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Rankings (Sept. 25): Where does Zhilei Zhang stand at heavyweight? Plus more!

Rankings go up Mondays. There WILL be an update next week! Back-to-back weeks with updates for the first time in a bit! It likely won’t become regular.

Ranked fights the next three weeks:

Notes: I am not an Anthony Joshua Hater, I’ve just never been in that camp and am not going to start. But I have been more impressed by Zhilei Zhang in his last three fights — the very debatable loss to Hrgovic and the two wins over Joyce — than I have been with Joshua since, what, 2018? We’re talking five years here. So Zhang is up to No. 4 and Joshua is down to No. 5, they trade spots. These rankings are an ever-changing snapshot of moments in time, as all rankings really are. Right now, I think Zhang looks like the better fighter.

After the top five, let’s be real, it’s a hodgepodge. Ruiz can fight, but he isn’t fighting. Has had two fights in coming up on four years. The AJ rematch was four years ago in December. Hrgovic is waiting around to officially get the Usyk order and either fight Usyk next, or fight for the vacant IBF next, or if Fury vs Usyk does get done, he might just be sitting around waiting another year or so.

Bakole and Parker will fight on the Fury undercard, at least, and Frank Sanchez takes Joe Joyce’s spot. I think Sanchez is a pretty good boxer, but not some king waiting to inevitably be crowned like the FOX guys made out over the years, and you’d REALLY wish for him to finally fight better competition. Instead, he faces Scott Alexander this weekend. At 31, his year is going to be

Upcoming Fights: (10) Frank Sanchez vs Scott Alexander, Sept. 30 … (1) Tyson Fury vs Francis Ngannou, Oct. 28 … (8) Martin Bakole vs Carlos Takam, Oct. 28 … (9) Joseph Parker vs Simon Kean, Oct. 28

Upcoming Fights: (1) Jai Opetaia vs Jordan Thompson, Sept. 30 … (9) Ilunga Junior Makabu vs Noel Mikaelian, Nov. 4

Notes: I think my favorite thing about Anthony Yarde’s nothing return over the weekend was the ESPN Ringside account clearly not watching the fight, posting the highlight on Instagram, and saying he’d knocked out Ricky Summers, his originally scheduled opponent who was definitely not his actual opponent.

I’m not saying I’ve never gotten anything wrong, shit happens in this crazy internet world, but it stayed up even after they were relentlessly corrected/laughed at.

Upcoming Fights: (9) Oleksandr Gzodyk vs Isaac Rodrigues, Sept. 30 … (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

Upcoming Fights: (2) Janibek Alimkhanuly vs (6) Vincenzo Gualtieri, Oct. 14

Upcoming Fights: (5) Erickson Lubin vs (7) Jesus Ramos Jr, Sept. 30 … (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 … (1) Regis Prograis vs Devin Haney, Dec. 9

Notes: Alright, start with the big thing: Devin Haney is absolutely moving up to 140 and there’s no reason to expect he’s coming back to this weight. If he does, great, we’ll put him back in. Otherwise, he is just taking up a spot here, so he’s out. The difference between this and Jermell Charlo’s current situation is we have no idea what Charlo will do after Saturday right now. We may be clearer on that next week. But the Haney thing is clear enough that the WBC have already scheduled Shakur for a vacant title fight.

Upcoming Fights: (10) Raymond Muratalla vs Diego Torres, Nov. 4 … (3) Shakur Stevenson vs Edwin De Los Santos, Nov. 16

Upcoming Fights: (2) Joe Cordina vs Edward Vazquez, Nov. 4 … (1) Emanuel Navarrete vs (7) Robson Conceicao, Nov. 16

Notes: We have been trying to shake this division out in the top three for a good while now. Luis Alberto Lopez made another fine statement on Sept. 15, beating Joet Gonzalez. Leigh Wood gets Josh Warrington on Oct. 7. Robeisy fights Rafael Espinoza in early November. Wood-Warrington is a decent fight, all things considered, while Ramirez-Espinoza isn’t. And yet Ramirez really might be the best of the lot.

Nos. 1 and 2 will be figured after Wood-Warrington, I’ll have a firmer opinion then. And as much as I love Robeisy’s talent, I don’t think he gets a chance at the top slot just yet.

Upcoming Fights: (1) Leigh Wood vs (9) Josh Warrington, Oct. 7 … (3) Robeisy Ramirez vs Rafael Espinoza, Nov. 4

Upcoming Fights: (6) Sam Goodman vs Miguel Flores, Oct. 14

Upcoming Fights: (5) Takuma Inoue vs Jerwin Ancajas, Nov. 15

Upcoming Fights: TBA

Upcoming Fights: (4) Artem Dalakian vs (8) Seigo Yuri Akui, Nov. 15 … (1) Sunny Edwards vs (2) Jesse Rodriguez, Dec. 16

Notes: Kenshiro Teraji reestablished his hold on No. 1. I saw nothing in that fight that made me think any less of Hekkie Budler than I did coming in. He was competitive, just second-best.

Upcoming Fights: (2) Jonathan Gonzalez vs Leyman Benavides, Oct. 27 … (4) Sivenathi Nontshinga vs Adrian Curiel, Nov. 4

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

Upcoming Fights: (4) Amanda Serrano vs Danila Ramos, Oct. 27 … (2) Chantelle Cameron vs (3) Katie Taylor, Nov. 25

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