Rankings go up on Mondays.
Ranked fights this week:
- Heavyweight: (5) Joe Joyce vs (7) Joseph Parker, Sept. 24
- Lightweight: (10) Maxi Hughes vs Kid Galahad, Sept. 24
- Junior Lightweight: (1) Shakur Stevenson vs (5) Robson Conceicao, Sept. 23
Notes: Will be some adjustments next week after Joyce vs Parker. As for Tyson Fury, we’ll put him back in (and at No. 1) if/when the Anthony Joshua fight is made official.
Upcoming Fights: (5) Joe Joyce vs (7) Joseph Parker, Sept. 24 ... (2) Deontay Wilder vs Robert Helenius, Oct. 15 ... (9) Frank Sanchez vs Carlos Negron, Oct. 15
Upcoming Fights: TBA
Upcoming Fights: (1) Dmitry Bivol vs Zurdo Ramirez, Nov. 5 ... (2) Artur Beterbiev vs (9) Anthony Yarde, TBA ... (4) Joshua Buatsi vs (10) Jean Pascal, TBA
Notes: Canelo stays at No. 1, cleanly and clearly if not thrillingly beating Gennadiy Golovkin. His annoyance with a (good) question about David Benavidez at the post-fight presser was a telling thing, I think. We’ll get into it more on the podcast Tuesday.
Billy Joe Saunders is out on inactivity. He had indicated prior to his loss to Canelo in May 2021 that it could be his last fight, and outside of a brief rumor that he might fight again by the end of 2022 a while back, there’s been nothing. It’s not even so much about time purely by itself but about the indication of whether there are plans to fight or not. Either way, 16 months is plenty enough. He can come back if he comes back.
Upcoming Fights: (3) Caleb Plant vs Anthony Dirrell, Oct. 15 ... (8) Zach Parker vs Demetrius Andrade, TBA
Notes: Gennadiy Golovkin doesn’t lose any ground at 160 for losing a fight top the top guy at 168. For one thing, different weight class. For another, and even bigger thing since these rankings are not “official” and I don’t have some sort of code I think has to be followed, no one else in this division has made anything close to a compelling enough argument that they should be considered the top middleweight.
Would Charlo or Alimkhanuly beat today’s GGG? Yeah, quite possibly, I think. But Charlo’s title reign has been truly uninspiring and Janibek is just getting started, hasn’t had the chance to make a serious dent just yet. Given the current “political” affiliations, none of them are likely to fight each other.
(If you are wondering about inactivity removals (there are more later) and why Jermall Charlo isn’t out, it’s because he did have a fight planned that was postponed. Any further inactivity will be considered probably around the end of the year, see what he’s doing by then.)
Upcoming Fights: (4) Chris Eubank Jr vs Conor Benn, Oct. 8 ... (6) Carlos Adames vs Juan Macias Montiel, Oct. 8
Upcoming Fights: (3) Sebastian Fundora vs Carlos Ocampo, Oct. 8 ... (1) Jermell Charlo vs (4) Tim Tszyu, Jan. 28
Upcoming Fights: (7) Conor Benn vs Chris Eubank Jr [middleweight], Oct. 8 ... (1) Errol Spence Jr vs (2) Terence Crawford, Nov. 19
Upcoming Fights: (8) Teofimo Lopez vs (10) Jose Pedraza, Dec. 10 ... (3) Regis Prograis vs (5) Jose Zepeda, TBA ... (6) Subriel Matias vs Jeremias Ponce, TBA
Notes: Zaur Abdullaev picked up a win on Sept. 11 in Russia, stopping Jovanni Straffon. It’s not the biggest victory or anything, but Abdullaev is a good fighter. That’s an underrated win on Devin Haney’s record.
Upcoming Fights: (10) Maxi Hughes vs Kid Galahad, Sept. 24 ... (1) Devin Haney vs (3) George Kambosos Jr, Oct. 15 ... (2) Vasiliy Lomachenko vs Jamaine Ortiz, Oct. 29 ... (6) JoJo Diaz vs William Zepeda, Oct. 29 ... (9) Masayoshi Nakatani vs Shuichiro Yoshino, Nov. 1
Upcoming Fights: (1) Shakur Stevenson vs (5) Robson Conceicao, Sept. 23 ... (3) Joe Cordina vs (4) Shavkat Rakhimov, Nov. 5
Upcoming Fights: (2) Maurico Lara vs (4) Leigh Wood, TBA ... (3) Rey Vargas vs (8) Leo Santa Cruz, TBA
Notes: Angelo Leo out due to inactivity. This division badly, badly needs some fresh blood and rising contenders of serious consequence.
Upcoming Fights: TBA
Notes: Nordine Oubaali out due to inactivity.
Upcoming Fights: (5) Emmanuel Rodriguez vs (8) Gary Antonio Russell, Oct. 15 ... (1) Naoya Inoue vs (8) Paul Butler, Dec. 13
Notes: I was not surprised that Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez didn’t sparkle and shine in his win over Israel Gonzalez. Gonzalez is a good, tough fighter, first of all, I think every bit as good and relevant to the division as Carlos Cuadras has been in quite a while.
And as much if not more than that, that was Bam’s third fight inside of seven months, and his third training camp. Smashing too many fights and camps together takes a toll, I don’t care how old you are, and it’s a sliding scale for the level you’re fighting, too, but it will always happen that you come out and look a little more fatigued than normal.
Take Skye Nicolson, who fought on Matchroom shows on Mar. 5, Mar. 26, Apr. 30, and June 4. That last fight she was not at her very best, admitted as much, and so did promoter Eddie Hearn, both acknowledging that maybe that one was one too many in that time frame. They weren’t championship-level fights, but they were fights, they were a lot of training — it catches up.
Rodriguez having three serious fights on Feb. 5, June 25, and Sept. 17 is a lot, and unless you’re gonna put him in really soft, I wouldn’t bring him back on Dec. 3. I don’t think that show (Estrada vs Chocolatito 3) is actually, truly big enough that a support slot is worth it. Everyone who cares is fully aware that Bam is a threat to anyone else at 115 and a top name in the mix, whatever “exposure” there is to get from fighting on that card is not enough to take a risk that he isn’t fully at 100 percent again.
Upcoming Fights: (6) Fernando Martinez vs (9) Jerwin Ancajas, Oct. 8 ... (8) Francisco Rodriguez Jr vs Junto Nakatani, Nov. 1 ... (1) Juan Francisco Estrada vs (3) Chocolatito Gonzalez, Dec. 3
Notes: Moruti Mthalane out due to inactivity. He’s 39 years old and had a long run as a top 10, even top five guy in the division, held titles — I don’t think he’s officially hung it up, but he may do so. He’s had a quietly terrific pro career all in all.
Worth noting that Junto Nakatani will be moving up to 115 lbs to face Francisco Rodriguez Jr on Nov. 1 in Japan. It’s a 10-rounder, no title on the line, and Nakatani has not vacated his WBO belt at 112 yet. He may be testing those waters, but it’s also a serious water-tester matchup, Rodriguez is no chump opponent at all. We’ll see what he does after that.
Upcoming Fights: (9) Giemel Magramo vs Taku Kuwahara, Oct. 25 ... (2) Junto Nakatani vs Francisco Rodriguez Jr [junior bantamweight], Nov. 1
Notes: Masamichi Yabuki stopped Thanongsak Simsri in the seventh round on Sept. 10 in Japan. Simsri had a very “Thai-style” 24-0 record coming in, but it’s a win for Yabuki all the same.
Upcoming Fights: (1) Hiroto Kyoguchi vs (2) Kenshiro Teraji, Nov. 1 ... (3) Jonathan Gonzalez vs Shokichi Iwata, Nov. 1
Upcoming Fights: TBA
Notes: We obviously didn’t get the Shields vs Marshall and Mayer vs Baumgardner fights on Sept. 10 as planned. Thanks, “The Queen.” Anyway, the idea is Oct. 15, but that’s still not official, and it is Sept. 18. I do know Boxxer already had that date reserved in Leeds, and there could still be a lot of kinks to work out. I’m just saying don’t count out someone just saying, nah, I guess it’s not happening, and moving on for the time being.
Top Rank are reportedly going to have Seniesa Estrada back in a co-feature fight on ESPN on Nov. 12, her debut with the company after jumping from Golden Boy. If Boxxer can’t put together the Oct. 15 date, I would not be surprised to see Top Rank pick up Mayer vs Baumgardner themselves, since Mayer is their fighter, and running that in November, with Seniesa as the co-feature. Not saying that will happen, and I hope we get those two fights in the UK as was the original idea, but it’s something to keep in mind.
Upcoming Fights: (3) Amanda Serrano vs Sarah Mahfoud, Sept. 24 ... (1) Katie Taylor vs TBA, Oct. 29 ... (7) Jessica McCaskill vs (9) Chantelle Cameron, Nov. 5 ... (4) Seniesa Estrada vs TBA, Nov. 12 ... (2) Claressa Shields vs (8) Savannah Marshall, TBA ... (5) Mikaela Mayer vs (10) Alycia Baumgardner, TBA