Before last Saturday, all that prevented David Benavidez from claiming a spot in the pound-for-pound rankings was … David Benavidez. Maturity issues plagued the early years of Benavidez’s career, issues that cost him his world title (twice) and were roadblocks to the one fight (a showdown with Canelo Álvarez) that Benavidez craves.

After defeating Caleb Plant, Benavidez has officially arrived. He promised to punish Plant, a former titleholder whose rivalry with Benavidez had become deeply personal. And Benavidez did what promised, landing 180 power punches, per CompuBox, nearly tripling Plant’s total. After struggling to track Plant down early—Plant reportedly requested a larger than usual 22-by-22-foot ring—Benavidez dominated the second half of the fight, outlanding Plant 161–46 over the final six rounds en route to a wide decision win.

The win established Benavidez as the clear No. 1 contender to Álvarez, the undisputed super middleweight king, and Benavidez made clear that is the fight he wants next.

"I have a lot of respect for Canelo Álvarez, but he has to give me that shot now," Benavidez said. "That's what everybody wants to see in September. ... I don't think he's trying to avoid me; I just believe he has a lot of options.”

On to Sports Illustrated’s latest pound-for-pound rankings.

1. Terence Crawford

Record: 39–0

Last Month: 1

Last Fight: KO win vs. David Avanesyan

Next Fight: TBD

Crawford ended a 13-month layoff last December, successfully defending his 147-pound title with a spectacular sixth round knockout of Avanesyan. It was the 10th straight stoppage win for Crawford that reestablished the three-division champion—at least in these rankings—as boxing’s pound-for-pound king. So what’s next? The WBO has ordered Crawford to defend his title against Alexis Rocha. But talks for that fight have stalled, and Rocha’s camp is pushing for a purse bid. Meanwhile rumors persist that Crawford has quietly rekindled talks with Errol Spence Jr. and that a deal could actually get done.

2. Oleksandr Usyk

Record: 20–0

Last Month: 2

Last Fight: SD win vs. Anthony Joshua

Next Fight: TBD

Only Álvarez can claim a better résumé than Usyk, whose accomplishments includes wins over Marco Huck, Mairis Briedis and Tony Bellew at cruiserweight, and now a pair of wins over Anthony Joshua at heavyweight. Usyk has settled nicely into boxing’s glamour division, finding a comfortable weight (around 221 pounds) and a fighting style that has made him tough to beat. At the time of the last rankings Usyk and Tyson Fury were closing in on a deal that would crown an undisputed heavyweight champion. Those negotiations failed (over a rematch clause, no less), and Usyk will move on to one of his mandatory challengers, with Daniel Dubois the early front-runner.

3. Saul “Canelo” Álvarez

Record: 58-2-2

Last Month: 3

Last Fight: UD win vs. Gennadiy Golovkin

Next Fight: May 6 vs. John Ryder

The third fight between Álvarez and Gennadiy Golovkin, in September, didn’t match the intensity of the first two—but it did establish the first clear winner in one of boxing’s better rivalries and it did put Álvarez, 32, back in the win column after last May’s upset loss to Dmitry Bivol. Álvarez is fully recovered from hand surgery and will face mandatory challenger John Ryder in May. A win could lead to a marketable fight with Benavidez or a rematch with Bivol, which Álvarez insists he wants next.

4. Naoya Inoue

Record: 24–0

Last Month: 4

Last Fight: KO win vs. Paul Butler

Next Fight: TBD vs. Stephen Fulton

Inoue cemented his status as the top 118-pound fighter in boxing—and one of the top fighters in the world—with a lopsided knockout win over Butler that made Inoue boxing’s fourth current undisputed champion. He didn’t waste any time going after another undisputed crown either, quickly closing a deal to face unified 122-pound titleholder Stephen Fulton. An injury to Inoue will delay that fight until the summer, but a win then would give Inoue a strong case to move up the rankings, possibly to No. 1.

5. Errol Spence Jr.

Record: 28–0

Last Month: 5

Last Fight: TKO win vs. Yordenis Ugás

Next Fight: TBD

Spence, 33, continued his assault on the top names in the welterweight division last April, stopping Yordenis Ugás to pick up a third piece of the 147-pound title. Despite a series of serious injuries—a car crash in 2019, an eye injury that forced him out of a scheduled fight with Manny Pacquiao in ’21, along with a December collision that left Spence with minor bumps and bruises—Spence continues to roll through the best fighters in his weight class. An oft-discussed showdown with Keith Thurman at 154 pounds has been talked about for months, but there is industry buzz that Spence and Crawford are attempting to salvage an undisputed 147-pound title fight. Stay tuned.

6. Tyson Fury

Record: 32-0-1

Last Month: 6

Last Fight: KO win vs. Derek Chisora

Next Fight: TBD

WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman told Sky Sports that the collapse of the Fury–Usyk fight was "extremely disappointing.”

Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY Sports

A December matchup against British rival Chisora went as expected, with Fury battering him for the better part of ten rounds before the referee mercifully stopped the fight. Fury is unquestionably the class of the heavyweight division, with a deep résumé that includes a win over Wladimir Klitschko and two over Deontay Wilder. The collapse of talks with Oleksandr Usyk was bizarre—both Fury and Usyk have well-earned reputations for finding a way to make fights—and leaves Fury without a clear next opponent. Joe Joyce, an interim titleholder, would be a compelling domestic fight.

7. Dmitry Bivol

Record: 21–0

Last Month: 7

Last Fight: UD win vs. Gilberto Ramírez

Next Fight: TBD

Bivol, 32, locked up the 2022 Fighter of the Year with an impressive performance against the undefeated Ramírez. After outmuscling the smaller Canelo Álvarez last May, Bivol did the same to Ramírez, a physically bigger fighter, backing him up with the jab and battering him with combinations. With a rematch with Canelo looming in the fall, Bivol is still sorting through options for the first half of ’23. Jaime Munguía, the former 154-pound titleholder, is one of three options Bivol is considering, a source close to Bivol told SI.

8. Shakur Stevenson

Record: 19–0

Last Month: 8

Last Fight: UD win vs. Robson Conceição

Next Fight: TBD

Stevenson, 25, looked brilliant in a lopsided decision win over the once-beaten Conceição, walking the 2016 Olympic gold medalist down while continuing to be among boxing’s most difficult fighters to hit. Stevenson now heads to the 135-pound division, where he will begin his pursuit of a third division title when he takes on Shuichiro Yoshino on April 8.

9. Devin Haney

Record: 29–0

Last Month: 10

Last Fight: UD win vs. George Kambosos Jr.

Next Fight: TBD

Haney, 24, joined the rankings in November after a second straight decisive win over former titleholder Kambosos. Traveling to Australia (again), Haney, operating behind a smooth jab and stinging right hands, dominated Kambosos. The win caps a solid two-year run for Haney that includes wins over Jorge Linares, Joseph Diaz Jr. and Kambosos. Haney should get a chance to burnish his credentials next year. Up next: a long-anticipated showdown with Vasyl Lomachenko, tentatively ticketed for May 20.

10. David Benavidez

Record: 27–0

Last Month: NR

Last Fight: UD win vs. Caleb Plant

Next Fight: TBD

Benavidez, 26, is finally building a résumé to match his pound-for-pound talent. His wide decision win over Plant this month was Benavidez’s most significant to date, easily eclipsing wins over former titleholders David Lemieux and Anthony Dirrell. Benavidez blends speed and power with relentless pressure and will be a formidable opponent for Álvarez if the two Mexican stars tangle later this year.