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Boxing Rankings (November 8, 2021): Canelo rules at 168, Mikaela Mayer, Rey Vargas, more

Canelo is the king at super middleweight, plus more in this week’s boxing rankings update.

Canelo Alvarez is clearly the top man at 168, and still has his P4P case, too
Canelo Alvarez is clearly the top man at 168, and still has his P4P case, too
Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images

Rankings go up on Mondays.

Ranked fights this week:

  • Super Middleweight: (2) David Benavidez vs Kyrone Davis, Nov. 13
  • Middleweight: (7) Jaime Munguia vs Gabriel Rosado, Nov. 13
  • Featherweight: (4) Kid Galahad vs Kiko Martinez, Nov. 13
  • Bantamweight: (9) Takuma Inoue vs Shingo Wake [junior featherweight], Nov. 11
  • Women’s P4P: (10) Terri Harper vs Alycia Baumgardner, Nov. 13

Additional note on the rankings: I’ve decided that when the calendar turns over to 2022, anyone who doesn’t have a fight at least decently rumored to be in the works and hasn’t fought in over 12 months will be taken out of the rankings. COVID threw things for a weird loop in 2020 and into 2021, but also at this point everyone really has had plenty of time to start fighting again. The start of 2022 will give us a chance for a clean refresh across all divisions without trying to figure out when “inactivity” should start for a sport that went on pause for months and had odd situations for many more. After that, we will be adopting a system where fighters go inactive after 18 months of inactivity.


Upcoming Fights: (8) Joseph Parker vs Derek Chisora, Dec. 18


Upcoming Fights: TBA


Upcoming Fights: (5) Badou Jack vs TBA [cruiserweight], Nov. 26 ... (1) Artur Beterbiev vs (4) Marcus Browne, Dec. 17 ... (7) Maxim Vlasov vs (9) Joshua Buatsi, Dec. 18 ... (3) Joe Smith Jr vs Umar Salamov, TBA


Notes: Another one bites the dust, as Canelo Alvarez put Caleb Plant away in good form on Saturday night to become the undisputed super middleweight champion of the world. I don’t want to say Canelo is unbeatable right now, because that’s a very strong word, but it’s hard to see how anyone at this weight deals with him in the next couple of years, other than maybe Benavidez, whose size and power might give him a real chance, but it’s not like power and overwhelming physicality are all Canelo brings to the table, either. He is a masterful boxer at this point, and he would be an enormous step up in competition for Benavidez, just as he was the others he’s beaten for belts at 168.

Plenty of options going forward for Canelo, including a minor sleeper who also won on Saturday, Zach Parker, who is the WBO mandatory and stopped Marcus Morrison inside of four rounds in Birmingham, England. There are worse options, but in all respects Parker would be among the lower tier of what people want to see next for Canelo.

I’m not dropping Caleb Plant much, same as I didn’t with Callum Smith or Billy Joe Saunders when they lost to Canelo. I just don’t think there should be some great (pretend) penalty for actually taking a big fight and not winning. In every respect, fighters should be more frequently encouraged to take big fights, tough fights, fights that aren’t easy on paper or in reality. And I honestly thought Plant fought pretty well, same as Saunders did in May. Both used the skills they have pretty nicely, but they fought arguably the best active boxer on the planet and they didn’t win, because their skill sets were not of particularly great use against Canelo.

Upcoming Fights: (2) David Benavidez vs Kyrone Davis, Nov. 13 ... (5) Carlos Gongora vs Lerrone Richards, Dec. 18 ... (10) David Morrell Jr vs Alantez Fox, Dec. 18


Upcoming Fights: (7) Jaime Munguia vs Gabriel Rosado, Nov. 13 ... (3) Demetrius Andrade vs Jason Quigley, Nov. 19 ... (8) Janibek Alimkhanuly vs Hassan N’Dam, Nov. 20 ... (4) Sergiy Derevyanchenko vs Carlos Adames, Dec. 5 ... (6) Chris Eubank Jr vs (9) Liam Williams, Dec. 11 ... (1) Gennadiy Golovkin vs (5) Ryota Murata, Dec. 29


Upcoming Fights: (6) Tim Tszyu vs Takeshi Inoue, Nov. 17 ... (7) Sebastian Fundora vs (10) Sergio Garcia, Dec. 5 ... (8) Michel Soro vs (9) Israil Madrimov, TBA


Upcoming Fights: (2) Terence Crawford vs (4) Shawn Porter, Nov. 20 ... (3) Yordenis Ugas vs Eimantas Stanionis, TBA


Upcoming Fights: (3) Jose Ramirez vs (7) Jose Pedraza, Feb. 5 ... (1) Josh Taylor vs Jack Catterall, Feb. 26


Upcoming Fights: (1) Teofimo Lopez vs (9) George Kambosos Jr, Nov. 27 ... (4) Devin Haney vs (8) Joseph Diaz Jr, Dec. 4 ... (6) Gervonta Davis vs Isaac Cruz, Dec. 5 ... (2) Vasiliy Lomachenko vs (5) Richard Commey, Dec. 11


Upcoming Fights: (7) Azinga Fuzile vs Kenichi Ogawa, Nov. 27 ... (6) Chris Colbert vs (8) Roger Gutierrez, TBA


Notes: Former 122 lb titleholder Rey Vargas is in, making his return from a 28-month absence and his move up to featherweight with a pretty dominant win over Leonardo Baez. Baez is no great shakes, but Vargas looked sharp and in good form, not much if any rust on him, and he’s a very good boxer who can be a real contender in this division. Xu Can, whose carriage may have turned into a pumpkin, is out. This is a pretty good division in terms of talent, though, it’s definitely deeper than just a top 10 for good fighters.

Upcoming Fights: (4) Kid Galahad vs Kiko Martinez, Nov. 13 ... (10) Isaac Dogboe vs Christopher Diaz, Nov. 20 ... (2) Gary Russell Jr vs Mark Magsayo, TBA ... (6) Leigh Wood vs Michael Conlan, TBA


Upcoming Fights: (1) Murodjon Akhmadaliev vs Jose Velasquez, Nov. 19 ... (2) Stephen Fulton Jr vs (3) Brandon Figueroa, Nov. 27 ... (10) Ra’eese Aleem vs Eduardo Baez, Nov. 27


Notes: Takuma Inoue will be moving up to 122 this week, so he’ll be out at 118 next week. I’m giving myself the extra week to think on a new No. 10, though.

Upcoming Fights: (9) Takuma Inoue vs Shingo Wake [junior featherweight], Nov. 11 ... (2) Nonito Donaire vs Reymart Gaballo, Dec. 11 ... (3) John Riel Casimero vs Paul Butler, Dec. 11 ... (1) Naoya Inoue vs Aran Dipaen, Dec. 14


Upcoming Fights: (9) Donnie Nietes vs TBA, Dec. 11 ... (1) Juan Francisco Estrada vs (4) Chocolatito Gonzalez, TBA ... (3) Srisaket Sor Rungvisai vs Carlos Cuadras, TBA


Upcoming Fights: (1) Julio Cesar Martinez vs (7) McWilliams Arroyo, Nov. 19 ... (2) Sunny Edwards vs Jayson Mama, Dec. 11 ... (5) Artem Dalakian vs Luis Concepcion, TBA


Upcoming Fights: TBA


Notes: Petchmanee and Wanheng fought on the same Nov. 2 card in Thailand, both winning pretty handily and Petchmanee retaining his WBC title, and are now reportedly set to rematch on Jan. 25. Petchmanee upset Wanheng and ended his undefeated streak at 54 fights in Nov. 2020, a controversial decision. There’s every reason to argue that the winner of that fight should really take over as the No. 1-ranked fighter in the division, but we’ll see how it goes. Knockout CP Freshmart also has a title defense lined up now on Dec. 14.

Upcoming Fights: (10) Ayanda Ndulani vs Siphamandla Baleni, Nov. 26 ... (9) Vic Saludar vs Erick Rosa Pacheco, Dec. 9 ... (1) Knockout CP Freshmart vs Robert Paradero, Dec. 14 ... (4) Wilfredo Mendez vs Masataka Taniguchi, Dec. 14 ... (2) Petchmanee CP Freshmart vs (3) Wanheng Menayothin, Jan. 25


Notes: No change, Canelo still pretty good.

Upcoming Fights: (7) Terence Crawford vs Shawn Porter, Nov. 20 ... (5) Teofimo Lopez vs George Kambosos Jr, Nov. 27 ... (8) Josh Taylor vs Jack Catterall, Feb. 26 ... (10) Juan Francisco Estrada vs Chocolatito Gonzalez, TBA


Notes: I did my best to convince folks to give Mikaela Mayer vs Maiva Hamadouche a shot last Friday. I hope you did, because the fight was everything I expected it to be, a hell of a stylistic matchup that brought out previously unseen grit and toughness in Mayer, and also showcased that she has a hell of an offensive skill set that includes an ability to mix it up and fight fire with fire against arguably the best pressure fighter in women’s boxing.

Delfine Persoon also returned last week, winning a low-level tune-up in Belgium. She’s fighting at 130 now, too, maybe even 126 if that’s where she gets a good fight, and there are quality options at both weights for her, she could make for really good matchups against Mayer, Terri Harper (who fights this weekend), Hyun Mi Choi, a rematch of her own with Hamadouche, or Amanda Serrano.

Upcoming Fights: (10) Terri Harper vs Alycia Baumgardner, Nov. 13 ... (2) Claressa Shields vs Ema Kozin, Dec. 11 ... (8) Savannah Marshall vs TBA, Dec. 11