Boxing

Montero’s Updated Boxing Rankings (as of February 8, 2008)

By Michael Montero: With the “busy season” of professional boxing fast approaching, I wanted to put together an updated list of divisional rankings for early 2008. In regards to my divisional champions – I simply list the fighter that is clearly the best of their weight class. There are only a few divisions that I consider the championship as being “vacant” due to the lack of a clear cut #1. I try to squeeze in a historical fact about divisions here and there (especially the newer ones), and I’m sure to note if any of my ranked fighters carry an alphabet title. Hopefully everybody will enjoy - here we go….

Heavyweight

C Wladimir Klitschko (IBF)

1 Ruslan Chagaev (WBA)

2 Samuel Peter (WBC "Interim")

3 Oleg Maskaev (WBC)

4 Nicolai Valuev

5 Sultan Ibragimov (WBO)

6 Serguei Lyakhovich

7 Tony Thompson

8 Vladimir Virchis

9 Lamon Brewster

10 Alexander Povetkin

Cruiser - 200 (created in 1979 by WBC)

C David Haye (WBA "Super", WBC, RING)

1 Steve Cunningham (IBF)

2 Enzo Maccarinelli (WBO)

3 Jean-Marc Mormeck

4 O'Neil Bell/Tomasz Adamek

5 Krzysztof Wlodarczyk

Light Heavy - 175

C Bernard Hopkins (RING)

1 Chad Dawson (WBC)

2 Zsolt Erdei (WBO)

3 Clinton Woods (IBF)

4 Glen Johnson

5 Adrian Diaconu /Danny Green (WBA)

Supper Middle - 168 (created in 1984 by IBF)

C Joe Calzaghe (WBA "Super", WBC, WBO, RING)

1 Mikkel Kessler

2 Lucian Bute (IBF)

3 Anthony Mundine (WBA)

4 Sakio Bika

5 Jeff Lacy/Edison Miranda

Middle - 160

C Kelly Pavlik (WBC, WBO, RING)

1 Jermain Taylor

2 Winky Wright

3 Arthur Abraham (IBF)

4 Felix Sturm (WBA)

5 John Duddy/Javier Castillejo

Super Welter - 154 (created in 1962 by WBA)

C VACANT

1 Cory Spinks (IBF)

2 Vernon Forrest (WBC)

3 Joachim Alcine (WBA)

4 Sergeii Dzinziruk (WBO)

5 James Kirkland

Welter - 147

C Floyd Mayweather (WBC, RING)

1 Miguel Cotto (WBA)

2 Paul Williams (WBO)

3 Shane Mosley

4 Antonio Margarito

5 Kermit Cintron (IBF)

Super Light - 140 (created in 1926 by NBA)

C Ricky Hatton (RING)

1 Junior Witter (WBC)

2 Paulie Malignaggi (IBF)

3 Ricardo Torres (WBO)

4 Vivian Harris

5 Herman Ngoudjo/Gavin Rees (WBA)

Light - 135

C Juan Diaz (WBA “Super”, IBF, WBO)

1 David Diaz (WBC)

2 Jose Armando Santa Cruz

3 Joel Casamayor (WBC "Interim", RING) ***

4 Julio Diaz

5 Michael Katsidis (WBO "Interim")

*** I respect the Ring Magazine as I feel they have the finest rankings in the sport – but I don’t care what they say – Casamayor is NOT the champion of this division! His decision “victory” over Jose Armando Santa Cruz in November was an absolute travesty and an immediate rematch should have been ordered. Instead, the recently signed Golden Boy Promotions fighter (consequently the same company that now owns Ring Magazine) squares off against Katsidis next. ***

Super Feather - 130 (established in 1921)

C Manny Pacquiao

1 Juan Manuel Marquez (WBC)

2 Joan Guzman (WBO)

3 Edwin Valero (WBA)

4 Humberto Soto

5 Jorge Barrios/Alex Arthur (WBO "Interim")

Feather - 126

C VACANT

1 Chris John (WBA)

2 Robert Guerrero (IBF)

3 Steven Luevano (WBO)

4 Jorge Linares (WBC)

5 Rocky Juarez/Jorge Solis

Super Bantam - 122 (created in 1976 by WBC)

C Isreal Vazquez (WBC, RING)

1 Rafael Marquez

2 Daniel Ponce de Leon (WBO)

3 Celestino Caballero (WBA)

4 Steve Molitor (IBF)

5 Somsak Sithchatchawal

Bantam - 118

C VACANT

1 Hozumi Hasegawa (WBC)

2 Gerry Penalosa (WBO)

3 Wladimir Sidorenko (WBA)

4 Veerapol Sahaprom

5 Joseph Agbeko (IBF)

Super Fly - 115 (created in 1980 by WBC)

C VACANT

1 Fernando Montiel (WBO)

2 Martin Castillo

3 Cristian Mijares (WBC)

4 Alexander Munoz (WBA)

5 Jorge Arce/Dmitri Kirolov (IBF)

Fly - 112

C VACANT

1 Nonito Donaire (IBF)

2 Daisuke Naito (WBC)

3 Takefumi Sakata (WBA)

4 Pongsaklek Wonjongkam

5 Omar Narvaez (WBO)

Super Straw - 108 (created in 1975 by WBC)

C Ivan Calderon (WBO, RING)

1 Ulises Solis (IBF)

2 Hugo Cazares

3 Edgar Sosa (WBC)

4 Brahim Asloum (WBA)

5 Omar Nino

Straw - 105

C VACANT

1 Yutaka Niida (WBA)

2 Florante Condes (IBF)

3 Oleydong Sithsamerchai (WBC)

4 Donnie Nietes (WBO)

5 Eagle Kyowa

Pound for Pound (I do not rank Heavyweights on my pound for pound lists)

1 Floyd Mayweather (does nothing to keep his status as #1 by rematching De LA Hoya)

2 Manny Pacquiao (moves to #1 on my list if he beats Juan Manuel Marquez in their rematch)

3 Joe Calzaghe (could move to #2 with a big win over Hopkins)

4 Juan Manuel Marquez

5 Miguel Cotto

6 Isreal Vasquez

7 Bernard Hopkins

8 Rafael Marquez

9 Winky Wright

10 Kelly Pavlik/ Juan Diaz

Strongest Division - Welterweight (147 pounds)

Welterweight features two top pound for pound fighters (Mayweather and Cotto), a lock for the hall of fame (Mosley), two other exciting titlists (Williams and Cintron) and numerous prospects/contenders from around the world. This is a no-brainer in my opinion.

Weakest Division - Junior Middleweight (154 pounds)

To me, this division is nothing more than a void between Welterweight and Middleweight. Several of the top fighters at 154 could either lose weight and fight at 147, or gain weight and fight at 160, but they would be destroyed – that’s why they settle here. When the best fighter in the division is the horribly hard to watch Cory Spinks, that says it all. 154 is seriously lacking a true star; hopefully its lone exciting prospect, James Kirkland, can earn a title shot soon and prove to be the real deal.

Best sanctioning body – World Boxing Council (WBC) – barely…

Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely HATE these organizations as they generally do nothing but further destroy the beautiful sport of boxing – but if I had to rate one as being better than the rest, I would have to side with the WBC. Of the 17 divisions in professional boxing, I recognize 11 champions, leaving the remaining 6 weight classes “vacant”. The WBC agrees with my champion regarding 5 divisions; the WBO 4, WBA 3 and the dismal IBF 2. The RING Magazine and I agree on 8 division champions, further proving their legitimacy to me as having the best rankings out there, but I digress...

In terms of historical legacy, the WBA (created in 1962) and WBC (1963) are the most legitimate as both the IBF and WBO were created in the ‘80s (1983 and 1988, respectively). But the WBA has tarnished their image with all of these bogus “Regular” titles (as opposed to their “Super” champions, the distinction they give any of their titlists that are unified with other alphabet groups); and the WBC has followed suit with their garbage “Interim” titles (see Sam Peter in the Heavyweight division). I guess the bottom line is that they’re all crap and the RING Magazine is still by far and away the best rankings in the media (although I am still strongly apposed to their ranking of Casamayor as the 135 pound champ).

Final Thought

I would like to say one more thing in closing. Last year, the powers that be in our beloved sport came through with some great match-ups. The next few months should further build on that momentum with great matches between several of the best fighters from around the world, pound for pound. But there are plenty more great fights out there to be made in 2008; here’s hoping that they happen! I truly hope that egos can be put aside in order to make for further unification of the Heavyweight division, as well as some much needed unification in the Welterweight division (memo to Floyd Mayweather, have your people call Miguel Cotto’s people) and more. Let’s not mess up what we started last year, let’s make 2008 even better.

Questions, comments, hate mail – you know what to do:

mike@michael-montero.com

Ciao.

Article posted on 09.02.2008



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