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Boxing Rankings (Sept. 4, 2023): Chris Eubank Jr the middleweight contender, Usyk, more

Chris Eubank Jr is a legit contender in a weak middleweight division, Oleksandr Usyk and others stay put, and some inactivity shakeups! Yeehaw!

Chris Eubank Jr is a legit contender in a weak middleweight division
Chris Eubank Jr is a legit contender in a weak middleweight division
Photo by Matt McNulty/Getty Images
Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

Rankings go up Mondays. As has become the standard, no update next week. In fact, the next update will come on Sept. 25, but it will be a big one. Well, in quantity, anyway.

Ranked fights the next three weeks:

Notes: Oleksandr Usyk got the win over Daniel Dubois, with some controversy, but personally I just don’t think it was an issue. The call was fine if debatable, and no, I don’t think Usyk was “knocked out.” I think he knew he had time to stay down and gather himself. Luis Pabon made the call fast. And other than that he purely out-classed Dubois and eventually beat the will from him.

So Usyk stays put, and we go forward.

Upcoming Fights: (5) Zhilei Zhang vs (9) Joe Joyce, Sept. 23 ... (1) Tyson Fury vs Francis Ngannou, Oct. 28

Upcoming Fights: (1) Jai Opetaia vs Jordan Thompson, Sept. 30

Notes: Joe Smith Jr is out because he’s going up to cruiserweight to fight Zurdo Ramirez, no point in having him take up a spot here. Craig Richards is out due to inactivity.

So in are Oleksandr Gvozdyk, a former titleholder who may well still have another belt in him if it weren’t for Beterbiev and Bivol, and Ali Izmailov.

Lyndon Arthur got a win on Friday where he was dropped in the fourth round by Braian Suarez and really losing the fight very clearly, and then Arthur knocked him out on a great shot in the 10th round. I didn’t come away focused on Arthur struggling; that was not a huge surprise, anyway. I came away thinking a lot of Arthur’s toughness and ability to find the big shot. He earned the win.

Upcoming Fights: (4) Anthony Yarde vs Ricky Summers, Sept. 23 ... (5) Joshua Buatsi vs (9) Dan Azeez, Oct. 21 ... (2) Artur Beterbiev vs (3) Callum Smith, Jan. 13

Upcoming Fights: (5) Christian Mbilli vs Demond Nicholson, Sept. 8 ... (1) Canelo Alvarez vs Jermell Charlo, Sept. 30 ... (2) David Benavidez vs Demetrius Andrade, TBA

Notes: Chris Eubank Jr totally dominated Liam Smith on Saturday. Smith says he was flat, to many he appeared to not be 100 percent physically — which he admitted in some form, saying he’d had to lose too much weight (which means he got too heavy since January) and that he rolled an ankle. But however you slice it, Eubank smoked Smith. It was never competitive. In a way, Eubank totally washing Smith is more surprising than Smith getting the stoppage in four the first time. Smith had nothing.

But this is not a good division, so Liam remains ranked, and also we have two new entrants in Hamzah Sheeraz and Austin “Ammo” Williams, both of whom are really still more prospect than true contender, but they are at least good prospects.

Out are Fiodor Czerkaszyn, who lost on Aug. 26 in Poland in an eight-rounder, and Erislandy Lara, who has crossed our inactivity line with nothing solid scheduled. We haven’t heard a peep about that Danny Garcia idea for a while now.

Upcoming Fights: (10) Austin Williams vs Steve Rolls, Sept. 23 ... (2) Janibek Alimkhanuly vs (6) Vincenzo Gualtieri, Oct. 14

Notes: Brian Castano is officially inactive, and out of the rankings. Josh Kelly is in.

Upcoming Fights: (2) Tim Tszyu vs (3) Brian Mendoza, Oct. 14

Upcoming Fights: (4) Yordenis Ugas vs Mario Barrios, Sept. 30 ... (10) Alexis Rocha vs Giovani Santillan, Oct. 21

Upcoming Fights: (7) Jose Zepeda vs Richardson Hitchins, Sept. 23 ... (3) Jack Catterall vs Jorge Linares, Oct. 21

Upcoming Fights: (9) William Zepeda vs Mercito Gesta, Sept. 16

Notes: Liam Wilson and Kenichi Ogawa both won fights since the last update.

Upcoming Fights: (7) Robson Conceicao vs Humberto Galindo, Sept. 15

Upcoming Fights: (2) Luis Alberto Lopez vs Joet Gonzalez, Sept. 15 ... (7) Ruben Villa vs Brandon Valdes, Sept. 15 ... (1) Leigh Wood vs (9) Josh Warrington, Oct. 7

Upcoming Fights: TBA

Upcoming Fights: TBA

Upcoming Fights: (4) Junto Nakatani vs Argi Cortes, Sept. 18

Upcoming Fights: (10) Hiroto Kyoguchi vs Jerven Mama, Sept. 22 ... (1) Sunny Edwards vs (2) Jesse Rodriguez, Dec. 16

Upcoming Fights: (1) Kenshiro Teraji vs (5) Hekkie Budler, Sept. 18

Notes: Oscar Collazo won as expected on Aug. 26. The winds of change are starting to blow at 105.

Upcoming Fights: (1) Panya Pradabsri vs (4) Yudai Shigeoka, Oct. 7 ... (3) Ginjiro Shigeoka vs (9) Daniel Valladares, Oct. 7

Notes: Mikaela Mayer fought at ~140 on Saturday, won, and her plan is to go to 147. It sounds like a fight with Natasha Jonas is pretty well agreed on both sides, but not official. I like Mayer going to 147; it’s where she can get meaningful fights right now, and while I think she can beat the top dogs there, they can beat her, too. So that means the fights are interesting. Which is good. Mayer has never lacked ambition or a willingness to take the best fights she can get, and still doesn’t.

Upcoming Fights: (9) Yokasta Valle vs TBA, Sept. 16 ... (2) Chantelle Cameron vs (3) Katie Taylor, Nov. 25

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