Rankings: Pitbull and Zurdo crash top 10s, Valdez and Estrada look strong, more

Fighting

Next update will come Monday, April 22.

Ranked fights this period:

  • Heavyweight: (8) Jared Anderson vs Ryad Merhy, Apr. 13
  • Super Middleweight: (8) Diego Pacheco vs Shawn McCalman, Apr. 6
  • Super Lightweight: (1) Devin Haney vs (7) Ryan Garcia, Apr. 20
  • Super Lightweight: (8) Arnold Barboza Jr vs TBA, Apr. 20
  • Super Featherweight: (5) Robson Conceicao vs Jose Guardado, Apr. 13
  • Featherweight: (9) Ruben Villa vs Cristian Cruz, Apr. 13
  • Flyweight: (10) Galal Yafai vs Agustin Mauro Gauto, Apr. 6

Notes: The Saudis have definitely made this division more exciting and active than it’s been in a long time. Turns out you can convince fighters to fight way more often if you simply pay them exorbitant sums of money and have no reason to care if that money is not going to be recovered by gate and pay-per-view receipts.

Upcoming Fights: (8) Jared Anderson vs Ryad Merhy, Apr. 13 … (1) Oleksandry Usyk vs (2) Tyson Fury, May 18 … (7) Frank Sanchez vs (10) Agit Kabayel, May 18 … (6) Zhilei Zhang vs (9) Deontay Wilder, June 1


Notes: Time for a spring cleaning, a refresh of the cruiserweight top 10. For one thing, Lawrence Okolie is very officially going up to heavyweight, only he’s going to call it bridgerweight and fight for a fake title in a division that doesn’t actually exist. And Badou Jack already gave up the WBC belt and seems set on “bridgerweight,” too. So we’re clearing those lads out.

Arsen Goulamirian hangs on in the No. 10 spot, but we’ve got four new entries into the top 10 because it just felt like a good time to reassess where the division is at the moment. None of them are particularly exciting or need a ton of discussion or anything.

Zurdo Ramirez has a world title now, obviously, and I know he doesn’t have the cut, sexy physique that all diehard fight fans crave, but as long as he can hold up to what comes back from bigger guys than he used to fight at 168 and 175, he’ll do well in this division because he’s a better boxer with a deeper skill set than most of the guys at the weight.

Upcoming Fights: (1) Jai Opetaia vs Mairis Briedis, May 18 … (2) Chris Billam-Smith vs (3) Richard Riakporhe, TBA


Upcoming Fights: (1) Dmitry Bivol vs (2) Artur Beterbiev, June 1 … (7) Oleksandr Gvozdyk vs David Benavidez, TBA


Upcoming Fights: (8) Diego Pacheco vs Shawn McCalman, Apr. 6 … (1) Canelo Alvarez vs (4) Jaime Munguia, May 4 … (5) Christian Mbilli vs Mark Heffron, May 25


Notes: Shane Mosley Jr is out because Erislandy Lara is active again. He’s about to turn 41, but the only guy I’d be totally confident picking to beat him is Janibek, because Janibek is a good boxer and in his prime. Lara’s recent — as in, the last five years — resume is actually kind of laughable, with his last five fights coming against horribly over-matched also-rans who never had a prayer of beating him, but what has anyone else done, really?

Upcoming Fights: TBA


Notes: 154 had a similar period a few years back where the top guys did keep fighting each other and then you wound up with a jumble trying to rank guys, but in a good way, eventually resulting in Jermell Charlo as undisputed champ.

Right now, weird as it still feels, Fundora is No. 1. Tszyu got a terrible break but fought through it like a warrior, so he’s only down a spot. Serhii Bohachuk is in after the best I’ve ever seen him look against Brian Mendoza, who tumbles down to No. 10.

Upcoming Fights: (7) Yoenis Tellez vs Joseph Jackson, Apr. 26


Notes: Some cleaning up here, too. Errol Spence is clearly not going to fight at 147 again; Bud Crawford probably won’t either, but he still has three belts officially and there could be an offer that makes him stay.

Eimantas Stanionis’ rope has run out, we gave him a long time but they still don’t have anything even rumored for him and he hasn’t fought in two years now. It’s not much his fault, but it is what it is. And Rashidi Ellis is inactive, too.

So we’ve got three new entrants: Shakhram Giyasov, Souleymane Cissokho, and Lewis Crocker.

This is not an exciting division right now.

Upcoming Fights: (2) Jaron Ennis vs (5) Cody Crowley, May 4


Notes: A little shuffling. Pitbull Cruz comes in after snatching the WBA belt from Rolly Romero. Ryan Garcia dips to No. 10 in my refresh look at the division and Sandor Martin falls out. Garcia’s inclusion may still bother some people but what has Gary Antuanne Russell done that Garcia hasn’t, really? What has Sandor Martin done? Ryan has his chance to do something or not on April 20, so we’ll look at him again in a few weeks. If he pulls out of that fight I’m taking him out, though. These are fake rankings that have no impact on the boxing world, I can be petty if I want.

Upcoming Fights: (1) Devin Haney vs Ryan Garcia, Apr. 20 … (8) Arnold Barboza Jr vs TBA, Apr. 20 … (4) Jack Catterall vs Josh Taylor, Apr. 27 … (2) Subriel Matias vs Liam Paro, June 15


Notes: Raymond Muratalla’s win over Xolisani Ndongeni wasn’t his best outing, and I’ve flip-flopped him with Keyshawn Davis in the final two spots. The top 10 is waiting to see what happens with Navarrete vs Berinchyk in May.

Upcoming Fights: (1) Vasiliy Lomachenko vs (9) George Kambosos Jr, May 11 … (3) Shakur Stevenson vs Artem Harutyunan, July 6 … (2) Gervonta “Tank” Davis vs (5) Frank Martin, TBA


Notes: Oscar Valdez looked sharp in a win over Liam Wilson this past weekend, and he holds firm in the top four, could probably be a spot higher, could honestly still be argued into the top slot.

Upcoming Fights: (5) Robson Conceicao vs Jose Guardado, Apr. 13 … (1) Joe Cordina vs Anthony Cacace, May 18


Upcoming Fights: (9) Ruben Villa vs Cristian Cruz, Apr. 13


Upcoming Fights: (1) Naoya Inoue vs (2) Luis Nery, May 6


Upcoming Fights: TBA


Notes: Alright, doing some cheating here, because it’s boxing so I might as well join in.

Juan Francisco Estrada had just passed inactive and was removed from the top 10 for that, but now it’s official that he’s facing Bam Rodriguez on June 29. Basically, if that fight had been announced a couple weeks back, he never would have been removed. So he’s been reinstated at No. 1.

And Bam is back in at 115 at No. 3. He hasn’t been fighting in this division, of course, but it wasn’t that long ago he held a world title here, and he moved down willingly and is coming back up chasing a big dog. Why fart around pretending with Pedro Guevara and Phumelele Cafu instead?

Upcoming Fights: (9) Suzumi Takayama vs Akio Furutani, Apr. 25 … (6) Andrew Moloney vs Pedro Guevara, May 11 … (1) Juan Francisco Estrada vs (3) Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez, June 29


Notes:

Upcoming Fights: (10) Galal Yafai vs Agustin Mauro Gauto, Apr. 6


Upcoming Fights: TBA


Notes: Well, Melvin Jerusalem beating Yudai Shigeoka was not widely expected, let’s put it that way. Right when it looked like the Shigeoka boys would be taking over for a while at 105, Yudai loses to Jerusalem on close cards at home in Japan.

Obviously that means Jerusalem is up and Yudai down. Ginjiro did fight against late opponent Jake Amparo and won easy, but I think overall you have to give that top spot to Oscar Collazo now, which I’ve done. Jerusalem beat the guy who was No. 1 last week, but Collazo convincingly beat Jerusalem last year, too. That says plenty.

Upcoming Fights: TBA


Notes: Seniesa Estrada has earned high standing. Her win over Yokasta Valle was legitimate quality, she’s now undisputed at 105. Valle doesn’t drop any from No. 7, she should not be penalized for actually taking the best fight out there and competing throughout, she wasn’t blown out of the ring or anything.

Upcoming Fights: TBA

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