Rankings will be posted Tuesdays at Noon ET.
This week’s ranked fights:
Heavyweight: (8) Alexander Povetkin vs Hughie Fury, Aug. 31
Junior Middleweight: (3) Erislandy Lara vs Ramon Alvarez, Aug. 31
Lightweight: (1) Vasiliy Lomachenko vs (3) Luke Campbell, Aug. 31
Flyweight: (4) Charlie Edwards vs (5) Julio Cesar Martinez, Aug. 31
Upcoming Fights: (8) Alexander Povetkin vs Hughie Fury, Aug. 31 ... (1) Tyson Fury vs Otto Wallin, Sept. 14 ... (2) Deontay Wilder vs (6) Luis Ortiz, Nov. 9 ... (3) Andy Ruiz Jr vs (4) Anthony Joshua, Dec. 7
Notes: Ilunga Makabu won a hard-fought decision over Aleksei Papin on Saturday in Russia, getting scores he deserved on the road against an unbeaten fighter. Makabu has the WBC “silver” title, and there is no WBC titleholder right now, though that will be solved in December when Briedis faces Dorticos in the WBSS final, at least if the WBC don’t pull the belt again. Makabu is a solid contender, a must-watch fighter whenever you have the chance, and him getting a shot at the Briedis-Dorticos winner in 2020 wouldn’t be silly at all. He’s earned it, as much as “earned” ever really comes into play in boxing.
Upcoming Fights: (1) Oleksandr Usyk vs TBA, Oct. 12 [heavyweight] ... (2) Mairis Briedis vs (4) Yuniel Dorticos, Dec. 4
Notes: I’ve done some reshuffling with the top four, all titleholders in the division. Kovalev won over the weekend, of course, and is still a good fighter. But I think he’s No. 4 of the top four right now, judging them all on their most recent outings. Anthony Yarde came in largely unprepared for a fight on that level and had his moments, enough that I’d solidly favor any of the other three over Sergey at this point. I bumped Beterbiev ahead of Bivol, and I really do think that the Oct. 18 fight between Gvozdyk and Beterbiev is a 1-2 matchup right now. But one of them will lose in two months, too. The good news is this: whatever order you have these guys, this is a terrific top four for a division, and really the entire top 10 here is true quality, even weirdo Pascal, the absolute lunatic.
Upcoming Fights: (1) Oleksandr Gvozdyk vs (2) Artur Beterbiev, Oct. 18
Upcoming Fights: (5) Jose Uzcategui vs Denis Douglin, Sept. 21 ... (2) David Benavidez vs (4) Anthony Dirrell, Sept. 28
Upcoming Fights: (2) Gennadiy Golovkin vs (5) Sergiy Derevyanchenko, Oct. 5
Upcoming Fights: (3) Erislandy Lara vs Ramon Alvarez, Aug. 31 ... (7) Jaime Munguia vs Patrick Allotey, Sept. 14 ... (1) Julian Williams vs (2) Jarrett Hurd, Dec. 14
Upcoming Fights: (2) Errol Spence Jr vs (4) Shawn Porter, Sept. 28
Upcoming Fights: (9) Jose Zepeda vs Jose Pedraza, Sept. 14 ... (1) Regis Prograis vs (2) Josh Taylor, Oct. 26
Upcoming Fights: (1) Vasiliy Lomachenko vs (3) Luke Campbell, Aug. 31 ... (9) Devin Haney vs (10) Zaur Abdullaev, Sept. 13 ... (4) Jose Pedraza vs Jose Zepeda [junior welterweight], Sept. 14 ... (2) Richard Commey vs (8) Teofimo Lopez, TBA
Upcoming Fights: (4) Andrew Cancio vs Rene Alvarado, TBA ... (5) Jamel Herring vs Lamont Roach Jr, TBA
Upcoming Fights: (2) Josh Warrington vs Sofiane Takoucht, Oct. 12 ... (7) Shakur Stevenson vs Joet Gonzalez, TBA
Notes: Brandon Figueroa looks to have the goods, but his win over the weekend against old, small Javier Chacon was really nothing but a ticket-seller near home in Texas, and he did that part of it well, and he really beat the crap out of Chacon, for whatever that’s worth. A much more interesting fight is one they teased at the end of that show, between Figueroa and unbeaten Stephen Fulton, who isn’t too far outside my top 10 and may well deserve that 10th spot where I have Carlos Castro for the time being. If that one gets made, it’s a real deal matchup.
Upcoming Fights: (2) Daniel Roman vs Murodjon Akhmadaliev, Sept. 13 ... (3) Emanuel Navarrete vs TBA, Sept. 14
Upcoming Fights: (1) Naoya Inoue vs (3) Nonito Donaire, Nov. 7 ... (6) Nordine Oubaali vs (9) Takuma Inoue, TBA
Notes: Juan Francisco Estrada got more or less a victory lap homecoming win in Mexico. Dewayne Beamon gave it his best shot, but he was overmatched with Estrada, which was expected. This is a really talented division and hopefully we’ll see some of the top guys fight each other soon — any matchup between anyone ranked 1-8 seems really good to me.
Upcoming Fights: TBA
Notes: Kosei Tanaka didn’t look near unbeatable in his weekend victory, but once he flicked the switch he dominated Jonathan Gonzalez and put him away with some impressive body work. Gonzalez, a quick southpaw, showed enough holes in Tanaka’s game to make Tanaka’s future matchups a bit more intriguing, which isn’t a bad thing, but there also aren’t a lot of quality southpaws at 112 right now, either. One sticks out, though: Junto Nakatani, a rising contender at 112/115 who faces veteran Milan Melindo on Oct. 5. I’m not expert in the politics of Japanese boxing, though, so maybe that’s not really possible any time soon. Nakatani-Melindo will also be a 115-pound fight, with Melindo coming up from 108, though if Nakatani had a big fight at 112 he might still take it. The floating around guys can do in these lower weight classes can make stuff a little hard to track sometimes. Cristofer Rosales also won this weekend, taking a TKO-7 over a journeyman in Nicaragua, and this weekend we’ve got a WBC title fight.
Upcoming Fights: (4) Charlie Edwards vs (5) Julio Cesar Martinez, Aug. 31 ... (6) Andrew Selby vs TBA, Sept. 13 ... (8) Muhammad Waseem vs TBA, Sept. 13
Upcoming Fights: (2) Hiroto Kyoguchi vs Tetsuya Hisada, Oct. 1 ... (8) Milan Melindo vs Junto Nakatani [super flyweight], Oct. 5
Notes: We saw an upset and a title change this weekend in Puerto Rico, as Wilfredo Mendez won a decision over Vic Saludar to take the WBO 105-pound title on scores of 115-112, 116-111, and 117-110 in San Juan. Mendez was down in the third round, but won the fight, though Saludar has some complaints — his trainer couldn’t get a working visa, and apparently he arrived late due to the organizers, not his own doing. The Mendez win gives Puerto Rico a male world titleholder again, so that’s something. I might be harsh in dropping Saludar from No. 3 to No. 10, but the division is really the top two guys and then everyone else in a jumble after that.
Upcoming Fights: (9) Sammy Salva vs Pedro Taduran, Sept. 7