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Bad Left Hook Boxing Rankings (August 16, 2021): Joshua Franco, Vergil Ortiz Jr, Casimero, Rigondeaux, more

Plenty of ranked fighters in action last weekend, but not a lot of movement for now.

Joshua Franco v Andrew Moloney 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.

Ranked fights this week:

  • Welterweight: (3) Manny Pacquiao vs (5) Yordenis Ugas, Aug. 21

Upcoming Fights: (2) Anthony Joshua vs (6) Oleksandr Usyk, Sept. 25 ... (1) Tyson Fury vs (3) Deontay Wilder, Oct. 9

Upcoming Fights: TBA

Upcoming Fights: (4) Joe Smith Jr vs Umar Salamov, TBA

Upcoming Fights: TBA

Upcoming Fights: (1) Gennadiy Golovkin vs (5) Ryota Murata, TBA

Upcoming Fights: (7) Sebastian Fundora vs (10) Sergio Garcia, TBA

Notes: Another fight, another win, another stoppage for Vergil Ortiz Jr, who dropped Egidijus Kavaliauskas five times en route to an eighth round stoppage on Saturday. Ortiz definitely got a proper test, as the Lithuanian came to fight and gave the youngster some good work, but it was also a clear, decisive win for Ortiz. It’s the kind of test a young guy needs to pass, and Ortiz passed it very nicely.

Ortiz doesn’t move this week, staying at No. 7 for the time being, but that could be top five before you know it. If Manny Pacquiao loses to Yordenis Ugas — or wins and retires, also a possibility, even if not a likelihood — then Ortiz probably deserves top five. Danny Garcia is on his way out of this division, and really, Kavaliauskas is every bit as good a win for Ortiz as Garcia has ever had at 147, a lot of Garcia’s strength for ranking is strength of schedule, closes losses to Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter and a loss to Errol Spence Jr, which was fairly one-sided but not something I deeply penalize for. I mean, what’s better, fighting Errol Spence even in defeat, or beating Mikael Zewski or Antonio DeMarco or someone, which Garcia could easily have done instead?

Kavaliauskas was No. 10 last week but it’s a short stay in the rankings. I’m putting David Avanesyan in now, it was really between him and Jamal James, and I think Avanesyan’s had the better run of late. Avanesyan was beaten soundly by Kavaliauskas in 2018, and maybe he would be again, styles making fights and all, but he has roared through solid opposition since that defeat. You could also argue Kavaliauskas just stay there, too. His losses are to Terence Crawford and Vergil Ortiz Jr, which means he at least fought them.

Upcoming Fights: (3) Manny Pacquiao vs (5) Yordenis Ugas, Aug. 21

Upcoming Fights: (7) Ivan Baranchyk vs Montana Love [welterweight], Aug. 29 ... (1) Josh Taylor vs Jack Catterall, Dec. 18

Upcoming Fights: (1) Teofimo Lopez vs (8) George Kambosos Jr, TBA

Upcoming Fights: (1) Oscar Valdez vs Robson Conceicao, Sept. 10 ... (3) Jamel Herring vs (5) Shakur Stevenson, Oct. 23 ... (7) Shavkat Rakhimov vs Kenichi Ogawa, TBA

Upcoming Fights: (5) Mauricio Lara vs (6) Josh Warrington, Sept. 4

Upcoming Fights: (2) Stephen Fulton Jr vs (3) Brandon Figueroa, Sept. 18 ... (4) Danny Roman vs (10) Ra’eese Aleem, Sept. 18 ... (1) Murodjon Akhmadaliev vs (8) Ronny Rios, TBA

Notes: For a division that had four ranked fighters in action last weekend, nothing changes, which is remarkable. John Riel Casimero beat Guillermo Rigondeaux in one of the most fascinatingly shitty fights you’ll ever see, but for as much as people are harping on Rigondeaux’s all-time avoidance of action, Casimero sure couldn’t do a got-dangt thing about it, huh? And it’s not like he didn’t want to, he just had no ability to actually cut off the ring. Yeah, Rigo landed only 44 punches. Disgraceful! And Casimero landed 47 and was made to look foolish plenty. Rigondeaux made him miss a lot, and not just by running, either. That’s also not to say Rigondeaux didn’t run a comical amount, because he did.

I’m confident that the top three should be as they are. The rest of the division, not so much. Emmanuel Rodriguez’s fight against Gary Antonio Russell basically just didn’t even happen, stopped in 16 seconds on a brutal clash of heads. They figure to reschedule.

Jason Moloney beat Joshua Greer Jr on the ESPN+ prelims, which is pretty much the end of the road — at least for the time being — for Greer in fights like this. I wouldn’t be surprised if Top Rank cut him, but that doesn’t mean he can’t find it and move forward, sign somewhere else and discover the spark. Or he might just not. He might just not have top level ability. He hasn’t so far. But Moloney remains a solid top 10 fighter.

Upcoming Fights: (9) Takuma Inoue vs Shingo Wake, Nov. 11

Notes: Joshua Franco didn’t leave much room for doubt in his third bout with Andrew Moloney, winning a solid decision. It was competitive, and Moloney is still a good fighter, but Franco’s just out-foxed him twice, just beaten him twice, and that middle fight might have wound up going Moloney’s way — he looked sharp for what we saw — but maybe not. I don’t know. No one does.

So that’s settled, and Franco pops up to the No. 6 spot, because two good wins over Andrew Moloney is some legitimately strong work. Moloney’s out of the top 10 for now; not by a ton, but out for now. Francisco Rodriguez Jr comes back in, but that might be a short stay, too, as he faces Kazuto Ioka on Sept. 1 in Japan.

Upcoming Fights: (2) Kazuto Ioka vs (10) Francisco Rodriguez Jr, Sept. 1 ...(1) Juan Francisco Estrada vs (4) Chocolatito Gonzalez, TBA ... (3) Srisaket Sor Rungvisai vs Carlos Cuadras, TBA

Upcoming Fights: (3) Junto Nakatani vs (6) Angel Acosta, Sept. 10 ... (2) Sunny Edwards vs Jayson Mama, Sept. 11

Upcoming Fights: (3) Felix Alvarado vs Erick Lopez, Aug. 14 ... (1) Kenshiro Teraji vs Masamichi Yabuki, Sept. 10 ... (2) Hiroto Kyoguchi vs (10) Esteban Bermudez, TBA ... (4) Elwin Soto vs (6) Jonathan Gonzalez, TBA

Upcoming Fights: TBA

Upcoming Fights: (8) Oleksandr Usyk vs Anthony Joshua, Sept. 25 ... (9) Tyson Fury vs Deontay Wilder, Oct. 9 ... (7) Josh Taylor vs Jack Catterall, Dec. 18 ... (4) Teofimo Lopez vs George Kambosos Jr, TBA ... (6) Terence Crawford vs Shawn Porter, TBA ... (10) Juan Francisco Estrada vs Chocolatito Gonzalez, TBA

Upcoming Fights: (3) Amanda Serrano vs Yamileth Mercado, Aug. 29 ... (1) Katie Taylor vs Jennifer Han, Sept. 4 ... (6) Mikaela Mayer vs (10) Maiva Hamadouche, TBA

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