by Cliff Rold
Heavyweight: Alexander Povetkin’s failed drug test result scuttled a fight with Bermane Stiverne (who also tested positive for a PED on the way to their proposed fight). Stiverne’s test result was already excused. Povetkin has yet to be suspended. Until that is resolved, he remains rated for the time being. Several men near the top of the class were in action recently but none won against anyone they weren’t supposed to beat so the ratings remain as they were. Stiverne, despite being inactive for a year, remains rated as his recent cancellation was not his fault. Andy Ruiz enters the top ten off a strong showing in a loss to Joseph Parker, replacing Lucas Browne.
Cruiserweight: Lots of movement in one of boxing’s deepest divisions. Murat Gassiev defeated division leader Denis Lebedev in a closely contested battle. Gassiev makes a leap in the ratings; Lebedev slips only a bit and stays the WBA titlist due to an odd decision from the sanctioning body to allow him to not defend that belt while he did defend the IBF crown. Oleksandr Usyk picks up another solid, if unspectacular, win over veteran Thabiso Mchunu and also makes a move.
Light Heavyweight: Andre Ward won a contentious decision over Sergey Kovalev that is still being debated. The official nod is respected here and Ward assumes the top contender’s spot below lineal champion Adonis Stevenson. Oleksandr Gvozdyk replaces Isaac Chilemba in the top ten. Sullivan Barrera enters the top ten off the strength of his win over Vyacheslav Shabranskyy who stays in the top ten. Joe Smith moves up on the strength of ending the career of the great Bernard Hopkins. Yunieski Gonzalez and Andrzej Fonfara exit the top ten.
Super Middleweight: Callum Smith enters the top ten, replacing Felix Sturm.
Jr. Middleweight: Jermall Charlo made a statement against Julian Williams and gets a bump in the top ten over a relatively inactive Erislandy Lara. Williams remains rated but slips.
Jr. Welterweight: With little movement in the top half of the class, and losses to go around, Julius Indongo debuts strong off a first round knockout of Eduard Troyanovsky. John Molina and Troyanovsky both fall in the ratings in defeats. Talented Sergey Lipinets rises after a rousing win over Leonardo Zappavigna. Jose Zepeda exits the top ten.
Lightweight: Denis Shafikov’s strong 2016 continued with a win over Richard Commey and he makes a slight move up the top ten.
Jr. Lightweight: Vasyl Lomachenko moves into the top slot after a masterful performance against an undefeated Nicholas Walters. Plenty of the top ten will have a chance to respond in the next couple of months. Walters exits the top ten, making room for the arrival of Miguel Berchelt.
Featherweight: Abner Mares posted a career saving performance, dropping Jesus Cuellar in a dandy of a scrap. Mares moves up in the top ten and can look forward to some more big chances in 2017.
Jr. Featherweight: Scott Quigg exits to move to featherweight while titlist Hozumi Hasegawa has announced his retirement. It opens two slots in the top ten. Cesar Juarez and Yukinori Oguni fill in for the departing veterans.
Jr. Bantamweight: Khalid Yafai, a former UK Olympian, showed his class and upside in capturing a belt from Luis Concepcion. He enters the top ten strong and should be a factor in a thrillingly deep pool at 115 in 2017. Sho Ishida slips out of the top ten to make room and Concepcion slips down the ranks.
Flyweight: The emptying of flyweight continues with titlist Johnriel Casimero adding his name to the mix in the red-hot 115 lb. class. His vacating of the IBF belt will be opportunity for others. Moruti Mthalane also exits for inactivity. Juan Hernandez and Francisco Rodriguez enter the top ten.
Strawweight: Simphiwe Khonco returns to the top ten with a win over former titlist Nkosinathi Joyi.
The full results of note and the total impact on the ratings are a click away.
Last ratings update: November 15, 2016
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]