Errol Spence (R) battles Lamont Peterson (Amanda Westcott/Showtime)

Combat Press Boxing Rankings: January 2021

Justyn Likes Staff Writer

In the world of boxing, the rankings picture can get a little muddled. There are multiple titleholders and different organizational rankings. We’ve taken the approach of simply identifying who we think are the 10 best fighters in each weight class.

Note: the numbers in parentheses represent the fighter’s ranking from the previous month.

Heavyweight
  1. Tyson Fury (1)
  2. Anthony Joshua (2)
  3. Deontay Wilder (3)
  4. Andy Ruiz (4)
  5. Luis Ortiz (5)
  6. Alexander Povetkin (6)
  7. Dillian Whyte (7)
  8. Kubrat Pulev (8)
  9. Oleksandr Usyk (9)
  10. Joe Joyce (10)

No fighters in the top 10 were in action during the last month, so the rankings remain unchanged.


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Cruiserweight (200 Pounds)
  1. Mairis Briedis (1)
  2. Yunier Dorticos (2)
  3. Ilunga Makabu (3)
  4. Krzystztof Glowacki (4)
  5. Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (5)
  6. Kevin Lerena (6)
  7. Lawrence Okolie (7)
  8. Arsen Goulamirian (8)
  9. Aleksei Papin (9)
  10. Noel Gevor (10)

Noel Gevor returned to the ring after a lengthy layoff and picked up the TKO victory over Jesse Bryan. Gevor holds on to the No. 10 spot in the rankings.

Light Heavyweight (175 Pounds)
  1. Artur Beterbiev (1)
  2. Sergey Kovalev (2)
  3. Dmitry Bivol (4)
  4. Jean Pascal (5)
  5. Joe Smith Jr. (6)
  6. Badou Jack (7)
  7. Eleider Alvarez (8)
  8. Gilberto Ramirez (9)
  9. Maxim Vlasov (10)
  10. Umar Salamov (-)

Dropped from the rankings: Oleksandr Gvovdyk (3)

It looks like Oleksandr Gvovdyk’s retirement wasn’t just some rash decision following a knockout loss to Beterbiev. Gvovdyk departs the rankings, opening the door for Umar Salamov to slide into the No. 10 slot. Gilberto Ramirez returned to action following his Top Rank departure and scored a TKO victory over Alfonso Lopez. With Gvovdyk’s departure, Ramirez climbs to eighth in the poll.

Super Middleweight (168 Pounds)
  1. Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (2)
  2. Callum Smith (1)
  3. David Benavidez (3)
  4. Billy Joe Saunders (4)
  5. Caleb Plant (5)
  6. Daniel Jacobs (6)
  7. Anthony Dirrell (7)
  8. John Ryder (8)
  9. Willie Monroe Jr. (9)
  10. Rocky Fielding (10)

Canelo Alvarez continues to add titles and wins to what’s already an impressive resume. Alvarez picked up the decision victory, with wide scorecards, over Callum Smith. The win allows him to move past Smith and into the top position in the super-middleweight rankings. If Alvarez stays at 168 pounds, it’s hard to find an opponent who will give him trouble. John Ryder won via unanimous decision over Mike Guy. Ryder holds steady at No. 8 and might have a chance at a rematch with Smith.

Middleweight (160 Pounds)
  1. Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (1)
  2. Gennady Golovkin (2)
  3. Jermall Charlo (3)
  4. Demetrius Andrade (4)
  5. Sergiy Derevyanchenko (5)
  6. Ryota Murata (6)
  7. Jaime Munguia (7)
  8. Chris Eubank Jr. (8)
  9. Michael Zefara (9)
  10. Liam Williams (-)

Dropped from the rankings: Tim Tszyu (10)

Gennady “GGG” Golovkin was able to get a fight in before the close of 2020. It was his first in 14 months, and he left with an easy win. Kamil Szeremeta was the mandatory challenger for GGG’s IBF title. Szeremeta made it to the seventh round before the fight was mercifully stopped. GGG maintains his hold on the No. 2 ranking at middleweight. Meanwhile, Liam Williams debuts at No. 10.

Jr. Middleweight (154 Pounds)
  1. Jermell Charlo (1)
  2. Jarrett Hurd (2)
  3. Erislandy Lara (3)
  4. Jeison Rosario (4)
  5. Julian Williams (5)
  6. Tony Harirson (6)
  7. Brian Carlos Castano (8)
  8. Kell Brook (9)
  9. Michel Soro (10)
  10. Patrick Teixeira (-)

Dropped from the rankings: Liam Smith (7)

Liam Smith departs the junior-middleweight rankings due to inactivity in the division. It looks like he is staying at middleweight. Patrick Teixeira enters the rankings at No. 10. Teixeira can cement his standing in a February bout against Brian Castano.

Welterweight (147 Pounds)
  1. Errol Spence Jr. (2)
  2. Terence Crawford (1)
  3. Shawn Porter (3)
  4. Manny Pacquiao (4)
  5. Keith Thurman (5)
  6. Yordenis Ugas (7)
  7. Danny Garcia (6)
  8. Mikey Garcia (8)
  9. Jessie Vargas (9)
  10. Sergey Lipinets (10)

Errol Spence is back, and what a great comeback it was to witness. Spence displayed zero rust or decline after being in a horrific car accident. Instead, he easily outboxed Danny Garcia. Spence’s resume is looking impressive with consecutive victories over Mikey Garcia, Shawn Porter and now Danny Garcia. He overtakes Crawford as the top welterweight. The politics of boxing have kept Crawford from staying at No. 1. He’s looked amazing, as always, but his recent resume — Kell Brook, Egidijus Kavaliauskas and Amir Khan — doesn’t hold up. Crawford needs a change of scenery or else he’s going to be in lackluster match-ups. He’s hinted as much, expressing frustration publicly over his inability to get a meaningful fight.

Jr. Welterweight (140 Pounds)
  1. Josh Taylor (1)
  2. Regis Prograis (2)
  3. Jose Carlos Ramirez (3)
  4. Viktor Postol (4)
  5. Maurice Hooker (5)
  6. Jose Zepeda (6)
  7. Ivan Baranchyk (7)
  8. Mario Barrios (8)
  9. Jack Catterall (9)
  10. Arnold Barboza Jr. (10)

No fighters in the top 10 were in action during the last month, so the rankings remain unchanged.

Lightweight (135 Pounds)
  1. Teofimo Lopez (1)
  2. Vasyl Lomachenko (2)
  3. Gervonta Davis (3)
  4. Ryan Garcia (-)
  5. Devin Haney (6)
  6. Richard Commey (5)
  7. Javier Fortuna (8)
  8. Emmanuel Tagoe (7)
  9. Luke Campbell (4)
  10. George Kambosos Jr. (10)

Dropped from the rankings: Rances Barthelemy (8)

Ryan Garcia proved a lot of people wrong. After getting sent to the canvas in the second round, it appeared as if the hype train was going to be derailed. However, he got back up and continued to walk down Luke Campbell before finishing him a vicious body shot. Garcia deserves to be considered among the best in the division. He enters the rankings at No. 4 and causes some shuffling, with Campbell dropping to ninth and Rances Barthelemy falling out of the top 10.

Jr. Lightweight (130 Pounds)
  1. Miguel Berchelt (1)
  2. Gervonta Davis (2)
  3. Leo Santa Cruz (3)
  4. Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov (5)
  5. Joseph Diaz Jr. (6)
  6. Tevin Farmer (7)
  7. Jamel Herring (8)
  8. Oscar Valdez (9)
  9. O’Shaquie Foster (10)
  10. Shakur Stevenson (-)

Dropped from the rankings: Rene Alvarado (8)

Rene Alvarado suffered an upset loss courtesy of Roger Gutierrez. Alvarado departs the junior-lightweight top 10 as a result, making way for Shakur Stevenson’s debut in the poll after another fight at 130 pounds. Stevenson secured a victory over Toka Khan Clary on Dec. 12.

Featherweight (126 Pounds)
  1. Gary Russell Jr. (1)
  2. Josh Warrington (2)
  3. Emanuel Navarette (3)
  4. Can Xu (5)
  5. Tugstsogt Nyambayar (7)
  6. Jessie Magdaleno (8)
  7. Kid Galahad (9)
  8. Ruben Villa (-)
  9. James Dickens (-)
  10. Joet Gonzalez (-)

Dropped from the rankings: Abner Mares (4), Shakur Stevenson (6), Ryan Walsh (10)

Abner Mares has yet to return from his injury and therefore surrenders his spot in the rankings. Shakur Stevenson also departs the featherweight top 10 after his move up to 130 pounds. Ryan Walsh suffered a loss to James Dickens, who takes Walsh’s place in the rankings and lands in the No. 9 spot. With the departures of Mares and Stevenson, Ruben Villa and Joet Gonzalez also join the top 10.

Jr. Featherweight (122 Pounds)
  1. Rey Vargas (1)
  2. Murodjon Akhmadaliev (2)
  3. Daniel Roman (3)
  4. Ryosuke Iwasa (5)
  5. Ronny Rios (6)
  6. Brandon Figueroa (7)
  7. Stephen Fulton (8)
  8. Luis Nery (9)
  9. Carlos Castro (10)
  10. Angelo Leo (-)

Dropped from the rankings: Isaac Dogboe (4)

Isaac Dogboe surrenders his spot in the junior-featherweight poll after his move up to featherweight. This opens the door for Angelo Leo to enter at No. 10.

Bantamweight (118 Pounds)
  1. Naoya Inoue (1)
  2. Nordin Oubaali (4)
  3. Emmanuel Rodriguez (2)
  4. Nonito Donaire (3)
  5. Jason Maloney (5)
  6. Guillermo Rigondeaux (6)
  7. John Riel Casimero (7)
  8. Zolani Tete (8)
  9. Takuma Inoue (9)
  10. Reymart Gaballo (-)

Dropped from the rankings: Oscar Negrete (10)

Emmanuel Rodriguez was unequivocally robbed of a win over Reymart Gaballo in December. It was a case of atrocious judging. His move down in the rankings isn’t because of the loss, but rather due to a review of his overall performances and quality of wins as compared to Nordine Oubaali. Oubaali also leapfrogs Nonito Donaire. Oscar Negrete gets bumped from the top 10 by Gaballo, who is likely to face an immediate rematch against Rodriguez.

Jr. Bantamweight (115 Pounds)
  1. Juan Francisco Estrada (1)
  2. Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (2)
  3. Roman Gonzalez (3)
  4. Kazuto Ioka (7)
  5. Khalid Yafai (5)
  6. Jerwin Ancajas (4)
  7. Carlos Cuadras (8)
  8. Joshua Franco (9)
  9. Francisco Rodriguez Jr. (10)
  10. Andrew Maloney (-)

Dropped from the rankings: Donnie Nietes (6)

Kazuto Ioka picked up an impressive victory over Kosei Tanaka, who moved up in weight for the contest. Ioka moves up to fourth with the win and causes some shuffling within the rankings. Donnie Nietes departs the poll due to inactivity, making way for Andrew Maloney to slide in at No. 10.

Flyweight (112 Pounds)
  1. Julio Cesar Martinez Aguilar (2)
  2. Artem Dalakian (3)
  3. Moruti Mthalane (4)
  4. Junto Nakatani (8)
  5. Cristofer Rosales (6)
  6. McWilliams Arroyo (7)
  7. Sho Kimura (4)
  8. Giemel Magramo (10)
  9. Angel Acosta (-)
  10. Jay Harris (-)

Dropped from the rankings: Kosei Tanaka (1), Andrew Selby (8)

Kosei Tanaka moved up to 115 pounds for the Ioka fight, and there’s a lot of uncertainty on whether he will remain at 115 pounds or move back to flyweight. Tanaka has accomplished almost everything at flyweight, so there’s not much motivation for him to move back down. For now, he departs the flyweight top 10. Andrew Selby also departs the rankings. This opens up spots for Angel Acosta and Jay Harris to enter the rankings.

Jr. Flyweight (108 Pounds)
  1. Ken Shiro (1)
  2. Hiroto Kyoguchi (2)
  3. Carlos Canizales (4)
  4. Elwin Soto (5)
  5. Felix Alvarado (7)
  6. Edward Heno (8)
  7. Daniel Valladares (9)
  8. Tetsuya Hisada (10)
  9. Sivenathi Nontshinga (-)
  10. DeeJay Kriel (-)

Dropped from the rankings: Hekkie Budler (3), Angel Acosta (6)

Both Hekkie Budler and Angel Acosta depart the junior-flyweight top 10, albeit for different reasons. Acosta has moved up to flyweight, while Budler has been inactive. Their removal makes way for Sivenathi Nontshinga and DeeJay Kriel to enter the rankings.

Strawweight (105 Pounds)
  1. Knockout CP Freshmart (1)
  2. Wanheng Menayothin (2)
  3. Byron Rojas (3)
  4. Jose Argumedo (4)
  5. Simphiwe Khonco (5)
  6. Nkosinathi Joyi (6)
  7. Joey Canoy (7)
  8. Melvin Jerusalem (8)
  9. Wilfredo Mendez (9)
  10. Pedro Taduran (10)

No fighters in the top 10 were in action during the last month, so the rankings remain unchanged.

Pound-for-Pound
  1. Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (2)
  2. Naoya Inoue (3)
  3. Errol Spence (8)
  4. Terence Crawford (1)
  5. Oleksandr Usyk (4)
  6. Teofimo Lopez (5)
  7. Gennady Golovkin (6)
  8. Vasyl Lomachenko (7)
  9. Juan Francisco Estrada (9)
  10. Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (10)

Canelo Alvarez is now the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter after adding another belt and impressive victory to his collection. Errol Spence makes quite the rise after his comeback win over Danny Garcia. Spence moves all the way up to third.


Editor’s Note: Fighters are eligible to be ranked if they have competed in the last 18 months. Fighters who announce their retirement will remain ranked for a period of six months following their final bout.