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Bad Left Hook Boxing Rankings (May 10, 2021): Canelo Alvarez still the man at super middleweight, more

Canelo did it again on Saturday, keeping his lock at No. 1 at 168 and strengthening his pound-for-pound claim.

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:

  • Junior Featherweight: (3) Danny Roman vs Ricardo Espinoza, May 15
  • Junior Featherweight: (4) Brandon Figueroa vs (5) Luis Nery, May 15
  • Junior Flyweight: (5) Elwin Soto vs Katsunari Takayama, May 8

Upcoming Fights: (1) Tyson Fury vs (2) Anthony Joshua, TBA ... (9) Michael Hunter vs Filip Hrgovic, TBA

Upcoming Fights: (6) Kevin Lerena vs Ryad Merhy, July 17

Upcoming Fights: (5) Jean Pascal vs (7) Badou Jack, June 6 ... (8) Gilberto Ramirez vs Sullivan Barrera, TBA

Notes: Nothing new or unusual to say about Canelo Alvarez following his stoppage win over Billy Joe Saunders, and there was nothing fluky about it, either. An eye injury is an eye injury, the fight ended because of it. Alvarez was ahead on the cards, I thought he was up, but Saunders certainly had his moments in the fight.

Canelo’s the clear No. 1 man at this weight, arguably the No. 1 man in the sport pound-for-pound; the latter you can debate, the former you just can’t. Nobody else has an argument at the moment.

The next fight looks like it will probably be Caleb Plant, but I’m not counting my chickens until there are at least firm reports if not an official announcement. Could be more hoops to jump through there than a normal, rational — “non-boxing” — person might expect.

For Saunders, I’m not moving him. I know most people would drop him a spot or three, but I mean, for what? He lost, but he was expected to lose. That’s why he was No. 4 and Canelo was No. 1. He did a good bit better, in my estimation, than Callum Smith did in December, and if Saunders were also 6’3” standing straight up he probably wouldn’t have gotten his eye cracked with an uppercut. I get the idea behind dropping Saunders down in this situation. I get all the normal ideas of boxing rankings. I just don’t agree with a lot of them and don’t feel beholden to them.

Upcoming Fights: (10) David Lemieux vs David Zegarra, June 4 ... (3) David Benavidez vs Jose Uzcategui, Aug. 28

Upcoming Fights: (2) Jermall Charlo vs Juan Macias Montiel, June 19 ... (8) Jaime Munguia vs Maciej Sulecki, June 19

Notes: Liam Smith was back in last week for a one-week run at No. 10. His loss to Magomed Kurbanov on Friday in Russia was home cooking, in my opinion, but Smith also wasn’t so dominant or anything. It was a bad decision, but not one of the worst you’ll see this year.

A new No. 10 was a hard pick. I went with Madrimov, the 26-year-old Uzbek fighter who has not always looked super duper incredible or anything, but is emerging as a contender. There were other options considered; in fact, a lot of them.

I thought about Sergio Garcia, but the European champ has shown no ambition since dominating Ted Cheeseman in 2019, and I thought about Cheeseman on a good run of form, but he was, in fact, dominated by Garcia in 2019. Brandon Adams had a good win over Serhii Bohachuk, but Bohachuk was also pretty unproven. Kurbanov, of course, merits consideration, even if you didn’t like the decision. Jack Culcay is around and still a solid fighter. Tony Harrison looked iffy last fight out, but he’s not out of this mix, and because of the draw against Harrison, Bryant Perrella had to be thought of for at least a moment, but honestly thinking of Perrella made me ditch consideration for Harrison. Guys like Charles Conwell and Anthony Fowler obviously have talent. Former titlist Patrick Teixeira deserves a thought.

All those guys can fight. Madrimov can fight. Liam Smith can fight. It remains a deep division for good fighters, and guys like Madrimov, Conwell, Souleymane Cissokho, Hamzah Sheeraz, and others are starting to make advancements. None of that considers that Errol Spence Jr will inevitably move up, Danny Garcia is on his way, etc. 154 could be good for a long time.

Upcoming Fights: (6) Jarrett Hurd vs Luis Arias, June 6 ... (4) Jeison Rosario vs (8) Erickson Lubin, June 26 ... (1) Jermell Charlo vs (2) Brian Castano, July 17

Upcoming Fights: TBA

Upcoming Fights: (1) Josh Taylor vs (2) Jose Ramirez, May 22 ... (4) Jose Zepeda vs Hank Lundy, May 22 ... (10) Jose Pedraza vs Julian Rodriguez, June 12 ... (7) Mario Barrios vs Gervonta Davis, June 26

Upcoming Fights: (4) Devin Haney vs (7) Jorge Linares, May 29 ... (1) Teofimo Lopez vs (10) George Kambosos Jr, June 5 ... (2) Vasiliy Lomachenko vs Masayoshi Nakatani, June 26 ... (5) Gervonta Davis vs Mario Barrios [junior welterweight], June 26

Upcoming Fights: (6) Shakur Stevenson vs Jeremiah Nakathila, June 12 ... (2) Gervonta Davis vs Mario Barrios [junior welterweight], June 26 ... (3) Chris Colbert vs Yuriorkis Gamboa, July 3 ... (8) Shavkat Rakhimov vs Kenichi Ogawa, TBA

Upcoming Fights: (1) Gary Russell Jr vs Rey Vargas, TBA ... (2) Kid Galahad vs Jazza Dickens, TBA ... (5) Mauricio Lara vs (6) Josh Warrington, TBA

Upcoming Fights: (3) Danny Roman vs Ricardo Espinoza, May 15 .... (4) Brandon Figueroa vs (5) Luis Nery, May 15 ... (2) Stephen Fulton Jr vs Nery-Figueroa winner, Sept. 11 ... (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 ... (4) John Riel Casimero vs (5) Guillermo Rigondeaux, Aug. 14

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

Upcoming Fights: TBA

Notes: Another Elwin Soto fight, another win for fight fans. The Mexican warrior brings great entertainment and every time out, and his clash with Japanese veteran Katsunari Takayama was no different. It looked early like Soto had it in the bag, but Takayama was double tough and stayed in there, making a run at it.

Soto was the stronger, younger man for sure, but Takayama won some rounds in there before the controversial ninth round stoppage. However much I don’t agree with Laurence Cole’s decision — it’s “a lot” is “however much” — I do think that more likely than not, Soto was going to win that fight. I just think Takayama deserved the chance to keep trying, he wasn’t in any more danger than he had been. But again, I do get that I’m not the guy in there, and Laurence Cole was. He was right on top of it. I don’t know what he saw or heard from them.

But it was a damn good fight, and Soto keeps his spot in the rankings as it was.

Upcoming Fights: (7) Jonathan Gonzalez vs Armando Torres, May 21

Upcoming Fights: (9) Ginjiro Shigeoka vs Toshiki Kawamitsu, May 23 ... (1) Knockout CP Freshmart vs Pongsaklek Sithdabnij, May 29

Upcoming Fights: (2) Naoya Inoue vs Michael Dasmarinas, June 19 ... (7) Vasiliy Lomachenko vs Masayoshi Nakatani, June 26 ... (10) Jermell Charlo vs Brian Castano, July 17 ... (5) Teofimo Lopez vs George Kambosos Jr, TBA ... (8) Juan Francisco Estrada vs Chocolatito Gonzalez, TBA ... (9) Tyson Fury vs Anthony Joshua, TBA

Upcoming Fights: (7) Mikaela Mayer vs Erica Farias, June 19

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