Ring Magazine’s New Top-10 Heavyweight Rankings – Is Francis Ngannou Featured?

By James Slater - 11/03/2023 - Comments

Shortly after Francis Ngannou’s wholly unexpected showing against best big man on the planet, Tyson Fury, WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman went on record as saying his organisation would very strongly consider giving Francis Ngannou a spot in their next Top-10 heavyweight rankings – this despite the fact that Ngannou is just 0-1 as a pro boxer. But Ngannou shocked the hell out of reigning (but not defending) WBC heavyweight champ Fury, even winning the fight in the strong opinion of many, this despite the split decision being handed, controversially, to Fury. Surely, Ngannou should be rewarded with some kind of a ranking, if not one in the Top-10, then maybe a place in the Top-15?

What if justice had been done, and Ngannou had been awarded the decision in Riyadh? Would the various world rankings we all pay so much attention to have featured Ngannou then?

The new Ring Magazine rankings are out – these the rankings plenty of people trust the most – and some fans may be a little surprised to see that Fury has retained his position as the #1 ranked heavyweight in the world, with Oleksandr Usyk ranked as the world champion. Shouldn’t Fury have been dropped a spot or two due to his terrible, he-barely-won-the-fight showing against a man who was making his pro boxing debut? Some fans do feel so. But not the folks at Ring.

Here are the new Ring Magazine heavyweight Top-10 rankings:

Champ – Oleksandr Usyk

1: Tyson Fury

2: Deontay Wilder

3: Anthony Joshua

4: Zhilei Zhang

5: Joseph Parker

6: Filip Hrgovic

7: Jared Anderson

8: Joe Joyce

9: Frank Sanchez

10: Otto Wallin

Along with some possible surprise from some fans regarding Fury retaining his top-spot, there could be more than a touch of fan objection over the fact that Wilder has not been dropped from the new rankings due to inactivity. Wilder has not fought since October of last year, when he wiped out Robert Helenius in a round. Why, some fans will ask, is Wilder still ranked as the #2 best heavyweight in the world when he hasn’t won a fight in getting on for 13 months?

This aside, and Fury retaining his #1 position aside (the argument here is, if you do drop Fury, who do you place above him?) the new Top-10 is a solid one. What we need now is for the top four guys to get busy fighting one another. Leaving Ngannou out of the picture for a moment, why can’t we see Joshua-Zhang, or Wilder-Zhang, or Wilder-Joshua? These are fights that appear to us as being not all that difficult to make. Let’s see what 2024 brings for the heavyweight division. We are supposed to finally get the Usyk-Fury showdown in February, but plenty of people remain unconvinced the fight will happen then, or even at all.