A few more tweaks to the divisional rankings today, and there'll be more next week with some big fights coming up.
Divisions Affected: Heavyweight, Cruiserweight, Bantamweight
Heavyweight: For the time being, Tomasz Adamek is still the reigning, real world champion at cruiserweight. But his October domination of Andrew Golota and his stated intentions to stay up there with the big boys means that's probably going to be short-lived. Adamek says he wants to fight the Klitschkos, and thinks he'll be ready in about a year. In the meantime, there are plenty of interesting opportunities for him, though he might have to base himself in Europe again in the short term to take full advantage of what's out there. I think one interesting idea might be a bout with Alexander Dimitrenko, whose size (6'7", 250ish, 83" reach) matches up to Wladimir and Vitali even if his skill doesn't. Dimitrenko was outboxed in July by Eddie Chambers, who isn't any bigger than Adamek.
I'm also not saying that Adamek's win over Golota is any huge deal, because Golota is an all-time great crumbler. Once met with resistance, Golota has reacted in any number of ways over his career, but now he's too old and toned down to heavy bag a guy in the junk or try to eat him. Now he just falls apart like any cowardly lion. But Golota also still moves pretty well, and Adamek just flat-out torched him. Having watched what Adamek did with him, I think the same fate would await many of the heavyweights, and certainly Samuel Peter, who falls out of the top ten with Adamek coming in at No. 9. Peter is powerful, but he's another guy Eddie Chambers beat, and he hasn't looked good against a truly strong opponent in a long time now. Adamek has always been tougher than hell, and while there are certainly guys at heavyweight with bigger punches than he's taken in his career, I don't see him being any easy mark for anyone besides the Klitschkos, which is the standing of just about everyone else in the division anyway.
Cruiserweight: Adamek moving up means Steve Cunningham takes the top spot, 3-10 bump up a spot each, and Matt Godfrey -- who will fight Cunningham for the vacant IBF title in the first quarter of 2010 -- enters in the final spot. Many would have already had Godfrey ranked anyway.
Bantamweight: Entering Saturday night, I had Joseph Agbeko at No. 2 and Yonnhy Perez at No. 6. After Perez proved out for absolute certain with a tremendous win in a fantastic fight, Perez goes all the way up to No. 2, and with what he showed on Saturday, I really think this is a guy that could do some serious damage before he's done. He's not the stereotype of a Colombian brawler at all. Yes, he threw his hands a ton, and yes, he showed a blatant disregard for defense at certain points. But he also showed a magnificent chin in taking some huge shots from Agbeko and never backing down, and he fought with utter fearlessness against a hell of a good opponent. I'd give Perez a legitimate shot against Hozumi Hasegawa, No. 1 in the division and in my pound-for-pound top ten. I like Agbeko a lot, and Perez beat him at his own game.
Agbeko dips, but only down to No. 4, just behind Hasegawa, Perez and a steady Anselmo Moreno. Moreno made a successful fifth defense of his WBA title on October 9, beating a guy he should have beaten (Jorge Otero) and doing it how he should have (TKO-6). Moreno has become one of the most overlooked top fighters out there today. Bantamweight has emerged as one of the best divisions in the sport over the last couple of years, and its top four stacks up pretty well with just about any other class. I really think only welterweight (Mayweather, Mosley, Cotto, Clottey) holds a truly significant advantage.
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