Sergey Kovalev: Sill rated No. 1 by BoxRec?Hot
BoxRec.com, regarded as the most trusted and reliable records and data source in boxing, also has a fairly sophisticated ranking system. Unlike, the sanctioning bodies’ ratings, BoxRec’s ranking formula doesn’t play favorites and there’s presumably no politics involved.
And unlike RING Magazine ratings, BoxRec seems to eliminate, or at least minimize, the human element.
Their system of rating fighters appears to be based on an algorithm that tabulates wins, losses, draws, knockout percentage, quality of opposition and type of victory based on the level of opponent.
… And perhaps that explains why Sergey Kovalev (34-4-1, 29 KO), a fighter with wins over Bernard Hopkins, Jean Pascal, Eleider Alvarez and a then-surging Anthony Yarde, is their No. 1 rated light heavyweight?
However, the 38-year-old former champion is a modest 4-4 in his last eight fights while unified (WBC/IBF) champion Artur Beterbiev is 16-0, 16 KO and WBA king Dmitry Bivol is 17-0, 11 KO.
Kovalev hasn’t fought since being knocked out by Canelo Alvarez in November 2019 and doesn’t have a fight lined-up. Meanwhile, Joe Smith, Jr is 3-0 since then with wins over stellar opponents Jesse Hart, Maskim Vlasov and Eleider Alvarez.
What’s going on?
Obviously, Canelo was propelled to No.1 after defeating Kovalev but subsequently removed from BoxRec’s light heavyweight divisional rankings when he announced he planned to campaign at super middleweight and had no immediate intentions of returning to light heavyweight.
In defense of BoxRec, Andre Ward, who beat Kovalev twice, is retired and the latter avenged his KO loss to Eleider Alvarez. Hence, there are no active light heavyweights who can boast they’ve fought Kovalev and haven’t lost to him.
But what about Beterbiev and Bivol? The latter, who fights again on May 1, has been removed from BoxRec’s ratings due to inactivity but Kovalev has been inactive almost as long. (Bivol last fought in October 2019).
Artur Beterbiev, for me, is the crème de la crème of the division and one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in boxing. He has a 100 percent KO ratio and defeated Oleksandr Gvozdyk, then the WBC champion and a major powerbroker at light heavyweight, in 2019.
Gvozdyk, at the time, was arguably better than anyone Kovalev has beaten. (Keep in mind, Hopkins was close to 50 when he lost to Sergey)
Who is your top light heavyweight?