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Boxing’s World Champions Ranked From ‘GOAT’ To ‘Paper Champion’

Boxing’s World Champions Ranked From ‘GOAT’ To ‘Paper Champion’

Boxing's world champions have been ranked with Manny Pacquiao awarded 'GOAT' status, Tyson Fury labelled 'World Class', while Anthony Joshua is two tiers below his rival.

SPORTbible used TierMaker to rate boxing's current alphabet titlists, with Billy Joe Saunders and Demetrius Andrade named as 'Overrated'. Both boxers are often listed as supposedly avoided danger men by fans, above and beyond their actual in-ring achievements.

Pacquiao is clearly an all-time great, past his absolute peak but still sharp enough at 41 to dethrone an unbeaten world champ last year. Incredible. The Pac Man is joined in the highest tier by Chocolatito Gonzalez, who's one of the greatest ever in his weight classes.

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In 'World Class' and close to all-time greatness are Canelo Alvarez, Terence Crawford and Naoya Inoue: the trio widely viewed as boxing's current pound-for-pound kings.

Fury joins them and sits above Joshua. AJ suffered a defeat to Andy Ruiz Jr (later avenged), while the unbeaten 'Gypsy King' destroyed Deontay Wilder in February to boost his status as the planet's No 1 heavyweight - until the pair hopefully decide it in the ring in 2021.

'Underrated' are light-welterweight Josh Taylor - who might be Britain's best pound-for-pound boxer, but doesn't have the fame to match - and 112lb genius Juan Francisco Estrada. These champions don't get the acclaim their talents deserve.

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Any boxer who reaches world-title level is of a high standard, so 'Poor' seems a cruel category. But the likes of super-featherweight Jamel Herring and cruiserweight Ilunga Makabu are simply not among the elite champions in boxing and would start underdog against other champions in their division.

Harshest of all is reserved for Devin Haney, labelled 'Paper Champion' - or "email champion" as he's called by fellow lightweight Teofimo Lopez.

Unbeaten American Haney is actually one of the most brilliantly gifted prospects in the sport. But he's had a vacant world-title belt given to him before he's beaten anything close to an established champion. Boxing, eh?

'Good' contains some solid world champs who have the prospect to go on to greater things. In particular, Floyd Mayweather's huge-punching protege Gervonta 'Tank' Davis and light-middleweight Jermell Charlo (whose twin brother Jermall is ranked as 'Underrated').

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SPORTbible's full ranking of male boxing champions - minus some of the guys in the really low weight classes - is below.

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GOAT: Manny Pacquiao, Chocolatito Gonzalez

World Class: Canelo Alvarez, Tyson Fury, Naoya Inoue, Terence Crawford, Gennady Golovkin, Errol Spence Jr, Teofimo Lopez

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Underrated: Josh Taylor, Juan Francisco Estrada, Artur Beterbiev, Miguel Berchelt, Gary Russell Jr, Jermall Charlo

Good: Anthony Joshua, Gervonta Davis, Josh Warrington, Jermell Charlo, Callum Smith, Jose Ramirez, Caleb Plant, Murodjon Akhmadaliev, Mairis Briedis

Overrated: Billy Joe Saunders, Demetrius Andrade, Dmitry Bivol, Luis Nery, Emanuel Navarrete

Poor: Jamel Herring, Patrick Teixeira, Ilunga Makabu, Angelo Leo, JoJo Diaz, Arsen Goulamirian

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Paper Champion: Devin Haney

Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Image credit: PA Images/TierMaker

Topics: TierMaker, Billy Joe Saunders, Tyson Fury, Manny Pacquiao, Terence Crawford, Boxing News, Anthony Joshua, Boxing, Lists, Fight News, Canelo Alvarez

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Alex Reid

Alex Reid is a writer at SPORTbible who’s previously strung words together for FourFourTwo, Boxing News, The Guardian and, yes, Cruise International (it’s about big ships, not Tom). Interests range from football and boxing to real sports like WWE and darts. He is not a cage fighter.