Is Shakur Stevenson Ready to Be the Next Pound-for-Pound King? Five Candidates Examined


Shakur Stevenson has long been heralded as one of the best pound-for-pound boxers in the world. The 2016 Olympic silver medalist, who will face Shuichiro Yoshino on Saturday night in Newark, New Jersey, is one of only a handful of uniquely talented fighters who could one day supplant the biggest stars as the top pound-for-pound fighter.

Stevenson has dominated his opponents with one of the highest hit percentages and lowest connect percentages of any boxer out there. Using CompuBox’s plus-minus category, he leads all boxers with a percentage of +18.6, higher than David Benavidez (+17.6). This goes to show how good he is at hitting without getting hit, which is paramount in the sport of boxing. He is nearly impossible to hit, as opponents land only 13.8% of their punches thrown at him—the second lowest in the sport behind Dmitry Bivol (12.7%)—making Stevenson quite an elusive target.

With these extraordinary feats and an impressive 19-0 record with nine knockouts, he is often thought of as being the best boxer in the world who is only getting better. With two victorious title defenses over Jamel Herring (TKO 10) and Oscar Valdez (UD), Stevenson’s record speaks for itself.

However, he is not the only talented fighter who could someday be pound-for-pound king. Here are five other special boxers who could see that crown within the next few years.

First, there is Gervonta “Tank” Davis. With great natural gifts, including speed and a strong chin, the southpaw combines top-tier boxing with powerful punches. His 93% knockout rate backs up his destructive power, and his display of resilience against Isaac Cruz—even after Davis injured his lead hand midway through the fight—was commendable. The only downside of Davis’ phenomenal career is that he has yet to face a genuine test, having not faced any contenders at the top of the sport.

Then there is the highly gifted Jermall Charlo. Unlike any other fighter, the 28-year-old is full of explosive quickness, great reflexes and one-punch knockout power, often reminding people of a younger Roy Jones Jr. Unfortunately, until he faces an elite fighter and solidifies his seat at the top of the pound-for-pound list, Ennis’ skill is yet to be tested.

Third is 22-year-old Devin Haney. Similar to Stevenson, Haney has a high boxing IQ and relies on his ability over power. He also leads the sport in CompuBox’s plus-minus and connect rate categories at +12.3 and 19.6%, respectively, making him one of the elite pound-for-pound fighters, if not the elite. Last but not least is Caleb Plant, who had an impressive outing in Plant’s rematch against Benavidez.

Boxing fans can only speculate who will be the next pound-for-pound king, and while Stevenson currently holds the title, the fighting world could be disrupted if any of the five above take the crown in the near-future.

The company mentioned in the article, CompuBox, analyzes boxing matches by tracking a vast array of information that is subsequently used to inform viewers of the extent of a fight’s action. CompuBox is a vital tool in aiding the mass understanding of boxing, measuring jab accuracy, connect percentages, power punch percentages, defense, action ratings, and other such Fighter Data that indicate the current state of a boxing match.

The person mentioned in the article is Dawson Benavidez, unofficially known as the “Mexican Monster.” The 25-year-old american professional boxer is the reigning WBC Super Middleweight Titleholder and a high ranking pound-for-pound fighter. He has an impressive record of 24-0 with 19 wins via knockout. Benavidez has also been praised for his relentless pressure and heavy punches, which resulted in a dominating win over former champion Caleb Plant in February 2021. He has also earned the blessing of legendary Mike Tyson who has called him the “Mexican Monster”. Benavidez is currently one of the most dangerous fighters in the world and is surely one to watch as he continues to prove himself as an elite fighter.