Rankings go up on Mondays. Except next week, when rankings will go up on Wednesday morning, because next Monday is an American holiday and I will be out of town.
Ranked fights this week:
- Cruiserweight: (2) Lawrence Okolie vs (9) Chris Billam-Smith, May 27
- Junior Welterweight: (3) Jack Catterall vs Darragh Foley, May 27
- Featherweight: (1) Mauricio Lara vs (4) Leigh Wood, May 27
- Featherweight: (6) Luis Alberto Lopez vs Michael Conlan, May 27
- Junior Bantamweight: (7) Wisaksil Wangek vs Komgrich Nantapech, May 27
- Minimumweight: (3) Melvin Jerusalem vs (8) Oscar Collazo, May 27
As always, when we’re coming off of a significant women’s fight and some shift in their P4P, we start here.
Notes: Chantelle Cameron up to No. 2, you might ask? Actually, I have no idea if that will be questioned at all, but if it is, let’s break it down.
- She’s the undisputed champion at 140.
- Last November, she fielded a challenge from the then-undisputed champ at 147, and beat Jessica McCaskill.
- On Saturday, she fielded a challenge from the undisputed champ at 135, one of the great legends of women’s boxing, on the road in Dublin, and beat Katie Taylor.
Other than Shields, no one has that juice right now. I think “Il Capo” has truly earned her spot.
Taylor drops down to No. 3 but no further for now. She lost, but Taylor was still competitive, and there will be a rematch, which sounds like it will come at 135 — through Cameron’s insistence as much as anything. Serrano, Baumgardner, and Estrada are right there on her heels, though.
Upcoming Fights: (1) Claressa Shields vs Hanna Gabriels, June 3 ... (5) Alycia Baumgardner vs Christina Linardatou, July 15 ... (4) Amanda Serrano vs Heather Hardy, Aug. 5
Notes: Wake me up when Tyson Fury is done having social media feuds with Joe Rogan and Jon Jones, two people he’s never going to fight in any capacity, and he signs to fight an actual contender in a boxing ring. Or maybe he can get a rematch with Braun Strowman. Considering his other idea is probably a fourth fight with Derek Chisora, I think I’d prefer Strowman.
Upcoming Fights: TBA
Upcoming Fights: (2) Lawrence Okolie vs (9) Chris Billam-Smith, May 27
Upcoming Fights: (2) Artur Beterbiev vs (3) Callum Smith, TBA
Notes: The weird situation where Canelo insists on rematching Dmitry Bivol at 175 but Bivol wants to do it at 168 may actually lead to Canelo vs Benavidez instead. I mean, if you’re going to fight at 168 either way, and not get exactly what you want for once, Canelo and his team will then be deciding more purely on what they money offers are for both fights. Both will be huge. But Canelo vs Bivol 2 is not as set in stone as Canelo would seemingly like, and Benavidez is an incredible “second option,” and I think the fight a lot of fans would honestly rather see.
Upcoming Fights: TBA
Notes: Janibek beat Steven Butler on May 13. Considering Golovkin is only technically active right now and Jermall Charlo is super not active, Janibek probably deserves to be called the best middleweight in the world at the moment. For beating Danny Dignum, Denzel Bentley, and Steven Butler.
This is not a middleweight golden age.
Upcoming Fights: (3) Jaime Munguia vs (7) Sergiy Derevyanchenko, June 10 ... (4) Carlos Adames vs Julian Williams, June 24 ... (5) Liam Smith vs (8) Chris Eubank Jr, July 1 ... (7) Erislandy Lara vs Danny Garcia, Aug. 5
Upcoming Fights: (2) Tim Tszyu vs Carlos Ocampo, June 17 ... (7) Erickson Lubin vs Luis Arias, June 24
Upcoming Fights: (5) Vergil Ortiz Jr vs (6) Eimantas Stanionis, July 8
Upcoming Fights: (3) Jack Catterall vs Darragh Foley, May 27 ... (2) Josh Taylor vs (9) Teofimo Lopez, June 10 ... (1) Regis Prograis vs TBA, June 17
Notes: Vasiliy Lomachenko goes back up to No. 2. The Lomachenko I saw on Saturday was still Lomachenko. Yes, a 35-year-old Lomachenko, but in against a fantastic young fighter who answered the call at a truly high level himself, and arguably won the fight. I thought he won the fight.
I do not think less of Gervonta Davis than I did last week, but I have new evidence that Loma still has Loma in him, which we didn’t see as much against Jamaine Ortiz. This is a marvelous top four, and with that comes the notes that Haney may move up to 140 instead of fighting Shakur Stevenson (who may honestly be the best of the four) or Tank Davis, and it sure doesn’t sound like Bill wants anything to do with a Loma rematch.
And man, I kinda said it already and am sure I will more on tomorrow’s podcast, but I hate that in all the debate about the scoring, it’s so easy to lose sight of this being a great fight. This was a tremendous showcase for the highest level of boxing, and I was more impressed with Devin Haney than ever, too! Even if I scored the fight for Loma (which I did, 115-113), I thought this was the most dynamic performance we’ve ever seen from Haney, and it came against a guy I know is great, and fought a great fight.
Like, we’ve had Big Fights, for sure, but this was the first one in a while where I felt, as a fan, that tension through 12 rounds, that tingle in my body watching these fighters ply their trade. It was an excellent fight. I absolutely loved it. I would personally love to see a rematch, though I don’t think, right now, that we get one. I do not put it at zero percent, though; Bill seems so against it that that might backfire and make it more likely if the calls for it are strong enough and Top Rank/ESPN offer the right deal.
Upcoming Fights: (6) George Kambosos Jr vs Maxi Hughes, TBA, July 29
Notes: Oscar Valdez looked pretty good in his win over Adam Lopez, a win that was expected but you could see Valdez on his game, and Lopez is a tough dude, nearly impossible to truly deter, he makes you work for the rounds.
It’s expected that Valdez will fight Emanuel Navarrete next, as was the plan in February before Valdez got hurt. I loved that fight then, love it even more now, because we saw Navarrete look vulnerable against Liam Wilson, and it could just be a fantastic, dramatic fight. I’ll even propose a date: Friday, Sept. 15 on ESPN. Canelo will almost surely be fighting on Saturday, Sept. 16. Take advantage of the week. Two Mexican fighters on Mexican independence weekend. And you’re not fighting so much college football on a Friday night. I do know and understand that Friday ain’t Saturday, but I think that one works with the situation.
Upcoming Fights: TBA
Notes: Ruben Villa returned on May 13, winning handily and impressively, though against a lower-level foe. That was a tune-up, a rust-shaker, a Top Rank how-do-you-do. Now he should be able to get the chances to build from that. He’s a really good boxer — there are a lot of people on this list I’d favor him to beat, and if Mick Conlan beats Luis Alberto Lopez, it might not be Villa who falls out of the top 10 next week. It may be a real surprise!
Upcoming Fights: (1) Mauricio Lara vs (4) Leigh Wood, May 27 ... (6) Luis Alberto Lopez vs Michael Conlan, May 27
Upcoming Fights: (5) Ra’eese Aleem vs (10) Sam Goodman, June 17 ... (1) Stephen Fulton Jr vs Naoya Inoue, July 25 ... (9) Liam Davies vs Jason Cunningham, July 29
Notes: Jason Moloney won a world title in his third crack, cleanly and clearly beating Vincent Astrolabio.
So Moloney pops up to No. 3, behind Donaire and one of the two guys who have beaten him, while Astrolabio dips to No. 6 in a bit of reshuffling, with Takuma Inoue getting a bump up into the top five. Inoue may not be special like his brother, but he’s a skilled boxer and, well, look at the rest of this group, nobody has any case that they’re better, and I think he deserves that spot.
Upcoming Fights: (1) Nonito Donaire vs (9) Alexandro Santiago, TBA ... (2) Emmanuel Rodriguez vs Melvin Lopez, TBA
Notes: More reshuffling, this one after Junto Nakatani dominated and then brutally knocked out Andrew Moloney to claim the vacant WBO title, and just some new thought put into the division.
I really like Fernando Martinez, I do, and I’d love to see him fight anyone. He takes the drop because it’s a great division. Still. Even with people coming and going, this has been a terrific division for years now. Jade Bornea, Martinez’s next opponent, comes in at No. 10 to replace Moloney, who is a good fighter still, but again, it’s just a good division.
Nakatani looks like the real deal, man. He did at 112, he does at 115. There’s nothing limited about his game. He can crack, he can box, he’s an incredibly accurate puncher who has a ton of different shots in his arsenal that are “plus” punches for him. I’m not saying he’d for sure beat everyone, fighting someone as resourceful as an Estrada or Chocolatito or whomever is tougher than the guys he’s faced so far, but skill-wise, it’s all there.
Joshua Franco is at No. 2 because I really think he beat Kazuto Ioka when they fought. And they’ll do it again because they’re both legit. That has been the story of this division for a long time.
Upcoming Fights: (7) Wisaksil Wangek vs Komgrich Nantapech, May 27 ... (6) Fernando Martinez vs Jade Bornea, June 24 ... (2) Joshua Franco vs (4) Kazuto Ioka, June 24
Notes: Hiroto Kyoguchi moved up to flyweight on Saturday. His win was dominant, though against a middling fighter. But yes, I think he’s instantly one of the top 10 in this division. It’ll be tough to become a three-weight world champion, but I’m guessing he’s going to get the chance to go for it.
Upcoming Fights: (1) Sunny Edwards vs Andres Campos, June 10 ... (5) Felix Alvarado vs Armando Hernandez, June 10 ... (9) Taku Kuwahara vs Wulan Tuolehazi, July 11
Upcoming Fights: (5) Daniel Matellon vs (10) Carlos Canizales, June 10 ... (5) Sivenathi Nontshinga vs (10) Regie Suganob, June 16
Notes: Luis Castillo knocked out Ayanda Ndulani on Friday in South Africa, so he’s in! I watched the fight on YouTube, he didn’t look like any great fighter or anything, but he showed some raw power, and, well, top 10s across the sport are littered with guys who “aren’t any great fighter or anything,” but they are good, and they are in the race.
Upcoming Fights: (3) Melvin Jerusalem vs (8) Oscar Collazo, May 27