Rankings go up Mondays. We’ll once again have a two-week break, so no update on July 17, next on July 24.
Ranked fights the next two weeks:
Lightweight: (6) George Kambosos Jr vs Maxi Hughes, July 22
Lightweight: (7) Frank Martin vs Artem Harutyunyan, July 15
Bantamweight: (1) Nonito Donaire vs (9) Alexandro Santiago, July 15
Flyweight: (9) Taku Kuwahara vs Wulan Tuolehazi, July 11
Women’s P4P: (5) Alycia Baumgardner vs Christina Linardatou, July 15
Notes: Summer’s about to Heat Up in the heavyweight division! And at your local Toyota deal—wait. We’ve got Joshua vs Whyte 2 confirmed for Aug. 12, Usyk vs Dubois confirmed for Aug. 26, Zhang vs Joyce 2 confirmed for Sept. 23, and it looks like Tyson Fury will do something or other with Francis Ngannou.
Now to see if Deontay Wilder gets anything moving (what he does may be a minor surprise to some), we’ll see if Andy Ruiz Jr can find a break in his FashionNova promotional tour, we’ll see if anyone decent is willing to fight Martin Bakole.
Upcoming Fights: (4) Anthony Joshua vs (10) Dillian Whyte, Aug. 12 … (2) Oleksandr Usyk vs Daniel Dubois, Aug. 26 … (5) Zhilei Zhang vs (9) Joe Joyce, Sept. 23
Upcoming Fights: TBA
Upcoming Fights: (2) Artur Beterbiev vs (3) Callum Smith, Aug. 19
Notes: So JermEll Charlo, then. Huh! I’ll be danged.
Upcoming Fights: (5) Christian Mbilli vs Demond Nicholson, Aug. 19 … (1) Canelo Alvarez vs Jermell Charlo, Sept. 30
Notes: Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome your newly-crowned IBF middleweight champion of the IBF’s version of the world, Wuppertal, Germany’s finest, Vincenzo “Il Capo” Gualtieri!
Gualtieri beat Esquiva Falcao by unanimous decision at Unihalle Wuppertal on July 1. One reckons Esquiva Falcao may have been better served to try fighting some decent opponents sometime in the eight-plus years he’s been a professional, rather than waiting for that 2012 Olympic silver medal to just gift him a title shot. But he did get a minor scare from Patrice Volny in 2021 and that might have spooked him into going back to just waiting and crossing his fingers.
Michael Zerafa may be feeling like a right bonehead at the moment. It was meant to be Zerafa vs Falcao for the vacant IBF belt, but Zerafa opted to pursue a WBA title fight with Erislandy Lara, which he may not get any time soon. And if promoter Ingo Volckmann could afford to bring Falcao to Wuppertal, surely Zerafa could have landed home field in Australia for Falcao. And after seeing that fight, Zerafa’s gotta be thinking he would have won, and I’m not saying Zerafa is any world beating mega-stupid elite-tier fighter.
But we live and we learn! Is Vincenzo Gualtieri one of the 10 best middleweights in the world? I have my doubts, even with this brutally diminished division at the moment. What I saw of him I wouldn’t pick to beat Austin “Ammo” Williams. But while I like Williams, he was holding a spot on what I think, and while belts are no end-all, be-all in boxing’s hilarious, self-defeating system, Gualtieri did go out there and do something that does mean something. People will be trying to fight him now.
Upcoming Fights: (5) Erislandy Lara vs Danny Garcia, Aug. 5 … (10) Austin Williams vs Felix Cash, Aug. 12
Upcoming Fights: (8) Jesus Ramos vs Sergio Garcia, July 29
Notes: We thought we’d have a good deal to talk about in this division this week, and we do, but not exactly what we hoped.
Vergil Ortiz Jr is out; he’s clearly not going to fight at 147 again after once again failing to get to the ring to fight Eimantas Stanionis, and that just is what it is. If he can fight at 154, he will be a good addition to 154, another division where Golden Boy have really nothing to offer him, basically moving from one PBC stronghold to another, but if Jermell vacates belts, Golden Boy might be able to plead their case to get him a shot at one of those. Maybe Gabe Rosado can still cut down to 154.
Replacing Ortiz is Rashidi Ellis, and Roiman Villa actually goes up a spot, because yes, he got utterly thrashed by Jaron “Boots” Ennis on Saturday, but he also beat Ellis six months ago, and let’s be real, basically everyone thought he’d get thrashed by Ennis. The matchup was not one that was “good for” Villa, but goodness gracious, did he give it everything he had, which compared to Ennis just wasn’t much.
Basically what I’m saying, and we’ve had these situations before, is that Roiman Villa is still exactly as good as I thought he was in the last update. Who would I be moving him down for here? Shakhram Giyasov or Alexis Rocha? Souleymane Cissokho or Jin Sasaki? What have they done that’s so notable?
That said, one of those dudes likely enters in the next update, as Radzhab Butaev will be passing 15 months inactive on July 16, and unless he gets something set or at least strongly rumored, that’s that.
(Hey, Villa vs Sasaki would be a war, someone book it, and I will reiterate my DEMAND for Villa vs Cody Crowley, a likely FotY contender.)
As for “Boots,” he did the job in front of him again. Honestly, of all the problems boxing fans face just trying to keep being fans, Spence and Crawford “tying up the division” by actually fighting each other finally, and probably twice, ain’t a bad one.
I think the fight for Ennis is Eimantas Stanionis. The only potential complication there is that Ennis is IBF interim and Stanionis has the fake WBA belt. One of them might have to give their prop up, but there may also be a chance, since all of this — including Spence-Crawford — in theory is running through PBC, that PBC can convince the WBA and IBF that it would be good to let those guys do a secondary unification.
It certainly would be unusual, but lots of unusual things happen in boxing in this regard. Everything with belts is made up as we go along and has been for decades. Or else one of them would just give up a belt and fight for the other one. I don’t think Ennis in particular really cares which one he has, as he’s not a guy running around with a secondary belt proclaiming himself “world champion.”
Upcoming Fights: (1) Errol Spence Jr vs (2) Terence Crawford, July 29
Upcoming Fights: (8) Sandor Martin vs Arblin Kaba, July 15
Notes: I had a minor oversight last update, where I decided to take the harder stance on missing weight, and that was leaving Jamaine Ortiz in at No. 10 here. I’m not trying to be all “grr! arrgh!” about it but it should matter in some way, and mostly in boxing it won’t, so here’s a stupid way I can be like, “Yeah, take that, I guess.”
But Maxi Hughes is in. Now it may be a one-and-done for Maxi, as he faces George Kambosos Jr on July 22, but he has been given his flowers.
Upcoming Fights: (7) Frank Martin vs Artem Harutyunyan, July 15 … (6) George Kambosos Jr vs Maxi Hughes, July 22 … (5) Isaac Cruz vs Giovanni Cabrera, July 29
Upcoming Fights: (3) Oscar Valdez vs (4) Emanuel Navarrete, Aug. 12
Upcoming Fights: (3) Robeisy Ramirez vs Satoshi Shimizu, July 25
Notes: Luis Nery stayed busy this past Saturday in Mexico and won a fight. Again, I do think it’s a good idea for him to simply stay busy if he can’t get anything bigger at a given moment, stay in shape and stay sharp.
Upcoming Fights: (1) Stephen Fulton Jr vs Naoya Inoue, July 25 … (9) Liam Davies vs Jason Cunningham, July 29
Upcoming Fights: (1) Nonito Donaire vs (9) Alexandro Santiago, July 15 … (8) Ryosuke Nishida vs Christian Medina, Aug. 11 … (2) Emmanuel Rodriguez vs Melvin Lopez, TBA
Upcoming Fights: TBA
Upcoming Fights: (9) Taku Kuwahara vs Wulan Tuolehazi, July 11 … (1) Sunny Edwards vs (2) Jesse Rodriguez, TBA
Notes: Since our last update, Sivenathi Nontshinga defended his IBF title on July 2 in South Africa, beating Regie Suganob by unanimous decision. Nontshinga stays put, Suganob falls out, Christian Araneta comes in.
Upcoming Fights: TBA
Notes: Pradabsri beat Norihito Tanaka again in a rematch on June 28 in Thailand. Of all the unnecessary rematches, that was one. Bigger news for the division is that the Ginjiro Shigeoka vs Daniel Valladares kinda-rematch is official for Aug. 11 in Japan. They fought for Valladares’ IBF belt on Jan. 6, with the fight ending in a no-contest in round three.
Along with the Shigeokas, 24-year-old Goki Kobayashi is a rising name in the division in Japan you might want to start keeping tabs on quickly.
Upcoming Fights: (8) Masataka Taniguchi vs Kenichi Horikawa, Aug. 5 … (3) Ginjiro Shigeoka vs (9) Daniel Valladares, Aug. 11
Notes: Savannah Marshall fairly predictably beat Franchon Crews-Dezurn on July 1, and she’s undisputed at 168 now.
Can someone ask Claressa Shields how she feels about being No. 14 P4P at BoxRec? Would also kind of love to know how Savannah Marshall feels about being No. 83, below the likes of Shannon Courtenay and three-fight Beatriz Ferreira.
Upcoming Fights: (5) Alycia Baumgardner vs Christina Linardatou, July 15 … (4) Amanda Serrano vs Heather Hardy, Aug. 5