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Bad Left Hook Boxing Rankings (Mar. 15, 2021): Juan Francisco Estrada and David Benavidez hold their spots

It was an eventful weekend in boxing, though not a lot has changed rankings-wise.

Ed Mulholland/Matchroom
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.

Ranked fights this week:

  • Cruiserweight: (2) Krzysztof Glowacki vs (8) Lawrence Okolie, Mar. 20
  • Light Heavyweight: (1) Artur Beterbiev vs Adam Deines, Mar. 20
  • Welterweight: (8) Vergil Ortiz Jr vs Maurice Hooker, Mar. 20
  • Flyweight: (5) Angel Acosta vs Gilberto Mendoza, Mar. 18

Upcoming Fights: (5) Alexander Povetkin vs (6) Dillian Whyte, Mar. 27 ... (1) Tyson Fury vs (2) Anthony Joshua, TBA ... (4) Andy Ruiz Jr vs Chris Arreola, TBA ... (10) Michael Hunter vs Filip Hrgovic, TBA

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, Apr. 10

Notes: David Benavidez rolled through Ronald Ellis on Saturday, pretty much as expected. Benavidez is absolutely a big threat in this division, really might be the No. 2 guy behind Canelo, probably really is the biggest actual threat to Canelo at the weight, with respect to Saunders and Plant. In terms of skill-set, Benavidez seems like he’s got the clear best shot at actually beating Canelo, at least to me.

But as I said Sunday, it is what it is, and Benavidez can really only blame himself that he’s not already in the Canelo mix, and will be waiting at least another year.

There’s not much else to take from beating Ellis. Everyone expected he would, he did, and now we wait to see what he does next.

Upcoming Fights: (10) David Lemieux vs Robert Talarek, Apr. 17 ... (1) Canelo Alvarez vs (4) Billy Joe Saunders, May 8

Notes: A minor change here, as Liam Smith is out now that he’s confirmed to be moving back down to 154 for a May bout in Russia against Magomed Kurbanov. That opens the No. 10 slot for Kanat Islam, who is in the mix to fight Jaime Munguia next. There are no great choices here; this is a division with strength in the first eight or nine spots, and then falls off a cliff for proven options, though there is talent out there, thankfully some of it on the way up.

Upcoming Fights: (3) Demetrius Andrade vs (9) Liam Williams, Apr. 17

Upcoming Fights: TBA

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

Upcoming Fights: (3) Regis Prograis vs Ivan Redkach, Apr. 17 ... (1) Josh Taylor vs (2) Jose Ramirez, May 22

Upcoming Fights: (1) Teofimo Lopez vs (10) George Kambosos Jr, May 29 ... (4) Devin Haney vs (7) Jorge Linares, TBA

Upcoming Fights: (3) Jamel Herring vs (10) Carl Frampton, Apr. 3 ... (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: (1) Murodjon Akhmadaliev vs (4) Ryosuke Iwasa, Apr. 3

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

Notes: Estrada-Chocolatito 2 was a truly great fight, and to me didn’t clear much up; it might have, if the fight had been a W for Chocolatito, which I thought it should have been. But with Estrada getting his hand raised, things remain unsettled.

Rankings adjust slightly this week. Look, I thought Gonzalez won, but he didn’t get the duke, it’s not some huge travesty (apart from Carlos Sucre’s awful card). Estrada stays No. 1, Kazuto Ioka stays No. 2, but Chocolatito and Srisaket Sor Rungvisai — who won a garbage fight you might charitably describe as televised sparring on Friday — switch spots.

That was already debatable, of course; after all, Rungvisai beat Gonzalez twice in 2017, once controversially and once anything but, but rankings are snapshots, a lot of it is what you’ve done recently. Gonzalez had looked better than Rungvisai recently. With the L for Chocolatito, though — even though he looked great and easily could have won — the flip kinda has to happen, I think. However you order it, it’s a tremendous top four, and most likely we see Estrada-Rungvisai 3 next.

Upcoming Fights: (1) Juan Francisco Estrada vs (3) Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, TBA

Upcoming Fights: (5) Angel Acosta vs Gilberto Mendoza, Mar. 18

Notes: Hiroto Kyoguchi retained his title on Saturday, beating Axel Aragon Vega in what was shaping up to be a barnburner, but was stopped on a Vega injury in the fifth round. Vega might be someone to keep an eye on in the division. He’s young, fiery, can fight — the record has four losses, but he showed he could throw with Kyoguchi, who is really good.

Kyoguchi going forward will probably look at unification with Felix Alvarado or Elwin Soto, or maybe the winner of an Alvarado-Soto fight if Golden Boy puts that together. Matchroom getting him further exposure in the U.S. and/or U.K. will only help Kyoguchi.

Upcoming Fights: (1) Kenshiro Teraji vs (7) Tetsuya Hisada, Apr. 24

Upcoming Fights: TBA

Upcoming Fights: (8) Juan Francisco Estrada vs Roman Gonzalez, Mar. 13 ... (5) Teofimo Lopez vs George Kambosos Jr, May 29 ... (2) Naoya Inoue vs Michael Dasmarinas, TBA

Notes: Jessica McCaskill beat Cecilia Braekhus again, this time more convincingly; I mean, I had it a draw other than a point deduction against Braekhus, but then I also thought Braekhus won the first fight. McCaskill holds in the P4P, Braekhus drops down to No. 9. Ideally Braekhus wouldn’t still be in the top 10, and you could push her out for someone else, I guess, but who? And are you doing it simply for some sort of ceremonial purpose or because you actually think there are now 10 better fighters than Braekhus P4P? Maybe there are, but it’s not easy to form an actually compelling argument for the idea.

BoxRec’s system have her at No. 5 still, with McCaskill at No. 2 behind Katie Taylor, and Delfine Persoon and Claressa Shields at Nos. 3 and 4. And frankly that might actually be right, other than I think it still severely underestimates Shields’ actual, obvious ability and dominance, but the numbers system doesn’t have eyes.

The fighter I really have my eye on right now is Seniesa Estrada, whom I think really has top 10 type talent. She fights for her first world title on Saturday, challenging for Anabel Ortiz’s WBA 105-pound belt. Estrada’s never actually made 105, but a lot of women have bounced around weights successfully, like when Amanda Serrano fought world title bouts at 140 and then 118 back-to-back. If Estrada looks really good against Ortiz and wins, we might be talking about her here next week. This is going to be volatile for years more. Things are going to happen and be, in a rankings way, a much bigger deal than the equivalent is on the men’s side.

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