The proliferation of titles makes it difficult for all but the most astute fans to determine the cream of the boxing crop.
That’s why Boxing Junkie came up with its “Great Eight” feature, which names the best fighter in each of the original eight weight classes –heavyweight, light heavyweight, middleweight, welterweight, lightweight, featherweight, bantamweight and flyweight.
Heavyweight includes cruiserweight (and the WBC’s bridgerweight), light heavyweight includes super middleweight and so on.
It was easy to make our selection in some divisions. For example, heavyweight, which will continue to be ruled by Tyson Fury until someone takes him down.
Other weight classes took more thought.
Here are our final rankings of 2021.
HEAVYWEIGHT – Tyson Fury (31-0-1, 22 KOs): Who else?
LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT – Canelo Alvarez (57-1-2, 39 KOs): The Mexican is by far the most accomplished among 168- and 175-pounders.
MIDDLEWEIGHT – Gennadiy Golovkin (41-1-1, 36 KOs): Triple-G is still the highest-ranked 154- or 160-pounder on our pound-for-pound list. Jermall Charlo, Demetrius Andrade, Jermell Charlo and Brian Castano lurk.
WELTERWEIGHT – Terence Crawford (38-0, 29 KOs): Crawford edges out Errol Spence Jr. Will they settle it in the ring?
LIGHTWEIGHT – George Kambosos (20-0, 10 KOs): The Aussie earned it with his stunning upset of former 135-pound king Teofimo Lopez.
FEATHERWEIGHT – Gary Russell Jr. (31-1, 18 KOs): Talented Stephen Fulton is closing in on the quick-handed veteran.
BANTAMWEIGHT – Naoya Inoue (22-0, 19 KOs): The Japanese star might be the best of any weight.
FLYWEIGHT – Julio Cesar Martinez (18-1, 14 KOs): The Mexican is hot little fighter.