Rankings go up on Mondays at 10 am ET.
Ranked fights this week:
- Junior Lightweight: (9) Chris Colbert vs Tugstsogt Nyambayar, July 3
- Featherweight: (7) Tugstogt Nyambayar vs Chris Colbert [junior lightweight], July 3
Upcoming Fights: (1) Tyson Fury vs (3) Deontay Wilder, July 24 ... (7) Joe Joyce vs Carlos Takam, July 24 ... (2) Anthony Joshua vs (6) Oleksandr Usyk, Sept. 25
Upcoming Fights: TBA
Upcoming Fights: (8) Zurdo Ramirez vs Sullivan Barrera, July 9
Notes: David Morrell crushed Mario Cazares in one round on Sunday night, and the 23-year-old Cuban really has been impressive. I think if you put him head-to-head with anyone under Callum Smith here right now, I’d probably pick Morrell confidently. And I don’t have a problem with him having only five pro fights, that doesn’t stop me from ranking him. But while it’s not like Ryder, Jacobs, Dirrell, or Lemieux have exactly been lighting the world ablaze with their recent performances, Morrell doesn’t have a strong enough argument yet based on the opponents he’s beaten. Talent-wise, it looks like it’s there. But what happens against a real puncher if/when he gets caught? What happens against tougher opponents? We’ll find out. But he’s closer to the top 10 than you might think, I believe. And I’ll say it right now: If Canelo-Plant does not get done, PBC could make a really interesting fight between Plant and Morrell.
Upcoming Fights: (3) David Benavidez vs Jose Uzcategui, Aug. 28 ... (1) Canelo Alvarez vs TBA, Sept. 18
Notes: Janibek Alimkhanuly beat the crap out of Rob Brant on Saturday, and that’s two bad losses in three fights for Brant, who definitely isn’t headed for that trilogy bout with Ryota Murata at this point. Brant’s a solid fighter, but he’s someone who seems to have hot and cold nights more than others do. He was sitting at No. 6 last week, but he’s out this week, and Alimkhanuly pops in at No. 8. The Kazakh southpaw looked great against Brant, and at 28 he’s about ready to start getting to it. If GGG-Murata doesn’t come together, Alimkhanuly against Murata could be interesting, and Top Rank doesn’t have much for interesting in-house options at 160 otherwise. Also wouldn’t mind seeing Alimkhanuly fight Demetrius Andrade; he is the No. 2 rated contender with the WBO, right behind Jaime Munguia. An ordered Munguia-Alimkhanuly eliminator would be good. Lot of possible things.
Upcoming Fights: TBA
Notes: Erickson Lubin beat Jeison Rosario by stoppage on the Davis-Barrios card, a good performance from Lubin, and a good fight that wound up being about what I hoped it would be. Both fighters looked a little vulnerable, both had their moments, it was competitive.
Lubin hops up to the No. 3 spot, right behind Jermell Charlo and Brian Castano, and may face the winner of their July 17 undisputed fight, as Lubin is now the mandatory WBC challenger. I know it seems like Rosario should fall more than a spot for losing back-to-back fights by stoppage, but a couple things about that:
- I detest (that’s not a word I use often) deeply penalizing fighters for taking good fights and losing, because we’re in a sport where a lot of guys avoid taking actual risky fights all the time. Rosario lost to Charlo and Lubin, they’re both clearly top fighters in the division. He also beat Julian Williams when nobody thought he would. Maybe the Williams win wasn’t as good as we thought, maybe Williams will go the way of Jarrett Hurd, but he hasn’t fought since.
- The options below Rosario are not appealing to rank over him right yet. He kicked Williams’ ass when they fought, and it wasn’t that long ago. Tim Tszyu looks very promising and has picked up some buzz, but I already feel weird having him as high as he is without anything you’d really call a marquee win. What, Jeff Horn fighting heavy? Similar for Sebastian Fundora. Michel Soro shows zero ambition. Israil Madrimov similar to Tszyu and Fundora. Sergio Garcia and Fundora will show us more about one another when they fight.
It’s a division that may quickly change. There’s really nothing Tszyu can do against
Michael Zerafa Steve Spark next week to make me go any more nuts for him than I have been already, but if he keeps making the steps, he’s fighting into the conversation. Others can do the same.
Upcoming Fights: (6) Tim Tszyu vs Steve Spark, July 7 ... (1) Jermell Charlo vs (2) Brian Castano, July 17 ... (7) Sebastian Fundora vs (10) Sergio Garcia, TBA
Upcoming Fights: (1) Errol Spence Jr vs (3) Manny Pacquiao, Aug. 21 ... (6) Yordenis Ugas vs TBA, Aug. 21 ... (2) Terence Crawford vs Jose Zepeda, Oct. 23
Notes: Sometimes I like to do some house cleaning with a division, sometimes there’s a good time to do that. I think right now, after Gervonta Davis’ party-crashing win over Mario Barrios, is a good time to do that.
Tank comes in at No. 4. He didn’t have it easy, but he won decisively. Tell me you wouldn’t pick him over everyone else ranked here, honestly. Jose Zepeda is the best of the rest and he lost rounds to the likes of Kendo Castaneda and Hank Lundy. Tank already smoked Pedraza down at 130 and there’s nothing I saw on Saturday that makes me think that wouldn’t happen again.
But I was also impressed with Barrios in that fight, it was a hell of a tough battle. Barrios is taller and longer, sure, but he does not have the natural explosiveness or ability of Gervonta Davis, and he buckled down and made it a hard fight. I was also impressed again with Batyr Akhmedov on that card; Akhmedov’s only loss was a controversial one to Barrios, and I think more of him right now than I do the guys who fall out, Shohjahon Ergashev and Jack Catterall.
This is a division where there’s solid talent that could be ranked past the top 10. Some divisions have that, some kinda don’t. Some are a pain to be confident about 10. As for Davis, we’ll see what he does next. He’s weight-hopped for three straight fights — 135, then 130, then 140 — and has at least some sort paper “world title” in every one of them.
Upcoming Fights: (5) Jose Zepeda vs Terence Crawford [welterweight], Oct. 23 ... (1) Josh Taylor vs Jack Catterall, TBA
Notes: Vasiliy Lomachenko just took Masayoshi Nakatani apart this weekend, a dominant performance that has ignited the flames for a rematch with Teofimo Lopez either late this year or early in 2022.
I kind of always thought Nakatani was tailor made for Loma, at least if he was the Loma we knew before, the shoulder wasn’t shot, or didn’t crop up as a problem again in the fight. The shoulder looked fine. The footwork was superb. He looked like a refocused Lomachenko, and while I have great admiration for Nakatani’s toughness and willingness to take hard fights, there was never anything he could do with an on-point Loma.
Lomachenko’s win firmly establishes that he is still the clear No. 2 guy in this division. And I’m not dropping Nakatani either. For what, losing to Lopez and Lomachenko? Everyone else in the division might lose to them, too. If there were an actual good option instead, I might have, but it’d be making a move just to make a move right now. Maybe Hector Tanajara or William Zepeda look like the goods when they fight July 9, and we reconsider then. Maybe Michel Rivera will start making the moves. Otherwise right now I’d just go, “Well, guess it’s gotta be someone else,” and then it’s Yvan Mendy or Lee Selby or Isaac Cruz, none of whom have exactly been storming the gates. (Cruz is closest of those guys, for what it’s worth.)
Upcoming Fights: (6) Javier Fortuna vs Joseph Diaz Jr, July 9 ... (1) Teofimo Lopez vs (9) George Kambosos Jr, Sept. 11
Upcoming Fights: (9) Chris Colbert vs Tugstsogt Nyambayar, July 3 ... (7) Shavkat Rakhimov vs Kenichi Ogawa, Aug. 20 ... (1) Oscar Valdez vs Robson Conceicao, Sept. 10
Upcoming Fights: (7) Tugstogt Nyambayar vs Chris Colbert [junior lightweight], July 3 ... (3) Kid Galahad vs Jazza Dickens, Aug. 7 ... (1) Gary Russell Jr vs Rey Vargas, TBA ... (5) Mauricio Lara vs (6) Josh Warrington, TBA
Upcoming Fights: (7) Azat Hovhannisyan vs TBA, July 9 ... (2) Stephen Fulton Jr vs (3) Brandon Figueroa, Sept. 11 ... (4) Danny Roman vs (10) Ra’eese Aleem, Sept. 11 ... (1) Murodjon Akhmadaliev vs (8) Ronny Rios, TBA
Upcoming Fights: (2) Nonito Donaire vs (3) John Riel Casimero, Aug. 14
Upcoming Fights: (7) Joshua Franco vs (9) Andrew Moloney, Aug. 14 ... (2) Kazuto Ioka vs Francisco Rodriguez Jr, Sept. 1 ... (1) Juan Francisco Estrada vs (4) Chocolatito Gonzalez, TBA ... (3) Srisaket Sor Rungvisai vs Carlos Cuadras, TBA
Notes: Julio Cesar Martinez overpowered a game Joel Cordova on Saturday in Mexico, retaining his WBC title. It was good to get JCM back in the ring, and he delivered action as always. Eddie Hearn says the plan is for him to return in September, and that he wants it to be unification. The most likely there would seem to be Artem Dalakian (WBA), who has shown no great desire to do much with the belt since winning it years ago.
The more interesting turn of events on the weekend was Ricardo Sandoval going on the road to England and stopping Jay Harris in an upset. Harris was No. 7 last week, Sandoval takes that spot this week, and is now Sunny Edwards’ IBF mandatory challenger. Sunny’s a damn good boxer and going to be hard to beat, but Edwards-Sandoval sounds really intriguing style-wise to me.
Upcoming Fights: (3) Junto Nakatani vs (6) Angel Acosta, Sept. 10
Upcoming Fights: (2) Hiroto Kyoguchi vs (10) Esteban Bermudez, TBA
Upcoming Fights: (9) Ginjiro Shigeoka vs Toshiki Kawamitsu, July 14
Notes: I adjusted my P4P rankings. No one in or out, just some maneuvering. I do have Terence Crawford dropped a bit, but not that far. Tank Davis not in for me, but he’s not far off at this point. He’s clearly a helluva fighter, a hungry young lion. And once again I cannot stress this enough: I do not care how you do P4P or what you think it “means.” It doesn’t actually mean anything, no matter who’s doing it.
Upcoming Fights: (9) Tyson Fury vs Deontay Wilder, July 24 ... (3) Errol Spence Jr vs Manny Pacquiao, Aug. 21 ... (4) Teofimo Lopez vs George Kambosos Jr, Sept. 11 ... (8) Oleksandr Usyk vs Anthony Joshua, Sept. 25 ... (6) Terence Crawford vs TBA, Oct. 23 ... (10) Juan Francisco Estrada vs Chocolatito Gonzalez, TBA
Upcoming Fights: (9) Seniesa Estrada vs Tenkai Tsunami, July 9 ... (6) Mikaela Mayer vs (10) Maiva Hamadouche, TBA