While the next couple of weeks aren't exactly filled to the brim with top-flight action, there are at least, thank God, a few notable fights coming up before we hit August 27, when the schedule finally starts to really take off into the fall season, which is jam-packed with big fights across pretty much every division.
Just a couple of minor changes this week.
Andriy Kotelnik (5) is out due to inactivity, as he has not fought since August 7, 2010, when he dropped a controversial decision to Devon Alexander. That made room for one of many possible candidates in this division, which is one of the deepest in the sport.
Ultimately, I chose to go with reigning British junior welterweight champion Ashley Theophane, at least for the time being. There will be chances for others to overtake Theophane, whose last two wins have been solid but not amazing. If Paul McCloskey or Breidis Prescott are very impressive winning their September 10 matchup, one of them would warrant consideration. If Mike Alvarado nabs a really good win sometime, he's in the race. Josesito Lopez and/or Jessie Vargas cold be in the discussion after their September 17 fight, with Lopez currently a bit more of a contender than prospect Vargas would be. There's also Danny Garcia, who could leap into the rankings if he beats Kendall Holt on October 15, or the winner of the September 30 fight between Ajose Olusegun and Ali Chebah.
For now it's Theophane, but the heat is on.
Titlist Takalani Ndlovu is back in at No. 10, taking the spot of Ryol Li Lee, who goes from No. 4 to out of the rankings because he's officially moved back up to featherweight with a win this past weekend.
Ranked Fighters in Action This Week
Lightweight (08/13): No. 9 Michael Katsidis (27-4, 22 KO) vs Michael Lozada (38-8-1, 30 KO)
Bantamweight (08/13): No. 2 Abner Mares (21-0-1, 13 KO) vs No. 3 Joseph Agbeko (28-2, 22 KO)
Strawweight (08/10): No. 3 Kazuto Ioka (7-0, 5 KO) vs. No. 8 Juan Hernandez (18-1, 13 KO)
Strawweight (08/13): No. 7 Juan Palacios (28-3, 21 KO) vs Armando Torres (16-8, 11 KO)