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WBC unveils “bridgerweight” rankings

Oscar Rivas and Ryad Merhy get top positions

Dillian Whyte v Oscar Rivas - Heavyweight Boxing Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images

It looks as though Mauricio Sulaiman and the WBC are actually going to try and make “bridgerweight,” which runs from 200-224 pounds, a thing. The sanctioning body today released its inaugural rankings for the division.

1. Oscar Rivas
2. Ryad Merhy
3. Kevin Lerena
4. Dmitry Kudryashov
5. Evgeny Romanov
6. Bryant Jennings
7. Artur Szpilka
8. Alen Babic
9. Joel Tambwe Djeko
10. Shigabudin Aliev
11. Marco Huck
12. Bilal Laggoune
13. Samuel Kadje
14. Rashid Kodzoev
15. Isaac Chamberlain

Putting aside the idiocy of unilaterally creating a new division and expecting the assorted cruiserweights and small heavyweights involved to play ball, this list is loaded with issues. To start, Ryad Merhy, who would presumably be part of its first-ever title fight, has already been ordered to fight Beibut Shumenov for the WBA “world” cruiserweight belt.

It takes a lot to make a WBA “world” belt the more glamorous by comparison, but here we are.

In addition, Oscar Rivas hasn’t fought in a year and is coming off a loss, Dmitry Kudryashov hasn’t fought in a year and only won that one by robbery, Kevin Lerena is Mairis Briedis’ highest-ranked IBF challenger, Evgeny Romanov has beaten nobody, Bryant Jenning’s on a two-fight skid, and Artur Szpilka got a robbery of his own in his March cruiserweight debut. I could go on, but the fact of the matter is that this is a mix of fighters who have better options elsewhere and ones who do not deserve to be in any sort of rankings.

I’ve avoided writing about this whole debacle, as I expected the boxing world’s unanimous antipathy to change the WBC’s mind, but if they’re going to insist on it, I guess I’ll have to acknowledge it.

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