NAOYA INOUE reminded fans on Monday why he is considered one of the pound-for-pound best boxers on the planet.
The Japanese knockout specialist took just two rounds to blast out Nonito Donaire in their unification bantamweight rematch.
But he still trails Canelo Alvarez in SunSport’s top ten P4P list, despite the Mexican’s defeat to Dmitry Bivol.
Unbeaten stars Tyson Fury, Terence Crawford and Josh Taylor also feature in the list.
But there is no room for British banger Anthony Joshua following his loss to Oleksandr Usyk in September.
Take a look below at how SunSport has rated the world’s top talents.
10. Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez – super-fly – 34
A stunning record of 51-3 and an eye watering 41 inside the distance, across the smallest divisions where KOs are a real rarity.
The 2021 loss to Juan Francisco Estrada was a blow to the Nicaraguan’s form and P4P status – but he had already beaten his Mexican rival back in 2012.
But the way he dismantled dangerous Mexican banger Julio Cesar Martinez in March – despite being the lighter and older man – was superb and reminded the world of his magnificence.
9. Dmitry Bivol – light-heavyweight – 31
The Russian had gone almost five years without a stoppage win before going in against Canelo and was given little hope by the bookies, so he earned a place in this list with that dominant UD win alone.
The previous six point victories were a little underwhelming so not many saw the masterclass coming.
And a battle with fellow world champ Artur Beterbiev remains the 12st 7lbs battle most fight fans would prefer to see, above even a Canelo rematch.
The winner of that all-Soviet slugfest would leap up this list.
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8. Gervonta Davis – lightweight – 27
The Baltimore banger is one of the most exciting fighters in the sport but still polarises opinion.
His harshest critics will insist he is undeserving of a spot here as he has cherry picked opponents en route to world titles in three divisions.
But his fans will shout that he is the finest natural talent in the game – a mini-Mike Tyson – and a threat to everyone.
The leftie assassin took his time on May 28 before shattering Rolando Romero in round six, to move to 27-0, with 25 inside the distance.
A couple more household names on his record and it will be impossible to argue with his place in any P4P list.
7. Vasyl Lomachenko – lightweight – 34
Before the 2020 loss to Teofimo Lopez, the two-time Olympic champ and fastest man to ever land world titles in three divisions was No1 with most people, showing how quick and cruel the sport moves and how silly these lists can look.
Two convincing wins since his second pro defeat appear to have repaired anything that was physically or mentally wrong with Loma, whose record now reads 16-2.
Tragically the little Ukraine genius – who is a natural featherweight competing a couple of classes above – is now fighting against Russian forces leaving his career on hold.
But even if his career ends tomorrow he goes down as an all-time great.
6. Josh Taylor – super-lightweight – 31
The 19-0 Scot is not to blame for the terrible scorecards that gifted him an undeserved win over Jack Catterall, but his air of invincibility has definitely suffered a dent.
Prior to that bout Taylor was one of British boxing’s biggest success stories, racing to undisputed 10th glory by taking on all of the best in his way and beating them convincingly.
He is definitely not the first big star to dodge a costly bullet thanks to some skew-whiff scoring.
A rematch with Catterall is almost essential for Taylor to comfortably move on with his career and the outcome would have a big impact on his place in these subjective lists.
Otherwise it’s a leap up to welterweight where there are almost a dozen mouthwatering fights for him to patch-up his reputation.
5. Oleksandr Usyk – heavyweight – 35
The 2012 Olympic winner looked vulnerable in his first two heavyweight bouts – after being crowned undisputed cruiserweight boss – but made a mockery of his doubters when he schooled Anthony Joshua for three of the heavyweight world titles in September.
The mastermind southpaw has not boxed in his Ukraine home since 2015 – and sadly thanks to Russia’s invasion may never again – which makes his 19-0 record and belt collection even more impressive.
A second win over AJ and a bout with Fury or Deontay Wilder could elevate his position further.
4. Naoya Inoue – bantamweight – 29
Japan’s pocket rocket now has a perfect 23-0 record – with 20 inside the distance – and world titles in three divisions.
The 5ft 5in power puncher flies under boxing’s mainstream radar as he steers clear of interviews and unnecessary attention, but his sensational 2019 points win over with the rightly adored Nonito Donaire was box office action.
And the rematch on June 7 was a two-round demolition job that confirmed exactly why he is nicknamed The Monster.
Inoue wants the remaining WBO title – held by Liverpool’s Paul Butler – ASAP and has vowed to leap up another weight if that fight is not presented, where he could add to his legacy even further.
3. Tyson Fury – heavyweight – 33
The 6ft 9in switch hitter is now a 19st power puncher who can also dance and move like a middleweight.
Throw in a Mensa-level ring IQ and the most freakish powers of recovery most people have ever seen and you start to wonder how anyone ever beats this prime version of the Gypsy King.
An era-defining win over the victor of an Usyk vs Joshua rematch and the Morecambe master – now 32-0-1 – will be hard to keep off top spot.
2. Canelo Alvarez – super-middleweight – 31
The 57-2-2 four-weight icon must not be punished for daring to be great and attacking the light-heavyweight division, especially when so many of his rivals and peers play the hurt business much more safely.
The 31-year-old’s legacy is secured and working his way up from 10st to 12st 7lbs will always be admired.
The two controversial decisions against Gennady Golovkin and the Bivol defeat are now the only marks on a magnificent blueprint of how boxing should be done.
He will now face GGG in a trilogy bout encounter on September 17 for all the belts.
1. Terence Crawford – welterweight – 34
The three-weight world champion has won all 38 of his contests inside the squared circle.
A whopping 29 of the switch-hitter’s wins have come inside the distance, against stars like Shawn Porter, Kell Brook, Amir Khan and Victor Postol and was undisputed at super-light.
A clash with long-time rival Errol Spence is almost all that is missing from his resume.