After the fight: Which is the best division in boxing?


Many boxing divisions are teeming with talent, youth, experience, and depth. Looking across them all, which division is the best in boxing? 

Take a look around the sport of boxing right now, and you will notice that there’s an abundance of young and experienced fighters who are commanding a ton of attention for their accomplishments in the ring. Super bantamweights Brandon Figueroa and Daniel Roman showed out on Showtime’s highly entertaining May 15 fight card.

But with all the riches in talent, which boxing division is the best from top to bottom?

It’s a loaded question, but I have an answer to that question.

First, let’s bask in the wealth of champions and contenders who help make up boxing’s soaring level of excellence.

You can rattle off 10 or more incredibly high caliber fighters per division from light flyweight to super welterweight. The wheels come off a bit once you get to middleweight. Sorry middleweights, but outside of Jermall Charlo, Gennadiy Golovkin, and maybe Demetrius Andrade, the depth becomes depleted.

Boxers like Sergiy Derevyanchenko and Erislandy Lara are notable middleweights as well, but outside of them, I doubt any others ranked in the top 30 by could seriously contend with the top names mentioned.

The heavier the fighters get, the more outliers you see. However, the heavyweight division breaks that rule to a degree. There are more than 10 boxers in that division that I think are competitive at the highest level.

Every division has some incredible fighters, but the field is more crowded and evenly matched in some of the lighter divisions. Two divisions stand out the most to me, which are the lightweight and welterweight divisions.

Undisputed champion Teofimo Lopez leads the pack, but Gervonta Davis, Vasiliy Lomachenko, and Devin Haney are also A-level fighters in a stacked division. They’re not the only ones.

Richard Commey might be the hardest puncher in the division and is a former champion in his own right. Jorge Linares and Yuriorkis Gamboa are also former champions but well past their prime. Still, they can give most in the division a problem except for the top names already listed.

Luke Campbell, George Kambosos, Isaac Cruz, and Hector Tanajara are also lightweight players and add nuance to a strong division.

Examine each boxing division closely, and you will see that the welterweights have the best collection of names out of them all

As deep as the lightweight division is, the welterweights have them beat.

Reigning welterweight champions Errol Spence Jr. and Terence Crawford. are premier pound-for-pound boxers, and they may not even be the best in the division. That sounds like a ridiculous statement, but there’s one fighter in the division that I think could beat them.

Yordenis Ugas holds the WBA belt, and Shawn Porter, Danny Garcia, and Mikey Garcia have all been to the top of the mountain but are slightly below Crawford and Spence in terms of ability.

Some young, intriguing boxers could be the future of the welterweight division. Eimantas Stanionis is quickly making a name for himself. Vergil Ortiz Jr. impressed against Maurice Hooker in March. He’s fully capable of becoming a world champion, but Jaron Ennis is the fighter that should scare the current champions the most.

Ennis (27-0, 25 KOs) is an orthodox boxer who confuses opponents by switching to southpaw. He can box, brawl, evade, but most importantly, he knocks people out. Ortiz has a perfect KO rating, but his game isn’t as diverse as Ennis’s. Ennis also has faster hands.

Ennis is still climbing the rankings and bettering his résumé, but he has shown me enough to convince me that he has the capacity to beat Spence and Crawford. Styles make fights, and Ennis can master multiple styles. He has more dimensions in his skillset than every other welterweight.

I’ve named numerous welterweights, and there are more that have championship experience or have been contenders at one time or another. Throw Adrien Broner, Josesito Lopez, Jessie Vargas, Egidijus Kavaliauskas, Jamal James, and Sergey Lipinets into the mix, and you have one monster of a boxing division. The scary thing is that there are more boxers of substance I could name.

The welterweights should get more attention, but they don’t get the recognition they deserve because they lack the marquee matchups of other divisions. The inability to stage unification bouts is holding welterweights back.

We’re probably not going to see Crawford vs. Spence any time soon, which is a shame. However, that won’t matter if Ennis starts picking off champions and fulfills his potential.

Boxing is alive and well. There are many great divisions out there, but the welterweights are the kings of the mountain in terms of depth and could electrify fans with the right matchmaking.

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