by Cliff Rold
With a few months of results to ponder, it’s time to reflect again on some of the very best of the best across the span of seventeen weight divisions. The biggest change comes near the top.
While the physical talent has been seductive for years, Naoya Inoue’s latest destructive victory in May over Emmanuel Rodriguez was particularly eye popping. He took a young, quality, undefeated opponent and obliterated him in two rounds.
Consider this: Inoue’s last seven knockouts (in a streak of eight) all suffered their first knockout loss to the Japanese phenom. Four of those men (Rodriguez, Juan Carlos Payano, Jamie McDonnell, and Kohei Kono) were current or former titlists and he did Payano and McDonnell in one frame each.
It’s a level of physical dominance from his first title win at 108 lbs. to now his third divisional crown at 118 lbs. almost unparalleled today. Is it enough to go to number one or does Terence Crawford, who has fully cleaned out a weight class in unifying 140 lbs. and who also won recognition from Ring Magazine and TBRB as lightweight champion before that, maintain the spot?
Spoiler: it’s between those two here with Vasyl Lomachenko, many a fan and pundits choice for number one, just behind them.
Returning to the top ten is Mexico’s Juan Francisco Estrada after a career best win over Thailand’s Srisaket Sor Rungvisai. The new world champion at 115 takes over the top spot in what remains one of boxing’s deepest and most compelling weight classes. Where does he return? And does Sor Rungvisai, previously number seven, remain in the top ten or does Leo Santa Cruz hang on to the top spot?
The answers are a click away.
For the full update: https://www.boxingscene.com/forums/view.php?pg=pound
Last Update: April 23, 2019
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]