Over the past 48 hours or so the IBF released their rankings. Usually this would lead to us doing an update piece where were look at which Asian fighters have moved, have stayed and have dropped out of the rankings. Sadly however this is the first IBF update in months so to do that style of update would take hours due to the changes that have been made.
Rather than do that what we've decided to do is link to the newest rankings, which are here on the IBF website, and point out one or two small issues we have with the rankings, which we glanced at rather than fully went over this morning.
Firstly, and most glaringly, is the IBF's failure to rank Kosei Tanaka. Tanaka holds a stoppage win over Ryuji Hara (#12) though is some how over-looked for these rankings which include 3 other Japanese fighters, including Shin Ono (#5), Go Odaira (#6) and Takumi Sakae (#11, though Sakae is somewhat understandably there considering he won an IBF Youth title in January, albeit at Light Flyweight.
At Light Flyweight it's a good update for Yu Kimura (#3) who is next in line behind mandatory challenger Milan Melindo (#1) with the #2 spot being left vacant. Interestingly Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr (#8) is ranked in the top 10 whilst his last conqueror, Takuma Inoue, is completely unranked. We understand paying sanctioning fees for minor titles helps and this has certainly Fahlan the world of good here.
At Super Flyweight Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (#14) is includd in the rankings though he's so low down it's a little wonder he doesn't seem to be particularly bothered about the IBF title, showing a clear bias towards chasing the WBC title that he has held in the past.
In the Bantamweight rankings there is the simply mystifying ranking of former Japanese champion Kohei Oba (#8) despite the fact Oba announced his retirement late last year and has now got a date for his retirement ceremony. We assume the IBF haven't had the memo, nor did they see his struggle last time out against a low level domestic foe.
Again we see the advantages of paying for IBF regional titles come to the fore in the Super Bantamweight division where Mike Tawatchai (#3) is seen as the second best challenger behind mandatory challenger Chris Avalos (#1), who challenges Carl Frampton later this month. Similarly mystifying is the fact Hisashi Amagasa (#3) is seen as the second choice at Featherweight behind mandatory challenger Lee Selby (#1), a ranking we suspect Amagasa got more from his loss to Guillermo Rigondeaux than anything else.
Next month we will see an IBF Light Welterweight eliminator as Patomsuk Pathompothong (#6) battles against Ik Yang (#9) whilst further down the rankings is Keita Obara (#15). We like Obara and we like Yang though we do need to again assume Patomsuk is ranked based on sanctioning fees as opposed to actual competition or achievement.
In the Light Middleweigth division we have an "eliminator" coming up as Japanese champion Yuki Nonaka (#14) defends his belt against compatriot Takayuki Hosokawa (#9). The rankings here are less of a mystery though we do need to admit we do really like the bout and understand that Hosokawa's regional IBF title has been responsible for his ranking, whilst Nonaka holds a recent win over Charlie Ota.
At Middleweight, where the rankings really are a mess, we've seen Ryota Murata (#15) emerge as a ranked contender giving him his second world ranking along with his WBC one. Murata will of course be interested to see how the shake up at the top sorts it's self out now that Jermain Taylor has been stripped of the title.
Another Japanese fighter to pick up a world ranking is former WBO title challenger Yuzo Kiyota (#15) who is now ranked at Super Middleweight in a very surprising move by the IBF and one we simple cannot explain.
For those thinking we sound annoyed at some of the fighters we're really not, our frustration is squarely with the IBF who have been hugely frustrating in recent months in regards to their rankings and have managed to produce some very, very questionable rankings. We hope this is sorted out shortly though we suspect things aren't going to get better in a hurry.
(Image courtesy of the IBF)
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