The ever frustrating IBF released their latest rankings over the day or so and this month.
The first obvious change has been made at Minimumweight where Thailand's Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr (#9) has been ranked, despite having fought mostly as a Light Flyweight. This move was no shock at all considering that Fahlan is now set to fight world champion Katsunari Takayama. We do however continue wondering what Kosei Tanaka did to be horribly over-looked despite having a stoppage win over Ryuji Hara (#12).
At Light Flyweight we now find Yu Kimura (#3) and Jonathan Taconing (#4) both vying for a shot though they will of course need to wait until Milan Melindo (#1) has his mandatory title shot. Interestingly China's Ma Yi Ming (#9) has found himself in the top 10 despite lacking any sort of notable win.
At Flyweight we've seen Tetsuma Hayashi (#15) given a ranking whilst Zou Shiming (#9) appears to have fallen following his recent decision loss to current world champion Amnat Ruenroeng, who is now being targeted by mandatory challenger Johnriel Casimero (#1). We have to admit however that we are surprised to see Koki Eto (#4) given such a lofty ranking.
In the Super Flyweight division we're glad to see an interesting chasing bunch with unbeaten Arthur Villanueva (#3) being ranked ahead of fellow Filipino hopeful Jerwin Ancajas (#4), Teiru Kinoshita (#5) and Rex Tso (#6). A little further back with see promising Japanese pair Ryo Matsumoto (#8) and Sho Ishida (#9). At the moment there is on going talks between the defending champion, Zolani Tete, and the mandatory challenger, McJoe Arroyo (#1), though we'd suspect an eliminator is not far away.
At Bantamweight we see Ryosuke Iwasa (#3) being the top contender and we're hoping the IBF will consider him the mandatory challenger, following Sergio Perales' late pull out of their scheduled eliminator. Sadly some of the rankings here are laughable, such as the continued ranking of Kohei Oba (#8) who has retired from the sport, however we are glad to see Kentaro Masuda (#11) given a very credible ranking.
The Super Bantamweight rankings are a mess, in fact the IBF have really messed them up by seemingly merging 2 separate lists making it very difficult to understand what they were doing. The one thing that is clear however is that Thailand's Mike Tawatchai (#3) is on the verge of a world title shot. In side the 10 are also Shingo Wake (#6) and Albert Pagara (#7) sadly everything below #7 in the rankings is a mess.
Japan's tough and tall Hisashi Amagasa (#3) is the highest ranked Asian Featherweight and will be very interested in the up coming title fight between Lee Selby (#1) and Evgeny Gradovich, the defending champion, later in the year. Amazingly the only other ranked Asian is Japanese national champion Satoshi Hosono (#9).
In the Super Featherweight division the highest ranked Asian is Michael Farrenas (#8) though we're glad to see Jomthong Chuwatana (#15) moved into consideration of a title fight later in the year.
At Lightweight the only ranked Asian is Japan's Takahiro Ao (#9), though it's looking increasingly likely that he will be going the WBO route to a world title.
In the Light Welterweight division we have seen Ik Yang (#2) pushed towards a title fight following his recent, and impressive, win over Patomsuk Pathompothong (#10). Below those two former foes we find a couple more Asian fighters in the form of Keita Obara (#13) and Jason Pagara (#14). Maybe this is just us but Obara Vs Yang would be fantastic!
Japan's Yoshihiro Kamegai (#15) is the sole Asian representative at Welterweight.
In the Light Middleweight division we have future rivals Takayuki Hosokawa (#9) and Yuki Nonaka (#14) both knowing what their future clash really means. They are notably the only two Asian's ranked in the division.
At Middleweight Ryota Murata (#14) stands alone as the sole ranked Asian fighter whilst his compatriot, Yuzo Kiyota (#15), is the only Asian to be ranked at Super Middleweight, incidentally the highest weight of any ranked Asian fighter.
(Image courtesy of the IBF)
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