The boxing landscape can change drastically over the course of a few months, and that is exactly the case for the constantly evolving Light-Heavyweight division.

Ahead of Artur Beterbiev's second World Title defence on Saturday 4th May, live on BoxNation, our man Steve Lillis looks back at his January findings to see if his list still holds up, or whether the cream of the crop has shifted:


AGE: 29

RECORD: 29-1 (11 KOs)

The European Champion has succeeded in all challenges bar one, a sole loss against countryman Karo Murat back in 2017.

Since then, the German hope has gone onto a five fight win streak, including a unanimous decision over former Beterbiev opponent Enrico Koelling.

Known for his speed and ring I.Q, Boesel will be looking to be in world title contention this year.

9. ANTHONY YARDE (Great Britain)

AGE: 27

RECORD: 18-0 (17 KOs)


The London power puncher has laid out almost all that has challenged him in his pursuit of title glory.

He has come under fire over the choice of opponents, but one thing is for sure, there’s no doubting is his power. The tests are going to get tougher and by the end of 2019 we should know if he can deliver the World Title his team are predicting, with manger Tunde Ajayi teasing the prospect of a Sergey Kovalev showdown before the end of the year.


AGE: 35

RECORD: 22-2-3 (13 KOs)


Jack has had just three major fights at Light-Heavyweight but more than made his mark. He beat Nathan Cleverly in five rounds to claim the WBA 'Regular' Title and then drew against Adonis Stevenson.

Back in January he he lost on points to Marcus Browne, but needed 100 stitches in one of the worst cuts ever seen in a boxing ring.

Jack has the style to frustrate any opponent, and for all the benefits that gives him, he remains an unattractive option for any of the belt holders.


AGE: 36

RECORD: 22-2 (14 KOs)


He has proven himself as one of the most solid fighters in the division and seen off men like Joe Smith, Karo Murat and Felix Valera. Barrera was stopped in the 12th by Dmitry Bivol last March, but bounced back against Sean Monaghan in November.

Another big fight should be on the way this year and anyone who goes through him is near the top. But at age 37, he needs the big fights to come sooner rather than later.


AGE: 35

RECORD: 24-1 (12 KOs)

Alvarez punch

The Colombian scored a stunning seventh round KO over Sergey Kovalev in August when trailing on points to become WBO Champion.

Unfortunately for him, the rematch played out much differently than their fist encounter, with Kovalev gaining revenge via a unanimous decision as he kept to his boxing to frustrate 'Storm', taking his world title back in the process.

Alvarez has the skills and focus can mount a comeback, and will be looking to push himself to another World Title challenge.


AGE: 28

RECORD: 23-0 (16 KOs)


The New York southpaw signalled his arrival in January when he busted up and easily outpointed Badou Jack. He has age on his side and that win proved that he is a threat to any of the major belt holders.

A relative unknown compared to the other names on this list, but underestimate him at your own peril as Browne has all the tools to be the danger-man of the division.


AGE: 34

RECORD: 13-0 (13 KOs)


Montreal based Beterbiev is the third current Russian World Champion at Light-Heavyweight and jostling with Bivol and Kovalev to prove he’s the best of the trio.

He had a tougher than expected time winning the IBF Title in November 2017, knocking out German rival Enrico Koelling in the 12th round. Last time out he came through a thriller against Callum Johnson.

He defends his title for the second time on May 4th against Radivoje Kalajdzic, who holds a 24-1 record, with his sole loss coming via a split decision against Marcus Browne.


AGE: 36

RECORD: 33-3-1 (28 KOs)

KO King Kovalev isn’t the frightening wrecking machine he once was, but still a dangerous operator and the man Bivol and Beterbiev would love to have on their records.

After being unbeaten in 31 fights Andre Ward defeated him twice in back-to-back fights, although there was controversy particularly surrounding their first fight.

Kovalev bounced back with a couple of stoppage wins, but when he attempted to regain the WBO Light-Heavyweight Title against Eleider Alvarez he was stopped in round seven.

But redemption was on the cards for 'Krusher', who regained his WBO strap after totally out-boxing Alvarez in their rematch in February. The Kovalev of old looks to have returned, and poses a huge threat to all at 175lbs.


AGE: 32

RECORD: 17-0 (14 KOs)


He might not have the greatness potential of countrymen Vasyl Lomachenko and Oleksandr Usyk, but he has a strong shout to be the 175lb division’s number one.

Gvozdyk became WBC Champion last year after knocking out Adonis Stevenson who tragically ended up in hospital with brain injuries, which soured his triumph.

He made a successful first defence of his World Title against Dodou Ngumbu, who had to retire after injuring his calf muscle in the 5th round of their contest, who offered little resistance before the bout was called to halt.


AGE: 28

RECORD: 15-0 (11 KOs)


The WBA Champion is one of the main man to beat right now and takes the number 1 spot.

He won his World Title in November 2017, annihilating Trent Broadhurst inside a round. His first defence was a career best win stopping Sullivan Barrera in the 12th round.

He has been the distance in his last three fights, outpointing proven contenders Issac Chilemba, Jean Pascal and most recently, Joe Smith Jr.