Rankings go up on Mondays at Noon ET.
Ranked fights this week:
- Super Middleweight: (8) Carlos Gongora vs Christopher Pearson, Apr. 17
- Middleweight: (3) Demetrius Andrade vs (9) Liam Williams, Apr. 17
- Junior Middleweight: (7) Tony Harrison vs Bryant Perrella, Apr. 17
- Junior Welterweight: (3) Regis Prograis vs Ivan Redkach, Apr. 17
Upcoming Fights: (4) Andy Ruiz Jr vs Chris Arreola, May 1 ... (8) Joseph Parker vs Derek Chisora, May 1 ... (1) Tyson Fury vs (2) Anthony Joshua, TBA ... (9) Michael Hunter vs Filip Hrgovic, TBA
Upcoming Fights: TBA
Notes: It wasn’t his best performance, and the scoring has been questioned heavily, but Joe Smith Jr won the vacant WBO title on Saturday by taking a majority decision over Maxim Vlasov. I didn’t get to catch the fight live, but watching it back on Sunday morning, I scored it 115-113 for Vlasov.
I’m not so upset by it that I’m making some dramatic, sweeping statement with the rankings, though. It wasn’t an elite tier bad decision. I think you can get there for Smith, but I also think if you just liked what Vlasov did even more than I did, seeing it wider for him is not hard. I thought Wil’s 117-111 Vlasov score was defensible.
Honestly, it’s a fight that begs for a rematch, I think. I don’t know that we’ll get that, but Vlasov had a good enough argument. And I do think Smith can do better, but I said even in the staff picks, Smith to me is a guy for whom a slight off night can just be bad, bad news. He’s not so talented that he can overcome that relatively easily when he has a live opponent. And he had one, and he didn’t fight his best. Vlasov took advantage and nearly pulled the upset.
I also think based on that and other recent form, you could argue Vlasov into the top 10 here. I can’t see moving Smith down, really, nobody from five down has exactly been lighting the world ablaze recently, and Smith’s strong wins over Hart and Alvarez last year still carry value. Vlasov could be as high as No. 7, though. We’ll see what Callum Johnson does in a couple weeks and go from there.
Upcoming Fights: (6) Marcus Browne vs Denis Grachev, Apr. 20 ... (10) Callum Johnson vs Emil Markic, Apr. 24 ... (2) Dmitry Bivol vs Craig Richards, May 1
Upcoming Fights: (8) Carlos Gongora vs Christopher Pearson, Apr. 17 ... (1) Canelo Alvarez vs (4) Billy Joe Saunders, May 8
Upcoming Fights: (3) Demetrius Andrade vs (9) Liam Williams, Apr. 17 ... (8) Jaime Munguia vs D’Mitrius Ballard, Apr. 23 ... (7) Chris Eubank Jr vs Marcus Morrison, May 1
Upcoming Fights: (7) Tony Harrison vs Bryant Perrella, Apr. 17 ... (3) Erislandy Lara vs Thomas Lamanna [middleweight], May 1 ... (4) Jeison Rosario vs (8) Erickson Lubin, TBA
Notes: Jaron Ennis has officially crashed the party after his win over Sergey Lipinets on Saturday. Well, no more “officially” than before, that’s a stupid word to use here, but I’m sticking with it.
Ennis is in at No. 9 after dominating Lipinets, who is a good fighter but just had nothing for Ennis. Ennis is not flawless, he can be a little daring, let’s say, with his defense, but he has magnificent confidence in his offensive skills (it’s easy to see why), and he’s a big welterweight, too — he brushed off some good Lipinets punches like they were nothing, and if his size and chin are what they appear to be, he’s even more dangerous than just his offense makes him.
I love watching “Boots,” just like I do Vergil Ortiz Jr, and those two are the clear rising stars at 147 — maybe along with Conor Benn, who destroyed Samuel Vargas on Saturday, too, but I don’t think it’s shitty to say Benn is still widely seen well behind Ortiz and Ennis. All Benn can do is keep fighting and winning, he’s doing so on good form and I am officially a believer, I think he’s for real. Again, that doesn’t mean unbeatable or whatever, but he’s not a phony. Conor Benn can fight.
Upcoming Fights: TBA
Upcoming Fights: (3) Regis Prograis vs Ivan Redkach, Apr. 17 ... (1) Josh Taylor vs (2) Jose Ramirez, May 22 ... (4) Jose Zepeda vs Pedro Campa, May 22
Upcoming Fights: (4) Devin Haney vs (7) Jorge Linares, May 29 ... (1) Teofimo Lopez vs (10) George Kambosos Jr, TBA ... (2) Vasiliy Lomachenko vs Masayoshi Nakatani, TBA ... (3) Ryan Garcia vs (8) Javier Fortuna, TBA
Notes: A couple of you last week asked about Leo Santa Cruz being rated too high. He was, I agree. It’s adjusted now. You might still think he’s rated too high based on “accomplishment within division” but I cannot stress this enough: I will hear you, I will possibly discuss with you, I will sometimes agree with you, but I do not and will not do this exactly like some of you want or think is “the right” or only way to do it.
Upcoming Fights: (6) Shakur Stevenson vs Jeremiah Nakathila, June 12 ... (8) Shavkat Rakhimov vs Kenichi Ogawa, TBA
Upcoming Fights: (3) Emanuel Navarrete vs Christopher Diaz, Apr. 24 ... (2) Kid Galahad vs Jazza Dickens, May 8 ... (1) Gary Russell Jr vs Rey Vargas, TBA ... (5) Mauricio Lara vs (6) Josh Warrington, TBA
Upcoming Fights: (1) Murodjon Akhmadaliev vs (8) Ronny Rios, TBA
Upcoming Fights: (2) Nordine Oubaali vs (3) Nonito Donaire, May 29 ... (1) Naoya Inoue vs Michael Dasmarinas, June 19
Notes: Jerwin Ancajas got back in action on the weekend, beating Jonathan Rodriguez in a gritty, hard-fought bout on Showtime. Rodriguez was an unknown coming in, and showed clear limitations and flaws, but he was tough as hell and made Ancajas earn a win. In a way, it’s as good as I’ve seen Ancajas look in a while, because the other guy presented resistance and Ancajas didn’t have a “disappointing” night.
Ancajas was previously with Top Rank, so wasn’t going to fight any of the other top dogs at 115. That fight was on a PBC show, and PBC also removes him from the rest of the top guys at 115. He has never seemed hotly interested in fighting Estrada, Chocolatito, Srisaket, etc., and still doesn’t. It’s what it is. He’s a good fighter, but despite having a belt, he’s just not going to be seen by most as quite on that level.
Upcoming Fights: (1) Juan Francisco Estrada vs (4) Chocolatito Gonzalez, TBA ... (3) Srisaket Sor Rungvisai vs Carlos Cuadras, TBA
Upcoming Fights: (2) Moruti Mthalane vs Sunny Edwards, Apr. 30 ... (6) Jay Harris vs Ricardo Sandoval, May 14
Upcoming Fights: (1) Kenshiro Teraji vs (7) Tetsuya Hisada, Apr. 24 ... (9) Sivenathi Nontshinga vs Christian Araneta, Apr. 24
Upcoming Fights: (9) Ginjiro Shigeoka vs Toshiki Kawamitsu, May 23 ... (1) Knockout CP Freshmart vs Pongsaklek Sithdabnij, May 29
Upcoming Fights: (1) Canelo Alvarez vs Billy Joe Saunders, May 8 ... (2) Naoya Inoue vs Michael Dasmarinas, June 19 ... (9) Tyson Fury vs Anthony Joshua, TBA .... (5) Teofimo Lopez vs George Kambosos Jr, TBA ... (7) Vasiliy Lomachenko vs Masayoshi Nakatani, TBA
Upcoming Fights: (2) Katie Taylor vs Natasha Jonas, May 1 ... (7) Mikaela Mayer vs TBA, June 19