Earlier today the WBO publicly issued their updated rankings. The rankings, dated January 10th,are their first of the year and have come with several division being given a real shake up, as well as some questionable changes.
At Minimumweight we have seen major changes, especially at the top. Last month Katsunari Takayama (#1) and Go Odaira (#2) were the highest ranked fighters for a vacant title and of course they met on December 31st with Takayama winning and becoming the champion. For Odaira the loss has sent him tumbling outside of the top 15. The bout between the top 2 from last month has left the rankings looking very different and now the top ranked Asian fighter is teenage sensation Kosei Tanaka (#3) who sits about Thailand's Pigmy Kokietgym (#4). Tanaka, Pigmy and Ali Raymi (#6) have all been moved up 2 places due to the world title fight. Strangely we've seen a new entry at low down the rankings, Knockout CP Freshmart (#10), who is ranked despite being the WBA “interim” champion. At the bottom of the top 15 we find the same trio as we did a month ago with Takumi Sakae (#13), Jeffrey Galero (#14) and Jessie Espinas (#15) closing out the rankings.
We've not seen a lot of changes at Light Flyweight though we have seen a notable new entry in the top 10, China's Ma Yi Ming (#9). Ming's ranking hasn't effected anyone other than Juan Hernandez who has been replaced by the Chinese fighter who won the WBO Asia Pacific title last month.
The Flyweight division has also seen a new Chinese entrant whilst a Japanese fighter leave the rankings. The fighter that left the rankings was Akira Yaegashi (previously #8) who has been removed following his loss to Pedro Guevara. Yaegashi's removal has seen Froilan Saludar (#8) move up whilst also creating space for Ryo Miyazaki (#10) to also climb up the rankings. The Chinese fighter who has entered the rankings is Xiang Jing (#15) who claimed the WBO Asia Pacific title near the end of the year.
At Super Flyweight we again see a new champion with Naoya Inoue now sitting atop the division following his destruction of former champion Omar Andres Narvaez. Strangely we've see Inoue's top challenger become McJoe Arroyo (#1) who was #12 a month ago. Arroyo's rapid accent up the rankings has come at the expense of Arthur Villanueva (#4, formerly #1) who has been dropped 3 places with no explanation. Villanueva's fall has seen him drop below compatriot Warlito Parrenas (#2) and the popular Rex Tso (#3), who both remain where they were. Another fighter who has been dropped down is Pethbarngborn Kokietgym (#9, previously #6) who is now behind Sho Ishida (#7), who of course stopped Petchbarngborn a few fights back. A third fighter to be dropped Oleydong Sithsamerchai (#12, previously #9), however his compatriot Noknoi Sitthiprasert (#14) has climbed a place. Whilst Naoya Inoue is the new champion his brother, Takuma Inoue (#15), is a newly ranked fighter at the bottom of the top 15.
The changes in the Bantamweight division have only occurred at the bottom of the rankings as Shohei Omori (#14) is a new entrant and comes at the slight expense of Ryo Matsumoto (#15), who has been dropped a place despite winning the OPBF title on December 30th. For what it's worth Omori was ranked #14 at Super Bantamweight last month.
At Super Bantamweight we have, of course, lost Shohei Omori who dropped to Bantamweight, that however isn't the only change here. We have seen recent title challenger Hisashi Amagasa (#12, previously #6) drop following his loss to Guillermo Rigondeaux. Strangely we've seen Yukinori Oguni (#11) jump into the rankings ahead of Shingo Wake (#14, previously #12) despite the fact Wake holds a very comprehensive win over Oguni. We know Oguni's win over Yasutaka Ishimoto was a good one but he shouldn't be above Wake.
The changes at Featherweight are limited with Mark Gil Melligen (#8) and Satoshi Hosono (#10) both dropping one place due to the unexplained boost up the rankings for Gary Russell Jr (#7, previously #10).
Whilst it's generally been a good month for Chinese fighters we have lost one. That was Ik Yang (previously #11 at Lightweight). Although Yang has vanished we have got a pair of new entries at Lightweight with Daud Yordan (#13) and Yoshitaka Kato (#14) both entering the top 15.
At Welterweight we've seen the exciting and popular Yoshihiro Kamegai (#13) break into the rankings after being unranked last month. Strangely we find Indonesian fighter Larry Siwu being listed under the top 15 as a fighter who is apparently “subject to chages”, and yes that typo was on the WBO's very own website.
In the Light Middleweight division we've seen Japanese champion Yuki Nonaka (#13) climb a couple of places after his recent, and controversial, win over Charlie Ota.
In the Middleweight division we've seen Russian pair Arif Magomedov (#8) and Matt Korobov (#10) both drop a single place after the WBO re-ranked former champion Peter Quillin (#2).
At Heavyweight we again see a Russian fighter move a single place as Alexander Povetkin (#9) moves up a place.
For those wondering, there have been no changes for us to note at Super Featherweight, Light Welterweight, Super Middleweight, Light Heavyweight or Cruiserweight.
(Image courtesy of the WBO)
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