The 20 Best Boxers Of The Modern Boxing Era You Must Know

Boxing is no doubt one of the most popular combat sports in the world. In fact, it is one of, if not the most-watched sport, today.

Featuring a rich and colorful history, with superstars and legends born between the four ring posts and ready to put it all on the line on any given night, the boxing ring has become a theater for human bravery and courage. Whether you’re a casual or a hardcore fan of the sport, there’s no disputing that boxing is an incredibly entertaining spectacle, especially when witnessing the absolute best go at it.

Of course, there are more than a handful of boxing stars worth watching. Let’s take a look at a handful of the greatest out who are still competing actively and giving fans a great show in the ring.

Today, Evolve Daily shares the 20 best boxers of the modern boxing era you must know.

 

1) Canelo Alvarez

There is no doubt one of the biggest stars in boxing today is Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez. The Mexican superstar represents arguably the most boxing-crazed nation in the world at the highest levels of the sport. He is a four-division world champion, with multiple titles to his name. Nicknamed ‘Canelo’ which is Spanish for ‘cinnamon’, a reference to his reddish brown colored hair, Alvarez is a master counterpuncher with dynamite power in both fists. He currently owns a 58-2-2 professional record, with 39 knockouts.

 

2) Naoya Inoue

Boxing’s lighter weight divisions are just as exciting as the heavier ones, and there’s no bigger superstar in the sport right now than Japan’s Naoya ‘The Monster’ Inoue. The Japanese stalwart from Kanagawa is widely considered the pound-for-pound best fighter in the sport today, and it’s hard to argue against that, given his body of work. Undefeated at 24-0 with 21 knockouts, Inoue is a two-fisted marauder who has a knack for obliterating any man in front of him. ‘The Monster’ imposes his will inside the ring, and his foes crumble before his feet.

 

3) Oleksandr Usyk

Ukraine has had a tough year, but men like Oleksandr Usyk are living proof that boxers are just as tough outside of the ring as they are inside of it. Despite being called to arms to help protect his country, Usyk has also balanced his national servitude with competing as a professional boxer at the highest level – and he’s certainly one of the best and most exciting fighters in the world today. His last three fights consist of wins over Derek Chisora and Anthony Joshua (twice) at heavyweight to maintain a perfect 20-0 record.

 

4) Terence Crawford

The United States has enjoyed a rich boxing tradition, with legends like Jack Dempsey, ‘Iron’ Mike Tyson, and Muhammad Ali filling the pages of history over the last century. That being said, there’s no better American fighter in the world today than Terence ‘Bud’ Crawford. The three-division world champion is unbeaten in his career with 39 wins, including 30 knockouts. Crawford is a switch-hitting maestro, capable of fighting in a variety of different styles. He sits atop the welterweight division virtually unchallenged. In fact, the only man who could possibly give him a run for his money is the next guy on this list.

 

5) Errol Spence Jr.

Considered the second-best welterweight in the world, or the best depending on who you talk to, Errol ‘The Truth’ Spence Jr. is Crawford’s fiercest rival. Also unbeaten in 28 fights, including 22 wins by knockout, Spence offers a fast-paced offensive style that has proven difficult for opponents to keep up with. The 32-year-old southpaw from New York is as exciting a fighter as they come, and he’s certainly worth the price of admission. When healthy, Spence is a force to be reckoned with. Let’s hope his showdown with Crawford materializes sooner rather than later.

 

6) Vasyl Lomachenko

When Ukrainian sensation Vasiliy Lomachenko first burst onto the scene, fans witnessed an uncanny level of athleticism that they had rarely seen in the boxing ring. Lomachenko moved like Neo from The Matrix, hence his nickname. He is extremely hard to hit, and few have ever hit him cleanly. 

At 19 wins and only 2 losses, with 11 wins by knockout, Lomachenko is already a three-division world champion. The 34-year-old is getting up there in age, however, and needs to book the big fights in the latter part of his career. Fortunately for ‘The Matrix’, there’s no shortage of interesting matchups for him at lightweight.

 

7) Dmitry Bivol

Russia’s Dmitry Bivol is one of the most prolific light heavyweights in the world today. The 31-year-old owns an unblemished professional record of 21 wins, with 11 knockouts to his name. Towering at a lofty 6-feet, the tall and lanky WBA world champion is clinical in his approach to fighting, employing a textbook offensive and defensive style utilized to great effect. His greatest performance so far has come against none other than Canelo Alvarez himself. Bivol trumped and dominated Canelo in their May 2022 fight, winning by a shocking unanimous decision.

 

8) Tyson Fury

There’s no division more popular in boxing than heavyweight, and Tyson Fury represents the absolute best of them. ‘The Gypsy King’ offers fans a very unique style, with unorthodox movement, catlike elusiveness, and devastating power. Come to think of it, there’s no boxer in the world quite like Fury, and he has endeared himself to fans from all corners of the globe. 

With a pristine professional record of 33 wins, including 24 knockouts and 1 draw, Fury is arguably the best heavyweight in boxing today. His greatest victories have come over Deontay Wilder (twice), Dillian Whyte, and Derek Chisora. A showdown with fellow brit Anthony Joshua is every British fight fan’s dream.

 

9) Deontay Wilder

Boxers have always been an intimidating bunch, but none can hold a candle to what Deontay Wilder brings to the ring. The 6-foot-7 knockout machine can easily knock people’s heads off and his 97.7% finish rate is enough nightmare fuel for anyone who dares to square up against him. Not only did he put opponents to sleep 42 times in his career, but 20 of his knockout wins also came right in the first round. ‘The Bronze Bomber’ is one of the greatest boxers of his generation, having compiled a record of 43-2-1 while reigning as the WBC heavyweight world champion from 2015 to 2020.

 

10) Josh Taylor

Europe has always carried a certain prestige in the boxing realm and Josh Taylor dutifully carried that distinction during his career. The Scottish southpaw sports a perfect 19-0 record, with 13 knockouts to his name. A slick and shifty fighter, Taylor used that style to become the undisputed super lightweight world champion in May 2021 against Jose Carlos Ramirez. Taylor is also an accomplished amateur boxer with a gold medal win in the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.  

 

11) Jermell Charlo

Jermell Charlo may be one of the most polarizing boxers right now, but there’s no denying the caliber of a fighter he is once he steps between the ropes. The brash American slugger boasts an impressive 35-1-1 record (19 KOs) while also holding the undisputed super welterweight world championship. His most recent fight against Brian Carlos Castaño saw him at his absolute best when he battered the Argentinian star en route to the 10th-round finish. As good as Charlo is, however, he isn’t the only one in his family on this list.

 

12) Jermall Charlo

Just like his brother ahead of him, Jermall Charlo is undeniably one of the best pugilists of his generation. Jermall is the heavier of the twins and has reigned as the WBC middleweight world champion since June 2019 when he beat Brandon Adams via unanimous decision. Jermall has a commanding presence at middleweight and he uses his 6-foot-1 frame to physically overpower his opponents any way he wants. The Texas native possesses a unique blend of power and pace that he uses to great effect. That amazing combo has led Jermall to a perfect 32-0 record with 22 knockouts to his name.

 

13) Gennadiy ‘GGG’  Golovkin

There was a time in the 2010s when the mere repetition of a letter struck fear across the middleweight division. That may have sounded silly, but Gennady Golovkin’s ‘GGG’ nickname was such a menace during the decade that people would immediately predict a KO win for the Kazakh star as soon as his fights were announced. Though he’s gotten a little older, Golovkin remains one of the most fearsome fighters on the planet. The 40-year-old still operates at a level that belies his age and his last win against Ryota Murata was proof of that. Golovkin scored a 9th-round TKO win over Murata and added the WBA strap to his IBF and IBO middleweight world titles.

 

14) Artur Beterbiev

Artur Beterbiev once dominated the amateur circuit with his thunderous power, and now he’s doing the same in the professional ranks. The Russian-Canadian slugger is the true definition of a knockout artist with all 18 of his wins coming by way of knockout. Beterbiev won gold in the Boxing World Cup, IBA World Championships, and European Championships before turning pro in 2013. Beterbiev then got hold of the IBF light heavyweight world title when he knocked out Enrico Koelling in the 12th round of their November 2017 bout. He’s since added the WBC and WBO world titles to his collection after respective wins over Oleksandr Gvozdyk and Joe Smith Jr.

 

15) Devin Haney

Current boxers have often carried the burden of becoming ‘The Next’ great in the sport, but Devin Haney has proven that he’s a fitting heir apparent to the legendary Floyd Mayweather Jr. Using a similar creative style to his mentor, Haney ran through the competition with relative ease collecting all four of boxing’s major alphabet belts as well as The Ring world title in the stacked lightweight division. Haney has been an astute pupil of Mayweather’s and he took his mentor’s lessons to heart when he became the undisputed lightweight world champion in June 2022. The 24-year-old dominated George Kambosos for 12 rounds to become the undisputed lightweight king.

 

16) Gervonta Davis

Lightweight is arguably the most talented division right now in boxing and Gervonta Davis is proof of that. Davis is among the top stars in the 135-pound division along with Devin Haney, Vasiliy Lomachenko, and Ryan Garcia. While Haney has the distinction of being the undisputed lightweight world champion, Davis can claim that he holds the WBA “regular” world title in the division. ‘Tank’ is a powerful puncher and he’s seen as one of the most vicious fighters in the lightweight division with 25 of his 27 wins coming by way of knockout.

 

17) Ryan Garcia

Ryan Garcia has yet to win a world title (technically, he did win the WBC interim lightweight belt), but he’s already one of the most prominent young stars of the current era. With ferocious power, lightning speed, and unabashed movie star good looks, ‘King Ryan’ is already on the way to becoming a megastar in the sport. The 24-year-old owns a perfect 23-0 record with 19 knockouts, and his 7th-round TKO of Luke Campbell for the WBC interim lightweight world title remains the biggest win of his career. As brash as anyone in the sport, Garcia can build himself, not just between the ropes but outside of it. With unbridled charisma at his disposal, it’s no wonder that the young star is already being talked about as one of the best of his division.

 

18) Yordenis Ugas

Yordenis Ugas was one of those boxers who were considered good but not great during his early run in the sport. Nevertheless, the 2008 Olympic bronze medalist maintained his focus and captured the vacant WBA welterweight world title after a split decision win over Abel Ramos in September 2020. The Ramos fight was the 30th professional bout in Ugas’ career, but his 31st match was the one that pushed him into the stratosphere. Ugas was called in as a late-notice replacement for Errol Spence Jr. in his mega-fight against the legendary Manny Pacquiao. Although he barely had a training camp to prepare, Ugas put in a technical masterpiece for the unanimous decision win.

 

19) Nonito Donaire Jr.

Nonito Donaire Jr. may not be the same fighter as he was when he was younger, but he’s still among the top stars of the current era. The 40-year-old continues to defy Father Time and his #3 rank in The Ring’s bantamweight division speaks volumes of just how good he still is. 

‘The Filipino Flash’ is a four-division world champion, having held gold from flyweight all the way to featherweight. He’s also the oldest boxer to win a bantamweight world title when he defeated Nordine Oubaali in May 2021 for the WBC bantamweight world championship. Though he lost twice to Naoya Inoue, Donaire is considered the only man to ever put the Japanese superstar to the absolute gauntlet during their first meeting in November 2019.

 

20) Claressa Shields

Claressa Shields has called herself the GWOAT (Greatest Woman Of All Time) and she, arguably, fully deserves the distinction. The American star is one of the most decorated amateur boxers in US history having won gold medals once in the Pan American Games, twice in the World Championships, and twice in the Olympics. 

After dominating the amateurs, Shields moved on to the professional circuit where she compiled a perfect 13-0 record. Shields was only in her fourth fight when she became a two-belt champion, knocking out Nikki Adler for the IBF and WBC super middleweight world titles. She then became the undisputed super middleweight world champion when she unified all four of the alphabet belts as well as The Ring middleweight strap after her unanimous decision win over Christina Hammer.

 

You may also like:

20 Of The Best And Biggest Fights In Boxing History

More in Boxing

Also On Evolve

How To Cut Fat After Building Muscle

How To Cut Fat After Building Muscle

Congratulations on all your hard work adding muscle mass to your frame. You’ve been disciplined enough to stick to a workout routine, diet, and lifestyle changes. You’ve developed muscles you never even knew you had,…

Here’s How BJJ Can Help Children With Autism

Here’s How BJJ Can Help Children With Autism

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu training for kids provides many amazing benefits to them, especially those on the autism spectrum. These children learn real-life skills as they train and enjoy feelings of accomplishment as they progress through the…