- Light Heavyweight: (8) Anthony Yarde vs Stefani Koykov, Nov. 19
- Middleweight: (3) Janibek Alimkhanuly vs Denzel Bentley, Nov. 12
- Middleweight: (5) Jaime Munguia vs Gonzalo Coria, Nov. 19
- Junior Featherweight: (10) Liam Davies vs Ionut Baluta, Nov. 19
- Flyweight: (1) Sunny Edwards vs Felix Alvarado, Nov. 11
- Women’s P4P: (5) Seniesa Estrada vs Jazmin Gala Villarino, Nov. 12
- Women’s P4P; (7) Delfine Persoon vs Ikram Kerwat, Nov. 13
Upcoming Fights: (7) Dillian Whyte vs Jermaine Franklin, Nov. 26 ... (1) Tyson Fury vs Derek Chisora, Dec. 3
Upcoming Fights: TBA
Notes: Dmitry Bivol did his thing again, pretty much dominating Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez on Saturday in Abu Dhabi, and leaving himself at either No. 1 or No. 2 in the division, depending how you rank him and Beterbiev, and as I’ve said many times, I think either order is totally reasonable.Ramirez drops from No. 3 down to No. 5, and I suppose he could dip a little more, but for whom? Nobody below him has done much more than he has at 175, either, other than Pascal, who is 40 and his wins of major note were a long time ago now. After the top two, I think you’re basically getting into “whose turn is it next,” and that is why Joshua Buatsi and Callum Smith are now at the Nos. 3 and 4 spots.
Bivol wants Beterbiev next, but unless he wants to wait a year to fight again, it ain’t happening. Bivol will not be next for Beterbiev, unless Beterbiev wants to vacate at least one belt, which would ruin why Bivol wants that fight.
Upcoming Fights: (8) Anthony Yarde vs Stefani Koykov, Nov. 19 ... (9) Craig Richards vs Ricards Bolotniks, Nov. 26
News: David Morrell Jr impressed again, stopping Aidos Yerbossynuly in the 12th round of their fight on Saturday. I thought Morrell looked very good. It’s a tough fight to talk about in “fight terms” at the moment, because Yerbossynuly is in a medically induced coma.
I do think Morrell is the real deal. I think he’s got a depth to his skill set that would make him very dangerous against anyone in this division; there are still steps to take, for sure, but he’s been excellent every time we’ve seen him, passing every test with flying colors.
Some bright news for the division is that David Benavidez vs Caleb Plant is reportedly signed, though not 100 percent official as far as date and location just yet. I’ve heard both January and March, either would be fine.
Upcoming Fights: (6) John Ryder vs (8) Zach Parker, Nov. 26 ... (5) Lerrone Richards vs Zak Chelli, Nov. 27 ... (2) David Benavidez vs (3) Caleb Plant, TBA
Upcoming Fights: (3) Janibek Alimkhanuly vs Denzel Bentley, Nov. 12 ... (5) Jaime Munguia vs Gonzalo Coria, Nov. 19 ... (1) Gennadiy Golovkin vs Esquiva Falcao, TBA
Upcoming Fights: (1) Jermell Charlo vs (4) Tim Tszyu, TBA
Notes: Scuttlebutt is the WBC will order Errol Spence Jr vs Keith Thurman soon. Some said it would happen last week. It did not. My feeling is it won’t be ordered unless Spence and PBC want it to be, which means if they can get that fight done, which means Spence going back on his promise to never give Thurman the shot that Thurman wouldn’t give him back in the day. One rumor was that it would be announced for Dec. 17; Showtime announcing a main event of Michel Rivera vs Frank Martin that night kills that idea, because PBC aren’t going to counter-program their own Showtime event with a PPV.
Upcoming Fights: (2) Terence Crawford vs (9) David Avanesyan, Dec. 10
Upcoming Fights: (3) Regis Prograis vs (5) Jose Zepeda, Nov. 26 ... (8) Teofimo Lopez vs (10) Jose Pedraza, Dec. 10 ... (1) Josh Taylor vs (2) Jack Catterall, Feb. 4
Upcoming Fights: (10) Michel Rivera vs Frank Martin, Dec. 17
Notes: Shavkat Rakhimov picked up the IBF belt on Saturday, stopping Zelfa Barrett, which may have been more due to a leg injury than anything else, but the fight was trending in Rakhimov’s direction after a fast start by Barrett, too.I’m not bumping Rakhimov up any, and Barrett only down very slightly. Rakhimov will now be ordered to face Joe Cordina, who had the IBF belt and was supposed to fight Rakhimov, but got hurt and was stripped, with a guaranteed order to face the Rakhimov vs Barrett winner. It’s a good fight.
Upcoming Fights: TBA
Upcoming Fights: (7) Josh Warrington vs Luis Alberto Lopez, Dec. 10
Upcoming Fights: (10) Liam Davies vs Ionut Baluta, Nov. 19 ... (7) Takuma Inoue vs Jake Bornea, Dec. 13
Upcoming Fights: (1) Naoya Inoue vs (8) Paul Butler, Dec. 13
Notes: Junto Nakatani is in at No. 7, taking the place of Francisco Rodriguez Jr, the man Nakatani defeated last Tuesday in Junto’s move up to this division. Nakatani will find 115 tougher than he did 112, I think, but he’s not a guy who lived and died on being big or strong at flyweight, either, he’s a very good boxer and a sharp, accurate puncher. Rodriguez tried to rough him up, and it never really worked. The top of this division is getting old — still great, but getting old. Nakatani may have the goods to lead the next wave.
Upcoming Fights: (1) Juan Francisco Estrada vs (3) Chocolatito Gonzalez, Dec. 3 ... (8) Kosei Tanaka vs Yanga Sigqibo, Dec. 11
Upcoming Fights: (1) Sunny Edwards vs Felix Alvarado, Nov. 11 ... (2) Julio Cesar Martinez vs (4) McWilliams Arroyo, Dec. 3
Notes: Kenshiro Teraji claimed the top spot in the division with his win over Hiroto Kyoguchi last Tuesday in Saitama, unifying the WBC and WBA belts.Maybe Kyoguchi should still be No. 2, but Jonathan Gonzalez was good on the same cards, retaining his IBF belt over Shokichi Iwata. Teraji vs Kyoguchi was a great fight for one that seems one-sided on paper in the aftermath and ended in a seventh round stoppage. For as much as Teraji showcased his skills tremendously, he also got hurt and, had there been more time left in the round when Kyoguchi had him reeling, Kyoguchi might have pulled that fight out of the fire in super dramatic fashion. That’s why I still have Kyoguchi at No. 2 ahead of Jonathan Gonzalez, who was good on the same card while retaining his IBF belt over Shokichi Iwata.
Upcoming Fights: (7) Masamichi Yabuki vs Ronald Chacon, Jan. 28
Upcoming Fights: (3) Masataka Taniguchi vs Melvin Jerusalem, Jan. 6 ... (4) Ginjiro Shigeoka vs (9) Daniel Valladares, Jan. 6
Notes: I thought Chantelle Cameron’s win over Jessica McCaskill was a fascinating 10-round journey. Cameron dominated the first six rounds, but as soon as her movement and energy dipped just a bit, McCaskill got back into that fight with her dogged determination and willpower, roughed it up, got to Cameron, won some rounds. It was six rounds of “Cameron does this really well” and four of “McCaskill does this really well.”Through six rounds, I thought I might be looking at Cameron, now undisputed at 140, as a possible top five, and that McCaskill, though still undisputed at 147, might fall out of the top 10. But because of the last four rounds, Cameron instead moves up one spot, and McCaskill hangs on at No. 10, could even be a spot higher. There is nothing pretty about what McCaskill does, but the rules don’t say your boxing has to be pretty, just effective, and she’s quite effective once she gets on a roll.
Upcoming Fights: (5) Seniesa Estrada vs Jazmin Gala Villarino, Nov. 12 ... (7) Delfine Persoon vs Ikram Kerwat, Nov. 13