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Bad Left Hook Pound-for-Pound Top 10 (May 2023): Gervonta Davis in, Usyk still holds top spot

Gervonta Davis is in! Who’s out this month and how does the top 10 shake out with the shakeup?

Gervonta Davis has entered our pound-for-pound top 10 after beating Ryan Garcia
Gervonta Davis has entered our pound-for-pound top 10 after beating Ryan Garcia
Erick W. Rasco/Sports Illustrated via Getty Images

It’s another month where our Hee Haw crew have gotten together to make their picks for boxing’s pound-for-pound top 10, but this month, there’s a twist: Anything has changed!

The big news is that Gervonta “Tank” Davis in. Not everyone saw it this way, and they’ll all lay it out themselves why they did or didn’t rank Davis following his knockout win over Ryan Garcia.

The No. 1 spot is still held by Oleksandr Usyk, with Naoya Inoue right there behind him.

Bad Left Hook Pound-For-Pound Top 10

May 2023

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

Also Receiving Votes: Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez 6, Shakur Stevenson 6, Kenshiro Teraji 6, Regis Prograis 5, Jermell Charlo 3, Stephen Fulton Jr 1

Scott Christ

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

One big change for me, obviously, and that’s the entrance of Gervonta “Tank” Davis. I really do just think he is that good. Yes, beating Ryan Garcia is largely eye test, but we kinda talked about this on the podcast last week, you can start picking apart anyone’s resume if you want to do it.

Example, just so I’m explaining what I mean, and obviously I think highly of Artur Beterbiev — but who has he beaten, especially recently? Joe Smith Jr and Anthony Yarde? Marcus Browne? He beat Gvozdyk in 2019, that was almost four years ago. What is such a great win on his record?

I think Tank is that dude. (Or to try and keep current, as one must, I think Tank is “him.” I believe “that dude” has already faded out.) I just think this is a well-rounded fighter who lets the fights come to him and is pretty much always in control. I think his semi-tough tests against Isaac Cruz and Mario Barrios made him a better fighter, in fact.

Shakur Stevenson is also in. He’s an excellent fighter, period. He has looked like the cream of the crop at 126 and 130, and he’s hit 135 running with one of his most totally dominant performances yet. I simply think he is a pound-for-pound better boxer than Regis Prograis, and I like Prograis a lot. Jermell Charlo is also out because there are only 10 spots on the top 10, and he was the second guy who did not make my cut at this exact moment in time, for this snapshot of boxing.

Wil Esco

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

It was predictably gratifying to see Ryan Garcia get his comeuppance, but it’s not a fight that really moves the needle for me in terms of actual stature in the sport for either fighter. Gervonta Davis is a really talented fighter from what we’ve seen and he needs to be fighting for full world titles, not secondary belts or catchweight prizefights.

This was a commercial success to be sure and one I was on board with since its original conception, but now hopefully we get down to the nitty gritty. No changes this month from me, and I’m giving Spence and Crawford a little leeway since they appear to be on the verge of a formal announcement.

John Hansen

(1) Naoya Inoue, (2) Oleksandr Usyk, (3) Dmitry Bivol, (4) Artur Beterbiev, (5) Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez, (6) Regis Prograis, (7) Vasiliy Lomachenko, (8) Kenshiro Teraji, (9) Stephen Fulton Jr, (10) Gervonta Davis

Errol Spence exits. He hasn’t fought in over a year now, and he doesn’t have anything scheduled.

Tank enters after a strong victory against an eye-test excellent opponent. Will he stick around? Or will he revert to taking second-rate (or worse) opponents for safe paydays, and work his way right back out of this list?

Thought about moving Bam Rodriguez and Kenshiro Teraji around, but decided against it. Teraji’s win was impressive, and Anthony Olascuaga seems like the sort of win that will look even better once he’s built his own reputation a little more. Bam fought half the fight with a broken jaw against a guy with great footwork and elusiveness, so I’m hesitant to punish him too much for only getting a wide decision win. I may juggle things a little next month, depending on how Lomachenko looks. For now, no movement other than Spence out, and Davis in at the end of the line.

Patrick Stumberg

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

I really did consider putting Gervonta Davis on this list somewhere, but beating Ryan Garcia in the exact fashion I expected doesn’t shake things up enough to justify it. While a solid win, I don’t rate it as highly as Kenshiro’s mauling of Hiroto Kyoguchi as far as the sum total of opponent quality and dominance. Still, Tank’s right in the 11-20 mix with the likes of Devin Haney, Jermell Charlo, and Stephen Fulton.

Lewis Watson

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

Tank’s breaking down of Ryan Garcia was a better illustration of his attributes as a rounded fighter than I expected. If he went swinging early and bombed Garcia out in a couple of rounds, oddly, he may not have snuck into my top 10, but his calculated game plan and gorgeous liver shot stoppage ticked a lot of boxes for me.

His ability to cope under the lights of a huge PPV also deserves credit – he’s got that genuine superstar aura that will only see him climb in years to come (providing he can stay out of jail.)

Jermell drops out through no fault of his own. Tank is probably benefitting from flavour-of-the-month-itis, but Mell also hasn’t fought anyone not named Brian Castano since September 2020 so it’s kind of easy, if not correct, to see him slip. Which is kind of mental considering he is undisputed at 154, but hey, as we’ve noted on many occasions, opinions are like assholes... especially when you pull up in P4P FantastyVille.

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