One of the worst results for Asian boxers in regards to the WBO this month concerned Merlito Sabillo (#5) who lost his title in a stunning upset defeat to Mexico's Francisco Rodriguez Jr (previously #9).
Sabillo's loss was one of a number of changes in the division which also saw Ryuji Hara (#3) climb 3 places and in turn climb over compatriot Shin Ono (#6) who fell 3 places. Although Ono didn't do anything to deserve his fall down the rankings we know he's signed for an IBF title fight so likely won't care what the WBO have to say.
Other changes saw Filipino Vergilio Silvano (#7) fall from #4, Pigmy Kokietgym (#8) fell from #6 and Ali Raymi (#9) also dropped a place. Most interestingly however was the emergence of Florante Condes (#13) who took the place of Cris Alfante after knocking him out on March 15th.
At Light Flyweight we've seen Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr (previously #5) drop out of the rankings following his loss to emerging star Takuma Inoue. Sadly Inoue hasn't been rewarded with a ranking however his brother, Naoya Inoue (previously #7) has been removed following his WBC title winning performance. The big winner here was Randy Petalcorin (#5) who managed to jump up 4 places and jump over compatriot Rommel Asenjo (#6) in the process.
Strangely the departure of Naoya Inoue and Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr failed to help any of the fighters ranked lower down the rankings and instead Mexican pair Raul Garcia (#7) and Saul Juarez (#9) were inserted, preventing Jonathan Taconing (#10) from getting a well earned boost following his victory over Vergilio Silvano.
In the 112lb division Brian Viloria (#7) has found himself jumping 3 places whilst Joebert Alvarez (#8) has moved up a single place. The biggest mover however was Britain's Iain Butcher (#9) who shot up from #14.
Whilst there was movement here there was also a lot of fighters who stayed where they were. This was the case for Froilan Saludar (#3), Kwanpichit 13 Rien Express (#14), Milan Melindo (#5), Suguru Muranaka (#6) and Masayuki Kuroda (#15). Of course Kuroda should have dropped out following his loss on April 10th at the hands of Muranaka.
At Super Flyweight the top 8 are as they were a month ago. The first change comes at #9 where Oleydong Sithsamerchai now sits having climbed a place and for some reason Noknoi Sitthiprasert (#13) has dropped from #9. The moving of Noknoi has allowed Rex Tso (#10) to move from #13 whilst Go Onaga (previously #11) has been dropped out and replaced by Jamie Conlan (#11). Some how all the movement has seen Tepparith Kokietgym (#12), Sho Ishida (#14) and Teiru Kinoshita (#15) all remain where they were.
At Bantamweight the first change is an easy one to explain. Filipino Marvin Mabait (previously #6) drops out and is replaced by Alejandro Hernandez (#6) who of course stopped Mabait on March 28th. The second notable change is also easy to explain with Kohei Oba (previously #7) being dropped out out of the rankings following his loss to Randy Caballero (#3). Oddly AJ Banal has also been dropped an made way for Ghana's Duke Micah (#15).
In the Super Bantamweight division Genesis Servania (#3) and Nonito Donaire (#2) have swapped positions. Further down the rankings the WBO have left us questions a few of their decisions. Shingo Wake (#10) remains where he is but so to does Hozumi Hasegawa (#11) despite signing for an IBF title fight. Some how Akifumi Shimoda (#13) has managed to climb a place whilst Hidenori Otake (previously #15) has been removed from the rankings.
Whilst we won't kick up a big fuss, we do need to wonder why Otake has been removed despite the fact Hasegawa an Shimoda should probably have both been removed. Very odd from the WBO here.
The big news over the past few days regarding the WBO all seems to have been about the Featherweight division. Firstly we heard that Chonlatarn Piriyapinyo (#2) will be fighting a final eliminator with Joel Brunker (#4) in the near future, that was followed earlier today with news that the fight between Gary Russell Jr (#1) and Vasyl Lomachenko (#5) will go to purse bids in the next few days!
Interestingly those announcements were about it for the division and there has been no changes at all in the top 15.
At 130lbs we're happy to see Terdsak Kokietgym (#3) given a major ranking, though he wasn't ranked at all last month so his ranking has come as a surprise. Terdsak's arrival in the division has helped to push Filipino Juan Martin Elorde (#10) down a single place, with Elorde being the only other ranked Asian.
In the Lightweight division we can't see any changes and as a result Jorge Linares (#3), Takahiro Ao (#8), Denis Shafikov (#9) and Roy Mukhlis (#14) are the only ranked fighters of interest to us. Mukhlis is still the only Indonesian with a ranking in any division.
At 140lbs, where WBO have Russian slugger Ruslan Provodnikov as their champion, there aren't many ranked Asians. Thankfully we've not lost any from last month and Jason Pagara (#3) is still a top challenger, though Shinya Iwabuchi (#13) did drop a couple of places.
If Merlito Sabillo losing his Minimumweight title was the low point of the month then the highest point, by far, was Manny Pacquiao regaining the WBO Welterweight title with a major victory over American Timothy Bradley. Pacquiao regaining the title has interestingly, though depressingly, left us with just one ranked contender, the exciting but limited Ji-Hoon Kim (#14), the only South Korean ranked by the WBO.
Frustratingly at 154lbs we've seen Charlie Ota (#6) dropped a place due to some unexplained boost for Vanes Martirosyan (#5) whp has been pushed up 6 places. Ota is our only ranked fighter.
Asia has just two ranked Middleweight's, these are Matt Korobov (#4), who has has climbed a single place, and Afghanistan's Hamid Rahimi (#15) who has continued to keep his fringe ranking.
The only Asian ranked at 168lbs is Maxim Vlasov (#14) who has dropped notably from #11.
In the Light Heavyweight division the only ranked fighter is Dmitry Sukhotsky (#5) who stays where he was a month ago.
The only fighter of note to us at Cruiserweight is Grigory Drozd (#4) who, like Sukhotsky at Light Heavyweight, has remained where he was a month ago.
The WBO rank no Asian Heavyweights at the moment
(Image courtesy of the WBO)