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Bad Left Hook Boxing Rankings (May 14, 2019): Julian Williams claims top spot at 154

The new BLH rankings are here, and will be posted weekly on Tuesdays.

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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.

Upcoming Fights: (3) Deontay Wilder vs Dominic Breazeale, May 18 ... (1) Anthony Joshua vs (10) Andy Ruiz Jr, June 1 ... (2) Tyson Fury vs Tom Schwarz, June 15 ... (4) Dillian Whyte vs (8) Oscar Rivas, July 20

Notes: There may be some confusion here. Some places list the WBA title as “vacant” because Usyk isn’t recognized by them anymore now that he’s moving to heavyweight. But in the last WBA rankings published on April 30, they had reinstated Denis Lebedev as WBA “super world” champion.

Upcoming Fights: (7) Junior Makabu vs Mike Perez, June 8 ... (8) Kevin Lerena vs Vasil Ducar, June 8 ... (2) Mairis Briedis vs (4) Krzysztof Glowacki, June 15 ... (5) Yunier Dorticos vs (9) Andrew Tabiti, June 15

Upcoming Fights: (8) Sullivan Barrera vs Jesse Hart, June 15 ... (2) Sergey Kovalev vs Anthony Yarde, TBA

Notes: Since I am nothing if not inconsistent, I have chosen to rank Saunders at super middleweight based on where I expect to rank him when he beats Shefat Isufi and wins the vacant WBO title on Saturday. If he loses or looks like garbage then I’ll feel a real fool, just silly as hell, but ultimately it’s a boxing rankings list on some web site that like the rest of them has no impact on anything, so I don’t really care. I will just adjust the ranking then, I reckon. Mostly I didn’t feel like spending brain time trying to figure out if I’d rank Rocky Fielding or Avni Yildirim at No. 10 for a week before putting Saunders in next Tuesday, I’d already debated those guys or John Ryder.

Upcoming Fights: (7) Billy Joe Saunders vs Shefat Isufi, May 18 ... (1) Callum Smith vs TBA, June 1 ... (4) Jesse Hart vs Sullivan Barrera [175], June 15 ... (3) Caleb Plant vs Mike Lee, July 20

Notes: Korobov got a raw deal with a draw this past weekend against Immanuwel Aleem. He did fade down the stretch in that fight, but he still deserved to win at least six rounds of the bout and get the W.

Upcoming Fights: (2) Gennadiy Golovkin vs Steve Rolls, June 8 ... (4) Demetrius Andrade vs (9) Maciej Sulecki, June 29 ... (6) Jermall Charlo vs Brandon Adams, June 29 ... (7) Rob Brant vs (8) Ryota Murata, July 12 ... (1) Canelo Alvarez vs TBA, Sept. 14

Notes: Hurd would’ve come into last week in the No. 1 spot, and Williams beating him gives “J Rock” that honor now. I just can’t see anyone else having a good enough case. Williams’ victory was thorough and convincing. He’s the best right now at 154. If you’re wondering about Kell Brook, I did not forget him. This is a good division and Brook didn’t look so hot in his last fight against a guy who isn’t near world level.

Upcoming Fights: (8) Austin Trout vs Terrell Gausha, May 25 ... (5) Tony Harrison vs (6) Jermell Charlo, June 23

Upcoming Fights: (3) Manny Pacquiao vs (4) Keith Thurman, July 20

Upcoming Fights: (2) Josh Taylor vs (5) Ivan Baranchyk, May 18 ... (9) Jose Zepeda vs Eleazar Valenzuela, May 18

Notes: Mikey Garcia isn’t going to fight at lightweight next and his last fight was at welterweight, but for the time being I felt it was best to just rank him here. If he fights at 140, he’ll rank there once he’s done so again, if he wins. If he fights at 147, we’ll see. Those last few spots are there to be taken at welterweight, but it would depend how Garcia looks, who he fights, etc.

Upcoming Fights: (6) Jose Pedraza vs Antonio Lozada Jr, May 25 ... (3) Richard Commey vs (10) Ray Beltran, June 28 ... (9) Teofimo Lopez vs Masayoshi Nakatani, July 19 ... (1) Vasiliy Lomachenko vs (4) Luke Campbell, TBA

Notes: Berchelt cemented his top spot with a one-sided rematch win over Vargas on Saturday. A lot of people have called Vargas “shot,” because people love throwing that term around, but he fought with a lot of spirit and determination, enough that I think he still deserves to be ranked in the top 10 for now. This wasn’t like Rios-Alvarado III or Vazquez-Marquez IV or anything, where one guy was clearly just dunzo. We already knew Berchelt was better than him and a tough matchup, I don’t think we learned anything new in that fight.

Upcoming Fights: (5) Masayuki Ito vs Jamel Herring, May 25 ... (4) Andrew Cancio vs (6) Alberto Machado, June 21 ... (3) Gervonta Davis vs TBA, July 27 ... (2) Tevin Farmer vs Guillaume Frenois, TBA

Notes: I had my usual miserable time deciding on the top three, because I think Russell beats Santa Cruz or Warrington head-to-head, but it’s so hard to call him the No. 1 guy at the weight when he’s fighting Kiko Martinez in what might be his only bout of the year. I mean, yeah, Santa Cruz fought Rafael Rivera last time out, but he’ll fight again this year. A great way to put my mind at ease would be for Russell to fight one of those guys, or for one of those guys to fight Russell — whatever team you think you’re on and how you need to put it to keep from bursting blood vessels in your eyes.

Upcoming Fights: (3) Gary Russell Jr vs Kiko Martinez, May 18 ... (4) Oscar Valdez vs Jason Sanchez, June 8 ... (2) Josh Warrington vs (9) Kid Galahad, June 15 ... (8) Shakur Stevenson vs TBA, July 13

Notes: Navarrete’s second win over Dogboe on Saturday was even more punishing than his first. I don’t think it downgrades Dogboe terribly, for what it’s worth — Navarrete is simply a miserable style matchup for him. Dogboe says he’s moving up to featherweight, which is going to be very difficult for him at 5’2”. Rigondeaux is a puzzler right now. He’s never lost at this weight or really been close to losing, but he’s also getting old and hasn’t had a serious fight at 122 in a long time. I almost just put him at No. 1 but I couldn’t pull the trigger on it. No. 4 is conservative both ways, I think.

Upcoming Fights: (4) Guillermo Rigondeaux vs Julio Ceja, June 23 ... (1) Rey Vargas vs (8) Tomoki Kameda, July 13 ... (2) Daniel Roman vs Murodjon Akhmadaliev, TBA

Notes: The only division where neither of the top two spots are occupied by a titleholder. Inoue does have the WBA’s secondary belt, though, and if he wins on Saturday he’ll have the IBF belt, so this will be a one-week deal either way that fight goes, since if Rodriguez beats Inoue on Saturday, he’ll jump to the top spot and solve the same “problem.” Burnett returns Friday at 122, but we’ll see what he says about staying at that weight or not.

Upcoming Fights: (5) Ryan Burnett vs Jelbirt Gomera [122], May 17 ... (1) Naoya Inoue vs (3) Emmanuel Rodriguez, May 18 ... (8) Jason Moloney vs TBA, June 15

Upcoming Fights: (7) Kal Yafai vs Norbelto Jimenez, June 1 ... (10) Francisco Rodriguez Jr vs David Barreto, June 1 ... (8) Andrew Moloney vs TBA, June 15 ... (6) Kazuto Ioka vs (9) Aston Palicte, June 19

Notes: Mthalane’s Monday win over Masayuki Kuroda probably wasn’t the best showing of the South African’s career, but a good fight and clear victory over a game opponent. Mthalane and Charlie Edwards are talking unification.

Upcoming Fights: (5) Sho Kimura vs Carlos Canizales [108], May 26 ... (3) Artem Dalakian vs Dennapa Kiatniwat, June 15

Upcoming Fights: (5) Felix Alvarado vs (8) Reiya Konishi, May 19 ... (6) Carlos Canizales vs Sho Kimura, May 26 ... (2) Hiroto Kyoguchi vs Satanmuanglek CP Freshmart, June 19 ... (3) Angel Acosta vs TBA, June 21

Upcoming Fights: (1) Wanheng Menayothin vs (9) Tatsuya Fukuhara, May 31

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