There are always a lot of complaints surrounding the business of boxing, and on Saturday's Showtime Pay-Per-View card in Washington, D.C., there was another glaring example of the type of things that make boxing annoying.
Jaron Ennis won a unanimous decision over Karen Chukhadzhian, sweeping all 12 rounds, to remain one of the top welterweight contenders. But Ennis took home the interim IBF welterweight title for his efforts, which is ridiculous considering the champion, Errol Spence Jr., defended the belt eight months earlier.
In the main event, Gervonta Davis successfully defended what has come to be referred to as a secondary WBA lightweight title, even though Devin Haney won all of the lightweight belts in the ring and is the undisputed champion.
But that doesn’t detract from the great talent not only at the top of the game, but on the rise ready to dominate the next generation. And situations like Ennis’ and Davis’ obscure the fact that there are undisputed champions at bantamweight, lightweight, super welterweight and super middleweight. And boxing could also have undisputed champions at super bantamweight, welterweight, light heavyweight and heavyweight by the end of the year.
If that happens, it would mean there are eight undisputed champions and would help provide clarity for fans trying to follow the sport.
There were no changes in our Top 10 this time around. Davis hung onto the 10th spot with his stoppage of Hector Garcia, but his position there is tenuous given the quality below him.
Undisputed super welterweight champion Jermell Charlo is right on Davis’ heels, as is unified light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev, unified super bantamweight champion Stephen Fulton, Joshua Franco, super flyweight champion Juan Francisco Estrada, Vasiliy Lomachenko and Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez.
That’s a good thing for boxing, because it reflects the depth that exists in this sport today. And with the young and talented fighters on the way up, it provides even more hope for a strong future for the sport.
Boxing pound-for-pound rankings as of Jan. 11
Terence Crawford (39-0, 30 KOs), WBO welterweight champion. Previous Ranking: 1
Naoya Inoue (24-0, 21 KOs), Undisputed bantamweight champion. Previous Ranking: 2
Oleksandr Usyk (20-0, 13 KOs), IBF-WBA-WBO heavyweight champion. Previous Ranking: 3
Canelo Alvarez (58-2-2, 39 KOs), Undisputed super middleweight champion. Previous Ranking: 4
Errol Spence Jr. (28-0, 22 KOs), IBF-WBA-WBC welterweight champion. Previous Ranking: 5
Shakur Stevenson (19-0, 9 KOs), Lightweight contender. Previous Ranking: 6
Devin Haney (29-0, 15 KOs), Undisputed lightweight champion. Previous Ranking: 7
Tyson Fury (33-0-1, 24 KOs), WBC heavyweight champion. Previous Ranking: 8
Dmitry Bivol (21-0, 11 KOs), WBA light heavyweight champion. Previous Ranking: 9
Gervonta Davis (28-0, 26 KOs), WBA "regular" lightweight champion. Previous ranking: 10