IBF ranking update includes big boosts for Miyazaki and Murata as well as questions about Oba and Shumenov
Earlier today we were made aware of the IBF's updated rankings, which were apparently released on May 5th.
At Minimumweight we've lost a pair of Filipino fighters. The first of those is former champion Florante Condes (previously #13), who has been replaced by upcoming WBO title challenger Kosei Tanaka, whilst the other is Rommel Asenjo (previously #15). We understand Asenjo being removed following his recent loss to Juan Francisco Estrada but we cannot fathom the logic behind Tanaka coming in for Condes given that Tanaka's next fight, in just a few weeks, is a WBO title bout.
The Light Flyweight division has had a bit of a shake up with Japan's exciting Ryo Miyazaki (#6) benefiting in a big way with an 8 place rise up the rankings! We've lost China's Ma Yi Ming (previously #9) following his recent beat down at the hands of Randy Petalcorin, though the reshuffle has allowed room for hard hitting Filipino Rey Loreto (#14) to sneak into the world rankings. One thing to note here is that the IBF title will be fought for later in the month when mandatory challenger Milan Melindo battles Javier Mendoza, on May 30th.
At Light Flyweight things have mostly stayed the same, which has included the continued ranking of Kazuto Ioka (#6) despite the fact he's the WBA champion. We have however got some notable changed in the lower part of the rankings. The first of those is the inclusion of Nawaphon Por Chokchai (#10) who was unranked last month, Nawphon's inclusion has seen his compatriot Noknoi Sitthiprasert (#13) fall a place. Japan's Tetsuma Hayashi (#14) has climbed a place whilst a space has also been found for Korean fighter Myunggoo Yuh/Young Kil Bae (#15).
The Super Flyweight division has seen some interesting changes. The first of those come in the middle of the rankings with both Sho Ishida (#7) and compatriot Ryo Matsumoto (#8) move up a place, despite Matsumoto making his intentions clear that he's not going to be a fully fledged Bantamweight. There is also single place boosts for Go Onaga (#10), who has stated that he's happy to travel for a world title fight, Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (#11), who we believe has a WBC eliminator around the corner, and Toshiyuki Igarashi (#13), who will be in action at the start of June. All the shuffling has helped make space for Thailand's Oleydong Sithsamerchai (#14) who enters above recent title challenger Paul Butler.
At Bantamweight we're left scratching our collective heads at times whilst also also being partially pleased. We already know that Ryosuke Iwasa (#3) will fight for the interim title in June. Lower down the rankings we've seen Ryo Akaho (#6) jump up 4 places, despite the fact he's about to have a WBO title fight announced. Amazingly we still see Kohei Oba (#8) retain his ranking despite the fact he's publicly announced his retirement, though we are glad to see Shohei Omori (#9) take a huge boost up the rankings following his destructive win over Kentaro Masuda (previously #11) who has fallen out of the rankings as a result of his loss. We have a single new entry here as Thailand's tough Suriyan Sor Rungvisai (#13) enters the top 15.
Last month's rankings at Super Bantamweight were a mess but we can now clarify that Albert Pagara (#7), Genesis Servania (#10), Nonito Donaire (#11-previously unranked) and Yukinori Oguni (#14) are the outside contenders in the rankings. We also know that Mike Tawatchai (#3) it set to fight Shingo Wake (#6) in early June in an eliminator.
At Featherweight we've lost Hisashi Amagasa (previously #3) which has allowed Satoshi Hosono (#9) to move up a place. We're confused by this one slightly as the IBF seemed to be encouraging Amagasa to fight at the weight at the start of the year, when they gave him the ranking, and have then decided to remove him ahead of his first bout of 2015, following time off for his serious facial injuries.
At Super Featherweight we've seen Michael Farenas (#7) climb a place.
In the Lightweight division we've lost Japan's Takahiro Ao (previously #9) following his one sided loss to Raymundo Beltran in a WBO world title fight. We'll be honest this was no surprise, though actually having him in the rankings ahead of the Beltran fight was a bit confusing. Ao's removal leaves us with no Asian fighters ranked here.
At Light Welterweight things have just gotten interesting for Chinese fans. The title has become vacant and we will now see Ik Yang (#2) fight for the belt in July in Macau, his former foe Patomsuk Pathompothong (#11) has dropped a place. Interesting the rankings continue to include Keita Obara (#13) who has stated he is not going to be fighting at the weight in the future.
At Welterweight we don't have a ranked Asian fighter after Yoshihiro Kamegai (previously #15) dropped out of the rankings following his loss to Alfonso Gomez. Interestingly Gomez didn't receive a ranking for his win.
The Light Middleweight division hasn't seen many changes though recent Japanese title challenger Takayuki Hosokawa (#10) has dropped a place following his draw with Japanese champion Yuki Nonaka (#13).
Amazingly some of the big stories have come at Middleweight. Firstly we've seen Ryota Murata (#9) take a 5 step boost up the ranking following his recent victory against Douglas Damiao Ataide. We've also seen a space made in the lower part of the rankings for new entrant Akio Shibata (#14), who Murata actually beat on his debut.
At Super Middleweight we've lost OPBF champion Yuzo Kiyota (previously #15), who appears to have been a place holder in the position as opposed to a deserving ranked fighter.
A questionable move has been spotted at Cruiserweight where Beibut Shumenov (#6) has appeared from nowhere. Shumenov's rankings, with various organisations, does leave us being very confused especially considering that he's not fought since December and has done nothing in recent times to deserve any sort of a ranking.
Unsurprisingly there's no Asian fighters ranked at Light Heavyweight or Heavyweight.
(Image courtesy of the IBF)
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