They conquered the world through the quest for the Muhammad Ali Trophy, and they continue to dominate the pound-for-pound rankings.
Aleksandr Usyk, Josh Taylor, and Naoya Inoue are still very much in the mix when the discussion of who is best across boxing’s weight classes.
On TalksSport’s latest Top 10 pound-for-pound ranking, the three Muhammad Ali Trophy champions claim Top 5 spots.
The world’s biggest sports radio station has the following motivation for the WBSS winners.
5. Josh Taylor (18-0, 13 KOs)
Josh Taylor conquered the WBSS super-lightweight tournament in spectacular fashion, beating Ivan Baranchyk and Regis Prograis to unify the WBA and IBF titles. He’s since gone on and beat Jose Ramirez – another unbeaten champion – for the WBC and WBO belts to be crowned undisputed king.
3. Naoya Inoue (22-0, 19 KOs)
Japanese three-weight world champion Naoya Inoue has already blasted through the light-flyweight and super-flyweight ranks, and is now a unified king at bantamweight. The 26-year-old conquered the World Boxing Super Series tournament in the 2019 ‘Fight of the Year’ with Nonito Donaire.
2. Oleksandr Usyk (19-0, 13 KOs)
Aleksandr Usyk cleaned out his entire division, becoming undisputed cruiserweight champion in 16 fights. The Ukrainian came through all of his biggest tests in his opponents’ hometowns, travelling to beat the likes of Mairis Briedis in Latvia, Murat Gassiev in Russia and Tony Bellew in the UK. He’s now repeating the feat at heavyweight having dethroned Anthony Joshua.
The two other winners of the Ali Trophy, Mairis Briedis, and Callum Smith, both had a successful 2021 with a win each. Briedis is still boxing’s cruiserweight king while Smith has moved north to light heavyweight to pursue the dream of becoming a two-weight world champion.
About the Muhammad Ali Trophy:
The Muhammad Ali Trophy is also known as the Greatest Prize in Boxing, and it is being awarded to the winner of each weight class of the World Boxing Super Series. Ali gave his blessings to the WBSS and agreed to give his name to its prize created by the late world-renowned artist Silvio Gazzaniga who also designed the iconic FIFA World Cup Trophy.
Muhammad Ali Trophy winners:
Season I: Aleksandr Usyk (Cruiserweight), Callum Smith (Super-Middleweight)
Season II: Josh Taylor (Super-Lightweight), Naoya Inoue (Bantamweight), Mairis Briedis (Cruiserweight)