Tyson Fury is the new pound-for-pound king in ESPN's British rankings

Tyson Fury's appearance in the WWE and the release of autobiography helped him become one of the richest professionals in the world. Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

Tyson Fury has dislodged Josh Taylor as ESPN's British pound-for-pound king.

It was a tight decision. Taylor only had 161 seconds of action in 2020 in an impressive defence of his IBF and WBA super lightweight titles.

But Fury's stunning seventh round stoppage of Deontay Wilder almost a year ago to become a two-time world heavyweight champion was a better win in comparison.

Others dropped places after defeats, while Joe Joyce entered ESPN's British pound-for-pound rankings for the first time.

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1. Tyson Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs)  

Up from 5th place.

Fury, 32, is widely regarded as the world's leading heavyweight after stopping Deontay Wilder for the WBC title in February last year.

The dominant win over Wilder, who was floored twice before the fight was stopped in the seventh round when his corner threw in the towel, has earned Fury a place in ESPN's global pound-for-pound rankings (No. 6) and is the only Briton to make the latest list.

Promoters are trying to make a mega fight against English rival Anthony Joshua, who holds the other three world titles, for this year, in a clash that would decide who is Britain's best boxer.

2. Josh Taylor (17-0, 13 KOs)  

Down from 1st place.

The Scot was ESPN's No. 1 British pound-for-pound fighter after unifying the titles in October 2019. But he had to make do with a quick mandatory defence this year while he waits for a fight with Jose Ramirez -- who holds the other two world titles -- in a fight to decide the undisputed world super-lightweight champion in 2021.

Taylor, 30, looked sharp in a first round demolition of Apinun Khongsong in September and is ranked No. 1 at 140 pounds by ESPN.

3. Anthony Joshua (24-1, 22 KOs)  

Up from 4th place.

Joshua, 31, has had a good year after regaining his belts from Andy Ruiz Jr. on points in December 2019 following a shock loss to the American, and was a lot more confident and explosive in a ninth-round knockout win over Kubrat Pulev in December.

The WBA, IBF, WBO world heavyweight champion, who started 2019 as ESPN's No. 1 British pound-for-pound boxer, still trails Fury in the ESPN divisional rankings and to change that he must beat his English rival.

4. Josh Warrington (30-0, 7 KOs)  

Down from 3rd place.

The IBF world featherweight could not make any progress in 2020 as he lay idle due to the pandemic.

Some of the big names have moved out of the featherweight division in the last 12 months -- Oscar Valdez, Leo Santa Cruz, Michael Conlan -- but a unification fight is being lined up for the Leeds boxer against Can Xu, the WBA 'regular' titleholder.

WBC king Gary Russell Jr. is a harder fight for Warrington, who can finish 2021 as world No. 1 at 126 pounds and unified title holder if he gets the fights.

5. Callum Smith (27-1, 19 KOs)  

Down from 2nd place.

Ranked No. 1 at super-middleweight before meeting Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez, Smith's priorities this year will be to try and win back a world title.

Smith, 30, from Liverpool, lost his WBC belt by a wide points margin to the Mexican, but losing to arguably the world's best pound-for-pound boxer is no disgrace.

6. Billy Joe Saunders (30-0, 14 KOs)  

Up from 8th place.

The WBO world super-middleweight champion improved his position after a comfortable win over veteran Martin Murray on points in December, and is now No. 5 in the ESPN super-middleweight list.

Saunders was linked to Canelo in 2020, but the pandemic disrupted those plans. The Mexican is the biggest fight available to Saunders, but facing Smith would also be lucrative fight and an opportunity for him to improve his status.

7. Joe Joyce (12-0, 11 KOs)  

New entry.

The heavyweight contender pulled off a shock when he knocked out unbeaten English rival Daniel Dubois in December.

Joyce, a silver medalist at the 2016 Rio Olympics boxed cleverly as his pinpoint jabs closed Dubois' left eye in a tenth round win. Joyce has only had 12 professional fights, but he is an educated fighter who is closing in on the big names.

At 35, he wants to move fast and is targeting former undisputed world cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk next.

8. Chris Eubank Jr (29-2, 22 KOs)  

New entry.

After campaigning at super-middleweight, Eubank has dropped down a division and finds himself in a good position at front of the queue for a shot at the WBA world title in 2021.

Eubank, 31, who is No. 1 in the WBA governing body's latest rankings, looks like he will get his first world title shot this year against Ryota Murata.

The Brighton boxer has been training with Roy Jones Jr. recently and last fought in December 2019 when he won by second round TKO after Matvey Korobov injured his left shoulder.

9. Carl Frampton (28-2, 16 KOs)  

New entry.

The two-division former world champion -- ESPN's No. 1 British pound-for-pound boxer in 2017 -- can revive his career if he wins his forthcoming world junior lightweight title shot.

The 33-year-old from Belfast, Northern Ireland, is in the final stages of his career and warmed up for his crack at WBO champion Jamel Herring on Feb. 27 with a sharp seventh round stoppage win over Darren Traynor in August.

10. Luke Campbell (20-4, 16 KOs) and Dillian Whyte (27-2, 18 KOs)  

Down from 9th place, down from 6th place.

Both these boxers suffered knockout defeats in their last fights, yet are still among the elite in their division and are expected to be in significant fights in 2021.

Campbell, 33, from Hull, is still ranked at No. 5 at lightweight by ESPN following his seventh round stoppage defeat to Ryan Garcia earlier this month.

Campbell floored the young prodigy early on, but then lost control of the WBC interim title fight and was stopped by a body shot.

Whyte, 32, is expected to face Alexander Povetkin in a rematch this year after getting knocked out by the Russian in five rounds last August in a WBC heavyweight interim title fight.

Both need to win their next fights to keep their careers alive.