clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Boxing Rankings (Oct. 30, 2023): Can Tyson Fury still be called the world’s best heavyweight? Plus more!

Can Tyson Fury still say he’s the top heavyweight, or does Oleksandr Usyk deserve the spot?

Can Tyson Fury still say he’s the top heavyweight, or does Oleksandr Usyk deserve the spot?
Can Tyson Fury still say he’s the top heavyweight, or does Oleksandr Usyk deserve the spot?
Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images
Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

No update next week! Or the week after because the 11th has basically nothing and the 4th isn’t real big alone, though there are ranked fights. So we’ll have a SUPER UPDATE on Monday, Nov. 20, ahead of the Benavidez vs Andrade + Cameron vs Taylor 2 fight week that closes out November.

Notes: I think Tyson Fury deserved the win over Francis Ngannou this past Saturday, I wasn’t scoring with emotion and thought he nicked enough of the rounds for sure. Some of them he clearly won.

You could probably get to a 95-94 Ngannou score fairly enough, where the knockdown makes the difference, because none of what Fury “achieved” in terms of winning rounds was impressive. The best of it was a low-level example of what he should have done against a novice pro boxer. He got dropped. He struggled. He was out of shape, he came into the fight in “play time” mode. He looked absolutely awful by Tyson Fury standards. I can’t say that’s the best heavyweight in the world at the moment. Well, I can, but I’m not gonna.

I still think a dialed-in Fury is a nightmare matchup for Usyk, basically the worst possible matchup for the Ukrainian. But right now, at this moment, Usyk deserves the spot more. I don’t expect them to settle the argument in December, but not too far in the future they will.

Upcoming Fights: (1) Tyson Fury vs (2) Oleksandr Usyk, TBA

Notes: Mike Perez was supposed to maybe fight for the WBC “bridgerweight” title on Nov. 4, but that was quickly taken off of the Don King card after being announced. That’s good, because I really didn’t want to once again consider who might be the 10th best cruiserweight in the world right now. Guys, it’s so boring to think about every time it comes up. Badou Jack is going up, too, and I’m just ... I can’t. Not yet. When they’re gone we’ll do it. This division is so boring to rank.

Upcoming Fights: (9) Ilunga Junior Makabu vs Noel Mikaelyan, Nov. 4

Notes: Buatsi vs Azeez did not happen, so no changes. Bivol and Beterbiev stood by each other in Riyadh, but the WBC still has their thing with Russians who don’t claim another country as the one they represent, and Beterbiev still has to fight Callum Smith, and then go through another few delays to get to his next fight, so that appears no closer to happening.

Upcoming Fights: (2) Artur Beterbiev vs (3) Callum Smith, Jan. 13

Upcoming Fights: (2) David Benavidez vs Demetrius Andrade, Nov. 25 ... (5) Christian Mbilli vs Rohan Murdock, Jan. 13

Upcoming Fights: (8) Denzel Bentley vs Nathan Heaney, Nov. 18 ... (8) Hamzah Sheeraz vs Liam Williams, Dec. 2

Upcoming Fights: TBA

Notes: Giovani Santillan beat the hell out of Alexis Rocha, and it wasn’t that Rocha wasn’t in shape or wasn’t fighting hard or whatever. Everything Rocha did, Santillan answered back in double. It was just a total domination, you don’t see many like it in well-matched fights.

So Santillan hits the list big, shooting in at No. 6. I’d love to see him fight pretty much any of the guys around him, though being with Top Rank could make that difficult. Every single other person here is a PBC fighter. We’ll see what happens with PBC, that could be less difficult soon than we think.

Upcoming Fights: TBA

Notes: Jack Catterall didn’t exactly blow any doors off beating a washed-up Jorge Linares, but he did it convincingly, and blowaway performances are just not Catterall’s style. He’s steady, consistent, and doesn’t really have “off” nights. That’s bigger than it might sound in terms of staying a top fighter.

Upcoming Fights: (7) Ryan Garcia vs Oscar Duarte, Dec. 2 ... (1) Regis Prograis vs Devin Haney, Dec. 9

Upcoming Fights: (10) Raymond Muratalla vs Diego Torres, Nov. 4 ... (3) Shakur Stevenson vs Edwin De Los Santos, Nov. 16

Notes: Foster goes up a spot for a solid first title defense against Eduardo “Rocky” Hernandez, who may well deserve a spot here himself. The upper part of the division will see some action before the next update.

Upcoming Fights: (2) Joe Cordina vs Edward Vazquez, Nov. 4 ... (1) Emanuel Navarrete vs (7) Robson Conceicao, Nov. 16

Notes: Leigh Wood has vacated his title and left the division officially. That leaves an opening, and I’ve gone with Otabek Kholmatov.

Between Lopez and Robeisy, I think Lopez deserves the top spot just a bit more. Who would have thought in 2019 when we saw this weirdo lose a decision to Ruben Villa on ShoBox, that four years later he’d be called the top featherweight in the sport? Being an oddball stylist can really take you places if you work to perfect it, and he has.

Upcoming Fights: (9) Isaac Dogboe vs Nick Ball, Nov. 18 ... (2) Robeisy Ramirez vs Rafael Espinoza, Dec. 9

Upcoming Fights: (9) Liam Davies vs Vincenzo La Femina, Nov. 18 ... (1) Naoya Inoue vs (3) Marlon Tapales, Dec. 26 ... (5) Murodjon Akhmadaliev vs Kevin Gonzalez, TBA

Upcoming Fights: (5) Takuma Inoue vs Jerwin Ancajas, Nov. 15

Upcoming Fights: TBA

Upcoming Fights: (4) Artem Dalakian vs (8) Seigo Yuri Akui, Nov. 15 ... (1) Sunny Edwards vs (2) Jesse Rodriguez, Dec. 16

Upcoming Fights: (4) Sivenathi Nontshinga vs Adrian Curiel, Nov. 4

Upcoming Fights: TBA

Notes: Serrano won another fight against a game but overmatched opponent. It was historic this time, though.

Upcoming Fights: (9) Yokasta Valle vs Anabel Ortiz, Nov. 4 ... (2) Chantelle Cameron vs (3) Katie Taylor, Nov. 25

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Bad Left Hook Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your global boxing news from Bad Left Hook