Earlier today the WBA released their updated world rankings and to say they have some talking points is a real understatement.
The first change we saw was at Minimumweight where Kosei Tanaka (previously #2) was removed from the rankings following his WBO title victory on May 30th. Tanaka's removal has seen a number of boxers move up the rankings including Rey Loreto (#4)-who has gained one place, Ryuji Hara (#6)-who has gained two places like Takumi Sakae (#9) and Pigmy Kokietgym (#10). An even bigger winner was Xiong Zhao Zhong (#11) who climbed 3 places at the expense of Muhammad Rachman (previously #13 and now unranked). The shuffle has also opened up a space for Filipino Jessie Espinas (#15).
At Light Flyweight we've seen Yemen's Ali Raymi (#11) drop 5 places but remaining in the rankings despite his recent passing. Raymi's fall down the rankings has allowed both Jonathan Taconing (#7) and Paipharob Kokietgym (#8) to climb a place each as they slowly climb the WBA's rankings.
At Flyweight we've seen Filipino fighter Johnriel Casimero (previously #4) removed from the rankings ahead of his IBF title fight with Amnat Ruenroeng. The next change is an eye opening one with Stamp Kiatniwat (#5) jumping an incredible 5 places, from what we've been told he's being lined up to fight for the WBA interim title and this ranking push was a big move towards that possible bout. Stamp's move up has seen both Noknoi Sitthiprasert (#9) and Suguru Muranaka (#10) each drop a place. Lower down we've seen both Myung Goo Yuh, aka Young Kil Bae (#12), and Nawaphon Por Chokchai (#14) each climb a single place.
In the Super Flyweight division we've seen very few changes however Petchbarngborn Kokietgym (#10) and Ryo Matsumoto (#11) have both dropped a place.
At Bantamweight we've seen Kazakh puncher Zhanat Zhakiyanov (#2) climb a single place as he slowly moves towards a world title fight. Lower down the rankings we've seen Jerwin Ancajas (#13) climb a couple of places whilst Shohei Omori (#14) moves in to the rankings.
The Super Bantamweight division continues to frustrate and confuse us. This month we've seen Shingo Wake (#3) drop a place whilst his compatriot Hidenori Otake (previously #12) has been removed from the rankings.
The only change at Featherweight that concerns us is one involving Hiroshige Osawa (#15) who has been dropped a single place.
There is surprisingly no Asian fighter ranked at Super Featherweight or Lightweight, both the same as last month.
At Light Welterweight we've seen Czar Amonsot (#9) climb two places.
There's been no change at Welterweight where Thailand's unbeaten contender Teerachai Kratingdaenggym (#5) remains the only ranked Asian fighter. There's also been no change at Light Middleweight where Kanat Islam (#6) remains the only ranked Asian.
At Cruiserweight Beibut Shumenov (#1) retains his ranking ahead of his interim title fight with BJ Flores (#3). Interestingly Flores has magically jumped 4 places in this update. Sorry WBA but that doesn't change the fact that the bout is a farce and if anything it shows how poor your rankings really are.
There is no Asian ranked fighter at 160lbs, 168lbs, 175lbs or Heavyweight.
We don't want to be critical, really we don't. But the climbs for Flores and Stamp Kiatniwat are questionable to say the least whilst the continual rating of Ali Raymi, following his tragic death, is reminiscent of a similar move by the WBO back in the 1990's. It's time that the WBA's ranking committee took a long hard look at themselves and ask whether they are doing a credible job or not. In our eyes they aren't.
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