1 Dmitry Bivol
After winning a life-changing fight against Saul “Canelo” Alvarez last May, Bivol then impressively followed this six months later by thrashing Mexico’s Gilberto Ramirez, someone previously undefeated in 44 fights. His brilliance was, after that, hard to argue.
2 Artur Beterbiev
With 19 knockouts from 19 wins, there is no denying either Beterbiev’s power or his finishing instincts. His list of victims now includes Anthony Yarde, Joe Smith, Marcus Browne and Oleksandr Gvozdyk.
3 Callum Smith
Known to most as a super-middleweight, Smith moved to light-heavyweight after losing against “Canelo” Alvarez in 2020 and has so far fared well, stopping Gilbert Castillo Rivera inside two rounds and then crushing former European champion Mathieu Bauderlique in four.
4 Joshua Buatsi
Unbeaten in 16 pro fights, Buatsi’s career been a slow-burner so far. Though clearly talented, his best wins are a decision over Craig Richards, which he secured last year, and an 11th round stoppage of Ricards Bolotniks.
5 Anthony Yarde
In what could be described as a strange career to date, Yarde’s best win is a fourth-round revenge stoppage of Lyndon Arthur, yet perhaps his two most impressive performances both ended in defeat: the first against Sergey Kovalev in 2019 and the second against Artur Beterbiev last month.
6 Mathieu Bauderlique
Unbeaten before meeting Callum Smith last year, Bauderlique won the European light-heavyweight crown with a seventh-round stoppage of Igor Mikhalkin in 2021, which had followed prior wins against the likes of Doudou Ngumbu and Hugo Kasperski.
7 Dan Azeez
Now set to fight for the European title, Azeez has to date won 18 pro fights in a row. He has also developed a knack for beating domestic opposition, having bested Rocky Fielding, Shakan Pitters, Mason Cartwright and Hosea Burton in consecutive fights.
8 Igor Mikhalkin
Mikhalkin, a Russian living in Germany, is probably best known for falling short in a title challenge against Sergey Kovalev back in 2018. Before that, though, he reigned as European champion for two years, defending the belt three times.
9 Ali Izmailov
Like Bivol and Beterbiev, Izmailov is a Russian currently based in America who turned pro relatively late. Now 29, he is unbeaten in nine fights and claimed the USBA title last August when outpointing Eric Murguia over 10 rounds.
10 Craig Richards
Respected for solid losing efforts against both Dmitri Bivol and Joshua Buatsi, Richards has also, at domestic level, secured good wins of his own, beating men like Shakan Pitters, Andre Sterling and Jake Ball.