Over the weekend we saw the WBC issue their latest ranking updates with numerous changes. For some fighters these have been very good for them and rewarded great victories whilst for others things haven't been as good. We have, as usual, picked out the changes we've spotted and tried to draw attention to various top Asian fighters.
The Minimumweight rankings are a lot like they were last month, except for a single change in the #15 spot where Jesus Silvestre (previously #15) has dropped out following his loss to Eduardo Martinez (#15). The victory for Martinez pushed him all the way up from #30 making him one of the biggest movers of the month in any division.
The change didn't effect any of the Asian's ranked in the top 15 with Wanheng Menayothin (#1), Xiong Zhao Zhong (#4), Pigmy Kokietgym (#5) and Ryuji Hara (#8) the only top 15 ranked Asians. We've got to admit we are a little sad to see Kosei Tanaka (#28) drop two places further down the rankings.
At Light Flyweight we're very happy to see that the WBC has promoted Jonathan Taconing (#3) one place effectively swapping him with former champion Adrian Hernandez (#4) who lost his title in early April to Naoya Inoue. Oddly however this has been the only change to the rankings in the top 15.
The, small, change has left us not only with the champion in Naoya Inoue but also 5 of the top 15 with Taconing (#3), Rey Loreto (#7), Lionel Legada (#8), Yu Kimura (#13) and Takuma Inoue (#14). We still wonder how Legada has maintained his ranking though suspect some political games have been played as he is certainly not deserving of a top 10 place considering he has lost 4 of his last 6.
In the action packed Flyweight division we've seen a number of changes after Luis Concepcion (previously #2) has moved divisions. Concepcion move , with him now fighting at Super Flyweight, has allowed numerous fighters to move up a place whilst the rankings also include former IBF Light Flyweight champion John Riel Casimero (#12) who was unable to make the 108lb weight limit for his most recent contest.
The knock on of Concepcion moving on and Casimero joining the division has seen Nawaphon Sor Rungvisai (#2), Noknoi Sitthiprasert (#3), Froilan Saludar (#6), Suguru Muranaka (#7), Rey Megrino (#9), Renan Trangco (#11) and Casimero (#12).
The movement of Luis Concepcion (#2) from Flyweight to Super Flyweight has seen him retain his numerical ranking as the second highest contender. We would have expected this to have had a knock on effect but due to the loss of Karim Guerfi (previously #4) the changes to the top 15 have been kept to a real minimum.
The changes have had such a small effect on Asian fighters that the only actual change, for us, is that Oleydong Sithsamerchai (#3) has moved down a place and Arthur Villanueva (#16) has also dropped a place, falling out of the top 15 as a result. We still, as they were last month, have Malcolm Tunacao (#5), Ryo Akaho (#6), Toshiyuki Igarashi (#8), Rex Tso (#11) and Sonny Boy Jaro (#14).
Whilst the rankings are good for Asian fans we're really excited about the upcoming defence by Srisaket Sor Rungvisai who will be defending his belt against #1 contender Carlos Cuadras on May 31st.
A lot of changes have occurred in the Bantamweight division, where Japanese champion Shinsuke Yamanaka rules supreme, we've seen a few changes. The first notable one is that Stephane Jamoye (#11) has dropped 8 places following his loss to Yamanaka. Whilst Jamoye has dropped hard down the rankings we've seen Zhanat Zhakiyanov (#2) leap frog Japan's Ryosuke Iwasa (#3) and climb 4 places in the process, this was because Zhakiyanov's great stoppage over Karim Guerfi. We've also seen Kohei Oba (previously #11) drop out of the top 15 following his loss to Randy Caballero.
What we have been left with is Suriyan Sor Rungvisai (#1), Zhakiyanov (#2), Iwasa (#3), Rolly Lunas (#6), Petch Chitpattana (#7) and Hiroki Shiino (#10)
The main changes at Super Bantamweight have been the removals of Chris Avalos (previously #4) and Yasutaka Ishimoto (previously #8) who have agreed to fight each other in an IBF eliminator.
The removals of those two men have allowed numerous fighters to move up the rankings, including OPBF champion Shingo Wake (#4), Qio Xiao Jun (#11) and Yukinori Oguni (#14), the only 3 ranked Asians.
At Featherweight we've seen Gary Russell Jr (previously #3) removed from the rankings. This has had the knock on effect of allowing several fighters to climb one place, including the two ranked Asian's Marvin Sonsona (#4) and Hisashi Amagasa (#10).
The only change in the Super Featherweigth division is a bad one with Ryan Sermona (previously #12) dropping out of the top #15 following his loss to Shingo Eto. Unfortunately Eto hasn't been rewarded with a ranking so no Asian is currently ranked. Interesting it seems likely that the "Mexicutioner" Takashi Miura, the reigning champion, will be forced to fight a 4th successive Mexican in the form of top contender Edgar Puerta (#1).
The Lightweight rankings haven't seen much in terms of changes though OPBF champion Masayoshi Nakatani (#15) has lost a place, the only chnge involving an Asian fighter at 135lbs.
Despite Nakatani falling a place he is still in the top 15 alongside Japanese based Venezuelan Jorge Linares (#2), Rustam Nugaev (#4), Takahiro Ao (#6) and Nihito Arakawa (#7).
In the Light Welterweight division we've seen a few changes though none of them have effected Asian's with Min-Wook Kim (#8) staying where he was and Anton Novikov (#13) also staying where he was.
In the Welterweight division we've seen David Avanesyan (#10) break into the rankings whilst Japan's Yoshihiro Kamegai (#14) has remained where he was a moth ago. There has been some shuffling up and down but in regards to Asian fighters very little has really happened other than Avanesyan's appearance in the top 15.
In the Light Middleweight division we've seen Andy Lee (#6) join the rankings and as a result both Charlie Ota (#9) and Dennis Laurente (#15) have been pushed down one place.
The Middleweight division has seen a few changes that have effected our fighters in a positive way with both Andrey Meryasev (#8) and Matt Korobov (#15) moving up 2 places. Further down the rankings we've seen some fighters benefit even more with Ryota Murata (#20) and Akio Shibata (#21) both climbing 3 places whilst Arif Magomedov (#23) has come out of nowhere following his win over Alex Theran
At Super Middleweight the only top 15 fighter of note to ourselves, Maxim Vlasov (#4) has climbed 2 places and joined the top 5 opening up a very real possibility of a world title fight if he continues to win fights.
Russia is represented in the Light Heavyweight division by Dmitry Sukhotsky (#8) and Denis Grachev (#12) who both remain where they were a month ago.
Another division with Russian representation is the Cruiserweight division which features Rakhim Chakhkiev (#1), Grigory Drozd (#4) and Murat Gassiev (#13) none of whom have moved at all in the last month.
In the Heavyweight division the only change of note, for ourselves, has seen Manuel Charr (#6) move up one place.
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