By Cliff Rold
Heavyweight: No changes here. Tyson Fury retains his claim to the lineal crown, Deontay Wilder to the WBC belt, and Anthony Joshua to everything else. However, for purpose of explanation, some readers may note Fury credited with three lineal title defenses while only thinking of Wilder as a title fight. Historically, the heavyweight title has been on the line in any official fight because there is no other division to fight in. Fury billed himself as the lineal king for each of his two comeback fights. If he’d lost, he would no longer have been able to do that, right? On those grounds, the defense number is 3.
Light Heavyweight: Oleksandr Gvozdyk is now the WBC and lineal king of the class after a near tragic knockout of Adonis Stevenson.
Middleweight: Daniel Jacobs won his first full title (IBF) in the class in October and can cross his fingers that a shot at moneyman Saul Alvarez develops in 2019. Rob Brant battered Ryoto Murata in October to win the WBA’s secondary belt in the class.
Jr. Middleweight: Tony Harrison scored the BoxingScene Upset of the Year with a debated decision over Jermell Charlo for the WBC diadem.
Jr. Welterweight: Ivan Baranchyk started the WBSS in style, stopping Anthony Ygit to win the IBF crown.
Lightweight: Vasyl Lomachenko is now a unified titlist, adding Jose Pedraza’s WBO belt to the WBA crown he won from Jorge Linares earlier in the year. The other two belts are held by Mikey Garcia; will there be a showdown someday?
Jr. Featherweight: Emanuel Navarrete shocked the boxing world. It wasn’t just that he upset Isaac Dogboe for the WBO belt. He physically dominated the streaking titlist to become a player at 122 lbs.
Bantamweight: Nonito Donaire extended his career in the first round of the WBSS. While WBA titlist Ryan Burnett did suffer a bit of a freak injury the veteran was well in the fight before that. Donaire has a title again and a chance at more in 2019.
Jr. Bantamweight: Donnie Nietes joins Leo Gamez and Roman Gonzalez as the only men to win titles in each of the four divisions from 105 to 115 lbs. His split decision win over Kazuto Ioka was worth debating and a rematch wouldn’t be out of order. Fun fact missed in the last update: Jerwin Ancajas now has the most defenses all time of the IBF belt at 115 lbs.
Flyweight: Charlie Edwards showed how much he’s grown since an early loss to Johnriel Casimero. He boxed beautifully to win the WBC crown from road warrior Cristofer Rosales.
Jr. Flyweight: Hiroto Kyoguchi won a title (WBA) in his second weight class and Ring Magazine recognition as champion with a stoppage of Hekkie Budler on the last day of the year. Felix Alvarado extended his winning streak to 16 in a row after back to back losses to Kazuto Ioka and Juan Carlos Reveco, stopping Randy Petalcorin in October to win the vacant IBF belt.
Strawweight: Carlos Licona doesn’t have much pop, but he does have an IBF belt at 105 lbs.
For the full update: https://www.boxingscene.com/forums/view.php?pg=boxing-ratings
Last update: October 8, 2018
Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene, a founding member of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, and a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be reached at [email protected]