December 12th saw the WBA issue their updated world rankings. With Koki Kameda having recently given back the WBA's Bantamweight title and requesting a ranking at Super Flyweight we were awaiting to see what the WBA would do.
It appears that they've obliged Koki's request placing him at #4 in the rankings at 115lbs. This is behind interim champion Denkaosan Kaovichit (#1), former champion Kohei Kono (#2) and Mexico's David Sanchez (#3) whilst it's ahead of Japanese national champion Teiru Kinoshita (#5), Nabuo Nashiro (#9) and Sho Ishida (#10).
With Kaovichit holding the interim title this effectively leaves Koki possibly looking at a fight with Kono for the vacant "regular" title, if of course the usual politics of boxing are followed. Of course David Sanchez may feel he's deserving of a title fight be we can't help but assume that money will talk here.
As well as Koki's ranking there were several other interesting observations from the updated WBA rankings that we spotted.
Ryuji Hara is #4 in the Minimumweight division, an awfully lofty ranking given how badly Hara performed last time out. Apparently Hara was #6 last month. Ahead of Hara at 105 are Wanheng Menayothin (#3), Jesus Silvestre (#2) and interim champion Hekkie Budler (#1).
Japanese fighters appear to enjoy being #4 with Naoya Inoue moving up 1 place to #4. This was caused by Gilberto Parra's loss to Martin Tecuapetla who jumps straight in at #5. Despite this promotion Inoue is only the second highest ranked Asian behind Randy Petalcorin (#2) who keeps the same position he held last month. Of course Kazuto Ioka is the champion here and he'll be hoping to keep a hold of that title when he fights Felix Alvarado (#3) on New Years Eve, in a bout we've previewed here.
At Flyweight Yodmongkol CP Freshmart/Yodmongkol Vor Saengthep (#1) is the highest ranked Asian and the current interim champion having just beaten Koki Eto for that title. Behind him is Rocky Fuentes (#3), Noknoi Sitthiprasert (#5), newly crowned Japanese champion Suguru Muranaka (#8) and former world champion Kompayak Pornpramook (#9).
With Koki now absent from the Bantamweight ranking that has left the #1 sport vacant though their are 3 Thais in the top 10 with Tabtimdaeng Na Rachawat (#3), Tepparith Kokietgym (#7) and Panomroonglek Kaiyanghadaogy (#8). There is also a Kazakh in the top 10 courtesy of Zhanat Zhakiyanov (#9). Strangely there is no place in the top 15 for Ryosuke Iwasa the new OPBF champion.
The Super Bantamweight rankings includes Hozumi Hasegawa (#3), Shingo Wake (#6) and Sod Kokietgym (#9). With only interim world champion Nehomar Cermeno (#1) and Yoandris Salinas (#2) ahead of Hasegawa there really could be efforts from the WBA to push for a Hasegawa bout with champion Guillermo Rigondeaux.
In the Featherweight division Akifumi Shimoda (#2) keeps his lofty ranking behind interim champion Jesus Andres Cuellar (#1). This division sees several highly ranked fighters of interest with Nonito Donaire (#4), Satoshi Hosono (#5) and the recently dethroned Chris John (#6). Unfortunately we've been told that the WBA have called for a bout between Simpiwe Vetyeka, the super champion, and Nicholas Walters, the regular champion, meaning the title will be tied up for the next few months.
Super Featherweight is relatively interesting with Daiki Kaneko (#4) remaining where he was ahead of his fight with Takashi Uchiyama. Kaneko's ranking will alter next month win or lose in his battle with Uchiyama which we have previewed here. The only other Asian in the top 10 is Padjai Yongyuthgym (#9) though Terdsak Kokietgym (#11) is just outside of the top 10.
At Lightweight there is a high ranking for Teiken's Jorge Linares (#2) who remains where he was a month ago. Behind Linares are Russian pair Rustam Nugaev (#3) and Eduard Troyanovsky (#4), before Japan's Takahiro Ao (#5) and close behind him is Uzbekistan's Bahodir Mamadjonov (#7). We're still expecting to see Linares fighting champion Richar Abril at some point in 2014 especially with his current ranking.
The only Asian ranked in the top 15 at Light Welterweight, ignoring WBA champion Khabib Allakhverdiev, is Filipino Czar Amonsot (#12) who currently holds the PABA title.
In the Welterweight division we have Teerachai Kratingdaenggym (#10), Charlie Ota (#12) and Japanese national champion Suyon Takayama (#14). Interestingly, though rather oddly, Victor Ortiz is now ranked #15 fortuitously taking the position that was held by Shawn Porter, prior to Porter winning the IBF title.
The 154 Light Middleweight division sees Kazakhstan's Kanat Islam (#12) and Akinori Watanabe (#15) both ranked though both ranked outside of the top 10.
Asian's are somewhat missing from the Middleweight rankings with Gennady Golovkin sitting as champion and Dmitry Chudinov (#6) the only ranked man.
At Super Middleweight there is against just a single ranked fighter courtesy of Dimitri Sartison (#4) of Kazakhstan. Sartison has moved up a position due to Edwin Rodriguez dropping out following his loss to Andre Ward and failure to make weight.
The Light Heavyweight division makes somewhat interesting reading with Beibut Shumenov the super champion ahead of his fight with Tamas Kovasc (#14), a bout we have previewed here. There are also places for Dmitry Sukhotsky (#11) and, bizarrely, Ilshat Khusnulgatin (#15).
Cruiserweight champion Denis Lebedev is joined only by his compatriot Grigory Drozd (#4).
Finally, the Heavyweight division. This sees Alexander Povetkin (#4), Ruslan Chagaev (#8) and Alexander Ustinov (#10). With the way Wladimir Klitschko took care of Chagaev and, more recently, Povetkin we'd rather not see either of these two men fighting again for the title any time soon.
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