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Boxing Rankings (Nov. 27, 2023): It’s time for Canelo vs Benavidez, plus Matias, Roach, more

David Benavidez has earned a shot at Canelo Alvarez next, plus Subriel Matias’ case at 140, Lamont Roach Jr, and more!

David Benavidez v Demetrius Andrade
David Benavidez has earned a shot at Canelo Alvarez next
Photo by David Becker/Getty Images
Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

Next update comes on Monday, Dec. 11.

Ranked fights the next two weeks:


Upcoming Fights: (3) Deontay Wilder vs (9) Joseph Parker, Dec. 23 ... (5) Anthony Joshua vs Otto Wallin, Dec. 23 ... (7) Filip Hrgovic vs Mark De Mori, Dec. 23 ... (10) Frank Sanchez vs Junior Fa, Dec. 23 ... (1) Tyson Fury vs (2) Oleksandr Usyk, Feb. 17


Upcoming Fights: (2) Chris Billam-Smith vs Mateusz Masternak, Dec. 10 ... (1) Jai Opetaia vs Ellis Zorro, Dec 23


Upcoming Fights: (1) Dmitry Bivol vs (7) Lyndon Arthur, Dec. 23 ... (2) Artur Beterbiev vs (3) Callum Smith, Jan. 13 ... (5) Joshua Buatsi vs (6) Dan Azeez, Feb. 3


Notes: David Benavidez was an absolute destroyer in his win over Demetrius Andrade, and yes, he absolutely looks like the most interesting, most significant threat to Canelo Alvarez at 168 lbs.

2023 was a proper breakthrough year for Benavidez. I know he won world titles before, but he lost both outside the ring and neither of his title-winning efforts were as good or near as notable as his wins over Plant and Andrade this year. In every sense, he’s ready for the spotlight of a ... whatever company’s PPV main event in May against Canelo.

Andrade fought alright, and took a hell of a beating. Give credit to his team and referee Thomas Taylor for seeing that we might have been getting into dangerous territory had that gone much longer. It was getting pretty ugly to watch, as Andrade couldn’t do anything with Benavidez, but he was tough as hell and trying to hang in there. Benavidez is a shark, though, and he smelled blood in the water. He wasn’t going to let up, and it wasn’t going to get better for Andrade.

Do I think Demetrius could beat someone like Carlos Gongora or John Ryder? Absolutely. But the end result of his fight with Benavidez is also about what I’d expect from those two guys against Benavidez, so I can’t see putting him in the rankings at 168 for getting clobbered, however brave an effort.

Upcoming Fights: (3) David Morrell Jr vs Sena Agbeko, Dec. 16 ... (5) Christian Mbilli vs Rohan Murdock, Jan. 13


Notes: No clue what to do with Jermall Charlo’s return, so for now we’ll do nothing. His win over Jose Benavidez Jr wasn’t fought at 160, and he didn’t even bother to make the 163 contract weight, or come particularly close to it — at least in the “weighing in for boxing” sense, obviously 166 is close to 163 in general terms. If he fights at 160 again, which I have doubts about, then we’ll look at it then, but my guess is he winds up at 168.

I also get what Jermall means when he said in his post-fight interview that he’s not giving himself a grade. He was shaking rust — he thought people couldn’t tell, but everyone could tell — and he was getting rounds at a certain point, too. This was to get the engine started again, or at least that’s the hope, and he’ll be more active in 2024. His claim that he’ll fight “three or four times” seems unlikely, but twice would be a good step.

Upcoming Fights: TBA


Notes: It means nothing to our rankings, but Jermell Charlo did vacate the IBF title this past week. It’s not a surprise; the order to fight Bakhram Murtazaliev wasn’t exactly attractive for someone of his star power, and he still has the WBC and WBA belts, and we know the WBC at least aren’t going to rush to make a Charlo defend a belt. If he returns to 154, he should still have at least one of the belts.

Upcoming Fights: (10) Josh Kelly vs Roarke Knapp, Dec. 16


Upcoming Fights: TBA


Notes: Subriel Matias jumps up two spots to No. 3 after putting a pretty good beating on Shohjahon Ergashev, who officially withdrew from the fight because his leg was “no good,” but this seemed to catch his corner by surprise a bit. Again, said it after the fight, whether it’s true or not, the sense out there is going to be that Ergashev just didn’t want anything more to do with the T-800 that is Matias.

I really think Subriel might be the best fighter in this division right now. You look at the rest of the fighters here and while, yes, absolutely, some really skilled guys — who dents him? Because you have to dent him. Ergashev hits hard and landed clean, he didn’t manage it. And he’s not terribly slow or uncreative/unskilled or anything, either. He’s not some pure bruiser anyone currently at 140 is just gonna dance on for 12 rounds.

Nobody’s gonna call this dude out. He is a bad man, and they all know it.

Upcoming Fights: (7) Ryan Garcia vs Oscar Duarte, Dec. 2 ... (1) Regis Prograis vs Devin Haney, Dec. 9 ... (8) Sandor Martin vs Mohamed El Marcouchi, Dec. 16


Upcoming Fights: TBA


Notes: Lamont Roach Jr hits the top 10 after taking the WBA belt from Hector Luis Garcia, who drops a couple spots to No. 9. It wasn’t a thriller, and I thought Roach took over pretty well down the stretch, but it was a competitive fight.

Roach has already said plainly that he wants to unify, which could be tough but we’ll see how PBC shakes out with TV deals and all that. Roach had been with Golden Boy but this was a mandatory he waited on, and if we wind up with everyone big in the U.S. other than Top Rank on DAZN in 2023, he could have a good shot at a Cordina unification, especially now that O’Shaquie Foster has gone to Top Rank.

Upcoming Fights: TBA


Upcoming Fights: (2) Robeisy Ramirez vs Rafael Espinoza, Dec. 9


Upcoming Fights: (6) Sam Goodman vs Zhong Liu, Dec. 15 ... (5) Murodjon Akhmadaliev vs Kevin Gonzalez, Dec. 16 ... (1) Naoya Inoue vs (3) Marlon Tapales, Dec. 26


Upcoming Fights: (6) Paul Butler vs Nabil Ahmed, Dec. 8 ... (3) Jason Moloney vs Saul Sanchez, Jan. 13


Upcoming Fights: (9) Andrew Moloney vs Judy Flores, Dec. 9 ... (2) Kazuto Ioka vs Josber Perez, Dec. 31


Upcoming Fights: (1) Sunny Edwards vs (2) Jesse Rodriguez, Dec. 16


Upcoming Fights: TBA


Upcoming Fights: (9) Jake Amparo vs Pedro Taduran, Dec. 28


Notes: Katie Taylor is not done. Not yet by a longshot. Her rematch win over Chantelle Cameron was a terrific fight again between the two, and I tend to agree with Taylor that a trilogy fight at Croke Park next year is the move to make. The Serrano thing might have come and gone, but it’s the only other fight where Hearn and Matchroom can finally get Taylor into Croke. Actually, any fight there with Katie would sell tickets, there’d be a big, loud crowd — but with Cameron or Serrano you can charge an amount for the tickets that will cover the expense of the venue.

Taylor now reigns as undisputed at 135 and 140. It’s enough to make one consider going sanctioning body and naming Claressa Shields “P4P No. 1 In Recess,” because Shields just has nobody interesting left to fight other than, maybe, Shadasia Green, if Green beats Franchon Crews-Dezurn in a couple weeks.

Upcoming Fights: (7) Mikaela Mayer vs Natasha Jonas, Jan. 20

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