IBF Ranking updates and the mysterious case of Masao Nakamura's double ranking...amongst other issues
Late last night, April 17th, the IBF published their updated rankings and included one or two strange choices.
The lowest division in the sport saw surprisingly few changes with just Panamanian pair Walter Tello and Gilberto Pedroza being removed and straight swapped for Florante Condes (#12) and Rommel Asenjo (#13).
The arrival of Condes and Asenjo leaves the Philippines with 4 ranked fighters. The others are Virgilio Silvano (#6) and Mateo Handig (#15).
As well as the foursome of Filipino's there is also a trio of Japanese fighters ranked with Ryuji Hara (#3) leading the way ahead of Japanese champion Go Odaira (#9) and future world title challenger Shin Ono (#10). Ono of courses fights champion Katsunari Takayama at the start of May.
Oddly the IBF not only have no ranked Thai's, Wanheng Menayothin for example, but they also recognise Ryo Miyazaki as the WBA champion and Merlito Sabillo as the WBO champion. Very odd.
The first change at Light Flyweight is the removal of Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr (previously #5), unfortunately the man who beat him, Takuma Inoue, isn't ranked as a reward for beating such a highly ranked opponent. Oddly the available space has gone to Ramon Garcia Hirales (#5) who was unranked last month. Randy Petalcorin (#6) has moved up a place swapping with Juan Hernandez whilst Petalcorin's fellow Filipino Jonathan Taconing (#9) has broken in to the rankings.
In total there are 3 Filipino's, again, and 2 Japanese fighters. Petalcorin (#6), Taconing (#9), and Rey Loreto (#15) are the Filipino's whilst Yu Kimura (#8) and Atsushi Kakutani (#13) are the Japanese fighters. Once again there are no Thai's. Oddly the IBF do state that Mauricio Fuentes (#12) is a Filipino but he's actually from Colombia.
Due to a move up in weight Luis Concepcion (previously #3) has been removed from the rankings here which has allowed Roman Gonzalez (#3) to move in to the top taken place. With the removal of Concepcion and relegation down the rankings for McWilliam's Arroyo (#9) we've seen a pretty big shake up here. One of the winners of that shake up is Japanese champion Suguru Muranaka (#5) who has climbed 2 places just like his compatriot Kazuto Ioka (#8).
One new inclusion here is Joebert Alvarez (#14) who we believe has been the benefactor of Concepcion's removal.
At Flyweight we have more Filipino's than Japanese fighters with a 4 to 3 edge for Filipino fighters. The Filipino's are Milan Melindo (#7), Froilan Saludar (#11), Rocky Fuentes (#12) and Alvarez (#14) whilst the Japanese fighters are Muranaka (#5), Ioka (#8) and Toshiyuki Igarashi (#13). The one Thai they have is current world champion Amnat Ruenroeng who will be fighting Ioka at the start of May.
We find Luis Concepcion (#5) having moved up in weight. This sees him sitting behind Teiru Kinoshita (#3) who will be fighting Zolani Tete (#1) for the world title later this year.
The Super Flyweight rankings are the most multi-national for ourselves. They feature fighters from 4 separate Oriental countries with Japan and the Philippines once again the front runner. The Philippines still narrowly win with 3 fighters whilst Japan have 2 fighters. The Filipino's are Arthur Villanueva (#4), Mark Geraldo (#13) and Jerwin Ancajas (#15) the ranked Japanese fighters are Kinoshita (#3) and Go Onaga (#8) whilst Thailand is represented by Rusalee Samor (#11) and Hong Kong/China is represented by the unbeaten Rex Tso (#14), who does actually hold a victory, albeit one we didn't agree with, over Samor.
At Bantamweight the first change is obvious with Randy Caballero (#1) following his victory over Kohei Oba (#10), this result saw Oba dropping 5 place. Oba's fall has helped Ryosuke Iwasa (#7) climb 3 places whilst Ryo Akaho (#12) has moved in to the rankings.
Interestingly it's only those 3 ranked Japanese fighters that have any rankings in regards to Asian fighters.
The Super Bantamweight division only sees two easy to spot changes. They have removed Vic Darchinyan and Jhonatan Romero and replaced them with Rey Vargas (#9) and Yoandris Salinas (#10).
The lack of real changes here sees us left with 4 Japanese fighters and a Thai. The Japanese fighters are Hidenori Otake (#3), Yasutaka Ishimoto (#5), Hozumi Hasegawa (#13) and Shingo Wake (#14) whilst the Thai is Mike Tawatchai (#6).
As we all know these rankings will change drastically next week when Hozumi Hasegawa faces reigning champion Kiko Martinez in a must win bout for the Ace of Japan.
In the 126lb division the only changes to the rankings are at the bottom as Filipino Vinvin Rufino (previously #14) is replaced by American Eric Hunter.
The removal of Rufino leaves the Philippines with just 1 ranked fighter at the weight, Marvin Sonsona (#9), he is joined by Thailand's Chonlatarn Piriyapinyo (#5) and Japan's Hisashi Amagasa (#8).
We don't think there has been any actual changes at Super Featherweight though the IBF have made a mistake and managed to include Japanese slugger Masao Nakamura (#5 and #12) twice, last month he was just 5th.
The rankings, as they were last month before the IBF doubled Nakamura, saw only Michael Farenas (#4) and Nakamura (#5) ranked. Hey IBF we take back what we said, we'll take 2 Nakamura's!
In the Lightweight division there is no replicating of fighters though there is some good news for Asian fight fans. Firstly Rustam Nugaev (#6) has moved up a place, secondly Takahiro Ao (#8) has leaped 3 places and thirdly OPBF champion Masayoshi Nakatani (#15) has entered the rankings!
The ranked fighters of note here now are Nugaev (#6), Ao (#8), Dennis Shafikov (#10), IK Yang (#13) and Nakatani (#15). Yang is just the second Chinese fighter to be ranked alongside Tso.
The Light Welterweight division hasn't seen much in terms of changes. Thailand's Patomsuk Pathompothong (#11) has moved up a place whilst Anton Novikov (#15) climbs into the rankings following Karim Mayfield's recent loss. Unfortunately these two are the only ranked fighters of interest to our selves.
The only change of note in the 147lb Welterweight division has seen OPBF champion Yoshihiro Kamegai (#7) climb one place and effectively swap with Kevin Bizier (#8). Unfortunately Kamegai is the only ranked Asian at 147lbs.
Things are again disappointing at Light Middleweight where only Charlie Ota (#9) is ranked, the same as last month.
Nothing to report here with 0 ranked fighters.
The Super Middleweight division has been a mixed bag. We've seen Matt Korobov (previously #13) drop out of the rankings whilst Maksim Vlasov (#9) has climbed 2 places, jumping over Dimitri Sartison (#10) in the process. Oddly former Kororbov victim Derek Edwards (#13) has taken Korobov's ranking despite their fight being just a few months ago!
Light Heavyweight:The Light Heavyweight division still includes Russian pair Dmitry Sukhotsky (#1) and Igor Mikhalkin (#15) just as they were last month.
Notably this division sees champion Bernard Hopkins defending his belt on Saturday to Beibut Shumenov in an excellent title unification bout.
The Cruiserweight division includes 4 Russians who all hold the same rankings as last time. These are Rakhim Chakhkiev (#6), Alexander Alexeev (#8), Grigory Drozd (#11) and Murat Gassiev (#15). Someone mustn't have told the IBF that Alexeev is retired!
In the Heavyweight division we have Uzbek fighter Ruslan Chagaev (#3) and Alexander Ustinov (#5) the big change in the division however is regarding the #2 ranking which is now held by Vyacheslav Glazkov of the Ukraine. We have no problem with Glazov being ranked but he was #9 last month and thus wasn't actually eligible, by the IBF's rules, for a top 3 ranking position when he beat Tomasz Adamek who was #4 (though is now #10).
Whilst we don't like to play political cat and mouse we would like to see the IBF explain why Nakamura is ranked twice, why Glazkov has got a #2 ranking and contravened their own rules, why Alexeev is still ranked, why Korobov has been dropped to a guy he beat recently, why they haven't realised Miyazaki and Sabillo are no longer world champions and also why they don't know where Mauricio Fuentes is from. Come on guys you can do better than this!
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