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Bad Left Hook Pound-for-Pound Top 10 (December 2023): Shakur Stevenson out to end year, 2024 outlook and more

Shakur Stevenson drops out of the top 10 after a lousy performance, but will he be back in 2024, and who else might crash the list next year?

Shakur Stevenson makes his way to the ring to face Edwin De Los Santos
Shakur Stevenson is out for now, but expected to return to the P4P top 10 in 2024
Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images

One final pound-for-pound list for 2023! We’ve got one fighter out from last month, though mostly with the expectation that he will return in 2024.

Who else might make a big move next year?

Bad Left Hook Pound-For-Pound Top 10

December 2023

The voters: Scott Christ, Wil Esco, John Hansen, Patrick Stumberg, and Lewis Watson

Dropped Out: Shakur Stevenson (T-7 last month)
Others Receiving Votes: Jaron “Boots” Ennis 6, Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez 5, Shakur Stevenson 5, David Benavidez 2, Vasiliy Lomachenko 2, Juan Francisco Estrada 1

Scott Christ

(1) Terence Crawford, (2) Naoya Inoue, (3) Oleksandr Usyk, (4) Dmitry Bivol, (5) Gervonta Davis, (6) Artur Beterbiev, (7) Canelo Alvarez, (8) Devin Haney, (9) Vasiliy Lomachenko, (10) Kenshiro Teraji

Obviously, some changes. I had Shakur Stevenson No. 7 last month, and Emanuel Navarrete No. 9. Not only are they out — Shakur’s performance stunk, and Navarrete had a draw with Robson Conceicao, that can’t sit in the top 10 — but I re-thought the back four with two new (well, old) names coming in (well, back).

Canelo is back for me at No. 7. I did like how he looked this year, he was sharp and Canelo-like again, albeit against John Ryder and Jermell Charlo. But while I think he’s clearly past his best, he is still, at worst, very good.

Vasiliy Lomachenko is back for me at No. 9. I still think he beat Haney. Like Canelo, when motivated and healthy, the class is still there, even if he’s not the fighter he was at his peak.

2024’s going to be interesting for P4P, less because I think any of these guys are necessarily on the way out, but hopefully some fresh blood make big arguments. Shakur will almost certainly be back at some point, David Benavidez might be right on the cusp, Subriel Matias could make noise if he gets a big opportunity (I doubt he will), Bam Rodriguez might be in the mix, Junto Nakatani has potential to get here, Boots Ennis could potentially get an actual fight worth noticing, maybe, etc.

Wil Esco

(1) Terence Crawford, (2) Naoya Inoue, (3) Oleksandr Usyk, (4) Dmitry Bivol, (5) Jaron “Boots” Ennis, (6) Canelo Alvarez, (7) Artur Beterbiev, (8) Devin Haney, (9) Gervonta Davis, (10) Kenshiro Teraji

Some light shuffling of my list this month. Shakur Stevenson drops off the top 10 with his recent dreadful performance. This is likely a temporary adjustment due to recency bias because I don’t like to go overboard with ridicule after a win, but man did that fight suck to watch.

John Hansen

(1) Naoya Inoue, (2) Terence Crawford, (3) Oleksandr Usyk, (4) Dmitry Bivol, (5) Artur Beterbiev, (6) Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez, (7) Kenshiro Teraji, (8) Errol Spence Jr, (9) David Benavidez, (10) Gervonta Davis

Emanuel Navarrete is out. He gave us a good fight, which is more than can be said for Shakur Stevenson – and anyone who ranks him in their list this month MUST be held fully accountable as an accomplice to his crimes against entertainment.

Unfortunately, you can’t go life-and-death with Robeson Conceicao and still rank as a top 10 P4P guy. I dropped Regis Prograis for his flat showing against Danielito Zorrilla a few months ago, but he can be right back in next month if he gets the win against Devin Haney. Same for Navarrete; if he returns to form when he returns to the ring, he’s right back in the mix again.

Taking his place on the list this month is young David Benavidez. I wasn’t totally sold on him at the beginning of the year, semi-jokingly calling him the No. 2 David at super middleweight. But, his work against Caleb Plant and Demetrius Andrade convinced me he deserves the Canelo fight. And he may already be the best man at 168 pounds, Davids and non-Davids both. There’s only one guy left at the weight that he can prove any more against. I hope we all get to watch it together next year.

Patrick Stumberg

(1) Naoya Inoue, (2) Terence Crawford, (3) Oleksandr Usyk, (4) Canelo Alvarez, (5) Dmitry Bivol, (6) Shakur Stevenson, (7) Errol Spence Jr, (8) Artur Beterbiev, (9) Devin Haney, (10) Kenshiro Teraji

Still no change in the top 10 for me, but David Benavidez has moved into the fringe, as has Subriel Matias. While I considered shoving Shakur Stevenson back into the double digits for that debacle against Edwin De Los Santos, I’ve set a precedent of not downgrading fighters after iffy wins, so he stays there for the time being.

Lewis Watson

(1) Terence Crawford, (2) Naoya Inoue, (3) Oleksandr Usyk, (4) Dmitry Bivol, (5) Artur Beterbiev, (6) Devin Haney, (7) Canelo Alvarez, (8) Kenshiro Teraji, (9) Gervonta Davis, (10) Juan Francisco Estrada

David Benavidez admitted post-fight vs Andrade that he didn’t believe he was yet in the top 10 pound-for-pound. This makes my life a lot easier, as I am going to take him at face value and give him the honourable nod of eleventh spot and title of top-10-pound-for-pound-star-in-waiting.

In all seriousness, Benavidez has had a standout 2023 and a potential 2024 blockbuster with Canelo will give us a better picture of where he stands in our mythical rankings. No changes elsewhere — sorry, Shakur.

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