by Cliff Rold
This hasn’t been a dull year so far.
Several men on the last top ten have seen action as well as several on the fringe. It’s caused plenty of room to shake things up. The big question is at the top. Vasyl Lomachenko rose to lightweight and won an excellent scrap with Jorge Linares to capture a belt in his third weight class. Previously rated fourth, was it enough to leap all of the men in front of him?
Three fighters exit.
Juan Francisco Estrada, previously sixth, lost a nail biter to Srisaket Sor Rungvisai. He could have remained but the performances of others made space tough to come by. Sor Rungvisai, previously eighth, benefits in victory.
Keith Thurman, who sat just behind Estrada, still has no return opponent set and has been out of the ring with injuries for more than a year. Finally, previous number ten Badou Jack couldn’t cross the finish line against Adonis Stevenson and his tentative start in what was ultimately a draw removed him as well.
Who replaces them? Naoya Inoue, Errol Spence, and both of the finalists in the cruiserweight World Boxing Super Series made powerful statements in their outings this year. Coming up with just ten is as tough as it’s ever been in a sport where plenty of talents are fighting at a high level.
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