Vasyl Lomachenko features among Matt Macklin’s top five pound-for-pound boxers but there is no room for Oleksandr Usyk.
Lomachenko defends WBA and WBO lightweight gold against Anthony Crolla on Saturday morning at 3am, live on Sky Sports Main Event.
But is he the world’s best fighter, according to Macklin?
5. Naoya Inoue
He’s gone through the divisions, is a three-weight world champion, skipping one weight class, and has to be there in my top five pound-for-pound fighters in the world.
He’s a massive puncher, but not just a massive puncher, he’s a good boxer as well.
4. Errol Spence Jr
It’s between Errol Spence Jr and Naoya Inoue for the number four spot. Inoue has looked indestructible, but hasn’t beaten another real pound-for-pound fighter like Spence Jr has in Mikey Garcia. You have to say that Garcia was the smaller man, stepping up two weight divisions, but it was the manner in which Spence Jr beat him, how comfortably, how easily he dominated him.
It was the best performance of Spence Jr’s career, and it solidifies his spot in the top five. Himself and Terence Crawford would be a super fight for the future.
3. Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez
It’s a strange one, because I thought Gennady Golovkin won the first fight against Alvarez, and I even had him shading the second one, although I could certainly see Canelo winning it by a round as well. But I don’t have Golovkin in my top five, because I think he’s on the slide, he’s not the fighter he was, and if they do have a third fight, then I think Canelo probably beats him.
Alvarez fought a great fight in the rematch with Golovkin, he took the fight to him, and he even pushed back Golovkin, who worked well behind his jab. The roles were reversed a little bit.
I think Alvarez is hitting his prime now and it will take something special for Daniel Jacobs to beat him. As long as Alvarez wins their unification fight, it will confirm his status in the world’s top three. It’s not an easy fight, because Jacobs is a great fighter and he’s big at middleweight, can punch, and has great hand speed. But Canelo is one of those guys, who just seems to find a way to win.
2. Terence Crawford
An excellent fighter, who is a brilliant technician. Crawford can box southpaw, orthodox, it doesn’t matter to him. He can do whatever. From a switch-hitting point of view, he can go southpaw and box the whole of the fight like that.
Crawford is also physically a lot stronger than he looks. He’s maybe not a concussive, one punch knockout specialist, but he hits hard enough to get your respect. Now he’s in the welterweight division, I would like to see these big fights happen. Politics could delay fights against Keith Thurman, Errol Spence Jr etc, but somewhere down the line, Crawford-Spence Jr is going to be one of the biggest fights in boxing.
1. Vasyl Lomachenko
It’s either Lomachenko, or Crawford who are at No 1 and No 2. If you really put me on the spot, I would go for Lomachenko, because he’s the most gifted fighter I’ve ever seen. When he’s boxing, it’s like a scene out ‘The Matrix,’ you can’t hit him. He stops a lot of fighters because he just breaks their will. They almost give up, not because they cannot take the pain, but because he almost embarrasses them.
His footwork is unbelievable, I’ve never seen anything like it. He lost one amateur fight, many, many years ago, that he avenged. He lost his second professional fight against Orlando Salido, who missed the weight, but even then, it was close. He’s moved up in weight, stopped Guillermo Rigondeaux, made him quit. He also halted Jorge Linares, who was in great form coming into that fight, and I just think you would have to say Lomachenko, followed closely by Crawford, is No 1.
Vasyl Lomachenko defends the WBA and WBO lightweight titles against Anthony Crolla on Saturday morning at 3am, live on Sky Sports Main Event.
(c) Sky News 2019: Lomachenko vs Crolla: Matt Macklin’s pound-for-pound top five boxers