Earlier today (March 13th) the WBA released their updated rankings becoming the first if the 4 world bodies to release their rankings this month. Although they are listed as being the rankings for "February" they have actually counted bouts up to March 8th, this past Saturday.
The first change we see was a widely reported one at Minimumweight where South Africa Hekkie Budler has officially become the champion. Prior to this month he was listed as merely the "interim" champion though he had been all but confirmed as the new "regular" champion a few weeks back.
Budler is one of several fighters to find their interim status changing though we'll mention them as we get to them.
As well as Budler's title promotion the Minimumweight division has seen a shake up with Karluis Diaz (previously #5) dropping down to #15 following his blow out defeat to Budler. This has seen Carlos Buitrago move up to #5 (previously #6). Buitrago is oddly the only man to have moved up due to Diaz's loss due to the fact the WBA have inserted Rey Loreto (#7) in to their rankings at 105 lbs.
Lower down the rankings Simphiwe Khonco (previously #13) has moved to #11 whilst Ronelle Ferreras (previously #15) has moved to #12. These changes have been followed by both Gilberto Pedroza (#13) and Leroy Estrada (#14) dropping several places. The notable promotion of Ferreras will have been music to the ears of Japanese youngster Kosei Tanaka who will have a chance of getting an impressive ranking if he beats Ferreras this coming weekend.
In total the Asian's ranked here are Wanheng Menayothin (#3), Ryuji Hara (#4), Rey Loreto (#7), Kwanthai Sithmorseng (#7), Pigmy Kokietgym (#8), Samartlek Chaiyonggym (#10) and Ronelle Ferreras (#12).
Whilst the most obvious change at Minimumweight was an obvious one the Light Flyweight division has seen one of the most bizarre changes in the rankings.
The Light Flyweight division begins predictable with the regular title now vacant after Kazuto Ioka renounced it a few days ago, and there is also no shock to see Naoya Inoue (previously #3) removed from the rankings now he has signed up for a WBC title fight with Adrian Hernandez. What is a shock though is that he has been replaced by China's Zou Shiming (#3) who has been given a jaw dropping ranking considering his professional achievements. This ranking makes us think that he is being lined up to fight for the WBA title at some point this year, if he can even make 108lbs which he hasn't so far.
Inoue's removal has been followed by Shin Ono (previously #12) climbing to a #10 ranking due to Rey Loreto (previously #10) being ranked a division lower than he was a month ago. The rankings here have also seen Gabriel Mendoza (previously #14) dropped allowing Nkosinathi Joyi (previously #15) to climb one place and re-open a place for Jonathan Taconing (#15).
This sees Asia being represented by Zou Shiming (#3), Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr (#4), Wisanu Kokietgym (#8), Shin Ono (#10) and Jonatha Taconing (#15).
At Flyweight the top guys are the same as a month ago with Juan Francisco Estrada stil holding the Super title, Juan Carlos Reveco holding the regular title and Yodmongkol Vor Saengthep being the interim champion. As well as the champions remaining where they were so too does top contender Roman Gonzalez (#2).
Behind Gonzalez there is little shock with Kazuto Ioka (#3) being given a high ranking after announcing that he was moving up a division. Ioka's inclusion has seen a number of fighters dropping one place as you'd expect. Ioka however isn't the only knew man to be ranked as Joebert Alvarez (#10) replaces Thailand's Pornsawan Porpramook (previously #9) who has dropped out completely. The inclusion or Ioka and Alvarez has seen Lwandile Sityatha (previously #10) drop to #11. At the bottom of the rankings Takuya Kogawa (previously #15) has dropped out following his narrow loss to Yodmongkol.
This sees Asian's taking up several places in the Flyweight weights. Yodmongkol (#1), Kazuto Ioka (#3), Suguru Muranaka (#9), Joebert Alvarez (#10), Koki Eto (#13) and Kwanpichit Onesongchaigym (#15).
The Super Flyweight division has seen veyr little in terms of changes this month. The top 11 are as we were a month ago though Paul Butler (previously #12) has moved up a division allowing fighters behidn him to move up a place and open up a place for Norberto Jimenez (#15).
This sees the Super Flyweight rankings as they were for the Asian boxing scene. Denkaosan Kaovichit (#1), Kohei Kono (#2), Koki Kameda (#4), Teiru Kinoshita (#5), Norasingh Kokietgym (#7), Sho Ishida (#8), Athur Villanueva (#9), Nobuo Nashiro (#10) and Taiki Eto (#13)
The first change at Bantamweight sees the Englishman Jamie McDonnell (#5) enter the rankings in the division, this has obviously seen numerous fighters drop down a place. Oddly Zhanat Zhakiyanov (previously #9) has dropped out all together. A second new entrant is Paul Butler (#12) which has forced Khabir Suleymanov (previously #12) to drop a place whilst Jerwin Ancajas (previously #15) has dropped out.
These changes see Tabtimdaeng Na Rachawat (#3) remaining as the highest ranked Asian whilst Tepparith Kokietgym (#8) and Panomroonglek Kaiyanghadaogym (#9) are the only other Asian's in the top 10. Outside of the top 10 we get Khabir Suleymanov (#13) and Petch Kokietgym (#14).
Surprisingly there are no changes at all in the Super Bantamweight division. This means that Hozumi Hasegawa (#3) is the highest ranked Asian ahead of Shingo Wake (#6) and Sod Kokietgym (#9). We've got to admit that it's odd Hasegawa is still ranked considering he has signed to fight IBF champion Kiko Martinez.
Although there were no changes at 122 there are several at 126lbs. The first of those is that Akifumi Shimoda (previously #2) has dropped out following his loss to Marvin Sonsona (a new entrant at #4), this has seen Nonito Donaire (#1) move up a single place. The rankings have also removed American Gary Russell Jr (previously #3). These changes have seen Satoshi Hosono (#3) move up a place.
The Asian's ranked at 126lbs by the WBA right now are Nonito Donaire (#2), Satoshi Hosono (#3). Marvin Sonsona (#4) and Chonlatarm Piriyapinyo (#11).
In the Super Featherweight division their is no shock by the fact Romain Jacob (#3) replaces Devis Bosciero (#5) who has dropped 2 places. Boschiero isn't the only man to drop with Rene Gonzalez (#9) dropping 4 places. Daiki Kaneko (#10) has dropped 1 place, like wise Terdsak Kokietgym (#12) whilst Olivier Flores (previously #14) has dropped out.
At Lightweight the key change we've noticed is that Samuel Kotey Neequaye (previously #11) has dropped out and been replaced by Fernando Carcamo. This means that the Asian's ranked at 135lbs by the WBA are still Rustam Nugaev (#3), Eduard Troyandvsky (#4), Takahiro Ao (#5), Bahodir Mamadjonov (#9), Roman Andreev (#14) and Masao Nakamura (#15).
Above Lightweight the Asian's are rarer and rarer to find. At Light Welterweight the only Asian is Czar Amonsot (#10) whilst at Welterweight Teerachai Kratingdaeggym (#7) who has dropped one place, whilst Charlie Ota (#12), Suyon Takayama (#14) and Roman Zhailauov (#15) all remain where they were a month ago.
In the Light Middleweight division the ranked Asian's are Kanat Islam (#11) and Akinori Watanabe (#15) with Islam having moved up a place whilst Watanabe is where he was. At Middleweight Dmitry Chudinov (#1) is the top contender and is also joined by Matt Korobov (#12). These are both changes with Chudinov climbing from a #2 ranking due to Martin Murray being stripped of his interim title whilst Korobov wasn't ranked a month ago.
At Super Middleweight Fedor Chudinov (#5) is the highest ranked Asian fighter and also a new entry in the division. Chudinov is now ranked 3 places above Dimitri Sartison (#8) and significantly above Maxim Vlasov (#13). Light Heavyweight is similarly lacking in Asian fighters with the only one being Dmitry Sukhotsky (#11).
Amazingly just a single Asian, well Russian, is ranked at Cruiserweight, Grigory Drozd (#3). Things aren't much better at Heavyweight where Ruslan Chagaev (#6) is the leading Asian above Alexander Ustinov (#8).
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