Can the USA be dethroned as boxing superpower in 2022?

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Terence Crawford (Getty Images)
Terence Crawford (Getty Images)

Although the sport of boxing is fought between two individuals, the celebrations are often pronounced by the team and the country that each fighter represents.

In 2021, the United States of America had a lot to celebrate after concluding the year with 10 fighters holding world title belts, the most world champions hailing from one country.

Following the USA was Japan in second (7) and then Mexico in third (6), with England and the Philippines tied in fourth.

2022 begins with the USA at the top of the pile, but will the boxing powerhouse be able to maintain the top spot for another 12 months with the rest of the globe hunting them down?


Despite the highlight reel, ‘I was there’ moments dominated by non-American fighters, Canelo' Álvarez, Tyson Fury, and George Kambosos Jr to name a few, the USA reigned supreme with 10 champions ranging from light heavyweight to super bantamweight.

Joe Smith - WBO light heavyweight (175lb/79 kg) champion

Jermall Charlo - WBC middleweight (160lb/72.5 kg) champion

Demetrius Andrade - WBO middleweight champion

Jermell Charlo - WBC, WBA and IBF light middleweight (154lb/70 kg) champion

Erroll Spence Jr. - WBC and IBC welterweight (147lb/67 kg) champion

Terence Crawford - WBO welterweight champion

Devin Haney - WBC lightweight (135lb/61 kg) champion

Shakur Stevenson - WBO super featherweight (130lb/59 kg) champion

Gary Russell Jr. - WBC featherweight (126lb/57 kg) champion

Stephen Fulton - WBO super bantamweight (122lb/55 kg) champion


Second on the podium with seven champions is Japan. The East Asian country is often associated with, and dominates, the smaller weight classes. Japan similarly boasts an impressive range with champions covering the middleweight to light flyweight divisions.

Ryota Murata - WBA middleweight champion

Kenichi Ogawa - IBF super featherweight champion

Naoya Inoue - WBA and IBF bantamweight (118lb/53.5 kg) champion

Kazuto Ioka - WBO super flyweight (115lb/52 kg) champion

Junto Nakatani - WBO flyweight (112lb/51 kg) champion

Hiroto Kyoguchi - WBA light flyweight (108lb/49 kg) champion

Masamichi Yabuki - WBC light flyweight champion


The proud boxing nation of Mexico lost two champions in 2021, but can still celebrate six world champions, including the world number-one pound-for-pound king and undisputed super middleweight champion, Saul ‘Canelo' Álvarez.

Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez - WBA, WBC, WBO and IBF super middleweight (168lb/76 kg) champion

Oscar Valdez - WBC super featherweight champion

Leo Santa Cruz - WBA super featherweight champion

Emanuel Navarrete - WBO featherweight champion

Juan Francisco Estrada - WBA super flyweight champion

Julio César Martínez - WBC flyweight champion

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