clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Ranking the Super Flyweights: Srisaket leads pack in one of boxing’s hottest divisions

The super flyweight division has become one of the best and most talked-about in boxing over the last couple of years.

Srisaket Sor Rungvisai v Roman Gonzalez Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images
Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

1. Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (45-4-1, 40 KO)

Srisaket, 31, has bashed his way to the top of the division with two wins over Roman Gonzalez, one controversial and one a flat knockout, and a close decision over Juan Francisco Estrada. He’s big for the division, powerful, and a tough style matchup for anyone he faces. But he still feels vulnerable to a degree, which makes him extra exciting to watch.

Right now, it’s assumed that he’s facing Estrada in a rematch on September 8, as HBO has it set to run a “Superfly 3” card from California. Up next: vs Juan Francisco Estrada, September 8 (tentative)

2. Juan Francisco Estrada (36-3, 25 KO)

Estrada, 28, sort of followed Roman Gonzalez’s career moves after their fight in 2012, looking for a rematch, but it never came to be. Instead, Estrada wound up fighting the man who trounced Gonzalez, and fought Srisaket to a 12-round majority draw on February 24 in Inglewood.

Between those losses, Estrada won 10 straight fights at 112 and 115, including victories over Brian Viloria, Milan Melindo, Giovani Segura, and Carlos Cuadras. He’s proven to be one of the best fighters out there in the last five years. Up next: vs Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, September 8 (tentative)

3. Jerwin Ancajas (30-1-1, 20 KO)

Ancajas, 26, showed off his skill and class in a win over the cruder Jonas Sultan this past Saturday, outboxing the determined challenger to retain his IBF belt in an all-Filipino showdown in Fresno.

Ancajas’ style and display didn’t win him a lot of fans in that fight, but he did his job and won a wide decision. He’s a good, effective southpaw boxer-puncher, though, and more than anything I think his style and Sultan’s just plain didn’t mesh for an attractive fight. I still look forward to seeing him again, especially if it’s against Kal Yafai, as most believe will happen. Up next: TBA

4. Roman Gonzalez (46-2, 38 KO)

I’m not writing Gonzalez, 30, off just yet. Srisaket was a nightmare style matchup for him, even in the fight I thought Gonzalez deserved to win the first time around. Gonzalez, a former champion at 105, 108, and 112, as well as 115, is small for the division and the slugger just had too much physical power in their rematch.

But I wouldn’t count Gonzalez out against anyone else in the division yet, either. Maybe he’s washed, and I’ve always felt he was pushing his limits at 115, but he did beat Carlos Cuadras at the weight in 2016, and that’s nothing to shake a stick at. I’d have him 50-50 with anyone but Srisaket. Styles make fights. If Gonzalez finds the right opponent, he may prove to still have plenty left. Or he might not! That’s why they fight the fights, and why ranking lists are just speculation and discussion until they do. Up next: TBA

5. Kal Yafai (24-0, 15 KO)

Yafai, 28, made a great statement in his U.S. debut this past weekend, and I bet the 5,000 or so fans in Fresno and many of those watching on TV came away more impressed with him than they were with Ancajas. Yafai stopped an overweight David Carmona after seven rounds of good action, largely dominating even though Carmona was there and fighting the whole time.

Yafai still doesn’t have a win over a true top tier opponent, still hasn’t even faced one, but his victories in recent fights are nothing to ignore, either. He’s an intriguing fighter hitting his prime and I’m very hopeful that we see him against Ancajas, as I think that’s a very interesting style matchup between two good, young fighters. Up next: TBA

6. McWilliams Arroyo (17-3, 14 KO)

Hey. I called it when Arroyo, 32, beat Carlos Cuadras in February. I’ve always liked Arroyo, a powerful puncher at 112 who moved up to 115 for that bout earlier this year, after nearly two years off. He’s 2-2 in his last four, but his losses came to Amnat Ruenroeng (a debatable split decision on the road) and Chocolatito Gonzalez, and the win over Cuadras put him right back into the mix in the new weight division. Up next: TBA

7. Rau’shee Warren (16-2, 4 KO)

Warren, 31, is a former bantamweight titleholder and multiple-time U.S. Olympian who moved down in weight last year and beat McJoe Arroyo over 12 rounds in July. Most recently, he fought on April 21, weighing in above the super flyweight limit, but for now we’ll count him here, since his opponent was under 115. Rau’shee is always going to be beatable, but he’s a good boxer, a talented fighter, and could be a solid opponent for anyone in the division. If he finds the right matchup, he could also wind up a two-weight world champion. I wouldn’t count him out against Ancajas or Yafai, for instance. Up next: TBA

8. Carlos Cuadras (36-3-1, 27 KO)

Cuadras, 29, is dealing with some personal issues outside of the ring right now, and we wish him all the best with that. When he’s ready to return, I think he’ll remain in demand. He’s entertaining and a good fighter. He’s just 1-3 in his last four, but the losses have come to Gonzalez, Estrada, and Arroyo, all good fighters. That said, the win over David Carmona wasn’t particularly impressive for Cuadras, either.

But I’m interested to see how he does if and when he returns to the ring, and if anything will have changed for him as far as his approach goes. He’s a bit of a wild card right now, but I still think he’s one of the 10 best in the division. Up next: TBA

9. Gideon Buthelezi (20-5, 4 KO)

South Africa’s Buthelezi, 31, holds the lightly-regarded IBO title and has won six straight fights since his last loss in 2015. He started his career at 105 and beat Hekkie Budler at 108 in 2011. He’s managed to make himself a contender at 115, even if he’s not beating much by way of top-flight opposition or anything. The southpaw could pop up as an opponent for someone big, or he could stay in his bubble and be IBO champ at home. Up next: TBA

10. Rex Tso (22-0, 13 KO)

Tso, 30, turned pro in 2011 and has been featured on some big cards over the years, and, well, he just keeps winning. He beat Japanese veteran Kohei Kono by technical decision last time out in October, a close fight with scores of 68-66 across the board in Hong Kong. Like Buthelezi, he doesn’t have much by way of big fight experience, but few divisions in boxing are really 10-deep with fighters you can confidently say belong in a top 10, so those are my choices at Nos. 9 and 10, yours may well vary and there are plenty out there with an argument for the spots. Up next: TBA

How do you see this division right now? Who would be your picks for the back end of the top 10, with so many names sort of jumbled for those last few spots?

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Bad Left Hook Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your global boxing news from Bad Left Hook