Rankings go up on Mondays.
Update: With the postponement of Shields-Marshall and Mayer-Baumgardner, we will hold off of doing another update until Monday, Sept. 19.
Ranked fights this week:
- Super Middleweight: (1) Canelo Alvarez vs Gennadiy Golovkin, Sept. 17
- Middleweight: (1) Gennadiy Golovkin vs Canelo Alvarez [super middleweight], Sept. 17
- Lightweight: (7) Zaur Abdullaev vs Jovanni Straffon, Sept. 11
- Junior Bantamweight: (4) Jesse Rodriguez vs Israel Gonzalez, Sept. 17
- Junior Flyweight: (7) Masamichi Yabuki vs Thanongsak Simsri, Sept. 10
Notes: I keep questioning if I should just put Tyson Fury back in, but I have decided I will when he officially announces his next fight. Not before then. He wanted to be called “retired,” so OK. We all know he isn’t, but whatever.
Anyway, Andy Ruiz Jr stays at No. 4 for now after a narrow win over Luis Ortiz. I had it for him, 113-112, which is 7-5 Ortiz in rounds but counting three knockdowns. If I didn’t count the controversial second knockdown in the second round, I would have had it 113-113 overall. Ortiz can’t do much complaining here; yeah, he won enough rounds to have technically won the fight by rounds alone, but that fight basically went whichever way Andy Ruiz allowed it to go. When he threw, he was fast enough and did damage, and two of the knockdowns were fully legit. When he didn’t, Ortiz was able to nick rounds on a jab that wasn’t even that great, really, but it worked.
It’s a weird fight to take much from, but I didn’t think the world of what I saw from either of them. That said, Ruiz won’t fight many guys like Ortiz, for better and/or worse. I’d give him a good chance to look a lot better against some other top 10 types. But then there’s Deontay Wilder, whom he may fight next year, and I don’t think he has a prayer against Wilder’s right hand power.
Right now, this division is Fury and Usyk on one tier, Wilder and Joshua on another, and then the rest of the guys. We’ll get more of a look at what’s what with Joyce vs Parker on Sept. 24; if Joyce wins that one impressively, he’ll jump ahead of Ruiz for me.
As for Ortiz, he dips down to No. 10, but I don’t know, I mean, he’s what I thought he was before this fight. He’s old, his legs and chin aren’t what they used to be, he’s really stationary and needs fighters to come to him (but not too fast!) — and all that combined with his toughness and remaining all-around skill and experience still puts him no worse than top 15 in the world. We’ll do another think on heavy in a couple weeks, I really want to get through Joyce vs Parker and see how things look from there, because there are just so many questions after the top four guys. (The latter two of the top four have questions, of course, but I think we know the answers with them, too.)
Upcoming Fights: (5) Joe Joyce vs (7) Joseph Parker, Sept. 24 ... (2) Deontay Wilder vs Robert Helenius, 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
Upcoming Fights: (1) Canelo Alvarez vs Gennadiy Golovkin, Sept. 17
Notes: Removing Demetrius Andrade, who vacated the WBO title (now held by Janibek Alimkhanuly, who was bumped up from interim status), and plans to take the postponed 168 lb eliminator with Zach Parker. Felix Cash is in. It is not the most inspiring division at the moment.
Upcoming Fights: (1) Gennadiy Golovkin vs Canelo Alvarez [super middleweight], Sept. 17 ... (4) Chris Eubank Jr vs Conor Benn, Oct. 8 ... (6) Carlos Adames vs Juan Macias Montiel, Oct. 8
Notes: Liam Smith stopped Hassan Mwakinyo in four on Saturday. It was a slightly odd finish, but not all that weird, honestly. Mwakinyo claimed he wanted to continue after the fight was stopped, it was a minor to-do, nobody much cares, in all honesty. Smith continues to want a big fight. But the only real “big fight” here is with Jermell Charlo, and Jermell has a Tim Tszyu mandatory, and following that will be a Sebastian Fundora mandatory — that’s assuming he stays at the weight.
But with Charlo not expected to fight Tszyu until January — which isn’t as far away as it might seem at the moment — Smith’s going to be left waiting a while, even if it winds up he can get a vacant title fight.
Upcoming Fights: (3) Sebastian Fundora vs Carlos Ocampo, Oct. 8 ... (1) Jermell Charlo vs (4) Tim Tszyu, Jan. 28
Notes: Going back to a conversation John and myself had on the podcast some weeks back, I’m now at the point where I think if we don’t get a Spence vs Crawford deal done by Canelo vs GGG weekend, we’re not getting the fight in 2022. The boxing world for major fights in the U.S. will shut down at Saturday, Dec. 17, maybe Sunday, Dec. 18, but there won’t be anything huge on Christmas weekend nor New Year’s weekend. Not a Spence vs Crawford type fight. And they’ll want time to promote, at least eight weeks. If it doesn’t get done and settled by Sept. 17, which would mean a mid-November fight, I don’t think we see it this year.
Upcoming Fights: (7) Conor Benn vs Chris Eubank Jr [middleweight], Oct. 8
Notes: For what it’s worth, I have no confidence that “MarvNation,” which deeply overpaid for Prograis vs Zepeda on a purse bid, can really get that fight done, and if they can and plan to take it to PPV, they are going to lose their shirts. This is very “Triller buys Lopez vs Kambosos for way more money than anyone who knew better knew it was worth,” and we saw how that turned out.
Jose Pedraza and Richard Commey went to a draw on Aug. 27 or whatever date that was. Two Saturdays ago. I thought Pedraza had done just barely enough to edge it, but the result was fine with me. Pedraza keeps his No. 10 slot, but he’s teetering, and someone else can impress and take it, perhaps.
Upcoming Fights: (6) Subriel Matias vs Jeremias Ponce, Oct. 15 ... (8) Teofimo Lopez vs TBA, Dec. 10 ... (3) Regis Prograis vs (5) Jose Zepeda, TBA
Notes: Isaac Cruz bumps his way up past JoJo Diaz and Zaur Abdullaev, thanks to his very strong performance against Tank Davis last year and two destructive wins since. It’s one where there’s not much separating those guys — or Michel Rivera, for that matter — in terms of who they’ve beaten, so you start going eye test and what you think might happen. I think Cruz beats all those guys, but let me say I’d love to see a Cruz vs Diaz fight. We won’t, but I’d love to see it.
Upcoming Fights: (7) Zaur Abdullaev vs Jovanni Straffon, Sept. 11 ... (1) Devin Haney vs (3) George Kambosos Jr, Oct. 15 ... (5) JoJo Diaz vs William Zepeda, Nov. 5 ... (2) Vasiliy Lomachenko vs Jamaine Ortiz, TBA
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, Sept. 24 ... (3) Rey Vargas vs (8) Leo Santa Cruz, TBA
Notes: With Danny Roman retiring from the sport, a spot opened up. That spot at No. 10 goes to Marlon Tapales.
More notably, I’m giving Ra’eese Aleem a good jump. Look at this division right now and you see an extremely clear top two, whichever way you put them, and then a lot of guys who are way behind them. Aleem looked really good on Sunday in dominating Mike Plania. Angelo Leo hasn’t fought in 15 months and has nothing scheduled, and didn’t look good in that fight with Aaron Alameda, really. I’ve never been sold on Nery at 122 — and they’re both still in my top five. That kinda tells you what 122 is right now. I love “Crazy A” Hovhannisyan, but he is not a true top-level fighter, either.
Of “the rest,” I think Aleem deserves the No. 3 spot the most right now. It’s partially the division, but he really is a talented fighter, and at 32 PBC should try to get him his shot, especially if Fulton vs Akhmadaliev isn’t going to happen.
Upcoming Fights: TBA
Upcoming Fights: (6) Emmanuel Rodriguez vs (9) Gary Antonio Russell, Oct. 15 ... (1) Naoya Inoue vs (8) Paul Butler, Dec. 13
Notes: Juan Francisco Estrada returned and had to scrape past Argi Cortes, but the bigger news is his trilogy bout with Chocolatito Gonzalez is official for Dec. 3.
I’m keeping Estrada in the top spot for now, but it’s shaky. Ioka has a claim. Chocolatito has a claim, if you think he deserved the win over Estrada in their second fight in early 2021. Bam Rodriguez has made a case for himself, too, his two wins at the weight this year stack up nicely compared to the others, and he’s got the much bigger future. The other three are winding their careers down, more or less, though still great fighters. Bam is just getting going.
No, I do not think Argi Cortes is now a top 10 fighter. But maybe excitable Jessie Vargas is right and I am wrong.
Upcoming Fights: (4) Jesse Rodriguez vs Israel Gonzalez, Sept. 17 ... (6) Fernando Martinez vs (9) Jerwin Ancajas, Oct. 8 ... (1) Juan Francisco Estrada vs (3) Chocolatito Gonzalez, Dec. 3
Upcoming Fights: (10) Giemel Magramo vs Taku Kuwahara, Oct. 25
Notes: Sivenathi Nontshinga won a war over Hector Flores on Saturday to claim the vacant IBF title, but his standing stays the same here for the time being. It’s a fight that begs for a rematch and for both guys to get better paydays and a brighter spotlight. I said before, not saying they should try to headline a DAZN card with them, I get why you don’t want to do that, but give them a good undercard slot on a more notable Matchroom USA show, maybe, even if it’s opening a four-fight main card that more people will watch than watched Estrada vs Cortes. If you didn’t see the fight, go watch it. It was terrific.
Upcoming Fights: (7) Masamichi Yabuki vs Thanongsak Simsri, Sept. 10
Notes: Petchmanee made a successful defense on Aug. 31.
Upcoming Fights: TBA
Upcoming Fights: (7) Jessica McCaskill vs (9) Chantelle Cameron, Nov. 5 ... (2) Claressa Shields vs (8) Savannah Marshall, TBA ... (5) Mikaela Mayer vs (10) Alycia Baumgardner, TBA