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Bad Left Hook Boxing Rankings (Dec. 24, 2019): Jermell Charlo, Daniel Jacobs make moves after busy week of boxing

Tony Harrison v Jermell Charlo Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images
Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

Rankings will be posted each Tuesday at Noon ET.

This week’s ranked fights:

  • Cruiserweight: (8) Arsen Goulamirian vs Constantin Bejenaru, Dec. 28
  • Light Heavyweight: (5) Jean Pascal vs (8) Badou Jack, Dec. 28
  • Super Middleweight: (9) Jose Uzcategui vs Lionell Thompson, Dec. 28
  • Junior Lightweight: (2) Gervonta Davis vs Yuriorkis Gamboa [lightweight], Dec. 28
  • Junior Bantamweight: (4) Kazuto Ioka vs Jeyvier Cintron, Dec. 31
  • Flyweight: (1) Kosei Tanaka vs Wulan Tuolehazi, Dec. 31

Upcoming Fights: (1) Tyson Fury vs (2) Deontay Wilder, Feb. 22

Notes: 40-year-old Denis Lebedev, ranked No. 6 last week, announced his retirement once again following a Saturday loss in Russia to Thabiso Mchunu, so we had a spot to fill here. Mchunu had some argument, but it’s hard to know exactly how much weight to put on him beating an inactive Lebedev who already had a foot out the door. So I’m going with Tabiti here; I know he’s not everyone’s favorite fighter to watch (he’s not mine, either), but he’s got just the one loss to Dorticos, who is the No. 2 guy in the division right now, and his résumé isn’t any worse than anyone else who could occupy the spot instead.

Upcoming Fights: (8) Arsen Goulamirian vs Constantin Bejenaru, Dec. 28

Notes: Well it was a fun six weeks or whatever to have Canelo Alvarez ranked in the top three of three divisions from 160 to 175, but with Alvarez vacating his WBO light heavyweight title, it’s clear he has zero intention of fighting at this weight again in the near future, so I don’t see the need to keep him ranked. Jesse Hart moves back in at No. 10 and more importantly Jean Pascal can once again reasonably be called a top five light heavyweight.

Upcoming Fights: (5) Jean Pascal vs (8) Badou Jack, Dec. 28 ... (10) Jesse Hart vs Joe Smith Jr, Jan. 11 ... (7) Eleider Alvarez vs Michael Seals, Jan. 18 ... (1) Artur Beterbiev vs Meng Fanlong, TBA

Notes: Daniel Jacobs says he’s not counting out a return to 160 if he can land a fight with Jermall Charlo or Gennadiy Golovkin, but neither of those things seems terribly likely, and it’s also hard to forget Jacobs saying as soon as his May loss to Canelo was over that he couldn’t keep pushing himself to make 160, that it was sapping his performances. Jacobs’ win over Julio Cesar Chavez Jr isn’t anything to get crazy excited about, but he’s accomplished enough overall that he deserves a spot here, and I think he’d be a favorite against anyone below him, though Dirrell and Uzcategui might be interesting fights, particularly Dirrell. For now the clear most likely thing is Jacobs getting a bigger fight at 168 and staying in this division, which is probably the smart thing to do.

Upcoming Fights: (9) Jose Uzcategui vs Lionell Thompson, Dec. 28 ... (4) Caleb Plant vs Vincent Feigenbutz, Feb. 15

Notes: With Jacobs moving to 168, we’ve got bumps for seven guys and a new ranked fighter at the No. 10 spot. I’m going with Liam Williams. My debate came down to Williams, Maciej Sulecki, and Liam Smith. Sulecki had been ranked before, but he didn’t exactly have a banner year, barely surviving Gabriel Rosado in March before being shut out by Demetrius Andrade in June. Williams won this past weekend, thrashing Alantez Fox in a WBO eliminator, so he’s in line for a shot at that belt soon. Smith I considered because he’s been at 160 for his last two fights, including one on Friday, and he does have two narrow wins over Williams from back in 2017 when both were at 154. But Williams has looked like an animal settling in at 160 over the last year, and boxing is very “what have you done for me lately,” it’s just the nature of the beast. Right now, I’m going with Liam Williams, but this is a debatable slot to say the least. Ryota Murata fought and won as expected on Monday, beating Steven Butler via stoppage in five.

Upcoming Fights: (3) Demetrius Andrade vs Luke Keeler, Jan. 30 ... (2) Gennadiy Golovkin vs Kamil Szeremeta, TBA

Notes: After getting the WBC belt back from Tony Harrison in a fantastic fight on Saturday, Jermell Charlo probably doesn’t want to hear he’s the No. 5 guy at 154, and I suspect many would disagree with this, perhaps largely due to the way Charlo has been aggressively promoted by PBC. But I struggle to find a great reason for him to leapfrog Lara or Castano or Hurd, honestly, and that’s not meant as disrespect to Charlo. This is a really good top six, a lot of really good fighters, I think all pretty evenly-matched in any possible combination. Like, I could see Harrison giving J-Rock Williams real problems in the style matchup, for instance, even coming off the loss to Charlo. All of them have PBC association, too, so this is a division they pretty much own at the time being, other than the WBO belt.

Upcoming Fights: (7) Jaime Munguia vs Gary O’Sullivan [middleweight], Jan. 11 ... (1) Julian Williams vs Jeison Rosario, Jan. 18 ... (2) Jarrett Hurd vs Francisco Santana, Jan. 25 ... (9) Kell Brook vs Mark DeLuca, Feb. 8

Upcoming Fights: (6) Danny Garcia vs Ivan Redkach, Jan. 25 ... (7) Yordenis Ugas vs Mike Dallas Jr, Feb. 1

Notes: Maurice Hooker dipped a toe at a higher weight on Friday in Phoenix, beating Uriel Perez in the first round at a 144-pound catchweight, but he made it very clear post-fight that he’s going to stay at 140 for a serious fight in 2020, mentioning Josh Taylor as a target. So the Texan former titleholder stays ranked here, right in that same No. 4 spot.

Upcoming Fights: (2) Jose Ramirez vs (6) Viktor Postol, Feb. 1

Upcoming Fights: (9) Jorge Linares vs TBA, Feb. 8 ... (1) Vasiliy Lomachenko vs (2) Teofimo Lopez, TBA ... (4) Luke Campbell vs (6) Javier Fortuna, TBA ... (10) Lee Selby vs Francesco Patera, TBA

Upcoming Fights: (2) Gervonta Davis vs Yuriorkis Gamboa [lightweight], Dec. 28 ... (4) Tevin Farmer vs (8) Joseph Diaz Jr, Jan. 30 ... (10) Masayuki Ito vs Yongqiang Yang, Feb. 1

Notes: We had a really big upset on Saturday night, as veteran Oscar Escandon knocked out rising contender Jhack Tepora on a body shot, taking last week’s No. 8 fighter out of the rankings here. I considered putting Escandon in at No. 10, but we’re talking about a 35-year-old fighter who had lost three straight, all by stoppage, coming into that fight. He wasn’t near the top 10 and that one win, and the way it went down, gives me pause. It was a beautifully placed body shot, Tepora had no hope of getting up. I don’t mean to discredit Escandon’s win, it’s legit, but as I’ve said before — and it always gets taken the wrong way by someone — first round knockouts at a high level have a tendency to be fluky unless you’re talking about someone with absurd power like Deontay Wilder. So anyway, Escandon put himself back on the map for sure, but I’m going with Ryan Walsh, the reigning British champion who has had a solid run over the last three years, going 6-1-1 in that stretch, and the loss was a road split decision to Dennis Ceylan in a European title bout in Oct. 2016, too, the draw against a talented Isaac Lowe in Lowe’s hometown. Truth be told, this is a division rather struggling to fill out a good top 10 at the moment, what with the recent exodus of Santa Cruz, Valdez, and Frampton.

Upcoming Fights: (6) Kid Galahad vs (9) Claudio Marrero, Feb. 8

Upcoming Fights: (2) Daniel Roman vs (10) Murodjon Akhmadaliev, Jan. 30

Upcoming Fights: (1) Naoya Inoue vs TBA, Apr. 25

Notes: Last week’s No. 10 man, Aston Palicte, was another guy on the wrong end of an upset this week, as he dropped an eight-round decision to club fighter Renz Rosia in Manila. It looks like the 28-year-old Palicte has fully peaked, and, well, it wasn’t exactly a legendary peak in the first place. McWilliams Arroyo steps in here, as he fought his last fight at 115 and looks to be staying there, so he’s up from 112, where he was ranked 10th last week. Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez also got back in action on Monday, stopping young journeyman Diomel Diocos in two rounds. Gonzalez wasn’t up against a top foe or anything, but he still looks good, still passes the eye test. He remains a threat at 115, and since that card had at least some Top Rank association, it’d be nice to see Gonzalez face Jerwin Ancajas, perhaps. I’d make that 50/50.

Upcoming Fights: (4) Kazuto Ioka vs Jeyvier Cintron, Dec. 31

Notes: A big week for this division, and a slight shuffle in the top four, as I’ve bumped Julio Cesar Martinez from No. 4 to No. 3 after his WBC title win on Friday, where he beat Cristofer Rosales with another very strong performance. Martinez has wins this year over Rosales and Andrew Selby, both top 10 talents, and should’ve had one over Charlie Edwards, really. That’s just better than what Dalakian’s been doing, but let me make it clear as day: I think they should fight and settle it themselves. Brother, that’d be a doozy. Actually any matchup of the top four here would be a stone cold hoot; that’s true in most divisions in some respect, in that they’d all be solid matchups, but these all figure to be fun fights, too. I’m not penalizing Rosales for losing to Martinez, there’s really nowhere for him to go here that I agree with. I don’t see losing to Martinez as worse than Muhammad Waseem’s not-very-inspiring decision win over an old Ganigan Lopez in November. Waseem would also lose to Martinez, most likely. We also saw Moruti Mthalane hold his spot at No. 2 with a good win over Akira Yaegashi, who is still very game but was overwhelmed eventually. You could argue Martinez over Mthalane right now, I think, but while I’d pick Martinez to win if they met, I wouldn’t do so with crazy confidence, and Mthalane, even at 37, still looks sharp. And he hasn’t lost a fight since 2008, making flyweight all that time. Put some respect on his name, everyone. This guy’s quietly been one of the better boxers of the decade. To fill the whole left by McWilliams Arroyo moving up to 115, I’ve gone with Giemel Magrano of the Philippines. Magramo lost a competitive decision to Waseem back in 2016 and is 7-0 since, all wins by stoppage. Not at the highest level, mind you, but no other option was particularly more inspiring.

Upcoming Fights: (1) Kosei Tanaka vs Wulan Tuolehazi, Dec. 31

Notes: Teraji made it 17-0 with a fourth round wipeout of Randy Petalcorin, a fringe contender who took the fight on short notice, replacing Felix Alvarado. I really hope we see Teraji-Alvarado revisited, because that could be a great fight. I also did some minor housekeeping of sorts here, bumping Alvarado and Elwin Soto ahead up a spot, and Hekkie Budler down two. I don’t personally stick with a “one year of inactivity and you’re out!” rule, because boxing being the way it is, fighters can lose a full year of their careers to all kinds of idiot reasons, some of which straight up are not their fault, but Budler hasn’t fought since losing to Kyoguchi a year ago.

Upcoming Fights: TBA

Upcoming Fights: TBA

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