Rankings go up on Mondays at Noon ET.
We won’t do an update next Monday unless Marie-Eve Dicaire upsets Claressa Shields. In that case, we will, because obviously it would lead to a big rankings change, but otherwise there’s just the one fight this week with a ranked fighter in action, and we can just cover it the next week instead, so we’ll list upcoming fights that would take place before the next scheduled update on March 15.
Upcoming ranked fights:
- Super Middleweight: (3) David Benavidez vs Ronald Ellis, Mar. 13
- Junior Bantamweight: (4) Srisaket Sor Rungvisai vs Kwanthai Sithmorseng, Mar. 12
- Junior Bantamweight: (1) Juan Francisco Estrada vs (3) Roman Gonzalez, Mar. 13
- Junior Flyweight: (8) Jonathan Gonzalez vs Carlos Buitrago, Mar. 12
- Junior Flyweight: (2) Hiroto Kyoguchi vs Axel Aragon Vega, Mar. 13
- Women’s P4P: (1) Claressa Shields vs Marie-Eve Dicaire, Mar. 5
Slow week, yes.
Notes: Joseph Parker beat Junior Fa on Saturday, but ranking everyone after, say, Dillian Whyte is kind of an “every little move counts” situation right now. Following losses to AJ and Whyte in 2018, Parker hadn’t really fought anybody until Fa, who wasn’t exactly some all-star but a good fighter, and I thought he was less convincing and impressive winner than Joe Joyce was last year against Daniel Dubois, a similar sort of victory in terms of stature, but Dubois was a much more highly-regarded fighter on the rise than Fa has ever been. It’s not a big switch, but it’s a switch. Parker sits at No. 9.
Past the very top guys — and even two of the top four here are very questionable from a “what now?” sort of perspective — the more interesting questions are probably about fighters who haven’t quite gotten the shots to hit the top 10 yet, fighters like Filip Hrgovic, Tony Yoka (who returns this week), Efe Ajagba, maybe Frank Sanchez, Murat Gassiev, and young guys like Jared Anderson and Dubois still.
Upcoming Fights: (5) Alexander Povetkin vs (6) Dillian Whyte, Mar. 27
Upcoming Fights: (2) Krzysztof Glowacki vs (8) Lawrence Okolie, Mar. 20
Upcoming Fights: (1) Artur Beterbiev vs Adam Deines, Mar. 20 … (4) Joe Smith Jr vs Maxim Vlasov, TBA
Notes: Canelo battered Avni Yildirim for three rounds and Yildirim decided that was enough. To be fair, it was. Nothing about the fight was a surprise, really, other than maybe how little Yildirim even seemed willing to try against Alvarez. Billy Joe Saunders is next for Canelo on May 8.
Flying way under the radar Saturday was a FOX main event between Anthony Dirrell and Kyrone Davis, which went to a split draw over 12 rounds. I didn’t watch the fight live, obviously, because I’d probably have been relieved of my duties if I had, but I did take a look at it Sunday since it had a controversial outcome that pertained to the ratings as they were coming in.
I thought Dirrell probably did just enough to win, but it wasn’t a great outing for him. He looked every bit a 36-year-old fighter who hadn’t been in the ring in 17 months, and Davis hung around in part because Dirrell had too many rounds where he just didn’t do much. I think the top seven here are sort of firmly in place, but those last three spots are a jumble and could be a lot of guys. And it’s not even like Daniel Jacobs looked great last time out, either.
I’m keeping Dirrell ranked at No. 9 for now, but he’s in more of the danger zone to be replaced than before. Gongora pops up to No. 8 because his win over Ali Akhmedov was stronger than anything Dirrell or Lemieux have done in a bit. There are lots of names you could consider for those spots, though, and those last three are there for the taking if someone wants to make a statement. Edgar Berlanga’s a lot closer to being ranked here than you might think at first. Fighters like Bektemir Melikuziev, Evgeny Shvedenko, Vladimir Shishkin, Steven Nelson, Zach Parker, Aidos Yerbossynuly, Kevin Lele Sadjo, Erik Bazinyan — lots of guys can get in the race if they get a decent win or two. Like heavyweight, the more interesting stuff after the top few guys may be what’s to come rather than what’s sitting there holding spots right now.
Upcoming Fights: (3) David Benavidez vs Ronald Ellis, Mar. 13 … (10) David Lemieux vs Robert Talarek, Apr. 17 … (1) Canelo Alvarez vs (4) Billy Joe Saunders, May 8
Upcoming Fights: (3) Demetrius Andrade vs (10) Liam Williams, TBA
Upcoming Fights: TBA
Notes: Terence Crawford was at the Canelo fight. Nothing to do with them possibly fighting or anything, just wanted to make a note of the most exciting development among the great welterweight division stars.
Upcoming Fights: (8) Vergil Ortiz Jr vs Maurice Hooker, Mar. 20 … (9) Sergey Lipinets vs Jaron Ennis, Apr. 10
Upcoming Fights: (1) Josh Taylor vs (2) Jose Ramirez, TBA
Notes: Biggest non-Canelo fight news of the week was definitely Triller shocking many by winning the Lopez-Kambosos purse bid. They’re going to have that headline its own PPV, possibly in May, and the fallout has been a real boxing politics sight to be hold. Top Rank are pissed; not so much at Triller, because Bob Arum believes they vastly overpaid (and in a traditional sense he’s probably right), but at Matchroom Boxing, who would have won the bid if Triller didn’t, as Matchroom put in a stronger bid than Top Rank did. And Eddie Hearn ripped right back.
Most important for Top Rank is that Teofimo Lopez feels disrespected by them. Top Rank aren’t exactly drowning in marketable stars that they want to beef with one they do have, but it’s also not like Bob Arum has never pissed off (or fully lost) a star before. His company’s still around with a big, fat ESPN deal anyway.
Anyway, Lopez-Kambosos is happening. And this is definitely a more fascinating pre-fight story than the mandatory title defense no one asked for but we got anyway this past weekend, huh?
Upcoming Fights: (1) Teofimo Lopez vs (10) George Kambosos Jr, TBA
Upcoming Fights: (3) Jamel Herring vs (10) Carl Frampton, Apr. 3 … (8) Shavkat Rakhimov vs Kenichi Ogawa, TBA
Upcoming Fights: (3) Emanuel Navarrete vs Christopher Diaz, Apr. 24 … (2) Kid Galahad vs Jazza Dickens, TBA
Upcoming Fights: TBA
Upcoming Fights: (1) Naoya Inoue vs Michael Dasmarinas, TBA
Upcoming Fights: (4) Srisaket Sor Rungvisai vs Kwanthai Sithmorseng, Mar. 12 … (1) Juan Francisco Estrada vs (3) Roman Gonzalez, Mar. 13
Notes: Did some rearranging and maintenance in this division. McWilliams Arroyo again didn’t get to fight Julio Cesar Martinez as was planned for Saturday, but he did fight and took the interim WBC title with an easy win over Abraham Rodriguez. It’s not the Rodriguez win itself that gets him in; he’s settled back in at 112, which is probably his best weight, and he’s a good, veteran fighter.
Sho Kimura pops up to No. 7, while Cristofer Rosales — who bopped a couple scrubs late last summer but doesn’t have a good win since 2018 — drops to No. 8. Out is Muhammad Waseem, who is a talented fighter, but is also 33 and was sitting in the rankings mostly because he was very competitive with Moruti Mthalane. But that was in the summer of 2018. He’s fought three times since, beating two nobodies and having a bit more trouble with old Ganigan Lopez than he probably should have. He doesn’t seem to have any particular ambition, honestly; apart from Mthalane and a decent win over Giemel Magramo in 2016, there isn’t much on his record.
In all honesty, this is currently an unfortunately boring division to follow considering there are good fighters and potentially really good fights to make.
Upcoming Fights: (5) Angel Acosta vs TBA, Mar. 25
Upcoming Fights: (8) Jonathan Gonzalez vs Carlos Buitrago, Mar. 12 … (2) Hiroto Kyoguchi vs Axel Aragon Vega, Mar. 13
Notes: I don’t like to throw “robbery” around a lot, because boxing fans use it way too often. By the way, I saw a dude say in a social media reply that Dirrell-Davis from Saturday “should have been a split decision win” for Dirrell instead of a “split decision draw.” A lot of people really don’t understand scoring, like, you almost have to remind yourself of that from time to time so maybe you understand Brian Kenny trying to explain how boxing is scored as if he’s talking to a five-year-old.
Anyway, Rene Mark Cuarto took the IBF belt from Pedro Taduran over the weekend in the Philippines, but it was questionable scoring at best, borderline robbery. I scored it 116-112 Taduran watching later, while the judges all had it 115-113 for Cuarto. Now, the Powcast Sports video was only shot from the one angle, it wasn’t a polished, professional TV presentation. But judges have just one angle. So it is what it is, but from the angle we had, I thought Taduran’s pressure and more obvious damage were plenty to win that fight. Cuarto had his moments, just not enough of them.
But Cuarto is in at No. 5, with Taduran staying at No. 6 due to a couple other moves. I have decided to drop both Jose Argumedo and Byron Rojas from the rankings for inactivity; I understand COVID and everything and we’ve given a longer leash than we would in normal times, but at some point you do have to start recognizing inactivity again. Argumedo hasn’t fought in two years, Rojas in a year-and-a-half, and neither have anything scheduled. If they get active and winning again, they’re both good fighters and probably come right back into the top 10. Ol’ Nkosinathi Joyi, once the top guy in the division, is in at No. 10.
Upcoming Fights: TBA
Upcoming Fights: (8) Juan Francisco Estrada vs Roman Gonzalez, Mar. 13 … (2) Naoya Inoue vs Michael Dasmarinas, TBA … (5) Teofimo Lopez vs George Kambosos Jr, TBA
Upcoming Fights: (1) Claressa Shields vs Marie-Eve Dicaire, Mar. 5 … (5) Jessica McCaskill vs (6) Cecilia Braekhus, Mar. 13 … (3) Amanda Serrano vs (8) Daniela Bermudez, Mar. 25 … (9) Mikaela Mayer vs TBA, Jun. 19