Pound for pound

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Pound for pound is a ranking used in combat sports, such as boxing,[1] wrestling[2], or mixed martial arts,[3] of who the better fighters are relative to their weight, i.e. adjusted to compensate for weight class. As these fighters do not compete directly, judging the best fighter pound for pound is subjective, and ratings vary. They may be based on a range of criteria including "quality of opposition", factors such as how exciting the fighter is or how famous they are, or be an attempt to determine who would win if all those ranked were the same size.


In boxing, the term was historically associated with fighters such as Benny Leonard and Sugar Ray Robinson who were widely considered to be the most skilled fighters of their day, to distinguish them from the generally more popular (and better compensated) heavyweight champions.[4] Since 1990, The Ring magazine has maintained a pound for pound ranking of fighters.[4]

Mixed martial arts[edit]

ESPN.com has a list for mixed martial artists.[5]


  1. ^ "BBC pound-for-pound British rankings". BBC. Retrieved 2011-06-17.
  2. ^ Bader, Mark. "USA Men's P4P Freestyle Rankings". flowrestling.org. Retrieved 20 October 2018.
  3. ^ "The pound for pound debate". Fighters Only Magazine. Archived from the original on 2010-04-23. Retrieved 2010-06-29.
  4. ^ a b Dettloff, William. "Pound-for-Pound: A History". HBO.com. Retrieved 2012-06-17.
  5. ^ ESPN.com staff (2 June 2011). "MMA Power Rankings". ESPN. Retrieved 17 June 2011.

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