Rankings go up on Mondays at Noon ET.
Ranked fights this week:
- Cruiserweight: (9) Michal Cieslak vs Taylor Mabika, Dec. 5
- Super Middleweight: (5) Billy Joe Saunders vs Martin Murray, Dec. 4
- Welterweight: (1) Errol Spence Jr vs (6) Danny Garcia, Dec. 5
- Featherweight: (9) Ryan Walsh vs Jazza Dickens, Dec. 2
Notes: I said for some weeks leading up that if the winner of Dubois-Joyce did so in impressive fashion, they may have a good argument for a top 10 spot. I thought Joe Joyce’s win came in impressive fashion, and when you look at where those guys both were before — top 15 already — the, let’s say, No. 13 guy beating the No. 12 guy in my opinion says a lot more than Luis Ortiz has been saying for ... a long time. Again, what is Luis Ortiz’s best win? Is it still Bryant Jennings? Because Joyce has also beaten Bryant Jennings. Ortiz did it in more convincing fashion, sure, but his came five years ago, too, so that’s kind of a split argument, really. Since then for Ortiz, it’s two losses to Deontay Wilder and very little else of any note. I just don’t think the big Cuban quite has the hold on the spot anymore. Heavyweight will also get another fresh look after next week; if Anthony Joshua does as expected against Kubrat Pulev, I’m not sure there’s much holding Pulev in the rankings, either. I do have a “next man up,” a No. 11, if that’s the case, and it ain’t Ortiz. Again, I re-evaluate this stuff frequently, or try to, in an attempt to keep things fresh. Boxing moves fast, fighters rise and fall very suddenly. Rankings generally sitting stagnant — “well this guy didn’t lose, so...” — is one of the reasons I do my own for half of you to moan about.
Upcoming Fights: (2) Anthony Joshua vs (7) Kubrat Pulev, Dec. 12 ... (5) Alexander Povetkin vs (6) Dillian Whyte, Jan. 30
Upcoming Fights: (9) Michal Cieslak vs Taylor Mabika, Dec. 5 ... (2) Krzysztof Glowacki vs (8) Lawrence Okolie, Dec. 12 ... (3) Ilunga Makabu vs Olanrewaju Durodola, Dec. 19 ... (5) Kevin Lerena vs Patrick Ferguson, Dec. 19
Notes: Badou Jack took a cruiserweight stay-busy fight on the Tyson-Jones card, dominating a tough but way over-matched Blake McKernan over eight rounds. Jack is no puncher above this weight — he’s not that big of a puncher at this weight — but he looked sharp against a dude who tried his level best. It wasn’t full cruiser, and Jack said he’s planning a rematch with Jean Pascal back at 175 for early next year. That would be a fine fight to make. We’ll also be examining this coming weekend’s Anthony Yarde-Lyndon Arthur fight; the winner there might really deserve a spot here more than someone on the list, and that someone is Gilberto Ramirez. Ramirez got a ranking here because the division was looking real thin when he moved up in 2019, but he only beat Tommy Karpency, and he’s got Alfonso Lopez in December. But we’ll think about that more then. In particular, if it’s Yarde winning really impressively, Yarde deserves consideration.
Upcoming Fights: (8) Gilberto Ramirez vs Alfonso Lopez, Dec. 18 ... (1) Artur Beterbiev vs Adam Deines, TBA ... (4) Joe Smith Jr vs Maksim Vlasov, TBA
Notes: Boy, was Daniel Jacobs not good in a controversial win over Gabriel Rosado on Friday. Not moving Jacobs now — though I did consider switching him and Anthony Dirrell — because I think I was already fairly tentative about his placement at 168. I went into that fight looking at these rankings and going, “You know, I think I’d actually pick Jacobs to win in a fight with Saunders or Ryder.” Coming out of it, I don’t know that I’d pick him to beat either of them. Jacobs was exceptionally flat against Rosado, and really needs to figure some things out going forward. He sticks where he is now, but feels on thin ice at age 33. Does he really want to fight anymore? I don’t think that’s a sensational reaction, either. It’s an actual reasonable question after the way he performed. Sometimes fighters who have made some big bucks lose that hunger.
Upcoming Fights: (5) Billy Joe Saunders vs Martin Murray, Dec. 4 ... (6) John Ryder vs Mike Guy, Dec. 18 ... (1) Callum Smith vs (2) Canelo Alvarez, Dec. 19
Notes: Just a quick one here, nothing changed, but the Canelo situation — if Alvarez beats Callum Smith on Dec. 19, it’s, like, 99 percent certain already that he’s going to stay at 168. At that point, he’d be removed here at 160, because he’ll also probably vacate the WBA belt he’s been sitting on for a year-and-a-half now. By all accounts he doesn’t really plan to fight at 160 anymore. But if Smith wins, then Canelo still has that belt at 160 and money options here, and may feel it’s worth coming back to middleweight. So we’ll see. But that’s why he’s ranked at both weights for the time being, even though the intentions seem clear. I solidly favor Canelo on Dec. 19, but it’s no lock. Callum Smith isn’t some scrub.
Upcoming Fights: (10) Matt Korobov vs Ronald Ellis, Dec. 12 ... (2) Gennadiy Golovkin vs Kamil Szeremeta, Dec. 18 ... (1) Canelo Alvarez vs Callum Smith [super middleweight], Dec. 19
Upcoming Fights: (8) Michel Soro vs Ismail Iliev, Dec. 13 ... (3) Brian Castano vs (9) Patrick Teixeira, Feb. 6
Upcoming Fights: (1) Errol Spence Jr vs (6) Danny Garcia, Dec. 5
Notes: Jack Catterall got a pretty ho-hum tune-up win on the Dubois-Joyce show, which kept him active. He’s WBO mandatory, but Top Rank and Queensberry and the fighters all seem to really want to make Taylor-Ramirez for the undisputed championship. Catterall may honestly be better served waiting for that to happen and then seeing if the WBO or even all four belts go vacant after it does, if the winner were to move up to 147. Catterall probably has a better shot at winning the WBO belt if he does it in a vacant title fight against someone like Liam Paro or Arnold Barboza Jr than he would against Ramirez or, potentially, Taylor. On the other hand, those guys are much bigger fights, and sometimes fighters really do care about their legacy and all that and it’s not just a thing to say.
Upcoming Fights: TBA
Upcoming Fights: (5) Luke Campbell vs (9) Ryan Garcia, Jan. 2
Upcoming Fights: (7) Shakur Stevenson vs Toka Kahn Clary, Dec. 12 ... (4) Joseph Diaz Jr vs Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov, Feb. 20 ... (3) Jamel Herring vs (9) Carl Frampton, TBA ... (1) Miguel Berchelt vs (6) Oscar Valdez, TBA
Upcoming Fights: (9) Ryan Walsh vs Jazza Dickens, Dec. 2
Upcoming Fights: TBA
Upcoming Fights: (3) Nonito Donaire vs (6) Emmanuel Rodriguez, Dec. 19 ... (8) Takuma Inoue vs Keita Kurihara, Jan. 14
Upcoming Fights: (9) Francisco Rodriguez Jr vs Julio Cesar Martinez [flyweight], Dec. 19 ... (4) Kazuto Ioka vs Kosei Tanaka, Dec. 31
Upcoming Fights: (2) Julio Cesar Martinez vs Francisco Rodriguez Jr, Dec. 19 ... (3) Moruti Mthalane vs Jayson Mama, Dec. 20 ... (1) Kosei Tanaka vs Kazuto Ioka, Dec. 31 [junior bantamweight]
Upcoming Fights: TBA
Notes: And so the long run at No. 1 for TBE Wanheng has truly ended. We thought it had when he announced his retirement suddenly earlier this year, but then through some frankly weird language, the announcement was deleted and it was all chalked up to him being, um, emotional or something. Then he comes back for this fight with Petchmanee CP Freshmart, loses 115-113 across the board, and the WBC belt moves on. One figures Wanheng may retire now, this time for real, with no sudden reversal. The whole thing still seems weird to me but then most of the world is weird to me anymore and there are more pressing things to think about than 105-pound boxing. Petchmanee does not take the top spot; that goes to Knockout CP Freshmart, who has sat at No. 2 for a while. I know that may really burn some hides, grind some gears, chap some asses, but think of it this way: Robert Baratheon did not kill King Aerys II Targaryen, right? Jaime Lannister did. Robert did kill Prince Rhaegar, but the man who slayed the King did not become King. Robert Baratheon did. It was his Rebellion, after all. They called it that. I know that’s all pretend. Also remember when that show was the biggest deal in the world and then it sucked so bad at the end everyone just agreed to never talk about it again? Also remember when every web site of any kind on the internet did, like, full-on coverage of the final season? I wish someone had told me we were supposed to cover that. I had a lot of thoughts. Anyway, Wanheng lost, he’s No. 3 now. But he’s still four wins up on Floyd.
Upcoming Fights: TBA
Upcoming Fights: (3) Errol Spence Jr vs Danny Garcia, Dec. 5 ... (1) Canelo Alvarez vs Callum Smith, Dec. 19 ... (9) Miguel Berchelt vs Oscar Valdez, TBA
Upcoming Fights: (1) Claressa Shields vs Marie-Eve Dicaire, TBA ... (5) Jessica McCaskill vs (6) Cecilia Braekhus, TBA