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Bad Left Hook Boxing Rankings (Feb. 22, 2021): Oscar Valdez takes over at 130, P4P adjustments

Oscar Valdez is the new top dog at junior lightweight, plus a few more notes and changes.

Miguel Berchelt v Oscar Valdez - Fight Night Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images
Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

Rankings go up on Mondays at Noon ET.

This week’s ranked fights:

  • Heavyweight: (8) Joseph Parker vs Junior Fa, Feb. 27
  • Super Middleweight: (1) Canelo Alvarez vs Avni Yildirim, Feb. 27
  • Super Middleweight: (8) Anthony Dirrell vs Kyrone Davis, Feb. 27
  • Minimumweight: (6) Pedro Taduran vs Rene Mark Cuarto, Feb. 27

Notes: Otto Wallin is right in this mix, if he’s outside the top 10 he’s barely outside (and obviously I have him barely outside). Saturday’s win over Dominic Breazeale was a strong performance for 12 rounds, nothing crazy flashy about it, just a good execution from the Swedish southpaw. Honestly once you get past Fury and AJ right now, maybe Wilder and Ruiz still depending how you see that, you’re getting into fighters with barely any separation for the rest of the top 10 and even a few guys beyond. Parker’s back this weekend, we’ll see how he looks and look at the back end again next week.

Upcoming Fights: (8) Joseph Parker vs Junior Fa, Feb. 27 ... (5) Alexander Povetkin vs (6) Dillian Whyte, Mar. 27

Upcoming Fights: (2) Krzysztof Glowacki vs (8) Lawrence Okolie, Mar. 20

Upcoming Fights: (1) Artur Beterbiev vs Adam Deines, Mar. 20 ... (4) Joe Smith Jr vs Maxim Vlasov, TBA

Notes: Small adjustment at the back end. Fedor Chudinov, who was No. 9 last week, went to a draw with Isaac Chilemba over the weekend. You could keep Chudinov here, but there’s something similar to heavyweight happening. Past Canelo, maybe Plant and Benavidez when Benavidez makes weight, lotta guys fighting for spots with little between them. That’s two straight fights where Chudinov has looked iffy, so I’m bumping him just out, and Carlos Gongora in at No. 10. You could still have Chudinov here, you could have a totally different final two. Lot of guys right around that same level.

Upcoming Fights: (1) Canelo Alvarez vs Avni Yildirim, Feb. 27 ... (8) Anthony Dirrell vs Kyrone Davis, Feb. 27 ... (3) David Benavidez vs Ronald Ellis, Mar. 13 ... (9) David Lemieux vs Robert Talarek, Apr. 17 ... (1) Canelo Alvarez vs (4) Billy Joe Saunders, May 8

Upcoming Fights: (3) Demetrius Andrade vs (10) Liam Williams, TBA

Upcoming Fights: TBA

Notes: Following his smashing of Josh Kelly, David Avanesyan could be argued into the back end here, anywhere from Nos. 8 to 10. Another thing like heavyweight and super middleweight — at a certain point, lotta jumble. Lipinets, Mikey, Avanesyan, Jamal James, Custio Clayton, Kudratillo Abdukakhorov, Egidijus Kavaliauskas, coming names like Jaron Ennis and Daniyar Yeleussinov and Eimantas Stanionis starting to make waves. If Ennis-Lipinets happens in April as expected, “Boots” will have his chance to grab a seat at the table.

Upcoming Fights: (8) Vergil Ortiz Jr vs Maurice Hooker, Mar. 20 ... (9) Sergey Lipinets vs Jaron Ennis, Apr. 10

Upcoming Fights: (1) Josh Taylor vs (2) Jose Ramirez, TBA

Upcoming Fights: (1) Teofimo Lopez vs (10) George Kambosos Jr, TBA

Notes: Gervonta Davis would probably be the pick over Oscar Valdez for a lot of people still, even after Valdez took Miguel Berchelt to school and ended his night in violent fashion on Saturday. I think I’d probably still pick “Tank” head-to-head. Early thoughts, I still might lean to Shakur Stevenson over Valdez, too. But as good as I think Gervonta or Shakur are or can be, I gotta go with Oscar Valdez at No. 1. He thoroughly earned the recognition with that win, his dominance, his outstanding performance from first bell to knockout. Oscar was truly, sincerely outstanding in that fight.

Valdez-Stevenson could potentially come to us soon enough. Both want it, but Top Rank might try to “marinate” it a bit longer, at least toward the end of 2021. Bob Arum is high on Stevenson, but he’s also high on Valdez, and will be even higher on him from here. A likable Mexican star who makes for good fights? I’m just saying, man, that’s a guy a promoter wants to make money with (or off of, however you want to put it) for as long as possible. (Arum told us he loves the fight, but you’ll recall he also loved Juan Manuel Lopez vs Yuriorkis Gamboa, so we’ll see. (Actually, you might not recall that. Good Lord, that was a long time ago now.))

Berchelt drops to No. 5. Jeez, was he tough in that fight or what? He’s a good fighter still. Flawed, like almost all fighters, but what an unbelievable chin and determination in Miguel Berchelt. If he comes back at 130, moves up to 135, whatever — if he’s good physically and ready to go, I look forward to seeing him again. I was a big Miguel Berchelt AND Oscar Valdez fan before Saturday, and still am in both cases.

Upcoming Fights: (3) Jamel Herring vs (10) Carl Frampton, TBA ... (8) Shavkat Rakhimov vs Kenichi Ogawa, TBA

Upcoming Fights: (3) Emanuel Navarrete vs Christopher Diaz, Apr. 24 ... (2) Kid Galahad vs Jazza Dickens, TBA

Upcoming Fights: TBA

Upcoming Fights: (1) Naoya Inoue vs Michael Dasmarinas, TBA

Upcoming Fights: (4) Srisaket Sor Rungvisai vs Kwanthai Sithmorseng, Mar. 12 ... (1) Juan Francisco Estrada vs (3) Roman Gonzalez, Mar. 13

Upcoming Fights: (1) Julio Cesar Martinez vs McWilliams Arroyo, Feb. 27 ... (5) Angel Acosta vs TBA, Mar. 25

Upcoming Fights: (8) Jonathan Gonzalez vs Carlos Buitrago, Mar. 12 ... (2) Hiroto Kyoguchi vs Axel Aragon Vega, Mar. 13

Upcoming Fights: (6) Pedro Taduran vs Rene Mark Cuarto, Feb. 27

Notes: Going with “Little” Charlo at No. 10 in the P4P. Periodic reminder that I have not really gone along with all the twisting and mangling of the idea behind “P4P.” I stick with the original idea, which is to be better able to market fighters who aren’t heavyweights — I mean, ranking the best fighters in the world regardless of their weight class. In what order do I think the best fighters in the world go?

I also gave consideration to Josh Taylor, Anthony Joshua, Artur Beterbiev, Oscar Valdez, Gervonta Davis, old farts Pacquiao and Golovkin, and, obviously, Florian Marku, whose very existence defies the concept of “weight.”

Upcoming Fights: (1) Canelo Alvarez vs Avni Yildirim, Feb. 27 ... (8) Juan Francisco Estrada vs Roman Gonzalez, Mar. 13 ... (2) Naoya Inoue vs Michael Dasmarinas, TBA ... (5) Teofimo Lopez vs George Kambosos Jr, TBA

Upcoming Fights: (1) Claressa Shields vs Marie-Eve Dicaire, Mar. 5 ... (5) Jessica McCaskill vs (6) Cecilia Braekhus, Mar. 13 ... (3) Amanda Serrano vs (8) Daniela Bermudez, Mar. 25

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