Rankings go up Mondays. No update next week, so the next will come on Oct. 30. It won’t be a big update, but it’ll be an update.
Ranked fights the next two weeks:
- Heavyweight: (8) Martin Bakole vs Carlos Takam, Oct. 28
- Heavyweight: (9) Joseph Parker vs Simon Kean, Oct. 28
- Light Heavyweight: (5) Joshua Buatsi vs (9) Dan Azeez, Oct. 21
- Welterweight: (10) Alexis Rocha vs Giovani Santillan, Oct. 21
- Junior Welterweight: (3) Jack Catterall vs Jorge Linares, Oct. 21
- Junior Lightweight: (4) O’Shaquie Foster vs Eduardo “Rocky” Hernandez
- Flyweight: (8) Ricardo Sandoval vs Victor Sandoval
- Junior Flyweight: (2) Jonathan Gonzalez vs Gerardo Zapata, Oct. 27
- Women’s P4P: (4) Amanda Serrano vs Danila Ramos, Oct. 27
Notes: Mike Perez won a nothing fight on Saturday in Germany, a first round stoppage.
Badou Jack has vacated his WBC cruiserweight title and has his sights set on “bridgerweight,” meaning the Mikaelyan vs Makabu fight on Don King’s 11/4 card is now for the WBC belt. I could take Badou out of the rankings, I guess, but we’ll see what happens.
Also because of that, the WBC have ordered an eliminator between Ryan Rozicki and Olanrewaju Durodola, who is 43 years old and hasn’t been in a notable fight since getting stopped by Richard Riakporhe two years ago. He’s had a bunch of fights since, all in Nigeria or Ghana against really substandard opposition. Rozicki vs Durodola will take place Dec. 2 in Nova Scotia.
Upcoming Fights: (9) Ilunga Junior Makabu vs Noel Mikaelyan, Nov. 4
Upcoming Fights: (2) David Benavidez vs Demetrius Andrade, Nov. 25
Notes: Sorry to the Janibek mega-fans, but I still don’t know how good he is or isn’t, because Vincenzo Gualtieri had absolutely nothing on Saturday. I know Gualtieri had a paper belt and I still admire his spirit in turning around and trying to unify, but he wasn’t near Janibek’s class.
I think Janibek is, at worst, Really Good. He is also clearly the best actual active middleweight in the world. He’ll be No. 1 in the rankings in December, when GGG goes Officially Inactive, if Golovkin schedules nothing or doesn’t just announce he’s actually retired before then. And it’s clear he deserves that. But how good is he? Don’t know, because the opposition just is not there to really prove it so far.
Gualtieri absolutely does not stay in the top 10. That was not a top 10 middleweight we saw. Yes, Janibek is very good, but Denzel Bentley, an actual top 10 middleweight, definitely did a lot better than that. All Gualtieri did better than Steven Butler or Danny Dignum was survive a bit longer.
So Austin “Ammo” Williams is right back in, which is not any huge surprise.
Another guy I considered: Marquis Taylor, who upset previously-unbeaten Yoelvis Gomez on a PBC card in July, is set to fight on Nov. 18 in a six-round fight against Tom Howard (8-9) at “Red Owl Boxing Arena” in Houston. If he’s doing it just to stay busy and make a little money, that’s one thing, but hopefully it’s not because he can’t find a better fight. He deserves one.
Upcoming Fights: (8) Denzel Bentley vs Nathan Heaney, Nov. 18 ... (8) Hamzah Sheeraz vs Liam Williams, Dec. 2
Notes: Tim Tszyu did the business against Brian Mendoza, earning a hard-fought and well-fought decision in Australia.
I’m not budging Mendoza for now because we’ve got a real jumble after Tszyu here. Mendoza beat Fundora, who beat Lubin, who “beat” Ramos, and it’s not like Israil Madrimov or Yoenis Tellez have done something so crazy remarkable, let alone Kurbanov or Kelly. So we’re holding status quo for now. And Mendoza honestly fought well, was competitive. The No. 3 guy lost to the No. 2 guy, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the No. 4 guy, who has lost to the No. 3 guy, gets to move up, nor the No. 5 guy, who lost to the No. 4 guy, and who arguably lost to the No. 7 guy.
Fun stuff! Rearrange them however you’d prefer for your own great rankings.
Upcoming Fights: TBA
Upcoming Fights: (10) Alexis Rocha vs Giovani Santillan, Oct. 21
Notes: Leigh Wood sounds like he’s totally done at 126, though he has yet to officially vacate his WBA belt or anything, which is smart. Take your time, wait until it’s necessary, you might change your mind and want that belt to defend.
Wood’s not planning to return until the summer of 2024 at Nottingham Forest’s City Ground, where he may rematch Josh Warrington at 130. Warrington was fighting as well as he had in forever before Wood caught him and stopped him in a dramatic finish to what had been an intriguing fight. Not dropping Warrington for losing to a guy we all had above him, and there aren’t enough people after who have done that much. Isaac Dogboe and Nick Ball will both have their changes to make a real case in about a month.
UPDATE [Oct. 17]: Wood has now officially vacated his WBA belt, but we’re not going to revise these rankings just yet. One last update on top for boxing’s drama king, Leigh Wood.
Upcoming Fights: (10) Isaac Dogboe vs Nick Ball, Nov. 18 ... (3) Robeisy Ramirez vs Rafael Espinoza, Dec. 9
Notes: John Riel Casimero fought last Thursday in Tokyo, going to a technical draw in the fourth round with Yukinori Oguni. Casimero’s had three fights at this weight and each one of them has been at least a little odd in some way.
Sam Goodman won a featherweight stay-busy and looked fine.
Upcoming Fights: (5) Takuma Inoue vs Jerwin Ancajas, Nov. 15
Upcoming Fights: TBA
Notes: Angel Ayala crashes in with a win over Felix Alvarado in an entertaining, competitive fight where Alvarado was originally announced the winner, which was quickly corrected.
Notes: The Shigeoka Era is HERE! If you’re going to start going into a passionate defense of Decision CP Freshmart (Thammanoon), maybe tell him to fight more often. If we had more strict rules, he’d have been off the list three months ago for inactivity.
Yudai took the WBC belt with a wide decision over Panya Pradabsri, and Ginjiro took the IBF belt from Daniel Valladares via fifth round stoppage on the same show. They look like the real deal; I’ve thought for a while now they’re probably the two best fighters here, and now they’ve earned the top two spots. I still think Ginjiro’s maybe the better fighter than Yudai, but Yudai’s win was better, he beat “the guy,” or as close to a “the guy” as we had.
Upcoming Fights: TBA