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Boxing Pound-for-Pound Rankings: Gervonta Davis makes debut after masterful performance vs. Ryan Garcia

It took a while to get here as Gervonta Davis and his team carefully built him into one of boxing’s biggest box-office stars in recent years but, finally, “Tank” is getting the critical respect that has long alluded him as one of the top pound-for-pound fighters on the planet. 

Davis, 28, made sure his critics were out of ammunition following his dominant seventh-round knockout of fellow unbeaten Ryan Garcia in their April pay-per-view showdown in Las Vegas. 

Not only did Davis showcase the power that has helped him acquire the label as one of the most devastating one-punch knockout artists in the sport, it was the evolution of his boxing IQ that played the biggest role in how easily he made dissecting Garcia’s game feel. 

Davis averages, according to CompuBox, the least amount of attempted punches of any active boxer over 12 rounds. But he makes each throw count by how incredibly accurate his counter shots land. Davis is also an underrated body puncher, which he used to wear Garcia down before stopping him with a counter left hand downstairs later in the fight.

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If you make a mistake against Davis, he typically makes you pay in ways that alter the course of the fight, as evidenced by the counter left hand he landed to drop Garcia in Round 2 that went a long way in disciplining Garcia by leaving him weary to get off first with his jab. 

How far Davis can carry his power up in weight remains to be seen as he continues to evolve but even without a major title at lightweight, “Tank” remains the true power player in the division given how consistently he sells out arenas and headlines PPV cards.  

Using a criteria that takes into account everything from accomplishments to current form, let’s take a closer look at the top fighters inside the ring. Below is the latest Pound for Pound rankings update after Davis’ win in April.

Pound-for-Pound Rankings

1. Naoya Inoue

Undisputed bantamweight champion (21-0, 19 KOs) | Previous ranking: No. 1

At 29, the Japanese “Monster” is operating at the peak of what is becoming an all-time great career. The three-division champion added undisputed status at 118 pounds to his resume by finishing an overly cautious Paul Butler to become the first four-belt champion in divisional history. Inoue is expected to move up to 122 pounds next, where there are no shortage of elite foes.

2. Errol Spence Jr. 

Unified welterweight champion (28-0, 22 KOs) | Previous ranking: No. 2 

The only fight that makes sense for Spence is an undisputed showdown with WBO champion Terence Crawford for all four titles. The good news is that talks continue behind the scenes for a possible superfight this summer, which became more likely once talks for a Spence fight against Keith Thurman at 154 pounds died down.

3. Terence Crawford

WBO welterweight champion (38-0, 28 KOs) | Previous ranking: No. 3 

No one has ever questioned Crawford’s talent. But the 35-year-old promotional free agent pulled out of talks to fight Errol Spence Jr. in November for the undisputed welterweight championship. “Bud” scored a thunderous knockout of David Avanesyan in his lone appearance in 2022 as eyes continue to look for the unification matchup.

4. Canelo Alvarez

Undisputed super middleweight champion (58-2-2, 38 KOs) | Previous ranking: No. 4

The combination of a light heavyweight title loss to Dmitry Bivol and an uneven decision win over 40-year-old Gennadiy Golovkin in their trilogy has Alvarez slipping just a bit at age 32. Following left wrist surgery, Alvarez will defend his titles against mandatory foe John Ryder in a May 6 homecoming in Guadalajara, Mexico.

5. Oleksandr Usyk

Unified heavyweight champion (19-0, 13 KOs | Previous ranking: 5

Usyk’s professional run has been as decorated as it has been perfect. The former undisputed cruiserweight champion even has a strong argument for best fighter in the sport after defeating Anthony Joshua in their August rematch. Unfortunately for fans, an undisputed title bout against WBC champion Tyson Fury continues to allude Usyk despite how easy it appears to make.

6. Dmitry Bivol

WBA light heavyweight champion (21-0, 11 KOs) | Previous ranking: 6

Criticized at times for playing it safe in the past, Bivol was anything but in his career-making victory over pound-for-pound king Canelo Alvarez. The 175-pound titleholder was even more explosive in a convincing shutdown of unbeaten Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez in November.

7. Tyson Fury

WBC heavyweight champion (33-0-1, 25 KOs) | Previous ranking: No. 7

The 34-year-old “Gypsy King” chose to stay active in a largely unnecessary trilogy bout against Derek Chisora in December. The problem now is Fury hasn’t shown any signs of actually wanting an undisputed title bout against Oleksandr Usyk as he continues to make seemingly disingenuous accusations at the unified king for avoiding him.

8. Gervonta Davis

Secondary lightweight titleholder (29-0, 27 KOs) | Previous ranking: NR

It’s about time “Tank” is finally getting his due as one of the most dangerous and well-rounded boxers on the planet. The efficient sniper finished unbeaten Ryan Garcia with a body shot in Round 7 of their April superfight and continues to make a case for being the next breakout star in the sport.

9. Shakur Stevenson

WBO junior lightweight champion (20-0, 10 KOs) | Previous ranking: No. 8

Fresh off of blanking of Robson Conceicao last fall, Stevenson moved up in weight and finished unbeaten Shuichiro Yoshino in April to announce himself at lightweight. Although it’s likely Stevenson will continue to be avoided, he has declared his hopes of facing the May 20 winner of the Devin Haney-Vasiliy Lomachenko undisputed title bout.

10. Devin Haney

Undisputed lightweight champion (29-0, 15 KOs) | Previous ranking: No. 9

If back-to-back victories in Australia over George Kambosos Jr. wasn’t enough to convince those that “The Dream” is among the best pure boxers in the game, a May 20 showdown opposite former P4P king Vasiliy Lomachenko feels like the perfect next challenge. Haney holds all the belts atop arguably the sport’s most exciting division and is only getting better at age 24.

Dropped out: Vasiliy Lomachenko
Honorable mention: Lomachenko, Stephen Fulton Jr., Artur Beterbiev, Jermell Charlo, Juan Francisco Estrada

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