Is Oleksandr Usyk the Best Boxer in the World?

Mike Pedersen

oleksandr Usyk the best boxer in the world

The quest to determine the best boxer in the world is a topic that fuels heated debates among boxing enthusiasts, analysts, and fans. While various fighters have claimed the spotlight with their remarkable skills and achievements, one name that has emerged prominently is Oleksandr Usyk.

As the curtains closed in 2022, Usyk found himself at the pinnacle of the pound-for-pound rankings, surpassing the likes of Canelo Alvarez and Tyson Fury. However, the question remains: can Usyk truly be considered the best boxer in the world?

In this blog, we delve into Usyk’s background, accomplishments, and the factors that define boxing’s greatness. We also compare his skills and achievements with other top boxers and explore the concept of pound-for-pound rankings to evaluate his standing. Join us as we analyze whether Oleksandr Usyk has truly earned the title of the best boxer in the world.

Usyk’s Background and Accomplishments

Oleksandr Usyk’s boxing career can be characterized by his exceptional skills, determination, and a string of impressive victories. Born on January 17, 1987, in Ukraine, Usyk began his amateur boxing journey, winning numerous championships and representing his country with distinction.

He transitioned to the professional ranks in 2013, guided by his exceptional footwork, technical prowess, and relentless work ethic.

Usyk’s dominance in the cruiserweight division is unquestionable. As he ascended through the ranks, he captured the WBO cruiserweight title in 2016, defeating Krzysztof Głowacki in a masterful performance.

He continued his reign by successfully defending his title against strong challengers such as Mairis Briedis and Murat Gassiev, ultimately unifying the division by adding the WBC, WBA, and IBF belts to his collection.

These victories showcased Usyk’s ability to outmaneuver, outbox, and outclass his opponents.

The Ukrainian boxer’s decision to move up to the heavyweight division brought about new challenges. In October 2021, Usyk faced Anthony Joshua, a formidable opponent, and former heavyweight champion, in a highly anticipated bout.

Usyk exhibited tremendous skill, using his speed and agility to outbox and outpoint Joshua over 12 rounds, ultimately claiming a unanimous decision victory.

This victory not only signaled Usyk’s successful transition to heavyweight but also solidified his position as a force to be reckoned with in a new weight class.

Usyk’s boxing career is marked by an impressive rise to dominance in the cruiserweight division, highlighted by his notable victories and unification of multiple world titles.

His successful foray into the heavyweight division with a standout performance against Anthony Joshua further cements his legacy as one of boxing’s most accomplished fighters.

Factors in Determining the Best Boxer

When evaluating boxers and determining the best among them, several key factors come into play. These factors provide a holistic view of a boxer’s overall abilities and accomplishments. Some of the commonly considered factors include:

Skills and Technique

A boxer’s technical skills, such as footwork, hand speed, defense, and ring IQ, play a crucial role. The ability to execute effective combinations, counterpunching, and defensive maneuvers showcases a high level of skill and technique.

Boxing Ability

The overall boxing ability of a fighter encompasses various aspects, including accuracy, power, agility, endurance, and adaptability. The capacity to adapt to different styles, adjust game plans, and exploit weaknesses demonstrates a well-rounded boxing ability.

Accomplishments and Titles

The achievements and titles held by a boxer contribute to their standing. Winning world titles, unifying divisions, and successfully defending belts demonstrate a boxer’s dominance and consistency.

The importance of skills, technique, and boxing ability cannot be overstated in determining the best boxer. Skillful and technically sound boxers often possess the ability to control the pace, dictate the range, and effectively neutralize their opponents’ attacks.

A boxer’s ability to seamlessly transition between offense and defense, utilize various punches and combinations, and display ring generalship showcases their mastery of the craft.

Accomplishments, records, and level of competition also play a vital role in assessing a boxer’s greatness. A boxer’s accomplishments, such as winning multiple titles, unifying divisions, or achieving records and milestones, reflect their impact and success in the sport.

Furthermore, the level of competition faced by a boxer is crucial in evaluating their skills and accomplishments. Defeating high-caliber opponents and competing against the best in the division elevates a boxer’s status and strengthens their case as the best in the world.

Considering these factors comprehensively allows for a more informed assessment of a boxer’s overall ability, accomplishments, and impact on the sport.

By analyzing skills, technique, boxing ability, accomplishments, record, and level of competition, we can better evaluate whether Oleksandr Usyk has rightfully earned the distinction of being the best boxer in the world.

Comparison With Other Top Boxers

As we assess whether Oleksandr Usyk can be considered the best boxer in the world, it’s essential to examine other top boxers who were prominent at the end of 2022.

Some notable names that emerged during this period include Canelo Alvarez, Tyson Fury, Terence Crawford, and Errol Spence Jr.

Canelo Alvarez, a highly skilled Mexican boxer, has established himself as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world. With victories over elite opponents in multiple weight classes and multiple world titles to his name, Alvarez’s strength lies in his combination of power, precision, and defensive abilities.

Tyson Fury, the charismatic British heavyweight, has made a significant impact in the division. Known for his slick movement, footwork, and exceptional boxing skills, Fury’s achievements include defeating Wladimir Klitschko to become the unified heavyweight champion and staging a memorable comeback in a thrilling draw and subsequent victory over Deontay Wilder.

When comparing Usyk’s skills and accomplishments with other top contenders, it becomes evident that he possesses unique qualities that set him apart.

Usyk’s technical finesse, agility, and exceptional footwork make him a master at outmaneuvering opponents. His accomplishments in the cruiserweight division, unifying the titles and defeating notable opponents, demonstrate his dominance in the weight class.

Moreover, Usyk’s successful transition to the heavyweight division, culminating in a convincing victory over Anthony Joshua, showcases his versatility and adaptability as a boxer.

While his heavyweight career is still relatively young, his performances thus far indicate that he is a legitimate threat to the established heavyweights.

Pound-for-pound Consideration

Pound-for-pound rankings in boxing are a subjective assessment that aims to determine the best overall boxer regardless of weight class. It involves evaluating a boxer’s skills, accomplishments, and performances relative to other fighters, taking into account their ability to compete and succeed against opponents in different weight divisions.

The pound-for-pound rankings reflect a fighter’s skill set and overall impact on the sport.

At the end of 2022, Oleksandr Usyk found himself at the pinnacle of the pound-for-pound rankings, being named the number one boxer on the planet. This recognition is a testament to Usyk’s skills, accomplishments, and impact in the sport.

His successful transition to the heavyweight division, coupled with his dominant performances and unification of titles in the cruiserweight division, played a significant role in securing his position atop the rankings.

Usyk being named the number one pound-for-pound boxer carries great significance. It signifies that his abilities and achievements are deemed superior to those of other boxers across weight divisions.

This recognition showcases his versatility, technical prowess, and overall impact on the sport. Being at the top of the pound-for-pound rankings solidifies Usyk’s status as one of the most skilled and influential boxers in the world, further enhancing his legacy and garnering respect from the boxing community.

Criticisms and Counterarguments

Limited heavyweight resume

Critics might argue that Usyk’s success in the heavyweight division is relatively limited compared to established heavyweights like Tyson Fury or Anthony Joshua. They may question whether he has faced enough top-tier opponents in the heavyweight division to solidify his claim as the best in the world.

Lack of knockout power

Usyk’s boxing style emphasizes skill, technique, and movement rather than sheer knockout power. Some critics may contend that his lower knockout percentage compared to other heavyweights diminishes his status as the best, as knockout power is often seen as a significant factor in determining boxing greatness.

Counterarguments That Support Usyk as the Best Boxer in the World

Skill and technical prowess

Usyk’s exceptional skills, technical finesse, and ability to outmaneuver opponents are undeniable. His footwork, ring IQ and precision punching showcase his mastery of the craft. These attributes contribute to his dominance and make a strong case for his status as the best boxer.

Accomplishments and titles

Usyk’s accomplishments in the cruiserweight division, including unifying all major titles, are noteworthy. His transition to the heavyweight division and victory over Anthony Joshua further solidify his standing. Usyk’s ability to achieve success in multiple weight classes demonstrates his versatility and impact in the sport.

Pound-for-pound recognition

Usyk’s ranking as the number one pound-for-pound boxer at the end of 2022 is a significant endorsement. It reflects the consensus among experts and analysts who evaluate boxers based on skill, accomplishments, and overall impact. This recognition lends credibility to Usyk’s claim as the best boxer in the world.

Comparison of Top Boxers: Usyk, Alvarez, Fury, Crawford, Spence Jr.

BoxerWeight ClassNotable VictoriesAchievementsStyle and Attributes
Oleksandr UsykCruiserweight/HeavyweightMairis Briedis, Murat Gassiev, Anthony JoshuaUnified cruiserweight titles, Pound-for-pound rankingsExceptional footwork, technical finesse, adaptability
Canelo AlvarezSuper Middleweight/Middleweight/WelterweightGennady Golovkin, Callum Smith, Billy Joe SaundersMultiple weight class titles, Pound-for-pound rankingsPower, precision, defensive abilities
Tyson FuryHeavyweightWladimir Klitschko, Deontay Wilder,Unified heavyweight titles, Lineal championSlick movement, footwork, boxing skills
Terence CrawfordWelterweightViktor Postol, Amir Khan, Shawn PorterMultiple weight class titles, Pound-for-pound rankingsVersatility, boxing IQ, switch-hitting abilities
Errol Spence Jr.WelterweightKell Brook, Shawn Porter, Danny GarciaUnified welterweight titles, Pound-for-pound rankingsPower, boxing skills, body punching


Has Oleksandr Usyk ever suffered a defeat in his professional boxing career?

Yes, Oleksandr Usyk has suffered one defeat in his professional career. He faced Anthony Joshua in a highly anticipated rematch in September 2021 and was defeated by a unanimous decision. However, it’s important to note that this loss occurred after the end of 2022, which was the timeframe discussed in this blog.

How does Usyk’s fighting style differ from other top boxers?

Usyk’s fighting style is often characterized by his exceptional footwork, agility, and technical finesse. He utilizes a combination of quick lateral movement, angles, and precision punching to outmaneuver opponents and control the pace of the fight. This style sets him apart from other top boxers, as he relies more on skill and technique rather than sheer power.

What are some potential future matchups for Oleksandr Usyk?

There are several intriguing potential matchups for Usyk in the future. Some notable possibilities include facing other top heavyweights such as Tyson Fury, Deontay Wilder, or Anthony Joshua in a rematch. Additionally, there may be opportunities for Usyk to defend his titles against rising contenders or to participate in unification bouts against other belt holders in the division.

How has Usyk’s success impacted Ukrainian boxing?

Usyk’s success has had a significant impact on Ukrainian boxing, elevating the country’s reputation in the sport. His achievements have inspired and motivated young boxers in Ukraine, contributing to the growth and development of boxing talent. Usyk’s rise to prominence has also helped to raise the profile of Ukrainian boxing on the international stage, showcasing the country’s boxing prowess.

What are some of the notable awards and recognitions Usyk has received?

Oleksandr Usyk has received numerous awards and recognitions throughout his career. Some notable ones include being named the 2018 Fighter of the Year by The Ring magazine and the 2018 Fighter of the Year by the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA). Additionally, his accomplishments in the cruiserweight division and pound-for-pound rankings have earned him widespread recognition as one of the best boxers in the world.


In the quest to determine the best boxer in the world, Oleksandr Usyk’s credentials and achievements place him among the top contenders. His exceptional skills, technical prowess, and ability to dominate the cruiserweight division, including unifying all major titles, cannot be overlooked.

Furthermore, Usyk’s successful transition to the heavyweight division, highlighted by his victory over Anthony Joshua, showcases his adaptability and potential for further greatness. This accolade is a testament to his impact on the sport and his ability to compete at the highest level across weight divisions.

Ultimately, determining the best boxer is subjective, and opinions may differ. However, based on his skills, accomplishments, and pound-for-pound recognition, Oleksandr Usyk has rightfully earned his place among the elite, solidifying his claim as one of the best boxers in the world.

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Mike Pedersen

I'm a sports researcher and writer. I have been involved in sports writing for the last 10 years, so I can help you with your content writing needs. I have experience in sports writing and research as well as copywriting. I also have experience in producing content for digital platforms such as websites and social media channels. But my field of love is Boxing. LinkedIn

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