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Bad Left Hook Boxing Rankings (Feb. 4, 2020): New titleholders Akhmadaliev and Diaz moving on up

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Murodjon Akhmadaliev and Joseph Diaz Jr made the biggest moves of the week.

BOXING: JAN 30 Miami Fight Night Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Rankings will be posted each Tuesday at Noon ET.

Ranked fights this week:

  • Cruiserweight: (5) Kevin Lerena vs Firat Arslan, Feb. 8
  • Junior Middleweight: (9) Kell Brook vs Mark DeLuca, Feb. 8
  • Featherweight: (2) Gary Russell Jr vs (4) Tugstsogt Nyambayar, Feb. 8
  • Featherweight: (6) Kid Galahad vs (9) Claudio Marrero, Feb. 8
  • Junior Featherweight: (4) Guillermo Rigondeaux vs Liborio Solis [bantamweight], Feb. 8
  • Flyweight: (4) Artem Dalakian vs Josber Perez, Feb. 8
  • Minimumweight: (4) Wilfredo Mendez vs Gabriel Mendoza, Feb. 8

Upcoming Fights: (1) Tyson Fury vs (2) Deontay Wilder, Feb. 22 ... (3) Anthony Joshua vs (8) Kubrat Pulev, TBA


Notes: Makabu claimed the vacant WBC title with a decision win over Cieslak on Friday in Kinsasha. As usual, Makabu’s fight was worth watching, and Cieslak proved he was no empty pretender, too, though the loss does drop him a couple spots here. I think we’ve got a clear top four in this division, and the Nos. 3 and 4 slots could be switched. (Makabu-Glowacki is a fight I’d love to see, too, since we’re getting Briedis-Dorticos finally next month.)

Upcoming Fights: (5) Kevin Lerena vs Firat Arslan, Feb. 8 ... (1) Mairis Briedis vs (2) Yuniel Dorticos, Mar. 21


Upcoming Fights: (1) Artur Beterbiev vs Meng Fanlong, Mar. 28


Upcoming Fights: (4) Caleb Plant vs Vincent Feigenbutz, Feb. 15 ... (3) Canelo Alvarez vs TBA, May 2


Notes: Andrade proved nothing new whatsoever with his win over Luke Keeler on Thursday, as Keeler wasn’t a contender, wasn’t a fringe contender, wasn’t even on anyone’s radar for a title fight other than the WBO and Andrade’s team taking the fight, which was a ridiculous mismatch. I’m honestly not blaming Andrade here, mind you. There is truth to the idea that nobody’s exactly knocking down his door for a big fight. Canelo and GGG are with DAZN, too, and both of them have openly turned their noses up at a fight. Matchroom have made an offer to grossly overpay Jermall Charlo for a fight, and have said they’ll allow Andrade to fight on a PBC outlet, with Andrade saying he’s open to it if the offer coming back is similar to the one they’ve sent out (one won’t be). Now the plan may be for Andrade to move up to 168 and fight Billy Joe Saunders, which at least would mean Andrade is seriously trying. He’s not a dummy, he knows the fights he’s been stuck with aren’t making the impact he wants. Saunders isn’t some mega fight, but it’s a hell of a lot bigger than what appear to be Andrade’s limited options otherwise.

Upcoming Fights: (1) Canelo Alvarez vs TBA, May 2 ... (2) Gennadiy Golovkin vs Kamil Szeremeta, TBA


Upcoming Fights: (9) Kell Brook vs Mark DeLuca, Feb. 8 ... (6) Brian Castano vs (10) Patrick Teixeira, TBA


Notes: Like Andrade, Ugas proved nothing new with his Saturday win over Mike Dallas Jr. Like Andrade-Keeler, it was a silly mismatch, coming from fairly similar reasons; Ugas is good and not a big enough star. He got his crack at a top PBC guy in 2019 and came dangerously close to pulling the upset on Shawn Porter, a fight many observers felt Ugas won, myself included. Now the 33-year-old Cuban is established as a legit danger to top names, and, well, sometimes that’s good, and sometimes it’s not. In the case of Ugas, it’s making things tough. Hopefully he’ll get something at least better by the end of 2020; even someone like Josesito Lopez would be a big step back up from Dallas.

Upcoming Fights: (9) Vergil Ortiz Jr vs TBA, Mar. 28


Upcoming Fights: (1) Josh Taylor vs Apinun Khongsong, TBA ... (2) Jose Ramirez vs (6) Viktor Postol, TBA


Upcoming Fights: (1) Vasiliy Lomachenko vs (2) Teofimo Lopez, TBA ... (4) Luke Campbell vs (7) Javier Fortuna, TBA ... (10) Lee Selby vs George Kambosos Jr, TBA


Notes: A title change in the division on Thursday, as Diaz beat Farmer in a mild upset in Miami. It wasn’t a domination or anything, but Diaz was the better man despite working with a nasty gash from the second round on after a hard clash of heads that also seemed to throw Farmer off for the remainder of the fight. Farmer also hurt his right hand in the opening round, taking away his jab. The former titleholder says he’s going to exercise his rematch clause and look for revenge, which is fine. Golden Boy are suddenly very excited about Diaz, though Oscar De La Hoya didn’t bother attending the fight, as many pointed out. Diaz could maybe be No. 3 here, I guess, but it’s a minor quibble. Actually I suppose depending on what way you think is indisputably The Right Way to do this, maybe Diaz could be as high as No. 2. Farmer drops to No. 6; he lost this fight, and his title reign wasn’t exactly blowing the doors off if you’re honest about the competition he was fighting. He remains a contender, though.

Upcoming Fights: TBA


Upcoming Fights: (2) Gary Russell Jr vs (4) Tugstsogt Nyambayar, Feb. 8 ... (6) Kid Galahad vs (9) Claudio Marrero, Feb. 8 ... (10) Ryan Walsh vs TBA, Feb. 21 ... (3) Shakur Stevenson vs Miguel Marriaga, Mar. 14


Notes: A big leap for Uzbekistan’s Akhmadaliev, obviously, after claiming two belts by beating Daniel Roman on Thursday. That’s another fight where we might see a rematch, though perhaps not immediately. Akhmadaliev won a split decision that probably shouldn’t have been split; Roman was competitive, but finding seven rounds for him is tough, I think. Akhmadaliev was unproven heading into this fight, but clearly had talent, and the talent proved out at a high level. He can box, he’s got power, he’s smart. I think I’d pick him to beat Navarrete, honestly, and certainly wouldn’t count him out against Vargas. Roman doesn’t lose much standing for me. He was on a hell of a run, he’s beaten Doheny, and he wasn’t blown out by MJ. So he stays right in the mix at the top. The idea of overly penalizing guys for losing in good fights doesn’t work for me given how boxing operates. Rigondeaux will be moving down to bantamweight this weekend so we’ll have an open slot next week.

Upcoming Fights: (4) Guillermo Rigondeaux vs Liborio Solis [bantamweight], Feb. 8 ... (3) Emanuel Navarrete vs Jeo Tupas Santisima, Feb. 22


Upcoming Fights: (1) Naoya Inoue vs (5) John Riel Casimero, Apr. 25 ... (3) Nordine Oubaali vs (4) Nonito Donaire, TBA


Upcoming Fights: (6) Roman Gonzalez vs (7) Kal Yafai, Feb. 29


Upcoming Fights: (4) Artem Dalakian vs Josber Perez, Feb. 8 ... (3) Julio Cesar Martinez vs Jay Harris, Feb. 29


Notes: With last week’s No. 9, Daniel Valladares, moving down to 105 for a title fight over the weekend, former 105-pound titleholder DeeJay Kriel takes the No. 10 slot this week.

Upcoming Fights: (7) Sho Kimura vs Merlito Sabillo, Feb. 15


Notes: Taduran and Valladares went to a technical draw in just four rounds of action on Saturday in Mexico. Nothing was really learned there, but Taduran holds and Valladares moves in at No. 10 with the move down, because it’s not like Nkosinathi Joyi had some hard grip on the slot.

Upcoming Fights: (4) Wilfredo Mendez vs Gabriel Mendoza, Feb. 8