The way the phrase “pound-for-pound” (P4P) has been discussed in boxing circles has altered throughout the previous century. “Pound-for-Pound” has been used in boxing for almost a century, but what exactly does it mean?
Pound-for-pound is a ranking used in combat sports such as boxing, wrestling, or mixed martial arts to determine who the better competitors are regardless of weight, i.e. modified to compensate for weight class. Because these fighters do not compete directly, determining the best fighter pound for pound is subjective, and ratings vary.
The term was traditionally used to describe boxers like Sugar Ray Robinson and Benny Leonard, who were largely regarded as the best fighters of their period, to set them apart from the more well-known (and better-paid) heavyweight champions. The Ring magazine has kept a pound-for-pound list of competitors since 1990.
Typically, middleweight and lighter weight classes (welterweight, lightweight, etc.) will be represented on rankings of the best boxers pound for pound. It is believed that heavyweight competitors naturally possess an edge over those competing in smaller weight divisions in terms of size, strength, and power. Because of this, it’s unusual for a heavyweight champion to be listed among the top fighters in terms of strength to weight ratio.
In terms of pound-for-pound rankings, a boxer’s performance, the caliber and level of opposition, and the proportion of knockout victories are all taken into consideration.
What makes a good PFP boxer?
Good pound-for-pound fighters fight with a combination of speed and accuracy. They deliver precise, powerful punches that are challenging for the opposition to parry. Pound for pound fighters excel on the defensive side as well because they can deflect blows, maintain awareness at all times, and are swift on their feet.
Pound for pound, fighters have become faster because to their superior training. They are swift and agile while sparring, and their conditioning allows them to play the entire match without becoming too worn out. A boxer in excellent condition is challenging to defeat.
PFP in Martial Arts
Pound-for-pound rankings are used by some mixed martial arts promotions, such as Bellator MMA and ONE Championship since 2020 and Ultimate Fighting Championship from 2013. Unofficial MMA pound-for-pound rankings are also available from other sources, including ESPN.com, Sherdog, Fight Matrix, MMA Fighting, and Tapology.
PFP outside of Combat Sports
Pound for pound, used outside of combat sports like boxing and mixed martial arts, refers to a direct comparison between two objects of comparable weight. This comparison may be made in a favorable or unfavorable way. For instance, “Pound for pound, you’ll get a better deal if you buy those supplies in bulk.”