In an exclusive chat with TNT Sports expert Carl Frampton, we delve into the former two-weight world champion’s current top five pound-for-pound fighters.
Who is the best in the business right now? And who looks like a future No. 1?
5. Devin Haney
Devin Haney boasts an undefeated professional record and is the undisputed world champion of the lightweight division.
He has won all 30 of his fights to date, with half of those coming by way of knockout.
“Undisputed fighter. Quality, quality lightweight. Looks to maybe moving up now,” Frampton said of Haney, the 24-year-old who has dominated the 135lb scene.
“It’s hard not to have someone who has been undisputed at a weight in your top five.”
4. Shakur Stevenson
After success at featherweight and super featherweight, southpaw Shakur Stevenson can become a three-weight world champion when he takes on Edwin De Los Santos for the WBC lightweight title in November.
“I think Shakur is going to be No. 1 one day, but just quite not yet. I love watching him,” said Frampton of the two-division world champion.
“He needs to keep going through divisions, as he has been.
“He’s a big lump. There’s not much between him and [Terence] Crawford in terms of size.
“I think he can clean up the lightweight divisions, which is no mean feat. He is very, very good.”
3. Oleksandr Usyk
Undefeated Ukrainian heavyweight Oleksandr Usyk has seen off Derek Chisora, Anthony Joshua (twice) and Daniel Dubois in his most recent fights.
Although Usyk holds WBA, WBO and IBF titles, he needs to claim Tyson Fury’s WBC belt to become the undisputed champion.
Frampton loves “everything about” Usyk, including his “character, how he fights, and his persona.”
“Unified cruiserweight champion. Moved up and had some big wins at heavyweight. He has the majority of belts at heavyweight. Almost completely unified at heavyweight, just one title to go,” said Frampton.
“He’s a quality, quality fighter.”
2. Naoya Inoue
Nicknamed ‘The Monster’, Naoya Inoue’s devastating skill, speed and power is summed up by his 88% knockout rate and a handsome unbeaten record.
“Inoue is only No. 2 because of what Terence Crawford has just done to Errol Spence. He’s a four-way world champion inside 20 fights,” said Frampton.
Inoue is also the current unified super bantamweight world champion.
“Trying to describe how unbelievably hard that is to do to a non-boxing fan would be difficult,” Frampton added.
“He’s looking to become undisputed in this division, and probably move up to featherweight, and he’d probably like to do the same in that division.”
1. Terence Crawford
Undefeated three-division world champion Terence Crawford is one of the world’s most feared fighters.
He has held the WBO welterweight title since 2018 and an ability to switch from orthodox to southpaw stance only adds to an armoury which has dazzled many an opponent.
“I imagine the majority of people, boxing fans, and sports fans worldwide would agree with me,” Frampton said about putting Crawford in his No. 1 spot.
“Three-weight world champion, he’s been around such a long time and he’s still competing at a really high level. Looks to be improving, which is mad, and his destruction of an elite fighter in Errol Spence was spectacular. So that’s why he’s at No. 1.”
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