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Bad Left Hook Boxing Rankings (Nov. 12, 2019): Naoya Inoue holds top spot at bantamweight

Naoya Inoue got the test of his career, but all it did was strengthen his standing at 118 pounds.

BOXING-JPN Photo by KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP via Getty Images

Rankings will be posted each Tuesday at Noon ET.

This week’s ranked fights:

  • Cruiserweight: (9) Arsen Goulamirian vs Kane Watts, Nov. 15
  • Super Middleweight: (10) Rocky Fielding vs Abdallah Paziwapazi, Nov. 15
  • Junior Welterweight: (8) Eduard Troyanovsky vs Josef Zahradnik, Nov. 14
  • Bantamweight: (7) Jason Moloney vs Dixon Flores, Nov. 15
  • Super Flyweight: (8) Andrew Moloney vs Elton Dharry, Nov. 15

Notes: Pulev is 38 years old and keeps looking fairly pedestrian in victory, as he did on Saturday against Rydell Booker. I weighed it out and switched Povetkin and Pulev at 7/8 this week. There’s no huge difference between their recent résumés other than Povetkin lost to Anthony Joshua, which meant Povetkin also fought Anthony Joshua, which is a level Pulev hasn’t competed on in a while. About five years, in fact. And before that, not so much ever for Pulev.

Upcoming Fights: (2) Deontay Wilder vs (6) Luis Ortiz, Nov. 23 ... (3) Andy Ruiz Jr vs (4) Anthony Joshua, Dec. 7 ... (7) Alexander Povetkin vs Michael Hunter, Dec. 7 ... (1) Tyson Fury vs (2) Deontay Wilder, Feb. 22

Notes: I know what you’re saying, newly-converted boxing superfan: “Where is KSI? Isn’t this the weight class he fought in on Saturday?” Yes, it is! But despite his valiant victory over the muscular Logan Paul, he still comes up a little short of the top 10 at this point. Still, I wouldn’t expect anyone from No. 5 on down to fight anyone quite his caliber any time soon.

Upcoming Fights: (9) Arsen Goulamirian vs Kane Watts, Nov. 15 ... (6) Denis Lebedev vs Thabiso Mchunu, Dec. 21 ... (1) Mairis Briedis vs (2) Yuniel Dorticos, TBA

Upcoming Fights: (6) Jean Pascal vs (8) Badou Jack, Dec. 28 ... (1) Artur Beterbiev vs Meng Fanlong, TBA

Notes: Boy, that was not the sort of performance Saunders was hoping for on Saturday against Marcelo Coceres. The good news for Saunders is he turned it on and got Coceres out in the 11th round, retaining his title, but Billy Joe openly admitted he wasn’t on his game. What was meant to be a showcase turned into a nail-biting struggle. Saunders got through it, and he’s not losing ground here because there’s really no ground to be lost. He’s got a win at 160 over Eubank, who is going back to 160 in a few weeks anyway. And the last four guys here are solid fighters but 50/50 bets against Saunders at best.

Upcoming Fights: (10) Rocky Fielding vs Abdallah Paziwapazi, Nov. 15 ... (1) Callum Smith vs (9) John Ryder, Nov. 23 ... (6) Chris Eubank Jr vs Matt Korobov [middleweight], Dec. 7

Upcoming Fights: (6) Jermall Charlo vs Dennis Hogan, Dec. 7 ... (9) Matt Korobov vs Chris Eubank Jr, Dec. 7 ... (3) Daniel Jacobs vs Julio Cesar Chavez Jr [super middleweight], Dec. 20 ... (7) Ryota Murata vs Steven Butler, Dec. 23

Upcoming Fights: (8) Dennis Hogan vs Jermall Charlo [middleweight], Dec. 7 ... (5) Tony Harrison vs (6) Jermell Charlo, Dec. 21 ... (1) Julian Williams vs Jeison Rosario, Jan. 18

Upcoming Fights: (2) Terence Crawford vs Egidijus Kavaliauskas, Dec. 14 ... (1) Errol Spence Jr vs (6) Danny Garcia, TBA

Upcoming Fights: (8) Eduard Troyanovsky vs Josef Zahradnik, Nov. 14 ... (4) Maurice Hooker vs Pedro Campa [welterweight], Dec. 20 ... (3) Jose Ramirez vs (6) Viktor Postol, Feb. 1

Notes: Like Saunders at 168, Haney was meant to dazzle on Saturday and didn’t. He says he dislocated a shoulder in the fight, a wide win over Alfredo Santiago. But either way, beating Alfredo Santiago wasn’t going to raise his stock in any meaningful way in the first place. It was a showcase matchup. Haney will either get up there or not, but this week he stays put with his paper belt.

Upcoming Fights: (2) Richard Commey vs (6) Teofimo Lopez, Dec. 14 ... (3) Luke Campbell vs TBA, Dec. 20

Notes: Herring and Lamont Roach Jr put on a solid fight on Saturday, with Herring scraping out the win over 12 rounds to retain his WBO belt. It was a good matchup, and that might be sort of damning for Herring’s longer-term prospects as a titleholder and “top guy” at 130, because Roach has just never really looked like a contender before. So either Roach fought up to his level of opposition, or Herring’s level isn’t so far removed from outside the top 10. My bet’s on the latter, with due respect to Jamel and Lamont both. But time will tell, and at any rate, Jamel Herring is a titleholder, he is still in the top five here, and he goes on. And it really was a pretty good fight. Maybe it really was Lamont finally living up to Golden Boy’s hype and fighting to his ability.

Upcoming Fights: (4) Andrew Cancio vs Rene Alvarado, Nov. 23 ... (2) Gervonta Davis vs Yuriorkis Gamboa [lightweight], Dec. 28

Upcoming Fights: (1) Leo Santa Cruz vs Miguel Flores [super featherweight], Nov. 23 ... (8) Xu Can vs Manny Robles III, Nov. 23 ... (4) Oscar Valdez vs Andres Gutierrez [super featherweight], Nov. 30 ... (5) Carl Frampton vs Tyler McCreary, Nov. 30 ... (9) Kid Galahad vs Claudio Marrero, TBA

Upcoming Fights: (9) Brandon Figueroa vs Julio Ceja, Nov. 23

Notes: Some top five shuffle this week after a big Thursday in Japan. Naoya Inoue stays No. 1, obviously, with his hard-fought win over a determined Nonito Donaire. The 3/4/5 spots get some movement, but nothing huge. I really thought about this, and here’s my thinking: Oubaali has two wins over top 10 sort of guys this year in Rau’shee Warren and Takuma Inoue, plus a dominant win over Arthur Villanueva, who is one of Tete’s better wins at 118. Tete, meanwhile, does have a world title, but his résumé at 118 isn’t really anything to get super excited about. Donaire’s return to 118 has seen him pick up an injury win over Ryan Burnett and a win over Stephon Young, who replaced an injured Tete earlier this year. What’s more impressive to you, Tete winning against lesser competition, or the way Donaire sincerely pushed Naoya Inoue to the deepest waters of his career this past week? I think Donaire being that competitive with Inoue is more meaningful than Tete beating a 42-year-old Omar Narvaez or Mikhail Aloyan, but your mileage may vary, and how seriously you take world titles may influence that, too. I don’t think there’s a wrong answer, by the way, mine’s just Donaire.

Upcoming Fights: (7) Jason Moloney vs Dixon Flores, Nov. 15 ... (2) Luis Nery vs (6) Emmanuel Rodriguez, Nov. 23 ... (5) Zolani Tete vs John Riel Casimero, Nov. 30

Upcoming Fights: (8) Andrew Moloney vs Elton Dharry, Nov. 15 ... (10) Alejandro Santiago vs TBA [bantamweight], Nov. 22 ... (4) Kazuto Ioka vs Jeyvier Cintron, Dec. 31

Upcoming Fights: (4) Julio Cesar Martinez vs (8) Cristofer Rosales, Dec. 20 ... (2) Moruti Mthalane vs Akira Yaegashi, Dec. 23

Upcoming Fights: (1) Ken Shiro vs (5) Felix Alvarado, Dec. 23

Upcoming Fights: TBA

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