Home SPORTS Are Shakur Stevenson, David Benavidez Top 10 fighters?

Are Shakur Stevenson, David Benavidez Top 10 fighters?

Shakur Stevenson beat Edwin De Los Santos (not pictured) on Nov. 16 for the vacant WBC lightweight title, but failed to impress. (Steve Marcus via Getty Images)

Shakur Stevenson is a phenomenal boxer and we haven’t seen close to the best of him yet. He’s 21-0 with 10 knockouts and world championships in three weight classes. I believe that the day isn’t too far away that he’ll by widely recognized as the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world.

Further, when he gets there, I believe he’ll have a long stay at the top.

That day, though, is not now. I have had Stevenson ranked as high as No. 4 in the Yahoo Sports boxing pound-for-pound rankings, and had him No. 5 in the Nov. 1 ratings.

But Stevenson’s unanimous decision victory over Edwin De Los Santos on Nov. 16 in which he won the vacant WBC lightweight title in Las Vegas did not scream superstar. It was a far-from-satisfying performance from such a talented fighter.

He was injured and nearly pulled out of the fight, and deserves some consideration for that. But virtually every boxer goes into a bout banged up and often don’t reveal it.

So I opted to drop Stevenson from No. 5 to 8. There are so many good fighters in the world now, many of whom are taking on elite challenges, that when one doesn’t perform at the level expected, it should be punitive in some way.

I considered David Benavidez for insertion at the bottom of the Top 10, but beating a 35-year-old Demetrius Andrade simply wasn’t enough to leapfrog lightweight champion Devin Haney and WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury into the rankings.

So Stevenson drops from five to eight and Gervonta Davis, Dmitry Bivol and Artur Beterbiev each move up a spot. Stevenson then heads the bottom three, above Haney and Fury. Benavidez is right there and can make the Top 10 with one more significant win, but he’s not quite ready for that lofty spot just yet.

He and Stevenson, though, are the future of this game. Both are young, motivated and highly talented.

There are few, though, like Stevenson, and even though I dropped him down three spots, I believe that one day not too long from now he’s going to be the main man in this sport.

Boxing pound-for-pound rankings as of Nov. 27

1. Terence Crawford (40-0, 31 KOs), Undisputed welterweight champion. Previous Ranking: 1.

2. Naoya Inoue (25-0, 22 KOs), WBC-WBO super bantamweight champion. Previous Ranking: 2.

3. Oleksandr Usyk (20-0, 13 KOs), IBF-WBA-WBO heavyweight champion. Previous Ranking: 3.

4. Canelo Alvarez (60-2-2, 39 KOs), Undisputed super middleweight champion. Previous Ranking: 4.

5. Gervonta Davis (29-0, 27 KOs) Secondary WBA lightweight champion. Previous Ranking: 6.

6. Dmitry Bivol (21-0, 11 KOs), WBA light heavyweight champion. Previous Ranking: 7.

7. Artur Beterbiev (19-0, 19 KOs), IBF-WBC-WBO light heavyweight champion. Previous Ranking: 8.

8. Shakur Stevenson (21-0, 10 KOs), WBC lightweight champion. Previous Ranking: 5.

9. Devin Haney (30-0, 15 KOs), Undisputed lightweight champion. Previous Ranking: 9.

10. Tyson Fury (34-0-1, 24 KOs), WBC heavyweight champion. Previous Ranking: 10.

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