WBA ranking updates! Kosei Tanaka now ranked #3! Hidenori Otake sneaks into the top 15 after having world title fight announce!
Late on Tuesday the WBA issues their updated rankings for November and it included some notable changes across the divisions. Rather than trying to pinpoint them all, we will just try and find the more notable ones.
In the Minimumweight division we had one of the biggest changes in regards to Asian fighters as Kosei Tanaka (#3) was bumped 6 places up the rankings following his stoppage win over Ryuji Hara (#9), who fallen 6 places in what was effectively a straight swap. it now seems like Tanaka could be in line for a WBA world title fight in 2015 if that's the route he chooses to take. For Tanaka that would mean he would be fighting against Hekkie Budler who recently defended his title against Xiong Zhao Zhong (#14), who fell 3 places following his competitive loss to Budler.
The light Flyweight division has only seen a small change in the lower half of the top 15 however the notable news here is that Japan's Ryoichi Taguchi (#9) will be getting a shot at world champion Alberto Rossel on New Year's Eve.
A notable change comes at Super Bantamweight where we've spotted Hidenori Otake (#9), a man who has been suspicious given a ranking after having had a world title fight against Scott Quigg announced. Previously Otake was unranked by the WBA with Roman Moalres previously ranked #9. We know we're cynical but it's not like the WBA have even tried to hide what has happened here why they have sanctioned an unranked fighter for a world title fight then given him a world ranked 10 days before his world title fight. At least it was a predictable move we guess.
In the Featherweight division we now get Nonito Donaire (#6) in the top 15 after losing the WBA "super" title in the division. This has seen both Hisashi Amagasa (#11) and Rogelio Jun Doliguez (#13) both dropping a place.
At Super Featherweight we still see no ranked Asians though future world title challenger Israel Perez (#8) has moved up a place following the announcement that he will be fighting world champion Takashi Uchiyama on New Year's Eve.
In the Lightweight division we've seen Uzbek fighter Bahodir Mamadjonov (#12) climb a place to sit just outside the top 10 whilst Rustam Nugaev (#14) has dropped 2 places and now is just inside the top 15.
At Welterweight heavy handed Russian Roman Belaev (#13) has dropped a single place courtesy of WBA Oceanic champion Cameron Hammond (#12) who we suspect could be involved in fights with top Asian's in his next few bouts.
In the Light Heavyweight division we've seen Dmitry Sukhotsky (previously #8) removed from the rankings as Pawel Glazewski (now #8) has been given the position ahead of his bout with WBA "regular" champion Juergen Braehmer in a situation similar to that of Otake at Super Bantamweight. Former WBA champion Bernard Hopkins (#5) has fallen from champion to ranked contender following his loss to the newly crowned champion Sergey Kovalev and this changes has forced both Artur Beterbiev (#11) and Vasily Lepikhin (#12) to drop one place. Interestingly the WBA list Lepikhin as a New Zelander when of course he's Russian.
Former Heavyweight title holder Alexander Povetkin (#3) has found himself re-ranked as mysteriously being unranked recently, he has replaced future WBC world title challenger Deontay Wilder. He's now the only ranked fighter of note for us.
There were no changes involving an Asian fighter in the rankings at Flyweight, Super Flyweight, Bantamweight, Light Welterweight, Light Middleweight, Middleweight, Super Middleweight and Cruiserweight.
We know it's easy to be cynical but the rankings of both Otake and Glazewski have shown again that the WBA are happy to bend over for promoters rather than forcing the champions to fight the men listed in the top 15. We don't mean to complain about Otake getting his shot but we do need some consistency from the WBA who may might as well not bother with rankings if they are willing to change them on a whim like they have done here.
(Image courtesy of the WBA)
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