Oleksandr Usyk's WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight title victory over Anthony Joshua at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London not only made him a two-weight world champion and one of the hottest commodities in the fight game today, but also saw him enjoy a huge rise up DAZN's men's pound-for-pound boxing rankings in the month of September.
Usyk's footwork, timing and ability to keep Joshua — who occupied many outlets' own P4P top 10 between beating Wladimir Klitschko and suffering his first defeat to Andy Ruiz Jr. — strictly in first gear for 12 full rounds answered a lot of questions about his ability to hang at heavyweight, having already unified the entire cruiserweight division.
The purgatory surrounding his maximum-weight credentials dispelled once and for all, the biggest win of his career so far sends him back into the top 10 and all the way up to second, behind only Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez. The only changes found elsewhere are the fighters ranked third through 10th all dropping down a place each, but remaining in the same order as DAZN's last official published rankings from June.
The DAZN pound-for-pound list: criteria
Here are some of the things considered by the team towards these rankings:
- Overall record: Wins and losses count, of course. There can be more to a record than numbers, but you've gotta be winning to push upwards.
- Quality of opposition: That said, going 30-0 against part-timers isn't going to impress many when you're being compared with every other fighter in every weight class. Beating your biggest rivals and fellow champions carries much more value.
- Quality of wins: Winning in style also works in a candidate's favour, and overcoming adversity to pull off a big result can be a good thing too.
- Activity: Fighters on the list who haven't competed in a while don't suddenly become unworthy boxers, but their ranking may be under bigger risk from those who have pulled off a big win recently.
With all that in mind, here is DAZN's September 2021 men's P4P list in full.
1. Canelo Alvarez (no change from last rankings)
Three-belt super-middleweight champion Alvarez remains top of the pile, and will further solidify his standing if he becomes undisputed champion on Nov. 6 at Caleb Plant's expense.
2. Oleksandr Usyk (new entry)
The former undisputed cruiserweight king's heavyweight credentials were up for debate due to the nature of wins over Chazz Witherspoon and Derek Chisora. However his performance to dethrone three-belt champ and former P4P-ranked Anthony Joshua has proven his greatness once and for all.
3. Naoya Inoue (down from 2)
The resume of 'The Monster' from Japan is comparable to the two fighters above him. If he were to continue his winning ways in a rematch with Nonito Donaire or beat Johnriel Casimero or Guillermo Rigondeaux, the unified bantamweight king could climb higher still.
4. Terence Crawford (down from 3)
The WBO welterweight champion, who was also undisputed at light-welter, faces one of his biggest tests to date on Nov. 20 against Shawn Porter in a bout that could push him back into the top three.
5. Errol Spence Jr. (down from 4)
Another welterweight king who looked set to climb the rankings with an August win over the legendary Manny Pacquiao, until fate intervened.
6. Josh Taylor (down from 5)
The Scot's full unification of the 140lbs realm make him a top-10 certainty, but his next moves after a December mandatory vs. Jack Catterall will determine whether he can climb higher still.
7. Teofimo Lopez Jr. (down from 6)
The unified lightweight king is closing in on a year out of the ring, and the young Honduran-American, tipped by many as a future P4P ruler, will be itching to make his mandatory against George Kambosos Jr. finally happen some time in October after a host of false dawns.
8. Vasiliy Lomachenko (down from 7)
Defeat to Teofimo last October forced Lomachenko down the charts a little, but Usyk's good friend returned to winning ways in June and is a lock to return to the title picture soon.
9. Tyson Fury (down from 8)
Undefeated but extremely inactive, Fury like Lopez will be eager to get back into the ring as he aims to put Deontay Wilder into his rearview mirror once and for all come Oct. 9.
10. Gervonta 'Tank' Davis (down from 9)
The undefeated three-weight world champion will likely need to take on better competition in any one of those three divisions if he is to push for top-five consideration in the future.