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Pound-for-pound rankings: Vasiliy Lomachenko moves up after his win, but does Gervonta Davis?

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Lomachenko comes back in a big way, wins via TKO in Round 9 (1:19)

Vasiliy Lomachenko dominates his fight vs. Masayoshi Nakatani and forces the referee to call the fight in the middle of Round 9. (1:19)

Former pound-for-pound king and lightweight champion Vasiliy Lomachenko returned to the ring for the first time since losing to Teofimo Lopez in October 2020 and reminded the boxing world that he's still one of the best fighters in the sport. Lomachenko scored a dominant ninth-round TKO victory over Masayoshi Nakatani on June 26, showcasing what the Ukrainian can do when he's at his best.

Lomachenko, who underwent right shoulder surgery after the loss to Lopez, seemed to have the speed and power of the old Lomachenko, moving and sliding which made Nakatani miss time after time.

In reaction to the Nakatani performance, boxing trainer and boxing analyst Teddy Atlas, moved Lomachenko up one spot over Errol Spence Jr., nothing that the way he won, "deserves and upgrade."

"After the loss to Teofimo I dropped him a little bit, obviously, and it was the right thing to do," Atlas said. "And it is the right thing to do now also, to move him up, when he comes back and looks like the fighter he was before. I'm not gonna put him in front of everybody else, not back to No. 1 just yet, but he beat a solid fighter, a guy that was the first one to go 12 rounds with Teofimo, gave Lopez a little bit of trouble, then he came back to knock out Felix Verdejo.

"Lomachenko faced a decent fighter and made him look like he didn't belong in the ring with him. He took him apart, piece by piece, and did it in such a spectacular way, such a Lomachenko way that I just think that he deserves to move up."

Former two division champion and current ESPN boxing analyst Timothy Bradley Jr. decided to keep Lomachenko in the No. 7 spot, saying Lomachenko needs to beat a bigger name to climb back.

"If Lomachenko beats Lopez, then he moves up," said Bradley. "He needs to beat Lopez, and that fight has to happen in the near future, so I'm gonna keep Loma where he is and not move him up. If Lomachenko goes up to 140 and beats a champion there or a guy there with a credibility, then I'll think about moving him up."

ESPN boxing writer Mike Coppinger also ranked Lomachenko at No. 8, and said the kind of performance he displayed against Nakatani is what he needs to keep doing to get back on top.

"On the heels of his biggest setback yet, Lomachenko was ruthless and more aggressive than ever in breaking down Nakatani," said Coppinger. "He never stopped pressuring and if he's going to exact revenge over Lopez in a rematch, that's exactly the style he'll need to employ."

In another fight this past weekend, Gervonta Davis defeated Mario Barrios to win a WBA secondary junior welterweight belt. Davis currently has titles in three different divisions, 130, 135 and 140 pounds. Many voters, including Atlas and Bradley, decided to move Davis up, but he came up short of the top 10, just behind junior bantamweight champion Juan Francisco Estrada.

Davis stopped Barrios and looked like a "complete fighter," according to Atlas.

"I thought Davis was tremendous, I don't think he got enough credit for the way he did the things he did against Barrios -- he broke him down," said Atlas. "Everybody looks at 'Tank' Davis like that, like a thank because he's short and powerful and people look at him like a guy that is going to try to run you over and try to knock you out, but against Barrios he looked like a very complete fighter, he really did.

"He knows how to close the gap, just like Manny Pacquiao did when he was young, with the right hook, very quickly and explosively. He knew how to get in the pocket and land his body shots beautifully against Barrios, by staying calm, by timing the punches while Barrios was punching, he knew how to get away from the punches, specially the right hand that Barrios was trying to land. It really was a great display by a guy that is more than just a powerful guy. That's why I moved him into the elite 10."

Our panel of Mike Coppinger, Timothy Bradley Jr., Joe Tessitore, Cameron Wolfe, Michael Rothstein, Eric Raskin, Andre Ward, Atlas, Nick Parkinson, Michelle Joy Phelps, Ben Baby, Eric Woodyard, Kel Dansby, Bernardo Pilatti, Charles Moynihan and Salvador Rodriguez share their votes.

More rankings: Divisional rankings and ESPN's women's pound-for-pound rankings.

Note: Results are through July 1.


1. CANELO ALVAREZ     Previous ranking: No. 1

RECORD: 56-1-2, 38 KOs
DIVISION: Middleweight (champion), super middleweight (unified titlist)
LAST FIGHT: W (TKO8) Billy Joe Saunders, May 8
NEXT FIGHT: Nov. 6 vs. Caleb Plant


2. TERENCE CRAWFORD     Previous ranking: No. 2

RECORD: 37-0, 28 KOs
DIVISION: Welterweight (titlist)
LAST FIGHT: W (TKO4) Kell Brook, Nov. 14
NEXT FIGHT: TBA


3. NAOYA INOUE     Previous ranking: No. 3

RECORD: 21-0, 18 KOs
DIVISION: Bantamweight (unified titlist)
LAST FIGHT: W (KO3) Michael Dasmarinas, June 19
NEXT FIGHT: TBA


4. ERROL SPENCE JR.     Previous ranking: No. 4

RECORD: 27-0, 21 KOs
DIVISION: Welterweight (unified titlist)
LAST FIGHT: W (UD12) Danny Garcia, Dec. 5
NEXT FIGHT: TBA


5. TEOFIMO LOPEZ JR.     Previous ranking: No. 5

RECORD: 16-0, 12 KOs
DIVISION: Lightweight (unified champion)
LAST FIGHT: W (UD12) Vasiliy Lomachenko, Oct. 17
NEXT FIGHT: Oct. 5 vs. George Kambosos Jr.


6. TYSON FURY     Previous ranking: No. 6

RECORD: 30-0-1, 21 KOs
DIVISION: Heavyweight (champion)
LAST FIGHT: W (TKO7) Deontay Wilder, Feb. 22, 2020
NEXT FIGHT: Oct. 9 vs. Deontay Wilder


7. JOSH TAYLOR     Previous ranking: No. 7

RECORD: 18-0, 13 KOs
DIVISION: Junior welterweight (undisputed champion)
LAST FIGHT: W (UD12) Jose Ramirez, May 22
NEXT FIGHT: Dec. 18 vs. Jack Catterall


8. VASILIY LOMACHENKO     Previous ranking: No. 9

RECORD: 15-2, 11 KOs
DIVISION: Lightweight
LAST FIGHT: W (TKO9) Masayoshi Nakatani June 26
NEXT FIGHT: TBA


9. OLEKSANDR USYK     Previous ranking: No. 8

RECORD: 18-0, 13 KOs
DIVISION: Heavyweight
LAST FIGHT: W (UD12) Dereck Chisora, Oct. 31
NEXT FIGHT: Sept. 25 vs. Anthony Joshua


10. JUAN FRANCISCO ESTRADA     Previous ranking: No. 10

RECORD: 42-3, 28 KOs
DIVISION: Junior bantamweight (unified champion)
LAST FIGHT: W (SD12) Roman "Chocolatito" Gonzalez, March 13
NEXT FIGHT: Oct. 16 vs. Roman "Chocolatito" Gonzalez


The formula

The rankings are based on a descending points system, with a first-place vote receiving 10 points, a second-place vote receiving nine points and so on. A tie goes to the fighter with the highest ranking and then the one with the most votes at that ranking.


Others receiving votes: Gervonta Davis (21), Manny Pacquiao (4), Oscar Valdez (3), Gennady Golovkin (2), Jermell Charlo (2), Roman Gonzalez (1).


How our writers voted

Atlas: 1. Crawford, 2. Alvarez, 3. Inoue, 4. Lomachenko, 5. Spence, 6. Usyk, 7. Pacquiao, 8. Lopez, 9. Fury, 10. Davis

Bradley: 1. Alvarez, 2. Crawford, 3. Inoue, 4. Spence, 5. Lopez, 6. Taylor, 7. Lomachenko, 8. Davis, 9. Fury, 10. Usyk

Ward: 1. Crawford, 2. Alvarez, 3. Fury, 4. Spence, 5. Inoue, 6. Usyk, 7. Lopez, 8. Estrada, 9. Taylor, 10. Valdez

Coppinger: 1. Alvarez, 2. Inoue, 3. Fury, 4. Spence, 5. Crawford, 6. Lopez, 7. Taylor, 8. Lomachenko, 9. Davis, 10. Gonzalez

Tessitore: 1. Alvarez, 2. Crawford, 3. Inoue, 4. Taylor, 5. Lopez, 6. Spence, 7. Lomachenko, 8. Usyk, 9. Valdez, 10. Estrada

Parkinson: 1. Alvarez, 2. Inoue, 3. Crawford, 4. Lopez, 5. Taylor, 6. Fury, 7. Usyk, 8. Lomachenko, 9. Spence, 10. Estrada

Baby: 1. Alvarez, 2. Crawford, 3. Spence, 4. Inoue, 5. Taylor, 6. Usyk, 7. Fury, 8. Estrada, 9. Lopez, 10. Lomachenko

Wolfe: 1. Alvarez, 2. Crawford, 3. Inoue, 4. Spence, 5. Lopez, 6. Lomachenko, 7. Taylor, 8. Fury, 9. Estrada, 10. Davis

Rothstein: 1. Alvarez, 2.. Crawford, 3. Inoue, 4. Fury, 5. Spence, 6. Lopez, 7. Taylor, 8. Usyk, 9. Lomachenko, 10. Davis

Woodyard: 1. Crawford, 2. Alvarez, 3. Inoue, 4. Spence, 5. Lopez, 6. Lomachenko, 7. Usyk, 8. Fury, 9. Taylor, 10. Davis

Raskin: 1. Alvarez, 2. Crawford, 3. Inoue, 4. Spence, 5. Lopez, 6. Lomachenko, 7. Fury, 8. Taylor, 9. Davis, 10. Estrada

Phelps: 1. Alvarez, 2.. Crawford, 3. Taylor, 4. Lopez, 5. Spence, 6. Inoue, 7. Davis, 8. Lomachenko, 9. Jermell Charlo, 10. Estrada

Dansby: 1. Alvarez, 2. Inoue, 3. Crawford, 4. Spence, 5. Lopez, 6. Fury, 7. Taylor, 8. Usyk, 9. Davis, 10. Lomachenko

Moynihan: 1. Alvarez, 2. Spence, 3. Crawford, 4. Inoue, 5. Lopez, 6. Lomachenko, 7. Usyk, 8. Fury, 9. Golovkin, 10. Estrada

Pilatti: 1. Inoue, 2. Crawford, 3. Spence, 4. Alvarez, 5. Estrada, 6. Lomachenko, 7. Lopez, 8. Davis, 9. Fury, 10. Taylor

Rodriguez: 1. Alvarez, 2. Crawford, 3. Spence, 4. Inoue, 5. Fury, 6. Taylor, 7. Estrada, 8. Lopez, 9. Lomachenko, 10. Davis


ESPN experts' poll

First place: Alvarez (12), Crawford (3), Inoue (1)

Second place: Crawford (9), Alvarez (3), Inoue (3), Spence (1)

Third place: Inoue (7), Crawford (3), Spence (3), Fury (2), Taylor (1)

Fourth place: Spence (7), Inoue (3), Lopez (2), Alvarez (1), Fury (1), Taylor (1), Lomachenko (1)

Fifth place: Lopez (7), Spence (3), Taylor (2), Crawford (1), Inoue (1), Fury (1), Estrada (1)

Sixth place: Lomachenko (5), Usyk (3), Lopez (2), Fury (2), Taylor (2), Inoue (1), Spence (1)

Seventh place: Taylor (4), Usyk (3), Lopez (2), Fury (2), Lomachenko (2), Estrada (1), Davis (1), Pacquiao (1)

Eighth place: Fury (3), Lomachenko (3), Usyk (3), Lopez (2), Estrada (2), Davis (2), Taylor (1), Jermell Charlo (1)

Ninth place: Estrada (5), Loma henko (2), Davis (3), Fury (3), Taylor (2), Spence (1), Lopez (1), Lomachenko (1), Usyk (1), Estrada (1), Valdez (1), Golovkin (1), Jermall Charlo (1)

10th place: Estrada (5), Davis (5), Lomachenko (2), Taylor (1), Usyk (1), Gonzalez (1), Valdez (1)