Earlier this week the WBC released their updated rankings and in all honesty it was more of a case of keeping the status quo rather than really shaking up any division and no division really saw more than 1 or 2 notable changes, if that.
The Minimuweight division hasn't seen many changes that effect Asian fighters, in fact the only in the top 15 has seen Ryuji Hara (#6) swap places, and climb above, Peruvian Ricardo Asturvilca (#7).
Despite the lack of notable changes we do now believe that #1 ranked Wanheng Menayothin will be getting his long awaited world title fight.
Whilst there was little to talk about at 105lbs there was a notable moved at 108lbs as Yu Kimura (#7) shot up 5 places to be one of the month's biggest winners. Kimura's big promotion leaves him behind the Filipino pair of Jonathan Taconing (#4) and Rey Loreto (#6) though it does move him ahead of Lionel Legada (#8). On the lower side of the rankings we've also noted that future world challenger Samartlek Kokietgym (#14) has moved up a place since it was announced that he'd be fighting champion Naoya Inoue. Whilst on the subject of Inoue it's worth noting that the younger Inoue brother, Takuma Inoue (#13) has remained where he was a month ago.
In the Flyweight divison we've not seen a "big winner" like Kimura at Light Flyweight but we have seen a big loser with Froilan Saludar (previously #6) falling out of the top 15. Saludar's removal from the rankings has helped push several fighters up a place including Japanese champion Suguru Muranaka (#6) and hard hitting Filipino Rey Megrino (#8). Sadly the effects weren't felt outside of the top 10 and both Renan Trongco (#11) and Jhonriel Casimero (#12) remain where they were. There was however space made for Koki Eto (#15) following his all action war with Ardin Diale which is still one of the best fights this year.
As we all know the next world title bout will see Akira Yaegashi defending his title against the unbeaten Roman Gonzalez in a potential thriller.
In the Super Flyweight division many of the changes have been little more than superficial swaps as opposed to any proper changes. The swaps have seen Oleydong Sithsamerchai (#4) fall below Jose Salgado (#3) and Sonny Boy Jaro (#11) climb above Karim Guerfi (#12). Outside of the top 15 we'd like to just note that Yohei Tobe (#20) has jumped an impressive 15 places as he eyes a defence of his national title against Sho Ishida.
The first change at Bantamweight has seen former OPBF champion Hiroki Shiino (#7) move up a place odd his compatriot Shohei Omori (#10) has dropped a place in the last month. Whilst the moves for the Japanese pair are small it's worth noting that Filipino star Albert Pagara (#14) has really shot up the rankings, climbing a stunning 12 places to break in to the top 15.
At the moment we are awaiting the announcement of Shinsuke Yamanaka's next defence.
One of the most disappointing developments in this months rankings has seen Shingo Wake (#5) dropping 2 places. Wake's former rival Yukinori Oguni (#13) is the only other ranked Asian and he's dropped one place in a bad month for Asian Super Bantamweights.
In the 126lb Featherweight division we again see superficial swaps with Marvin Sonsona (#3) swapping with Lee Selby (#4), Hisashi Amagasa (#9) swapping with Celestino Caballero (#10) and a small move up for Satoshi Hosono (#13) as the division shows very little real change from last month.
In the Super Featherweight division we see an Asian contender with Shingo Eto (#15) entering the top #15. We've also got to admit that we are glad to see Daiki Kaneko (#19) finally brought into the top 40, though he is outside the top 15.
The interesting thing at 130lbs is the future of Takashi Miura and rumours have linked him to both Stephen Smith (#3) and Oraldno Salido (unranked) for later this year.
In the Lightweight division we again see a swap with Takahiro Ao (#5) swapping a place with Henry Lundy (#4). Further down the ranking's we've seen Nihito Arakawa (#10) fall 3 places and Masayoshi Nakatani (#15) fall one place.
The only ranked Asian in the Light Welterweight division is former OPBF champion Min Wook Kim (#7) who has been dropped a place. Sadly it's almost a year since Kim was last in the ring and unless he's got plans to return soon he could lose his ranking all together.
In the Welterweight division the only change has seen Yoshihiro Kamegai (#14) drop a single place.
The 154lb division sees no change in relation to Asian fighters with Dennis Laurente (#15) remaining the only ranked Asian.
The Middleweight division has given us a few changes. Whilst Andrey Meryasev (#6) has climbed one place the big talking point has to be Ryota Murata (#11) who is now on the fringes of a top 10 ranking! Interestingly Matt Korobov (previously #14) has been removed courtesy of his WBO position.
The one change we see at Super Middleweight is a negative one that sees Maxim Vlasov (#5) dropping a place as George Groves (#4) enters the rankings despite back to back losses. Strangely the WBC rules don't appear to apply to Groves who shouldn't have been ranked immediately following a world title challenge for another organisations titles, at least that's a rule that the WBC seem to use when they want.
In the Light Heavyweight division we've seen Denis Grachev (#14) drop 3 places whilst Igor Mikhalkin (previously #14) has dropped out of the top 15.
In the Cruiserweight division we've see a few minor changes. These have seen Murat Gassiev (#10) move up one place whilst Dmitry Kudryashov (#14) has dropped a place.
In the Heavyweight division we've seen Manuel Charr (#15) slide a single place.
(Image courtesy of the WBC)
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