Regis Prograis (Justyn Likes/Combat Press)

Combat Press Boxing Rankings: May 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. Dillian Whyte (6)
  7. Alexander Povetkin (7)
  8. Kubrat Pulev (8)
  9. Oleksandr Usyk (9)
  10. Joe Joyce (10)

Andy Ruiz stepped inside the ring for the first time since 2019. He had to overcome some adversity to take the decision win over Chris Arreola. Ruiz was knocked down in the second round and staggered in the third frame, but he managed to take the majority of the rounds after Arreola took his foot off the gas. Ruiz holds steady at fourth with the victory.


Advertisement

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

After another devastating knockout victory, Jake Paul has entered the rankings at… just kidding. No actual boxers in the top 10 were in action during the last month, so the rankings remain unchanged.

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

Dropped from the rankings: Umar Salamov (10)

Joe Smith and Maxim Vlasov fought a very close and entertaining fight, with Smith just edging Vlasov out in a majority decision. The two men maintain their standings in the top 10. Dmitry Bivol picked up a win in typical Bivol fashion, cruising to a 12-round decision over challenger Craig Richards. Again, both fighters retain their spots in the rankings. The same can’t be said for Umar Salamov. The former No. 10 has been bumped from his spot in the rankings as a result of Marcus Browne’s victory over Denis Grachev in a stay-busy fight. It was Greene’s first victory since a 2019 loss to Jean Pascal.

Super Middleweight (168 Pounds)
  1. Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (1)
  2. Callum Smith (2)
  3. David Benavidez (3)
  4. Billy Joe Saunders (4)
  5. Caleb Plant (5)
  6. Daniel Jacobs (6)
  7. John Ryder (7)
  8. Rocky Fielding (9)
  9. Fedor Chudinov (10)
  10. Carlos Gongora (-)

Dropped from the rankings: Anthony Dirrell (8)

Gongora knocked out Christopher Pearson in the eighth round to successfully defend his IBO title. Gongora enters the rankings at No. 10, while former eighth-ranked Anthony Dirrell departs the top 10 after going winless through his last two appearances.

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

Dropped from the rankings: Rob Brant (10)

Demertrius Andrade maintained his unblemished mark with a decision nod over a very game, albeit outmatched, ninth-ranked Liam Williams. It was not the type of performance that will build up excitement among fans, but an undefeated record is still very impressive. Andrade holds onto his No. 3 spot with the victory. Meanwhile, Chris Eubank Jr. returned to boxing after an 18-month layoff, just in time to preserve his own spot in the poll by cruising to a decision over Marcus Morrison. Erislandy Lara takes Rob Brant’s spot in the rankings after moving up from 154 pounds.

Jr. Middleweight (154 Pounds)
  1. Jermell Charlo (1)
  2. Jarrett Hurd (2)
  3. Brain Carlos Castano (4)
  4. Jeison Rosario (5)
  5. Julian Williams (6)
  6. Tony Harrison (7)
  7. Kell Brook (8)
  8. Michel Soro (9)
  9. Tim Tszyu (9)
  10. Erickson Lubin (-)

Dropped from the rankings: Erislandy Lara (3)

With Erislandy Lara’s move up to middleweight, the door opens for Erickson Lubin to enter the rankings. He can prove he belongs here in his upcoming fight against Jeison Rosario in June.

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

Dropped from the rankings: Sergey Lipinets (10)

Sergey Lipients suffered the worst loss of his career in a one-sided beatdown from Jaron Ennis that resulted in a knockout in the sixth round. Ennis made a massive statement with this performance. Ennis enters the rankings ahead of Jessie Vargas to claim the No. 9 spot, with Lipinets dropping out of the top 10 entirely.

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

Regis Prograis defeated Ivan Redkach on a very bizarre Triller show. The only “normal” fight of the card ended just as weirdly, with Redkach putting on a Oscar-worthy performance from a knockdown he played off as a low blow. Prograis holds steady at No. 2.

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

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

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

Jamel Herring continued his feel-good story by getting the TKO victory over Carl Frampton in the sixth round. After being let go from PBC after a pair of defeats, Herring has found new life with Top Rank. He has gone from a prelim fighter to a world champion, and he jumps up here to the sixth spot in the rankings.

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

Emanuel Navarette put away Christopher Diaz in the 12th round to retain both his spot in our poll and his WBO title. The only knock on Navarette is that he hasn’t fought a top contender since dethroning Issac Dogboe in 2019. Navarette has fought seven times since then, however, and deserves credit for his busy schedule.

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

No. 2-ranked Murodjon Akhmadaliev finished Ryosuke Iwasa in the fifth round to continue a stellar start to his professional career. The 26-year-old already has two belts in just nine fights. Iwasa drops to ninth in our poll with the loss.

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

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

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

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

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

Dropped from the rankings: Jay Harris (10)

Sunny Edwards vaults from unranked all the way into third in the rankings after a huge win over former No. 3 Moruti Mthalane. The Brit gave Mthalane his first loss since 2008. Mthalane falls to fifth in defeat, while Edwards’ arrival in the rankings bumps Jay Harris out of the top 10.

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

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

Strawweight (105 Pounds)
  1. Knockout CP Freshmart (1)
  2. Petchmanee Freshmart (2)
  3. Wanheng Menayothin (3)
  4. Byron Rojas (4)
  5. Jose Argumedo (5)
  6. Simphiwe Khonco (6)
  7. Nkosinathi Joyi (7)
  8. Joey Canoy (8)
  9. Melvin Jerusalem (9)
  10. Wilfredo Mendez (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 (1)
  2. Naoya Inoue (2)
  3. Errol Spence (3)
  4. Terence Crawford (4)
  5. Oleksandr Usyk (5)
  6. Teofimo Lopez (6)
  7. Gennady Golovkin (7)
  8. Vasyl Lomachenko (8)
  9. Juan Francisco Estrada (9)
  10. Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (10)

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


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.