringside last week in Arizona for Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez’s win over Sunny Edwards. Promoter Eddie Hearn said he’ll look to match Estrada and Rodriguez next. No matter what Estrada ends up doing, he’s already secured a place for himself in the Hall of Fame.


16. Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez, 36, junior bantamweight

Record: 51-4, 41 KOs
Last fight: Dec. 3 – L, MD12 vs. Juan Francisco Estrada
Next fight: TBA
Previous ranking: No. 13  

Gonzalez’s career could be winding down now that he’s 36, but he’s been counted out before. “Chocolatito” enjoyed an incredible resurgence following his brutal KO loss to Srisaket Sor Rungvisai. Not only did Gonzalez deliver another terrific performance in his dominant win over Julio Cesar Martinez last year; the Nicaraguan arguably won both of his recent bouts with Estrada. Whatever Gonzalez does next, the boxing world will be anxiously waiting.


17. Errol Spence Jr., 33, welterweight contender

Record: 28-1, 22 KOs
Last fight: July 29 – L, TKO9 vs. Terence Crawford
Next fight: TBA
Previous ranking: No. 2  

Spence’s future is in doubt after he was systematically picked apart by Terence Crawford in their July summit meeting at 147 pounds. Spence has been a stalwart of the top 10, but age, inactivity and most of all, a host of serious injuries, could be catching up to him. Spence already survived a horrific car accident that hospitalized him in 2019.

In 2021, Spence underwent surgery to repair a detached retina and thus his scheduled fight with Manny Pacquiao was scrapped. After the loss to Crawford, Spence said he would move up in weight. He exercised the rematch clause with Crawford, but it’s “Bud” who will select the weight. However, the rematch still isn’t set.


18. Junto Nakatani, 25, WBO junior bantamweight champion

Record: 26-0, 19 KOs
Last fight: Sept. 18 – W, UD12 vs. Argi Cortez
Next fight: Feb. 24 vs. Alexandro Santiago
Previous ranking: No. 35  

Japan’s Nakatani authored perhaps the most stunning KO of 2023 when he unloaded a perfectly timed overhand left that rendered Andrew Moloney senseless in a heap. The May victory made Nakatani a two-division champion, but he’s already off to 118 pounds for a crack at Alexandro Santiago’s WBC bantamweight title in February in Tokyo.


19. Jaron “Boots” Ennis, 26, IBF welterweight champion

Record: 31-0, 28 KOs
Last fight: July 8 – W, KO10 vs. Roiman Villa
Next fight: TBA
Previous ranking: No. 25  

“Boots” Ennis took another step forward in 2023 toward what many in the boxing industry have long believed is his eventual place in the pound-for-pound top 10. Ennis, an athletically gifted puncher from Philadelphia, is now a champion after Crawford was stripped.

He once again showed off his tremendous power with his KO of the rugged Roiman Villa in July, a bout which was Ennis’ first notable TV main event. Now, Ennis needs the sort of opponent where he can truly test his skills.


20. Tim Tszyu, 29, WBO junior middleweight champion

Record: 24-0, 17 KOs
Last fight: Oct. 15 – W, UD12 vs. Brain Mendoza
Next fight: TBA
Previous ranking: No. 54  

Tszyu could have waited after Charlo’s hand injury postponed their January bout. Instead, Tszyu fought three times and scored impressive wins over Tony Harrison, Carlos Ocampo and Brian Mendoza. The son of Hall of Famer Kosta Tszyu, Tim Tszyu looks like a force to be reckoned with between his punch variety, power and underrated defense.


21. Emanuel Navarrete, 28, WBO junior lightweight champion

Record: 38-1-1, 31 KOs
Last fight: Nov. 16 – Draw, MD12 vs. Robson Conceicao
Next fight: TBA
Previous ranking: No. 31  

The Mexican has quickly proven that he’s far more than just an action fighter, though he continues to deliver entertainment every time out. Navarrete became a three-division champion earlier this year with a thrilling come-from-behind TKO victory over Liam Wilson.

“Vaquero” went on to dominate Oscar Valdez before a tougher-than-expected draw with Conceicao. Navarrete underwent left hand surgery after the fight but expects to be ready in early 2024.


22. Kenshiro Teraji, 31, WBA/WBC junior flyweight champion

Record: 22-1, 14 KOS
Last fight: Sept. 18 – W, TKO9 vs. Hekkie Budler
Next fight: Jan. 23 vs. Carlos Canizales
Previous ranking: No. 26  

The Japanese phenom once again showed off his power with a ninth-round stoppage of former champion Hekkie Budler. Now, Teraji will prepare to defend his unified championship against another tough challenger in Carlos Canizales next month.


23. David Morrell, 25, WBA “regular” super middleweight champion

Record: 9-0, 8 KOs
Last fight: Dec. 16 – W, TKO2 vs. Sena Agbeko
Next fight: TBA
Previous ranking: No. 40  

Morrell looks like a future star; now he needs proper opposition to prove he can fight like this on the top level. The Cuban has been hoping for a shot at David Benavidez, but instead has settled for feasting on subpar talent like Sena Agbeko, whom Morrell needed just two rounds to stop in the Showtime finale on Dec. 16. The year 2024 should be when Morrell truly breaks out.


24. Subriel Matias, 31, IBF junior welterweight champion

Record: 20-1, 20 KOs
Last fight: Nov. 25 – W, TKO6 vs. Shohjahon Ergashev
Next fight: TBA
Previous ranking: No. 45  

A volume-punching machine from Puerto Rico, Matias has earned status as the one man no one is looking to fight. With his strength, power and willingness to absorb punches to land his own, Matias is can’t-miss TV. All Matias is missing is the super fight he richly deserves.


25. Jermell Charlo, 33, WBC/WBA junior middleweight champion

Record: 35-2-1, 19 KOs
Last fight: Sept. 30 – L, UD12 vs. Canelo Alvarez
Next fight: TBA
Previous ranking: No. 12  

Charlo moved up to 168 pounds and appeared content to survive against Alvarez. Charlo wasn’t remotely aggressive, was knocked down and never threatened to win. He still remains the top fighter at 154 pounds, where he indicated he would return. Whether that rescheduled matchup with Tim Tszyu materializes is another matter. Charlo was set to fight Tszyu in January before he suffered a broken hand.


26. Kazuto Ioka, 34, WBA junior bantamweight champion

Record: 30-2-1, 15 KOs
Last fight: June 24 – W, UD12 vs. Joshua Franco
Next fight: Dec. 31 vs. Josber Perez
Previous ranking: No. 22  

Japan’s Ioka left no doubt in the rematch with Joshua Franco to remain one of the best in the stacked 115-pound division. Assuming he’s successful on New Year’s Eve, Ioka could at long last grab the sort of marquee fight he’s looking for in 2024, whether that comes against Juan Francisco Estrada, Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez or Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez.


27. Deontay Wilder, 38, heavyweight

Record: 43-2-1, 42 KOs
Last fight: Oct. 15 – W, KO1 vs. Robert Helenius
Next fight: Dec. 23 vs. Joseph Parker
Previous ranking: No. 23  

Arguably the biggest puncher in heavyweight championship history, Wilder’s career has been marked by inactivity lately. Since his hellacious KO loss to Fury in November 2021 in ESPN’s Fight of the Year, Wilder has competed only one round. That changes Saturday when he meets fellow former champ Joseph Parker in Saudi Arabia.

With a victory — and also a win from Anthony Joshua over Wallin — Wilder will move on to a March 9 bout with Joshua that’s been long-awaited.


28. Anthony Joshua, 34, heavyweight contender

Record: 26-3, 23 KOs
Last fight: Aug. 12 – W, KO7 vs. Robert Helenius
Next fight: Dec. 23 vs. Otto Wallin
Previous ranking: No. 29  

The British star should have his hands full with Otto Wallin, a mobile southpaw who stands between Joshua and his March 9 fight with Deontay Wilder. Joshua will enter the ring with another new trainer; this time, it’s Ben Davison, who replaces Derrick James.

Joshua was a seek-and-destroy fighter before his shocking upset loss to Andy Ruiz Jr. in 2019. He hasn’t shown that form since, but remains an effective boxer who knows how to set up his power shots. If he can defeat Wallin and Wilder in succession, Joshua’s legacy will be secure.


29. Stephen Fulton, 29, junior featherweight contender

Record: 21-1, 8 KOs
Last fight: July 25 – L, TKO8 vs. Naoya Inoue
Next fight: TBA
Previous ranking: No. 18  

The Philadelphian impressed during his title reign at 122 pounds, but it came to a screeching halt against Naoya Inoue, who dismantled Fulton. Now, the talented boxer will look to establish himself at featherweight, where plentiful tasty matchups exist. After all, Fulton is a boxer who routinely throws upward of 1,000 punches per bout and can fight on both the inside and outside with effectiveness.


30. Jack Catterall, 30, junior welterweight contender

Record: 28-1, 13 KOs
Last fight: Oct. 21 – W, UD12 vs. Jorge Linares
Next fight: TBA
Previous ranking: No. 33  

A tricky boxer with superb timing and underrated power, Catterall is still searching for a rematch with Josh Taylor after he dropped a controversial decision to the Scot last year. A fight with Richardson Hitchins could be on the horizon after the IBF recently ordered the title eliminator.


31. Jai Opetaia, 28, cruiserweight contender

Record: 23-0, 18 KOs
Last fight: Sept. 30 – W, TKO4 vs. Jordan Thompson
Next fight: Dec. 23 vs. Ellis Zorro
Previous ranking: No. 78  

The Australian is clearly head and shoulders above the rest of the cruiserweight division. A powerful puncher with great snap on his shots, Opetaia vacated his IBF title rather than turn down a career-high payday to fight Zorro on Saturday in Saudi Arabia.


32. Zhilei Zhang, 40, WBO interim heavyweight champion

Record: 26-1-1, 21 KOs
Last fight: Sept. 23 – W, KO3 vs. Joe Joyce
Next fight: TBA
Previous ranking: N/R  

A surprisingly mobile southpaw at 6-foot-6, 280-plus pounds, Zhang is on the cusp of a title shot after back-to-back stoppage wins over Joe Joyce. It took until age 40, but China’s Zhang looks like a dangerous opponent for anyone at heavyweight with his crisp jab and ability to box off the back foot.


33. Leigh Wood, 35, junior lightweight contender

Record: 28-3, 17 KOs
Last fight: Oct. 7 – W, TKO7 vs. Josh Warrington
Next fight: TBA
Previous ranking: No. 49  

Wood continues to improve with age and came through with his best campaign yet in 2023. He started the year with a TKO loss to Mauricio Lara, but avenged it in the May rematch before he stopped Josh Warrington.

Wood has since vacated his featherweight title and will now compete at 130 pounds, where he could meet Joe Cordina in 2024.


34. Josh Taylor, 32, junior welterweight contender

Record: 19-1, 13 KOs
Last fight: June 10 – L, UD12 vs. Teofimo Lopez Jr.
Next fight: TBA
Previous ranking: No. 15  

Scotland’s Taylor was the favorite entering his June bout with Teofimo Lopez Jr., but he wasn’t competitive with “The Takeover.” Taylor announced plans to move up to welterweight, but the former undisputed champion still doesn’t have a return bout scheduled. A rematch with Catterall, who he beat in controversial fashion, is probably the most appetizing option out there.


35. Caleb Plant, 31, super middleweight contender

Record: 22-2, 13 KOs
Last fight: March 25 – L, UD12 vs. David Benavidez
Next fight: TBA
Previous ranking: No. 30  

Plant boxed well during the first half of his fight with David Benavidez, but he was broken down over the second half. Still, Plant never stopped trying to win and showed plenty of courage down the stretch. His only other defeat came via TKO against Canelo Alvarez.

No shame in losing to the likes of those two fighters, but at some point, Plant must score a victory over an elite fighter to hold his ranking. He’s been calling for a fight with Jermall Charlo, whom he attacked at the Crawford-Spence weigh-in.


36. Regis Prograis, 34, junior welterweight contender

Record: 29-2, 24 KOs
Last fight: Dec. 9 – L, UD12 vs. Devin Haney
Next fight: TBA
Previous ranking: No. 28  

Prograis came up just short when he traveled to the U.K. to take on Josh Taylor in 2019. In his second fight at the top level, Prograis was floored by Devin Haney and lost every round on all three scorecards.

Prograis indicated he would remain at 140 pounds, where he’ll look to become a three-time champion. But he’ll have to shake off two poor performances; he eked by Danielito Zorrilla via split decision in June.


37. Jermall Charlo, 33, WBC middleweight champion

Record: 33-0, 22 KOs
Last fight: Nov. 25 – W, UD10 vs. Jose Benavidez Jr.
Next fight: TBA
Previous ranking: No. 24  

Charlo remains the WBC middleweight titleholder despite no defenses since June 2021. And when he finally did return, Charlo did so at a catchweight closer to 168 pounds with a wide-points victory over Jose Benavidez Jr. Still, Charlo could land a shot at Canelo Alvarez next year in a chance at revenge for his twin brother, who lost to Alvarez in September.


38. Brandon Figueroa, 26, WBC interim featherweight champion

Record: 24-1-1, 18 KOs
Last fight: March 4 – W, UD12 vs. Mark Magsayo
Next fight: TBA
Previous ranking: No. 42  

Figueroa made a successful featherweight debut with an exciting victory over Mark Magsayo in March. However, Figueroa didn’t compete for the remainder of this year. Now that Stephen Fulton is set to campaign at 126 pounds, too, a rematch of their 2021 meeting makes a lot of sense.


39. Carlos Adames, 29, WBC interim middleweight champion

Record: 23-1, 18 KOs
Last fight: June 24 – W, TKO9 vs. Julian Williams
Next fight: TBA
Previous ranking: No. 74  

The Dominican looks like the best 160-pounder out there following a string of dominant performances, most recently a stoppage of Julian Williams in June. Adames has been patiently waiting for his shot at Jermall Charlo, but the WBC still hasn’t ordered the bout.


40. Sunny Edwards, 27, IBF flyweight champion

Record: 20-0, 4 KOs
Last fight: Dec. 16 – L, TKO9 vs. Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez
Next fight: TBA
Previous ranking: No. 27  

The slick boxer from England showed tremendous courage against Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez, but suffered his first loss all the same. Edwards said he fought through a fractured orbital and couldn’t see out of the left eye following Round 2. He had his moments, but he didn’t have the power to keep Rodriguez off him.


41. Ryan Garcia, 25, junior welterweight contender

Record: 24-1, 20 KOs
Last fight: Dec. 2 – W, KO8 vs. Oscar Duarte
Next fight: TBA
Previous ranking: No. 32  

Garcia rebounded from his loss to “Tank” Davis with a KO victory over Duarte earlier this month. Garcia, at times, looked uncomfortable in the face of Duarte’s pressure and unveiled an ineffective shoulder roll he vowed to never use again.

Despite that, Garcia remains an athletic power-puncher with perhaps the quickest hands in boxing, and he put it all together to grab another KO win. Garcia still must improve his boxing technique, and if he can, he’ll be tough for anyone to deal with given his other attributes.


42. Vergil Ortiz Jr., 25, welterweight contender

Record: 19-0, 19 KOs
Last fight: Aug. 6, 2022 – W, TKO9 vs. Michael McKinson
Next fight: Jan. 6 vs. Fredrick Lawson
Previous ranking: No. 34  

Ortiz endured a lost 2023 as his matchup with Eimantas Stanionis was postponed three times. The second cancellation came as Ortiz dealt with the recurring effects of rhabdomyolysis before he encountered weight-cutting issues in July.

Now, Ortiz will make his 154-pound debut against journeyman Fredrick Lawson as he looks to his carry his vaunted power to a new weight and realize his vast promise.


43. Eimantas Stanionis, 29, WBA “regular” welterweight champion

Record: 14-0, 9 KOs
Last fight: April 16 – W, SD12 vs. Radzhab Butaev
Next fight: TBA
Previous ranking: No. 53  

Stanionis, like Ortiz, didn’t fight at all in 2023 after their ill-fated matchup was scrapped three times. Unlike Ortiz, Stanionis doesn’t even have a fight scheduled. There was talk of him meeting Keith Thurman in December, but the bout never materialized.

The Lithuanian is a strong, effective pressure fighter, but he needs far more activity going forward.


44. Janibek Alimkhanuly, 30, WBO/IBF middleweight champion

Record: 15-0, 10 KOs
Last fight: Oct. 14 – W, TKO6 vs. Vincenzo Gualtieri
Next fight: TBA
Previous ranking: No. 90  

The Kazakh is an effective puncher at mid-range between his stinging jab and straight right hands. Janibek is now a unified champion, but his opposition remains woeful in one of the sport’s weakest divisions. A bout with Adames would solve what Janibek is missing.


45. Marlon Tapales, 31, WBC/WBA junior featherweight champion

Record: 37-3, 19 KOs
Last fight: April 8 – W, SD12 vs. Murodjon Akhmadaliev
Next fight: Dec. 26 vs. Naoya Inoue
Previous ranking: N/R  

The Filipino scored the biggest win of his career with his upset victory over Akhmadaliev, which made him a two-division champ. It also landed Tapales a career-high payday for his fight Tuesday against Inoue for the undisputed championship. Tapales is now one more upset away from boxing immortality.


46. Luis Alberto Lopez, 30, IBF featherweight champion

Record: 29-2, 16 KOs
Last fight: Sept. 15 – W, UD12 vs. Joet Gonzalez
Next fight: March 2 vs. Reiya Abe
Previous ranking: No. 62  

The Mexican pressure fighter followed up a breakthrough 2022 campaign with an even better 2023. He defended his title twice successfully: a brutal fifth-round TKO of Michael Conlan followed by a wide decision win over Joet Gonzalez.

Lopez’s next defense, against Reiya Abe on March 2, is paired with Otabek Kholmatov vs. Raymond Ford, who are fighting for the vacant WBA title. Lopez could unify with the winner next.


47. Jose Ramirez, 31, junior welterweight contender

Record: 28-1, 18 KOs
Last fight: March 25 – W, KO11 vs. Richard Commey
Next fight: TBA
Previous ranking: No. 44  

Ramirez, like many other fighters on this list, has been plagued by inactivity. The last year he competed more than once: 2019. The Mexican-American was offered a Feb. 8 showdown with Teofimo Lopez, but turned it down as he closes in on a multi-fight promotional deal with Golden Boy, where he could fit as a future foe for Ryan Garcia.


48. Murodjon Akhmadaliev, 29, junior featherweight contender

Record: 11-1, 8 KOs
Last fight: Dec. 16 – W, TKO 8 vs. Kevin Gonzalez
Next fight: TBA
Previous ranking: No. 20  

The Uzbek shockingly dropped a tight decision to Tapales and saw his proposed undisputed title fight with Inoue vanish. Akhmadaliev looked good in his return and is positioned for a meaningful fight in 2024, perhaps against Inoue.


49. Callum Smith, 33, light heavyweight contender

Record: 29-1, 21 KOs
Last fight: Aug. 20 – W, KO4 vs. Mathieu Bauderlique
Next fight: Jan. 13 vs. Artur Beterbiev
Previous ranking: No. 50  

Smith wasn’t remotely competitive when he fought Canelo in 2022 and suffered a ruptured bicep as Alvarez targeted his lead weapon. Now, Smith has another chance to prove himself on the big stage with an opportunity to become a two-division champion against Beterbiev next month.

At light heavyweight, Smith has proven to be a dangerous puncher albeit against limited opposition.


50. George Kambosos Jr., 30, lightweight contender

Record: 21-2, 10 KOs
Last fight: July 22 – W, MD12 vs. Maxi Hughes
Next fight: April/May vs. Vasiliy Lomachenko
Previous ranking: No. 48  

The Australian grabbed a controversial decision victory over Maxi Hughes and is once again in line for a crack at a lightweight title. Kambosos is in the process of finalizing a deal to meet Lomachenko in April or May in Australia, per sources.

Kambosos is still living off his upset victory over Teofimo Lopez. At some point, he’ll need to score another big win.


51. William Zepeda, 27, lightweight contender

Record: 29-0, 25 KOs
Last fight: Sept. 16 – W, KO6 vs. Mercito Gesta
Next fight: TBA
Previous ranking: No. 56  

Zepeda is one of the sport’s most exciting fighters. The Mexican unloaded 1,500-plus punches in his win over Joseph “JoJo” Diaz and has topped the 1,000-punch plateau on multiple other occasions.

No one has been able to withstand Zepeda’s nonstop punching yet. Now, Zepeda needs a top-flight opponent.


52. Jaime Munguia, 27, middleweight contender

Record: 42-0, 33 KOs
Last fight: June 10 – W, UD12 vs. Sergiy Derevyanchenko
Next fight: Jan. 27 vs. John Ryder
Previous ranking: No. 70  

Munguia is coming off the best win of his career, and he dug deep to grab it. His 12th-round knockdown of Sergiy Derevyanchenko was the difference on the scorecards, and is on the short list for fight-of-the-year honors.

Now, Munguia figures to be tested more than ever when he meets the tough and durable John Ryder in January.


53. Rafael Espinoza, 29, WBO featherweight champion

Record: 24-0, 20 KOs
Last fight: Dec. 9 – W, UD12 vs. Robeisy Ramirez
Next fight: TBA
Previous ranking: N/R  

Espinoza was little more than an afterthought heading into his first career title shot. But he more than made good on the opportunity by scoring a 12th-round knockdown that pulled out the major upset victory over Robeisy Ramirez.

At 6-foot-1 and the ability to fight on the inside as well, Espinoza figures to be a challenge for anyone at 126 pounds. He also proved his toughness when he survived a knockdown against Ramirez, and a rematch could come next year.


54. John Ryder, 35, super middleweight contender

Record: 32-6, 18 KOs
Last fight: May 6 – L, UD12 vs. Canelo Alvarez
Next fight: Jan. 27 vs. Jaime Munguia
Previous ranking: No. 52  

Ryder suffered a broken nose in the loss to Canelo Alvarez, but survived a knockdown and landed some heavy shots against an elite fighter. The Englishman has another chance at a big victory when he meets Jaime Munguia as a minor underdog next month.


55. Joe Cordina, 32, IBF junior lightweight champion

Record: 17-0, 9 KOs
Last fight: Nov. 4 – W, MD12 vs. Edward Vazquez
Next fight: TBA
Previous ranking: No. 58  

Cordina continues his tenuous grip on the IBF lightweight title. First, he squeezed past Shavkat Rakhimov in a hellacious action fight in February. Then, Cordina was pushed to the limit by Edward Vazquez, emerging victorious via majority decision.

In 2024, Cordina could defend his title against the surging Leigh Wood, who is set to campaign at 130 pounds.


56. Christian Mbilli, 28, super middleweight contender

Record: 25-0, 21 KOs
Last fight: Sept. 8 – W, KO 4 vs. Demond Nicholson
Next fight: Jan. 13 vs. Rohan Murdock
Previous ranking: N/R  

The action fighter has established himself as an attraction in his adopted hometown of Quebec, Canada. A seek-and-destroy fighter who packs plenty of power into his stout frame, Mbilli is on the cusp of a title opportunity.


57. O’Shaquie Foster, 30, WBC junior lightweight champion

Record: 21-2, 12 KOs
Last fight: Oct. 28 – W, TKO12 vs. Eduardo Hernandez
Next fight: Feb. 16 vs. Abraham Nova
Previous ranking: N/R  

Foster crashed these rankings in a big way with his performances in 2023. He became a champion when he upset Rey Vargas, and then scored a come-from-behind 12th-round TKO of Rocky Hernandez in October to retain the title.

Next up, Foster meets a fellow puncher in Abraham Nova in his first fight after signing with Top Rank.


58. Sandor Martin, 30, junior welterweight contender

Record: 42-3, 15 KOs
Last fight: Dec. 16 – W, KO4 vs. Mohamed El Marcouchi
Next fight: TBA
Previous ranking: No. 61  

The Spaniard has made a career out of playing spoiler. First, he sent Mikey Garcia into retirement with an upset victory. Then, the tricky southpaw dropped a controversial decision to Teofimo Lopez, proving the Garcia win was no fluke.


59. Mark Magsayo, 28, junior lightweight contender

Record: 25-2, 17 KOs
Last fight: Dec. 9 – W, KO3 vs. Isaac Avelar
Next fight: TBA
Previous ranking: No. 65  

The Filipino announced his arrival at 130 pounds in his debut at the weight with a highlight-reel KO earlier this month. Magsayo has proven to be more than just a puncher, though, between his upset win over Gary Russell Jr., and his tight-decision loss to Brandon Figueroa.


60. Mario Barrios, 28, WBC interim welterweight champion

Record: 28-2, 18 KOs
Last fight: Sept. 30 – W, UD12 vs. Yordenis Ugas
Next fight: TBA
Previous ranking: N/R  

The Texan performed well in defeats to Keith Thurman and Gervonta Davis, but finally grabbed the victory he needed with a dominant showing against Yordenis Ugas in September. With Terence Crawford expected to vacate his WBC title, Barrios has emerged as a popular name at welterweight, whether it’s Devin Haney or Conor Benn.


61. Mauricio Lara, 25, featherweight contender

Record: 26-3-1, 19 KOs
Last fight: May 27 – L, UD12 vs. Leigh Wood
Next fight: TBA
Previous ranking: No. 47  

Lara was surging heading into his rematch with Leigh Wood. After all, he had just knocked out the Englishman and already owned a stoppage victory over Josh Warrington. Then Lara missed weight and was soundly outpointed by Wood. But at just 25 the Mexican has plenty of time to rebuild and rebound.


62. Chris Billam-Smith, 33, WBO cruiserweight champion

Record: 19-1, 13 KOs
Last fight: Dec. 10 – W, TKO8 vs. Mateusz Masternak
Next fight: TBA
Previous ranking: N/R  

England’s Billam-Smith continues to rack up quality wins at cruiserweight. He scored a majority-decision victory over Lawrence Okolie in May to become a first-time champion and then retained it with a win over Mateusz Masternak earlier this month.


63. Filip Hrgovic, 31, heavyweight contender

Record: 16-0, 13 KOs
Last fight: Aug. 12 – W, TKO12 vs. Demsey McKean
Next fight: Dec. 23 vs. Mark De Mori
Previous ranking: N/R  

The Croatian has proven to be tough, durable and a hard puncher. He’s on the cusp of a heavyweight title shot as the IBF’s mandatory challenger. That shot should come next year. His best win remains a disputed-decision over Zhilei Zhang in 2022 that has aged gracefully.


64. Julio Cesar Martinez, 28, WBC flyweight champion

Record: 20-2, 15 KOs
Last fight: May 6 – W, TKO11 vs. Ronal Batista
Next fight: TBA
Previous ranking: No. 85  

The free-swinging Mexican was schooled by Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez last year at 115 pounds, but remains champion at 112. He’s a dangerous puncher, even if he isn’t the most technically sound boxer.

Now that Sunny Edwards has lost to Jesse Rodriguez, perhaps Martinez can meet the Englishman in a long-discussed flyweight title fight.


65. Isaac Cruz, 25, lightweight contender

Record: 25-2-1, 17 KOs
Last fight: July 29 – W, SD12 vs. Giovanni Cabrera
Next fight: TBA
Previous ranking: No. 67  

“Pitbull” Cruz was lackluster in a split-decision win over Giovanni Cabrera, but remains hopeful he’ll land a rematch with Gervonta Davis in early 2024. When they met in 2021, Cruz gave Davis all he could handle.

The aggressive pressure fighter is a formidable puncher, but he’s not going to outbox many foes.


66. Robeisy Ramirez, 30, featherweight contender

Record: 13-2, 8 KOs
Last fight: Dec. 9 – L, MD12 vs. Rafael Espinoza
Next fight: TBA
Previous ranking: No. 64  

The two-time Olympic gold medalist from Cuba was riding high until a shocking defeat to Rafael Espinoza earlier this month in one of the year’s best fights. Ramirez both scored a knockdown and survived one in the loss. Now, he’ll look to become a two-time champion.


67. Fernando Martinez, 32, IBF junior bantamweight champion

Record: 16-0, 9 KOs
Last fight: June 24 – W, TKO11 vs. Jade Bornea
Next fight: TBA
Previous ranking: No. 82  

The Argentine remains champion at 115 pounds after a string of solid performances, including a pair of wins over Jerwin Ancajas. With so many top names at his weight, Martinez is sure to land a unification fight sooner than later.


68. Shavkat Rakhimov, 29, junior lightweight contender

Record: 17-1-1, 14 KOs
Last fight: April 22 – L, SD12 vs. Joe Cordina
Next fight: TBA
Previous ranking: No. 68  

Rakhimov is a reliable action fighter who appears to come up just short each time he steps up in competition. He rallied after being knocked down in each of his last two fights: a title-winning victory over Zelfa Barrett and a split-decision loss to Joe Cordina.

Rakhimov is likely to land another title shot at 130 pounds in the near future.


69. Conor Benn, 27, welterweight contender

Record: 22-0, 14 KOs
Last fight: Sept. 23 – W, UD10 vs. Rodolfo Orozco
Next fight: TBA
Previous ranking: No. 79  

Benn is an explosive puncher with impressive athleticism and pedigree. The son of Nigel Benn was in talks to fight Chris Eubank Jr., in February at middleweight, but after the deal fell apart, he’ll continue to campaign at welterweight. Benn could be far higher on this list if it weren’t for inactivity related to a doping case in the U.K.


70. Demetrius Andrade, 35, super middleweight contender

Record: 32-1, 19 KOs
Last fight: Nov. 25 – L, TKO6 vs. David Benavidez
Next fight: TBA
Previous ranking: No. 57  

“Boo Boo” has long been one of boxing’s most-avoided fighters, but when he finally did land the big one, he was demolished by David Benavidez and retired on his stool after Round 6.

Andrade could return to 160 pounds where he formerly held a title. But at 35 and coming off a brutal beating, it’s unclear what Andrade has left.


71. Rey Vargas, 33, WBC featherweight champion

Record: 36-1, 22 KOs
Last fight: Feb. 11 – L, UD12 vs. O’Shaquie Foster
Next fight: TBA
Previous ranking: No. 46  

Vargas remains the WBC featherweight champion, even though he hasn’t defended it since he defeated Mark Magsayo via split decision in July 2022. The Mexican moved up to 130 for a crack at a 130-pound title but dropped a decision to O’Shaquie Foster. Now, Vargas figures to return to 126 pounds to defend his belt.


72. Robson Conceicao, 35, junior lightweight

Record: 17-2-1, 8 KOs
Last fight: Nov. 16 – Draw, MD12 vs. Emanuel Navarrete
Next fight: TBA
Previous ranking: No. 75  

The Olympic gold medalist from Brazil faced unfair advantages in his first two title challenges. First, Conceicao met Oscar Valdez just weeks after he tested positive for a banned substance. Then, Conceicao fought Shakur Stevenson after he missed weight.

In his third crack, Conceicao survived two knockdowns to earn a majority draw with Emanuel Navarrete in the sort of performance that gives him new life at 130 pounds. A rematch should happen at some point.


73. Josh Warrington, 33, featherweight contender

Record: 31-3-1, 8 KOs
Last fight: Oct. 7 – L, TKO7 vs. Leigh Wood
Next fight: TBA
Previous ranking: No. 63  

Warrington has now lost two fights in a row, both title bouts. After he dropped a majority decision to Luis Alberto Lopez, Warrington was ahead on the cards when he was stopped by Leigh Wood in the seventh round.


74. Anthony Yarde, 32, light heavyweight contender

Record: 24-3, 23 KOs
Last fight: Sept. 23 – W, KO2 vs. Jorge Silva
Next fight: TBA
Previous ranking: No. 69  

England’s Yarde gave Artur Beterbiev all he could handle in January, but all the same, he was stopped by the Russian in a spirited title challenge, just like when he met Sergey Kovalev in 2019.


75. Otto Wallin, 33, heavyweight contender

Record: 26-1, 14 KOs
Last fight: Sept. 30 – W, SD12 vs. Murat Gassiev
Next fight: Dec. 23 vs, Anthony Joshua
Previous ranking: N/R  

A mobile southpaw, Wallin proved his mettle on the grandest stage when he inflicted a cut over Tyson Fury’s right eye that required 47 stitches in a close decision defeat. Now, Wallin enters another big fight on the heels of his best win.

He outpointed former cruiserweight champion Murat Gassiev in September and will look to hand Anthony Joshua another loss on Saturday.


76. Lawrence Okolie, 31, cruiserweight contender

Record: 19-1, 14 KOs
Last fight: May 27 – L, MD12 vs. Chris Billam-Smith
Next fight: TBA
Previous ranking: No. 73  

The Englishman’s lengthy cruiserweight title reign ended in May when he dropped a close decision to Chris Billam-Smith. Okolie hasn’t competed since, but given the lack of depth at cruiserweight, he figures to challenge for another title in 2024 if he doesn’t elect to move up to heavyweight.


77. Jared Anderson, 24 heavyweight contender

Record: 16-0, 15 KOs
Last fight: Aug. 26 – W, TKO5 vs. Andrii Rudenko
Next fight: TBA
Previous ranking: N/R  

“Big Baby”, No. 2 fighters under the gae of 25 by ESPN, scored the best win of his career in July when won virtually every round against former titleholder Charles Martin. Anderson didn’t come close to stopping Martin, but he gained valuable experience before he made a quick turnaround with a fifth-round TKO of Andrii Rudenko. Another step-up in class is expected next year.


78. Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez, 32, cruiserweight contender

Record: 45-1, 30 KOs
Last fight: Oct. 7 – W, UD10 vs. Joe Smith Jr.
Next fight: TBA
Previous ranking: No. 86  

“Zurdo” Ramirez successfully moved up to cruiserweight with a clear, entertaining win over Joe Smith Jr. Now that Jai Opetaia has relinquished the IBF title, Ramirez is positioned to fight Mairis Briedis next year for the vacant belt, where he’ll look to become a two-division champ.


79 Chris Eubank Jr. 34, middleweight contender

Record: 33-3, 24 KOs
Last fight: Sept. 2 – W, TKO10 vs. Liam Smith
Next fight: TBA
Previous ranking: N/R  

Eubank was stopped by Liam Smith inside six rounds in January, but under the guidance of Brian McIntyre, Eubank turned the tables with a 10th-round stoppage in the September rematch.

Eubank entered talks for a rescheduled bout with Conor Benn, but after negotiations fell apart, he’s searching for another fight at middleweight.


80. Oscar Valdez Jr., 33, junior lightweight contender

Record: 31-2, 23 KOs
Last fight: Aug. 12 – L, UD12 vs. Emanuel Navarrete
Next fight: TBA
Previous ranking: No. 51  

Valdez is in desperate need of a big win after he was shellacked by Emanuel Navarrete in August. But after so many grueling fights, Valdez might not be the same fighter at age 33.


81. Radzhab Butaev, 30, welterweight contender

Record: 15-1, 12 KOs
Last fight: Nov. 6 – W, TKO3 vs. Fazliddin Gaibnazarov
Next fight: TBA
Previous ranking: No. 80  

Butaev proved his level in a grueling, split-decision defeat to Eimantas Stanionis last April. He endured a year-and-a-half layoff before he returned last month in Russia with an easy victory. In 2024, Butaev figures to re-enter the welterweight title picture.


82. Joshua Buatsi, 30, light heavyweight contender

Record: 17-0, 13 KOs
Last fight: May 6 – W, UD10 vs. Pawel Stepien
Next fight: Feb. 3 vs. Dan Azeez
Previous ranking: No. 97  

Buatsi is a talented boxer, but at some point he needs to deliver on his promise with a win over a top-flight opponent. His toughest test yet awaits, a rescheduled bout with Dan Azeez that could propel him to a more meaningful fight at light heavyweight.


83. Lamont Roach, 28, WBA junior lightweight champion

Record: 24-1-1, 9 KOs
Last fight: Nov. 25 – W, SD12 vs. Hector Luis Garcia
Next fight: TBA
Previous ranking: N/R  

Roach’s first title shot ended in defeat to Jamel Herring in 2019. But Roach came through in his second opportunity with a 12th-round knockdown that grabbed him the win over Hector Luis Garcia. Given the competitiveness of the fight, a rematch could materialize in the future.


84. Jonathan Gonzalez, 32, WBO junior flyweight champion

Record: 27-3-1, 14 KOs
Last fight: Nov. 1, 2022 – W, UD12 vs. Shokichi Iwata
Next fight: March 2 vs. TBA
Previous ranking: N/R  

“Bomba” Gonzalez remains the WBO champion at 108 pounds, but he didn’t compete at all in 2023. In 2024, he’ll receive his greatest exposure yet when he competes in his native Puerto Rico on the undercard of a doubleheader that features Amanda Serrano and Jake Paul.


85. David Avanesyan, 35, welterweight contender

Record: 30-4-1, 18 KOs
Last fight:Dec. 20 – W, TKO 4 vs. Serge Ambomo
Next fight: TBA
Previous ranking: No. 84  

Avanesyan was on a nice run before he ran into Terence Crawford and was brutally knocked out in December 2022. He remains a player at 147 pounds after his shake-off-the-rust TKO win on Wednesday night over Serge Ambomo.


86. Israil Madrimov, 28, junior middleweight contender

Record: 9-0-1, 6 KOs
Last fight: April 8 – W, UD10 vs. Raphael Igbokwe
Next fight: TBA
Previous ranking: No. 94  

The athletic Uzbek has been regarded for his vast promise for years, but he still hasn’t landed a major fight nor has he been active. Hopefully that changes in 2024 after a pair of fights with Michel Soro that didn’t have conclusive endings.


87. Artem Dalakian, 36, WBA flyweight champion

Record: 22-0, 15 KOs
Last fight: Jan. 28 – W, UD12 vs. David Jimenez
Next fight: Jan. 13 vs. Seigo Yuri Akui
Previous ranking: No. 91  

The Ukrainian’s long title reign at 112 pounds continues into 2024 with a fight in Japan. Despite his success, Dalakian doesn’t appear to be on the radar for a title unification.


88. Jamaine Ortiz, 27, lightweight contender

Record: 17-1-1, 8 KOs
Last fight: Sept. 15 – W, UD10 vs. Antonio Moran
Next fight: Feb. 8 vs. Teofimo Lopez Jr.
Previous ranking: No. 96  

Ortiz impressed during the first half of his loss to Vasiliy Lomachenko, but faded down the stretch. He parlayed that performance into a title shot against Teofimo Lopez Jr. in February. And at 140 pounds, Ortiz figures to be stronger and more effective.


89. Luis Nery, 29, junior featherweight contender

Record: 35-1, 27 KOs
Last fight: July 8 – W, TKO2 vs. Froilan Saludar
Next fight: TBA
Previous ranking: N/R  

Nery’s 11th-round KO over Azat Hovhannisyan in February is on the list for fight-of-the-year honors. The action-fighting Mexican is in line for a title shot and could be next for Inoue.


90. Brian Mendoza, 29, junior middleweight contender

Record: 22-3, 16 KOs
Last fight: Oct. 15 – L, UD12 vs. Tim Tszyu
Next fight: TBA
Previous ranking: N/R  

Mendoza entered 2023 on the heels of a brutal, upset KO win over Jeison Rosario. And he scored another such victory over Sebastian Fundora in April. But his streak of upsets ended when he was battered by Tim Tszyu in October.


91. Sebastian Fundora, 25, junior middleweight contender

Record: 20-1-1, 13 KOs
Last fight: April 8 – L, KO7 vs. Brian Mendoza
Next fight: TBA
Previous ranking: No. 43  

The 6-foot-5 154-pounder appeared to be a confounding puzzle for opponents, but Brian Mendoza solved Fundora with a seventh-round KO. Fundora hasn’t competed since, but a rematch with Mendoza makes all the sense for 2024.


92. Elijah Garcia, 20, middleweight contender

Record: 16-0, 13 KOs
Last fight: Sept. 30 – W, TKO 8 vs. Jose Armando Resendiz
Next fight: TBA
Previous ranking: N/R  

The 20-year-old phenom is quickly ascending the 160-pound rankings. With his blend of power, boxing smarts and aggressiveness, Garcia could challenge for a title sooner than later. He’s one of the top fighters under 25.


93. Frank Martin, 28, lightweight

Record: 18-0, 12 KOs
Last fight: July 15 – W, UD12 vs. Artem Harutyunyan
Next fight: TBA
Previous ranking: N/R  

The athletic boxer-puncher was slated to meet Shakur Stevenson in his first title shot before he ultimately withdrew due to financial demands. Now, Martin is left without a scheduled fight and will end the year with just one bout.


94. Richardson Hitchins, 26, junior welterweight contender

Record: 17-0, 7 KOs
Last fight: Sept. 23 – W, UD12 vs. Jose Zepeda
Next fight: TBA
Previous ranking: N/R  

The tricky boxer scored his best win yet when he outpointed Jose Zepeda in September. Next up could be Jack Catterall after the IBF ordered the title eliminator.


95. Erickson Lubin, 28, junior middleweight contender

Record: 26-2, 18 KOs
Last fight: Sept. 30 – W, UD12 vs. Jesus Ramos
Next fight: TBA
Previous ranking: N/R  

Lubin’s future was in doubt after he suffered serious injuries in his brutal loss to Sebastian Fundora last year. But the American rebounded in a big way with wins over Luis Arias and Jesus Ramos.


96. Sam Goodman, 25, junior featherweight contender

Record:17-0, 7 KOs
Last fight: Dec. 15 – W, UD12 vs. Zhong Liu
Next fight: TBA
Previous ranking: N/R  

The Australian pressure fighter has quickly emerged with dominant wins over Ra’esse Aleem and Miguel Flores. He could soon establish himself as a viable opponent for Naoya Inoue.


97. Liam Smith, 35, middleweight contender

Record: 33-4-1, 20 KOs
Last fight: Sept. 2 – L, TKO10 vs. Chris Eubank Jr.
Next fight: TBA
Previous ranking: No. 93  

Smith was riding high after his upset, KO victory over Chris Eubank Jr., but his fellow Englishman turned the tables in September. It’s unclear where Smith goes from here.


98. Martin Bakole, 30, heavyweight contender

Record: 20-1, 15 KOs
Last fight: Oct. 28 – W, TKO4 vs. Carlos Takam
Next fight: TBA
Previous ranking: N/R  

The bruising heavyweight upset Tony Yoka last year and continued to impress in 2023 with a quick KO of the durable Carlos Takam. Bakole is in line for a meaningful heavyweight bout in 2024.


99. Ginjiro Shigeoka, 24, IBF strawweight champion

Record: 10-0, 8 KOs
Last fight: Oct. 7 – W, TKO5 vs. Daniel Valladares
Next fight: TBA
Previous ranking: N/R  

The 105-pound champion from Japan is a formidable puncher, and a future fight with countryman Kenshiro Teraji shapes up as a big fight in Tokyo. He’s a young fighter with a big upside.


100. Diego Pacheco, 22, super middleweight contender

Record: 20-0, 17 KOs
Last fight: Nov. 18 – W, KO9 vs. Marcelo Coceres
Next fight: TBA
Previous ranking: N/R  

The longtime prospect graduated to contender status in 2023 with more impressive wins punctuated by a ninth-round KO of Marcelo Coceres, who gave Edgar Berlanga all he could handle years ago. He’s ranked by ESPN as one of the best young fighters in boxing.


Dropped off from last year:

•Hector Luis Garcia (0-2 in ’23)
•Gennaidy Golovkin (hasn’t competed since Canelo loss in September 2022 and vacated all middleweight titles; basically retired at age 40)
•Andy Ruiz Jr. (Didn’t fight in 2023)
•Brian Castano (hasn’t fought since May 2022)
•Keith Thurman (didn’t fight in 2023; no fight scheduled)
•Billy Joe Saunders (plans to fight in 2024; hasn’t competed since May 2021)
•Joseph Diaz Jr. (lost to Merciyo Gesta)
•Yordenis Ugas (lost to Barrios)
•Danny Garcia (didn’t fight in 2023; slated to fight Erislandy Lara in 2024)
•Erislandy Lara (didn’t fight in 2023; slated to fight Lara in ’24)

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