BLH Boxing Rankings: March 2013

Rankings by Scott Christ and Ryan Bivins, except junior flyweight, minimumweight, and women's pound-for-pound top 10, all by Ryan Bivins. Status notes by Scott Christ. Updated on March 5, 2013.

Heavyweight (Limit: None)

(Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)

1. Wladimir Klitschko (59-3, 50 KO)

Status: Since he and big bro have wiped out the better fighters in this division for the most part, he's dipping into the fringe contender, "well, gotta fight someone" pool again. Next: Francesco Pianeta, May 4.

2. Vitali Klitschko (45-2, 41 KO)

Status: A lot of fighters are trying to get in line for a mandatory WBC shot, including Chris Arreola and Bermane Stiverne, who will fight someday, I suppose. But Vitali hasn't officially announced whether or not he'll fight again.

3. David Haye (26-2, 24 KO)

Status: Like Vitali, except not at all, Haye's future is uncertain. He says he won't fight again if it's not against one of the Klitschko brothers, but he managed to find a loophole in that in 2012. Perhaps if you get Haye, another fighter, a bottle of lemonade, and a tripod together, he'll find a way to make the magic happen.

4. Kubrat Pulev (17-0, 9 KO)

Status: Pulev is in the IBF mix, but Tomasz Adamek has passed on a final eliminator. The sanctioning body has decided to make the Fury-Cunningham fight in April an eliminator for the No. 2 spot, so we could see Pulev face the winner later this year. Or maybe not.

5. Alexander Povetkin (25-0, 17 KO)

Status: WBA (regular) titlist Povetkin and his team have made statements about trying to enforce a mandatory shot at Wladimir Klitschko, but that hasn't happened. The Klitschko side may have concerns about spending an entire training camp preparing for Povetkin, only to wind up fighting someone else yet again.

6. Tomasz Adamek (48-2, 33 KO)

Status: Since Adamek decided it was better for his health bank account to avoid fighting Kubrat Pulev after winning a very questionable decision against Steve Cunningham in December, he's out of the IBF race, which he had willingly entered, knowing that with a win, he would then be expected to fight Pulev.

7. Eddie Chambers (36-3, 18 KO)

Status: Chambers says he's moving to cruiserweight, but hasn't done so yet.

8. Steve Cunningham (25-5, 12 KO)

Status: Cunningham gave as good (at least) as he got against Adamek in December, now will face another sort of challenge when he takes on 6'9", 24-year-old Tyson Fury in New York on April 20. Fury doesn't have Adamek's experience or pedigree, but he's going to make Cunningham, at 6'3" but around 205 pounds, look really small. Next: Tyson Fury (April 20).

9. Tyson Fury (20-0, 14 KO)

Status: Fury has a new drama every other week. First he's targeting the Klitschkos, then he's not. First he's talking with the WBC about moving into mandatory position, then he's not. It's hard to keep track. But his fight with Cunningham is (for now) a semifinal eliminator for the IBF No. 2 slot. And did you know Tyson Fury beat Kevin Johnson, the greatest heavyweight the world has to offer? Just ask him and the people who buy into everything he says!

10. (tie) Tony Thompson (37-3, 25 KO) and Robert Helenius (18-0, 11 KO)

My vote went to Thompson, who just upset David Price, and Ryan's went to Helenius, who last fought in November, beating Sherman Williams convincingly but not impressively. Helenius had been on a good run before his injury, doing as much as anyone else in the division was doing. Thompson, at 41, just extended his career a bit, and will try to make some kind of money fight next. He's got people calling him out: Fury, Price in a rematch, Audley Harrison.

* * * * *

Cruiserweight (Limit: 200 pounds)

(Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

1. Ola Afolabi (19-2-4, 9 KO)

Status: Afolabi will get a third chance to secure a win over Marco Huck sometime soon, if Don King (who won the purse bid) actually puts on the fight, anyway. If not, it will be given to Sauerland, Huck's promoter, who bid a sensible $944,000 compared to King's laughable $1.5 million, on which most expect he will default. Next: Marco Huck (TBA).

2. Marco Huck (35-2-1, 25 KO)

Status: Huck is tough to get a read on, in some ways, but really, his performances are all about the same. It depends what the other guy does. If King manages to put on Huck-Afolabi III, Huck will make a $1.2 million purse. Next: Ola Afolabi (TBA).

3. Yoan Pablo Hernandez (27-1, 13 KO)

Status: The IBF and Ring Magazine champion currently has no fight scheduled. One thing you can say about Hernandez, he's never dull.

4. Denis Lebedev (24-1, 18 KO)

Status: Lebedev has made a killing beating up old Americans and undercooked foes in his last four fights, and holds the WBA (regular) title now, as the sanctioning body hasn't decided to strip the always-inactive Guillermo Jones, but they wanted to have a "real" champion anyway. Lebedev-Jones is another one King won at purse bid, for $712K. Dare to dream. Next: Guillermo Jones (TBA).

5. Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (47-2-1, 33 KO)

Status: Wlodarczyk has nothing scheduled at the moment, last fighting in September, when he beat Francisco Palacios more convincingly in a rematch.

6. Troy Ross (25-3, 16 KO)

Status: Ross, 37, was unlucky (or whatever) against Yoan Pablo Hernandez last September, hasn't fought since, and has nothing on his plate at the moment.

7. Mateusz Masternak (29-0, 21 KO)

Status: Masternak won the European title in December, shutting out Finland's Juho Haapoja. Nothing is scheduled for him right now.

8. Lateef Kayode (18-0, 14 KO)

Status: I FUCK HE UP. Kayode is likely moving to heavyweight.

9. Alexander Alekseev (24-2-1, 20 KO)

Status: Uzbeki-born southpaw Alekseev got back in action on February 22, beating Garrett Wilson in Romania. He could get back into the European title mix.

10. Firat Arslan (32-6-2, 21 KO)

Status: 42-year-old Arslan only went 1-1-1 last year, but his performances were eye-catching. He went to a debated draw with Alekseev in May, and then was very competitive with Huck in November, a decision loss.

* * * * *

Light Heavyweight (Limit: 175 pounds)

(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

1. Chad Dawson (31-2, 17 KO)

Status: How many guys ranked No. 1 in their division, who hold a world title (WBC), and are recognized as Ring Magazine champion, currently are perceived the way Dawson is? Zero? That many? Probably. Dawson is still smarting from last September's demoralizing loss to Andre Ward, and decided in January to fire John Scully for a second time, and hire Eddie Mustafa Muhammad, also for a second time. A May 25 date with Jean Pascal was rumored, but it now looks as though Pascal may fight Lucian Bute for more money instead.

2. Bernard Hopkins (52-6-2, 32 KO)

Status: Hopkins, at 48, fights again on Saturday, so by then this ranking could be totally worthless. Them's the breaks with once a month rankings updates. The good thing is that given how annoying making weekly, often totally pointless updates, the monthly thing just plain works better. If Hopkins beats Tavoris Cloud on March 9, then I'm sure some people will start arguing he deserves to be the No. 1 light heavyweight, but let's not start ignoring that Chad Dawson totally had his number last year. Next: Tavoris Cloud (March 9).

3. Tavoris Cloud (24-0, 19 KO)

Status: Tavoris Cloud fights like a temper tantrum. The hope is that pure physicality and youth will be enough to beat the old fart who just won't stop stinking up the room. That sounds worse than I meant it. Or maybe it doesn't. Maybe it's exactly what I mean. Next: Bernard Hopkins (March 9).

4. Sergey Kovalev (20-0-1, 18 KO)

Status: Sergey Kovalev's three-round demolition of Gabriel Campillo in January might make the division's titlists think twice about entertaining the idea of facing him any time soon. He might be the best puncher in the weight class right now.

5. Nathan Cleverly (25-0, 12 KO)

Status: Caught unawares by some vicious virus or the like, Cleverly's scheduled March 16 bout with Robin Krasniqi was canceled, conveniently timed since the Burns-Vazquez fight was also canceled, and Dereck Chisora didn't have a license, and Frank Warren lost George Groves to Matchroom. Next: Robin Krasniqi (April 20).

6. Beibut Shumenov (13-1, 8 KO)

Status: Shumenov is the other option in the poll to decide who is the most bogus paper champion in this division. He hasn't fought since June, but can you blame him? After a merciless schedule of title defenses against Vyacheslav Uzelkov, William Joppy, Danny Santiago, and Enrique Ornelas, anyone would want a break! Eat your heart out, Carl Froch.

7. Tony Bellew (19-1, 12 KO)

Status: After chewing up the likes of all-talk-no-walk Edison Miranda and Roberto Bolonti, Bellew faces a fellow contender next as he looks to close in on a shot at Dawson. Next: Isaac Chilemba (March 30).

8. Gabriel Campillo (21-5-1, 8 KO)

Status: As much as I still think Campillo is credible in this division, I have a feeling he's not going to really get over that loss to Kovalev. Gabriel's had his arguments before, but this time he's got nothing.

9. Karo Murat (25-1-1, 15 KO)

Status: Karo Murat continues to exist. Was it really almost three years ago that Cleverly beat him? That's probably still Nathan's best win.

10. Isaac Chilemba (20-1-1, 9 KO)

Status: One time, Isaac Chilemba tweeted, "Does anyone know how to get a hold of Al Haymon?" And I was like, "Awwww." Next: Tony Bellew (March 30).

* * * * *

Super Middleweight (Limit: 168 pounds)

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1. Andre Ward (26-0, 14 KO)

Status: It's hard to think of anything amusing to say for Andre Ward because he doesn't have a sense of humor or anything. He's a boxing and church robot sent from the future. He's currently back in the gym following shoulder surgery.

2. Carl Froch (30-2, 22 KO)

Status: Carl Froch may, in fact, be the greatest British fighter ever, if you think about it, or at least that's the new buzz out of Frochland. I love Carl Froch. He has no fear of letting his ego wander. Next: Mikkel Kessler (May 25).

3. Mikkel Kessler (45-2, 34 KO)

Status: The popular Danish veteran faces Froch again in May, in what may wind up being a better fight than their terrific 2010 matchup. Kessler seems to be fighting with more urgency these days, perhaps not wanting to risk the old eye injury he returned from in 2011 Next: Carl Froch (May 25).

4. Lucian Bute (31-1, 24 KO)

Status: Bute may be moving up to light heavyweight, if indeed he faces Jean Pascal on May 25.

5. Arthur Abraham (35-3, 27 KO)

Status: Abraham has to defend his WBO belt against Robert Stieglitz in a rematch later this month, which is no gimme win. He had plenty of trouble the first time out. The belt has not remade the man. Next: Robert Stieglitz (March 23).

6. Sakio Bika (30-5-2, 21 KO)

Status: Now that he has unfortunately started to control himself in the ring, I guess BIKA SMASH! is a thing of the past. Such a bummer.

7. Thomas Oosthuizen (21-0-1, 13 KO)

Status: I don't know what Thomas Oosthuizen thought he was proving beating Fulgencio Zuniga a month after James DeGale did, but I'm not having it. Hopefully he gets something significant this year; 6'4" super middleweights don't grow on trees.

8. Adonis Stevenson (19-1, 16 KO)

Status: Stevenson is waiting somewhat patiently for his IBF title shot, hoping to face the Froch-Kessler II winner, perhaps late this summer or early fall. For now, he brings his pimp hand back to Montreal to try and avenge a loss to Darnell Boone, who has lost three in a row. Next: Darnell Boone (March 22).

9. George Groves (16-0, 12 KO)

Status: Signing with Matchroom, in theory, will give him bigger opportunities than dragging Glen Johnson out of retirement for a noble sacrifice. But we'll see. Next: Dario German Balmaceda (March 9), TBA (May 25).

10. Robert Stieglitz (42-3, 23 KO)

Status: Someday, Robert Stieglitz will tell his grandkids he was world boxing champion. And he will be right. Next: Arthur Abraham (March 23).

* * * * *

Middleweight (Limit: 160 pounds)

(Photo by Jeff Bottari/Getty Images)

1. Sergio Martinez (50-2-2, 28 KO)

Status: Martinez is coming off of the most, um, popular win of his career last September, and is getting closer to his highly-anticipated return to the ring against Martin Murray. Literally nobody thinks Murray will win. Next: Martin Murray (April 27).

2. Daniel Geale (29-1, 15 KO)

Status: Geale still may face Sam Soliman next, but that whole situation with the drug tests and Felix Sturm and Germany is going to drag along, one expects.

3. Gennady Golovkin (25-0, 22 KO)

Status: Having popped fan boners from coast-to-coast with wins over Grzegorz Proksa and Gabriel Rosado, but he's still yet to get that opportunity we all want to see against a top middleweight. He won't be doing that next, either. Keep railing on Canelo Alvarez's record and glorifying TRIPLE G. Next: Nobuhiro Ishida (March 30).

4. Peter Quillin (28-0, 20 KO)

Status: Quillin is the American hope at 160 pounds right now. USA! USA! USA! Next: Fernando Guerrero (April 27).

5. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr (46-1-1, 32 KO)

Status: Julio accidentally smoked marijuana before his last fight and first loss, so he's out until June. If I were Nevada, I'd have tacked on an extra two months for the charge of "fiddle fuckin' around about the hearing." Next: TBA (June).

6. Sam Soliman (43-11, 17 KO)

Status: Well, we'll see, I guess.

7. Hassan N'dam (27-1, 17 KO)

Status: N'dam still has nothing lined up after his wild fight with and loss to Quillin last October. I'd love to see a rematch of that one, but I don't think Golden Boy are dying to put that together; not out of fear, just why do it when there are other options?

8. Felix Sturm (37-4-2, 16 KO)

Status: DRUGS CHEAT!!!1 or whatever the case may be, Felix Sturm lost that fight with Sam Soliman because his output dropped. There's no getting around that he's past his best days for sure.

9. Matthew Macklin (29-4, 20 KO)

Status: One of my favorite things happening in boxing right now is Matthew Macklin's ego, which I have no opinion on, really, but I enjoy Darren Barker being all, "Who does this guy think he is, exactly?" Barker makes some cogent points.

10. Dmitry Pirog (20-0, 15 KO)

Status: Pirog's injury issues just aren't going away, and there's at least some question about whether or not he'll be able to continue his career. He's due to go officially inactive on May 1, but hopefully it won't come to that.

* * * * *

Junior Middleweight (Limit: 154 pounds)

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1. Floyd Mayweather (43-0, 26 KO)

Status: Money. Power. Respect. Yelling at K9 Bundrage's wife. All roads lead to Floyd Mayweather, and those roads are headed back to 147 pounds, where he will be mauled by Welterweight Guerrero. Next: Robert Guerrero (May 4).

2. Canelo Alvarez (41-0-1, 30 KO)

Status: Alvarez has taken a lot of flak for his opponents since 2011, and in some ways rightfully so -- after all, his last three opponents all have a strong argument for reasons why they were the biggest load fight of them all, each time sold by Golden Boy as though there was some prayer that the set-up marks had a prayer of winning. But now we find out what happens when opponents stop being polite, and start getting real. Next: Austin Trout (April 20).

3. Austin Trout (26-0, 14 KO)

Status: If you ever need any evidence that Al Haymon is the most powerful string-puller in boxing today, consider that not so long ago, Austin Trout, already holding a world title, had to face Frank LoPorto on ShoBox. Now he's coming off a win over Miguel Cotto and headed for a fight with Canelo. Next: Canelo Alvarez (April 20).

4. Miguel Cotto (37-4, 30 KO)

Status: The Puerto Rican star says he'll be back late this year. Most are figuring it will be some kind of tune-up to get himself back into the win column, but Cotto is nearing the end of his career, so he might go big game hunting yet again.

5. Erislandy Lara (17-1-2, 11 KO)

Status: Given how crummy the year has started with so many injuries, one of the better pieces of news we've gotten is that Lara-Martirosyan II won't be forced on a world of fans already having a hard time. Lara may be named WBC mandatory, or he may get another eliminator to go through.

6. Carlos Molina (21-5-2, 6 KO)

Status: Molina retired Cory Spinks, so that's something. Poor Carlos is now stuck in a division where almost all of the top guys are controlled by the money players, and nobody wants to put their guy in with him. He's too big a pain in the ass.

7. Ishe Smith (25-5, 11 KO)

Status: I really don't want to rain on Ishe Smith's parade, but beyond the celebration of him winning in his first crack at a world title, no matter how weak the titleholder was, at age 34, why not ask this question: Did he deserve the shot in the first place?

8. Zaurbek Baysangurov (28-1, 20 KO)

Status: This guy is a good fighter and nobody cares. I don't mean that as a shot at him, but he never gets brought up in fight discussions for this division. Just as well, since he seems comfortable where he's at.

9. Gabriel Rosado (21-6, 13 KO)

Status: Rosado wants the shot at the IBF title he earned last year, and I don't see any compelling reason to take that away from him just because he took a shot and lost to Gennady Golovkin at 160, like a manly man. Question is whether or not Promoter Floyd will want to do that.

10. Vanes Martirosyan (32-0-1, 20 KO)

Status: It's Vanes Martirosyan.

* * * * *

Welterweight (Limit: 147 pounds)

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1. Juan Manuel Marquez (55-6-1, 40 KO)

Status: Marquez is toying with everyone as much as he can, but most still figure he fights Manny Pacquiao again. Maybe he doesn't -- maybe he really thinks that tale has been told. But he probably will. It's a lot of money.

2. Manny Pacquiao (54-5-2, 38 KO)

Status: Pacquiao has seemed willing to fight in the interim, but all the talk for him remains centered around a chance at revenge against Marquez. Otherwise, he's just chillin' in Congress.

3. Timothy Bradley (29-0, 12 KO)

Status: Bradley will hope to silence some critics, many of whom either forgot or aren't aware that no matter what you thought o the Pacquiao result, we're still talking about a top-level fighter here. Next: Ruslan Provodnikov (March 16).

4. Robert Guerrero (31-1-1, 18 KO)

Status: Welterweight Guerrero Fact: That Chuck Norris Facts thing wasn't funny then and sure isn't now. Next: Floyd Mayweather (May 4).

5. Kell Brook (29-0, 19 KO)

Status: Brook and Devon Alexander finally have a new date all but set in stone, as they likely will meet on May 18, but they'll now be a co-feature, not a main event. That's boxing justice! Not really. Next: Devon Alexander (May 18).

6. Devon Alexander (24-1, 13 KO)

Status: Look, everyone, it's a pawn in Floyd Mayweather's wicked game. And he's a world champion, too! Next: Kell Brook (May 18).

7. Josesito Lopez (30-5, 18 KO)

Status: Josesito is getting a deserved Showtime main event on June 8 against Marcos Maidana, sort of payment for sacrificing himself at the altar of Canelo and cash, a fight he signed up for despite every ounce of logic likely telling him that it was a bad idea, beyond the money he made. Lopez-Maidana could be a ripper. Next: Marcos Maidana (June 8).

8. Andre Berto (28-2, 22 KO)

Status: Berto has wished trainer Tony Morgan all the best in his future endeavors, which, like, I don't know that that will help, or if Berto is just who he is, but it probably can't hurt.

9. Paulie Malignaggi (32-4, 7 KO)

Status: whatyougottarememberboutpaulieis yeahhebeatsenchenkorealgood buthehadsomestruggleswitcano yknowsoyagottalookatallangles yknow. maybehellfightandrebertoidunno.

10. Jan Zaveck (32-2, 18 KO)

Status: Zaveck gets a return bout on HBO after a tough 2011 test of Berto, this time facing rising Haymon could-be-star Keith Thurman. He's the type of guy that should be able to show us if Thurman is really ready. Next: Keith Thurman (March 9).

* * * * *

Junior Welterweight (Limit: 140 pounds)

(Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

1. Danny Garcia (25-0, 16 KO)

Status: Garcia, tentative 140-pound king, has close contenders chasing his tail, but seems content to deal more with the last generation's top fighters, like Erik Morales and Zab Judah. Maybe that's unfair, and maybe it's unfair to think Team Garcia is dodging the Lucas Matthysse question as much as possible, but it kind of feels that way. Next: Zab Judah (April 27).

2. Lucas Matthysse (33-2, 31 KO)

Status: Of all the Hard Core Boxing Head Fight Freak fan favorites, Matthysse might be top of the list at the moment. Everyone's in love with him, but he still lacks a signature win. Soto and Ajose were solid wins, but getting deserved dukes over Judah and Devon Alexander would have been better. He'd have never been fighting Mike Dallas Jr in January, at least. Next time out will be a big chance. Next: Lamont Peterson (May 18).

3. Lamont Peterson (31-1-1, 16 KO)

Status: Peterson's return was an impressive one, as he put the hurt on Kendall Holt, then later described trainer Barry Hunter telling him that Holt was "a punk" and would fold, which Holt did. I don't know that Kendall's a punk, but he does have mental lapses. Peterson aims to strike big again next time out, if the fight is made. Next: Lucas Matthysse (May 18)

4. Brandon Rios (31-0-1, 23 KO)

Status: Rios was hoping to land Pacquiao, but that got called off for obvious reasons, and now he's got a rematch with Mike Alvarado. Outside of the entertainment factor, which is very high, few feel there's a real need for a rematch, but it's happening, and if that were the worst kind of "unnecessary" fight that happened in boxing, we'd all be jumping for joy and this shit would kick NASACAR's ass in TV ratings. Next: Mike Alvarado (March 30).

5. Amir Khan (27-3, 19 KO)

Status: "Lil'" Carlos Molina was supposed to be a tune-up for Khan in December, and it was mostly just accepted as such. But Khan hasn't taken that fight and gone on to something significantly better, as he's lined up to face veteran Julio Diaz next at a catchweight. It's not that it's such a bad fight, it's just less than people probably hoped. Next: Julio Diaz (April 27).

6. Khabib Allakhverdiev (18-0, 8 KO)

Status: It feels more like Allakhverdiev was signed to feed the Top Rank machine more than to be some star. The TR ranks were thin at 140-147. He's a good fighter, though, and a solid addition to their stable. Next: Breidis Prescott (March 30).

7. Zab Judah (42-7, 29 KO)

Status: My love-hate (really, there's no hate, but that's what people say) affair with Zab's career continues when the veteran tries to do something he hasn't done in a very long time: Actually beat a top fighter. Next: Danny Garcia (April 27).

8. Mike Alvarado (33-1, 23 KO)

Status: Mike Alvarado is a good fighter, but is the Rios rematch really going to benefit him? Last time out, plenty of people thought he could win. This time, I don't see that same enthusiasm. It's kind of like a rerun of a favorite episode of your favorite sitcom. You'll never laugh as hard as you did the first time. Next: Brandon Rios (March 30).

9. Denis Shafikov (31-0-1, 17 KO)

Status: Shafikov is moving down to lightweight officially with his next fight, so this is his last ranking at 140, it would seem. Next: Alisher Rahimov (March 16).

10. Karim Mayfield (17-0-1, 10 KO)

Status: Mayfield, a talented but old (32) prospect, was hoping to land a world title shot against Allakhverdiev, and it would have been deserved. But he got shut out there. Next step isn't clear.

* * * * *

Lightweight (135 pounds)

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1. Adrien Broner (26-0, 22 KO)

Status: If there are any remaining doubters of Broner's pure, natural talent, it's time to stop. Question the record, if you want. That's fair enough. Question his staying at 135, where he's clearly beyond the pack. But the talent is very, very real. Next: TBA (June 15).

2. Ricky Burns (35-2, 10 KO)

Status: Burns and Vazquez weren't going to light up the ring with a great fight, but it's a shame that what is arguably the highest-level competitive fight was pushed back another month. Boxing's had enough of that stuff this year. Either one of them could be No. 2 right now; they'll fight to figure it out. Next: Miguel Vazquez (April 20).

3. Miguel Vazquez (33-3, 13 KO)

Status: See Burns comment. Next: Ricky Burns (April 20).

4. Richar Abril (18-3-1, 8 KO)

Status: Abril made clear that his performance against Brandon Rios was no fluke; after 11 months out of the ring in limbo, Abril pulled away from Sharif Bogere down the stretch and solidified (such as it is) his WBA title against Sharif Bogere. He'd be a pain for either Burns or Vazquez.

5. Antonio DeMarco (28-3-1, 21 KO)

Status: The Mexican battler is a likable fighter -- fun to watch most of the time, very tough, and game as they come. He's got real talent. He's a genuinely good fighter. But the beatings he's taken from Broner and Valero say a lot: He's not elite.

6. Gavin Rees (37-2-1, 18 KO)

Status: If anything, it seems respect for ballsy Gavin Rees only went up after Adrien Broner was done taking him apart. Even if you gave Rees the first two rounds, as I did, I think you have to say Broner dominated him. Once Broner felt fit to turn it on, it was a race between a thoroughbred and a beloved family pony.

7. Raymundo Beltran (27-6, 17 KO)

Status: Beltran's been handed nothing in his career, and yet he's here, a legit contender at 135 pounds. He could make an interesting fight against anyone but Broner. (Yes, there's a trend here.)

8. Kevin Mitchell (33-2, 24 KO)

Status: After his loss to Burns, Mitchell said he'd get back in the ring quickly. That was September. He hasn't fought.

9. Sharif Bogere (23-1, 15 KO)

Status: Bogere wasn't terrible against Abril, but he was outclassed in crunch time, showed some stamina issues, and a really sloppy approach for too much of the fight. He might have some upside still, but what he is at this moment got exposed a bit.

10. Hank Lundy (22-2-1, 11 KO)

Status: Lundy's moving up to 140. Maybe he'll trade places with Shafikov next month! Next: Viktor Postol (March 21).

* * * * *

Super Featherweight (Limit: 130 pounds)

(Photo via WBA)

1. Takashi Uchiyama (19-0-1, 16 KO)

Status: Uchiyama should come to the ring with Mark Henry's Three 6 Mafia music. Even if they could get him to the States for the fight, I don't think Yuriorkis Gamboa wants anything to do with this guy. He is bad news for Gamboa.

2. Juan Carlos Salgado (26-1-1, 16 KO)

Status: To be honest, the first time I saw Salgado on the Pacquiao-Morales III undercard in 2006, I didn't really see anything in him. Decent prospect, but nothing special. He's turned into a pretty good fighter at the least. Next: Argenis Mendez (March 9).

3. Argenis Mendez (20-2, 10 KO)

Status: Mendez gets another shot at Salgado and the IBF title thanks to a win over Martin Honorio, which is good enough, you gotta figure. I mean, whatever. It's a fight that should happen.

4. Yuriorkis Gamboa (22-0, 16 KO)

Status: Any idea that Gamboa was going to come back and dominate the super featherweight division died when he went life-and-death with Michael Farenas. Gamboa says he'll move up to lightweight, as he's chasing a fight with Adrien Broner. Raise your hand if you favor Gamboa. Put your hand down, Todd Grisham. You don't count.

5. Juan Carlos Burgos (30-1-1, 20 KO)

Status: Burgos hoped to get a rematch with Rocky Martinez. That's not happening. But then, he should have won, and that didn't happen, so par for the course.

6. Gamaliel Diaz (37-9-2, 17 KO)

Status: Diaz went on the road to Japan to win his WBC title in a fight he was supposed to lose to Takahiro Ao last October, and now he has to go back and defend against Takashi Miura in a month. Could be a short reign. Next: Takashi Miura (April 8).

7. Rocky Martinez (26-1-2, 16 KO)

Status: After escaping with a disputed draw against Juan Carlos Burgos, Martinez and his WBO title are now lined up against a Top Rank pet project, a Vegas local draw who has had a slow pace building up to this fight. Martinez is a beatable, flawed fighter, but Magdaleno is jumping from Emmanuel Lucero, Fernando Beltran, and Antonio Davis. Next: Diego Magdaleno (April 6).

8. Devis Boschiero (32-1-1, 15 KO)

Status: European champ Boschiero is a legit fighter, but he's not going to be improving his standing staying at that level. Next fight is against a Frenchman with no quality wins who once lost five in a row, the fifth to a guy who was 1-44 and knocked Boschiero out in two rounds. Boschiero avenged that loss later. Next: Samir Kasmi (March 23).

9. Miguel Beltran Jr (27-2, 17 KO)

Status: You'd hope that Beltran, 23, would have gotten himself back in the ring after September's brawl loss against Martinez, but he hasn't.

10. Sergio Thompson (26-2, 24 KO)

Status: Thompson can punch for sure, but they've scaled him way back since he upset Jorge Linares. So what he got out of winning when he wasn't supposed to was a trip back down the ladder. He's not really that young (29) or anything, so he should probably be looking for a title shot soon.

* * * * *

Featherweight (Limit: 126 pounds)

(Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)

1. Mikey Garcia (31-0, 26 KO)

Status: Garcia is in the odd position where he has a world title, he has a power promoter, and yet he's probably not going to get the best fights out there. John's not coming over to fight him, Salido doesn't really deserve a rematch, and Ponce De Leon and Mares are with Golden Boy. He may face Orlando Cruz in May, he may not. May may may.

2. Chris John (48-0-2, 22 KO)

Status: John is at once better than his (American fan) reputation, and not quite so great as his record would lead one to believe. But nobody avoids defeat for 50 pro fights, against the opponents he's faced, without being pretty damn good. Next: Satoshi Hosono (April 14).

3. Orlando Salido (39-12-2, 27 KO)

Status: Salido can complain about the ending of the Garcia fight all he wants, and even though he has a decent enough point, he was flat-out dominated by a better fighter. Maybe he could have turned it around, maybe he couldn't have. An immediate rematch is not necessary, though. Still, given what else there is for Garcia...

4. Daniel Ponce De Leon (44-4, 35 KO)

Status: Ponce De Leon has won zero style points in his career, but he's a two-weight titlist anyway. He's not a big featherweight, but he's awkward and can punch, and Abner Mares might be testing his luck in May. Next: Abner Mares (May 4).

5. Jhonny Gonzalez (53-8, 45 KO)

Status: Gonzalez wants his rematch with Ponce De Leon, but he struggled just a bit with Eusebio Osejo on February 23. It was also the first time in his 13-year career that two wins in a row for him came by decision.

6. Evgeny Gradovich (16-0, 8 KO)

Status: "The Mexican Russian" won some fans with his IBF title upset of Billy Dib on Friday Night Fights, but when one considers the titlist he beat, well, let's not rush him to fighting Garcia if you want to see him make money for more than a fight.

7. Daud Yordan (30-2, 23 KO)

Status: Yordan, who lost to John in 2011, is being groomed as the head of Indonesian boxing for the future. He's a good choice. He's no Chris John, but he can fight. Next: Simpiwe Vetyeka (April 14).

8. Javier Fortuna (21-0, 15 KO)

Status: Fortuna is really a lot better than he looked against Patrick Hyland in December. He's got the interim WBA title, which doesn't need to exist. Next: Miguel Zamudio (April 13)

9. Nicholas Walters (22-0, 18 KO)

Status: I think it would be cool if Walters actually started rising up to the top of the division, just to have a Jamaican guy in the mix.

10. Billy Dib (35-2, 21 KO)

Status: Dib is here because Ryan still has him rated fairly high. I don't have him rated at all. I'm not trying to "call out" Ryan or start some big argument, because his ranking of Dib is perfectly fair, but I didn't think he was good before he lost to Gradovich, and I still don't. That 50 Cent entrance was neat, though!

* * * * *

Super Bantamweight (Limit: 122 pounds)

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

1. Nonito Donaire (31-1, 20 KO)

Status: Isn't it weird that Donaire has a loss? Sure, it was 12 years ago, in some weird five-round fight, in Donaire's second pro bout, but someone named Rosendo Sanchez, who fought one more time in his career, is out there saying, "I beat that Donaire dude." I wonder if that gets you any babes? Do you show them BoxRec and your ID? Next: Guillermo Rigondeaux (April 13).

2. Abner Mares (25-0-1, 13 KO)

Status: Mares, having clearly done all there is to do at 122 pounds by beating Eric Morel and Anselmo Moreno, has decided to move up in weight and chase a title in a third class. In all honesty, it's hard to blame him -- Golden Boy has nothing for him here, and it's not like he's going up to face some chump. Next: Daniel Ponce De Leon (May 4).

3. Guillermo Rigondeaux (11-0, 8 KO)

Status: At the present moment, this is still happening. Next: Nonito Donaire (April 13).

4. Jeffrey Mathebula (26-4-2, 14 KO)

Status: After the top three, things get jumbled in a big way. Some guys at their peak, some guys maybe have already hit theirs, and some exciting guys on the way up. Mathebula leads that pack for now.

5. Wilfredo Vazquez Jr (22-2-1, 19 KO)

Status: One of a hundred guys JuanMa Lopez isn't going to fight who he continues to talk about anyway. Vazquez is headed to Macau for his next bout. Next: Yasutaka Ishimoto (April 6).

6. Carl Frampton (16-0, 11 KO)

Status: Chuckled about not so long ago because of Barry McGuigan's ceaseless fawning, it turns out that McGuigan knew a lot that nobody else did. Frampton is the real deal, and rising fast.

7. Scott Quigg (25-0-1, 18 KO)

Status: Domestic would-be rival Quigg and Frampton could meet this year, which maybe seems a touch soon for the pair to dive into that, but Quigg is just floating aimlessly with the Hatton team now that they're cut off from Sky. They might want to just go ahead and do it if both parties have any interest. Quigg needs to do something noticeable, because Frampton has pulled ahead in that race.

8. Jhonatan Romero (23-0, 12 KO)

Status: 26-year-old Colombian Romero went into hostile territory and won the vacant IBF title against Alejandro Lopez in Mexico in February, and has joined the field at 122 pounds. The kid's got some talent, with other solid wins over Chris Avalos and Efrain Esquivias.

9. Victor Terrazas (36-2-1, 21 KO)

Status: Having thus far failed to really capitalize on his 2011 upset of Fernando Montiel, preferring to wait for a cherry title shot, Terrazas may have found what he's looking for, but he shouldn't be a massive favorite when he gets there. Next: Cristian Mijares (April 20).

10. Alexander Bakhtin (30-0, 11 KO)

Status: "Sasha" has the IBO belt, which some will tell you means something. I'm not one of some. We have enough of these goddamned stupid things. Next: Carlos Rodriguez (March 31).

* * * * *

Bantamweight (Limit: 118 pounds)

(Photo by Tom Casino/SHOWTIME)

1. Anselmo Moreno (33-2-1, 12 KO)
2. Shinsuke Yamanaka (17-0-2, 12 KO)
3. Leo Santa Cruz (23-0-1, 13 KO)
4. Koki Kameda (29-1, 17 KO)
5. Hugo Ruiz (31-2, 28 KO)
6. Malcolm Tunacao (32-2-3, 20 KO)
7. Paulus Ambunda (20-0, 10 KO)
8. Pungluang Sor Singyu (43-2, 28 KO)
9. Rodrigo Guerrero (18-4-1, 12 KO)
10. Ryosuke Iwasa (14-1, 9 KO)

Upcoming Fights
Koki Kameda vs Yonfrez Parejo (April 7)
Shinsuke Yamanaka vs Malcolm Tunacao (April 8)

* * * * *

Super Flyweight (Limit: 115 pounds)

1. Yota Sato (26-2-1, 12 KO)
2. Omar Narvaez (38-1-2, 20 KO)
3. Juan Carlos Sanchez Jr (15-1-1, 8 KO)
4. Suriyan Sor Rungvisai (24-5-1, 9 KO)
5. Carlos Cuadras (28-0, 23 KO)
6. Kohei Kono (28-7, 11 KO)
7. Tepparith Kokietgym (21-3, 13 KO)
8. Nobuo Nashiro (18-5-1, 12 KO)
9. Rodel Mayol (31-6-2, 22 KO)
10. Oleydong Sithsamerchai (46-1-1, 16 KO)

Upcoming Fights
Tepparith Kokietgym vs Daiboy Sajiro (March 8)
Nobuo Nashiro vs Yodchanchai Nakornloung Promotion (April 7)
Omar Narvaez vs Daniel Rosas (May 11)

* * * * *

Flyweight (Limit: 112 pounds)

1. Brian Viloria (32-3, 19 KO)
2. Moruti Mthalane (29-2, 20 KO)
3. Tyson Marquez (34-3, 25 KO)
4. Toshiyuki Igarashi (17-1-1, 10 KO)
5. Sonny Boy Jaro (34-11-5, 24 KO)
6. Luis Concepcion (27-3, 20 KO)
7. Edgar Sosa (47-7, 28 KO)
8. Juan Carlos Reveco (30-1, 16 KO)
9. Milan Melindo (28-0, 11 KO)
10. Rocky Fuentes (34-6-2, 20 KO)

Upcoming Fights
Edgar Sosa vs Ulises Solis (March 9)
Brian Viloria vs Juan Francisco Estrada (April 6)
Milan Melindo vs Tommy Seran (April 6)
Toshiyuki Igarashi vs Akira Yaegashi (April 8)
Luis Concepcion vs Anuar Salas (April 20)
Sonny Boy Jaro vs TBA (May 18)

* * * * *

Junior Flyweight (Limit: 108 pounds)

1. Roman Gonzalez (34-0, 28 KO)
2. Donnie Nietes (31-1-4, 17 KO)
3. Adrian Hernandez (26-2-1, 16 KO)
4. John Riel Casimero (17-2, 10 KO)
5. Kazuto Ioka (11-0, 7 KO)
6. Kompayak Porpramook (49-4, 34 KO)
7. Ramon Garcia Hirales (16-4-1, 9 KO)
8. Alberto Rossel (29-8, 13 KO)
9. Odilon Zaleta (15-2, 8 KO)
10. Paipharob Kokietgym (21-0, 16 KO)

Upcoming Fights
John Riel Casimero vs Luis Alberto Rios (March 16)
Alberto Rossel vs Walter Tello (March 16)

* * * * *

Minimumweight (Limit: 105 pounds)

1. Mario Rodriguez (15-6-4, 11 KO)
2. Moises Fuentes (16-1-1, 8 KO)
3. Nkosinathi Joyi (23-1, 16 KO)
4. Ryo Miyazaki (18-0-3, 10 KO)
5. Denver Cuello (32-4-6, 21 KO)
6. Pornsawan Porpramook (27-5-1, 17 KO)
7. Wanheng Menayothin (26-0, 8 KO)
8. Hekkie Budler (22-1, 6 KO)
9. Jesus Silvestre (26-3, 19 KO)
10. Xiong Zhao Zhong (20-4-1, 11 KO)

Upcoming Fights
Mario Rodriguez vs Katsunari Takayama (March 30)
Xiong Zhao Zhong vs Carlos Ortega (April 13)

* * * * *

Women's Pound-For-Pound Top 10

1. Cecilia Braekhus (21-0, 5 KO)
2. Holly Holm (32-2-3, 9 KO)
3. Ava Knight (11-1, 5 KO)
4. Yesica Yolanda Bopp (23-0, 10 KO)
5. Frida Wallberg (11-0, 2 KO)
6. Anne Sophie Mathis (26-3, 22 KO)
7. Mariana Juarez (36-6-3, 16 KO)
8. Melissa Hernandez (18-3-3, 6 KO)
9. Layla McCarter (35-13-5, 8 KO)
10. Yesica Patricia Marcos (21-0-2, 7 KO)

Upcoming Fights
Yesica Yoalndo Bopp vs Carolina Alvarez (March 16)
Cecilia Braekhus vs Mia St John (April 13)
Holly Holm vs Mary McGee (May 11)

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