Boxing Ranking (April 18): Spence, Benn and a welterweight shakeup

Rankings go up on Mondays.

We’ll have an update next Monday if Tyson Fury loses to Dillian Whyte; if not, we will update it within two weeks. If Fury just wins, which is what most expect, it’s just a bit of an effort to not have a real update as this week is pretty much dead aside from the Fury fight.

Ranked Matches Next Two Weeks:

  • Heavyweight: (1) Tyson Fury vs. (6) Dillian Whyte, April 23
  • Junior Middleweight: (5) Liam Smith vs. Jessie Vargas, April 30
  • Junior Lightweight: (1) Oscar Valdez vs. (2) Shakur Stevenson, April 30
  • Bantamweight: (3) John Riel Casimero vs. Paul Butler, April 22
  • Minimum weight: (4) Masataka Taniguchi vs. Kai Ishizawa, April 22
  • Female P4P: (1) Katie Taylor vs. (3) Amanda Serrano, April 30

Upcoming fights: (1) Tyson Fury vs. (6) Dillian Whyte, April 23… (10) Tony Yoka vs. Martin Bakole, May 14… (2) Oleksandr Usyk vs. (4) Anthony Joshua, TBA… ( 5) ) Andy Ruiz Jr vs. Luis Ortiz, TBA


Upcoming fights: (1) Mairis Briedis vs. Jai Opetaia, TBA


Upcoming fights: (2) Dmitry Bivol vs. Canelo Alvarez, May 7… (8) Joshua Buatsi vs. Craig Richards, May 21… (1) Artur Beterbiev vs. (3) Joe Smith Jr, June 18


Upcoming fights: (1) Canelo Alvarez vs. Dmitry Bivol [light heavyweight]May 7…(2) David Benavidez vs. David Lemieux, May 21…(9) Zach Parker vs. Demetrius Andrade, May 21…(5) David Morrell Jr. vs. Kalvin Henderson, June 4


Upcoming fights: (3) Demetrio Andrade vs. Zach Parker [super middleweight]May 21…(7) Janibek Alimkhanuly vs. Danny Dignum, May 21…(2) Jermall Charlo vs. Maciej Sulecki, June 18


Upcoming fights: (5) Liam Smith vs. Jessie Vargas, April 30…(1) Jermell Charlo vs. (1) Brian Castaño, May 14


Grades: Errol Spence once again solidifies his place at No. 1, though of course, just like before, he could have Terence Crawford at No. 1. In fact, we might just find out this year; PBC fighters are generally very good at not calling fights that they know aren’t going to happen for political reasons, but with Spence specifically says he wants Crawford next and Crawford is ready to say he wants Crawford next too.It seems much better than ever that we will have that fight.

Spence demolished Yordenis Ugas, who is a good fighter. Even before the battered eye completely took Ugas out of the fight, Spence looked better than him, full stop. It’s not that Ugas hasn’t been successful or whatever, and there’s a reason I still have Ugas at number 3 at the moment. Nobody behind Ugas has done enough recently to show that he should be ahead of him. He took a big fight against a top guy and lost. Spence would be as big a favorite against anyone under Ugas as he was against Ugas, and he’s likely to win there as well. Taking a great fight, a good or excellent fight, and losing shouldn’t be punished for the benefit of people who aren’t testing the waters at that level. That’s my opinion.

We have some changes in the last four points. Conor Benn is up to No. 7 after breaking chris van heerden; Eimantas Stanionis is at No. 8 after overtaking previous No. 8 Radzhab Butaev; Cody Crowley moves up to No. 9 after a beat Josesito Lopez, which was a game and although he looked old, other opponents hadn’t made him look that old in their recent fights; and David Avanesyan drops to No. 10 because he’s currently operating in a flippant fashion.

I like Avanesyan, I like to see him fight, but it is what it is. He’s not fighting at even the level of Benn or Crowley, and his big run since 2019 has been two wins over Kerman Lejarraga, then wins over Jose del Rio, Josh Kelly, Liam Taylor and Oskari Metz. The Metz fight was pathetic about where Avanesyan should be, and signing with Queensberry, who has no insider for him, was a red flag about what Avanesyan really hopes to achieve. Avanesyan is 33 years old and has been to better names in his career, and let’s not act like he did better than he did. He lost to Lamont Peterson in 2017, even though he was competitive. He lost to Egidijus Kavaliauskas in 2018, and he didn’t.

You may not agree, but the way I see it now, the decisions Avanesyan has made since last fall have him on track to drop out of the top 10 instead of going beyond what he’s done.

Upcoming fights: (5) Jaron Ennis vs. Custio Clayton, May 21


Upcoming fights: (10) Montana Love vs. Gabriel Valenzuela, May 7


Grades: Victory of Isaac Cruz over Yuriorkis Gamboa It made me think a couple of things while it was going on:

  1. This is disgraceful, and the major promoters need to stop introducing the 40-year-old Gamboa to legitimate contenders and champions. He had no business in the ring with Cruz.
  2. Devin Haney is so boring that he wouldn’t even risk doing anything against Gamboa, who can’t handle the pressure anymore.

As for Cruz, I’d legitimately like to see him get a chance against Ryan Garcia this summer. Garcia is asking for it again. It still doesn’t seem likely, but it would be more interesting than anything Garcia probably ends up getting if he wants to fight in July or so.

Upcoming fights: (5) Gervonta Davis vs. Rolando Romero, May 28… (1) George Kambosos Jr vs. (4) Devin Haney, June 4


Upcoming fights: (1) Oscar Valdez vs. (2) Shakur Stevenson, April 30… (3) Jamel Herring vs. TBA, May 21


Grades: Rubén Villa returned to the ring on Friday. I ranked him before he went inactive, and I think he still belongs in the top 10. He gave Emanuel Navarrete a tougher fight than anyone since Navarrete broke through and is a legitimate contender.

Upcoming fights: (2) Mark Magsayo vs. (7) Rey Vargas, July 9


Upcoming fights: (2) Stephen Fulton Jr vs. (4) Danny Roman, June 4… (1) Murodjon Akhmadaliev vs. (8) Ronny Rios, TBA


Upcoming fights: (3) John Riel Casimero vs. Paul Butler, April 22… (1) Naoya Inoue vs. (2) Nonito Donaire, June 7


Upcoming fights: (10) Kosei Tanaka vs. Masayoshi Hashizume, June 29… (2) Kazuto Ioka vs. Donnie Nietes, TBA


Upcoming fights: to be confirmed


Upcoming fights: to be confirmed


Upcoming fights: (4) Masataka Taniguchi vs. Kai Ishizawa, April 22


Upcoming fights: (8) Tyson Fury vs. Dillian Whyte, April 23… (1) Canelo Alvarez vs. Dmitry Bivol, May 7… (10) George Kambosos Jr vs. Devin Haney, June 4… (2) Oleksandr Usyk vs. Anthony Joshua, TBA…(9) Kazuto Ioka vs. Donnie Nietes, TBA


Grades: Alycia Baumgardner may not shine like she did against Terri Harper every time, but she fought and won against a 41-year-old Soledad Matthysse on Saturday and keeps his place.

Upcoming fights: (1) Katie Taylor vs. (3) Amanda Serrano, April 30… (9) Chantelle Cameron vs. Victoria Bustos, May 21… (2) Claressa Shields vs. (8) Savannah Marshall, TBA

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