Last months WBO ranking update genuinely annoyed us for the fact Shingo had been removed from the rankings with out explanation. We questioned the WBO and received no response, one of our contributors made the problem known for a wider audience by penning an article for another site and we made sure to mention it where it was appropriate to do so. Thankfully the WBO have seen the error of the ways and rectified what could only be described as a blunder of the highest proportions.
That's or course at Super Bantamweight and we'll get back to that in a few moments.
Firstly lets look at the lower weights, starting with the Minimumweight division which appears to have had a small shake up due to the recent WBA interim world title fight between Knockout CP Freshmart and Carlos Buitrago (#5). Buitrago was #3 a month ago but the loss has allowed Xiong Zhao Zhong (#3) and Ryoichi Taguchi (#4) to both jump ahead of him. Strangely Taguchi has kept his ranking despite the announcement that he will be fighting for the WBA Light Flyweight title on December 31st.
In the Light Flyweight division we still have Donnie Nietes as champion though the rumour is that he will be vacating the belt after his next defense. With the WBO ranking Paipharob Kokietgym (#1) the odds are the Thai will be fighting for the title if, and when, it's vacated in 2015. Strangely it appears future challenger Carlos Velarde (#5) has shot up the rankings after having his bout with Nietes confirmed. Lower down the rankings we believe we have the re-entry to the top 15 of former title challenger Rommel Asenjo (#13) and the new entry of Takuma Inoue (#15) who will be looking for a tile fight in the next year or two as he tries to emulate the success of older brother Naoya Inoue.
At Flyweight we've seen a lack of changes with the WBO continuing to ranked both Milan Melindo (#1) and Akira Yaegashi (#9) at Flyweight despite both stating they would be moving down for their next bouts. The most interestign thing here is that the upcoming contest between Kwanpichit Onesongchaigym (#3) and Zou Shimming (#5) is quickly appearing like an eliminator, especially given the situation regarding Melindo, who will be fighting in a Light Flyweight title eliminator in November.
The Super Flyweight division recently saw Omar Andres Narvaez retain his title though he has a number of Asian's chasing a fight with him including Arthur Villanueva (#1), Warlito Parrenas (#2), Sho Ishida (#9) and former WBA champion Tepparith Kokietgym (#15). In total 9 of the top 15 challengers are from the east, odds are one of them will get a shot at the Argentinian maestro next time out.
As we know Bantamweight champion Tomoki Kameda is currently putting final touches to his training camp ahead of a title defense against interim champion Alejandro Hernandez. Aside from Tomoki the big story, at least from the WBO, is that of Malcolm Tunacao (#6) who appears to have come from no where to have gotten his lofty ranking. Although we view the Filipino veteran as a top 10 fighter in the division the placing he has gotten just seems odds given he wasn't even in the top 15 a month ago.
The story at Super Bantamweight is the previously mentioned return of Shingo Wake (#13). Just 2 months ago Wake was ranked #8 then suddenly he was dropped last month before being reinserted into the rankings at a disappointingly low position. We can only assume some one at the WBO doesn't like coiffed Japanese star. Although Wake is back in the top 15 he is some how behind 3 of his compatriots, Ryosuke Iwasa (#5), Hidenori Otake (#9) and Akifumi Shimoda (#10), answers on the back of a poster card as to how this has happened folks!
In the Featherweight division we know that Chonlatarn Piriyapinyo (#1) will be getting his shot in November as he goes into a major bout with world champion Vasyl Lomachenko, aside from that however there is little to talk about here in terms of the Asian fight scene.
At Super Featrherweight we've seen Mikey Garcia, the former champion, vacate his title leading to Orladno Salido to have his interim throne upgraded. Whilst that's the only big story here it is worth noting that Terdsak Kokietgym, who fought Salido in a memorable thriller for that interim title, has now been completely removed from the rankings. Again anyone who can explain this should send us the explanation if they can.
There's not much to report from the Lightweight division where IK Yang (#11) seems the most interesting ranked Asian and appears to be really making a name for himself this year.
At Light Welterweight there is little to really report whilst at Welterweight we're all awaiting the upcoming defense by Filipino icon Manny Pacquiao who will be fighting current Light Welterweight champion Chris Algieri. From what we understand Pacquiao has mentioned moving back to 140lbs which would certainly add some interest to the division but it appears nothing is currently set in stone.
In the Light Middleweight division we now find two interesting Asian's in the rankings. The first of those is Thailand's Sirimongkol Singwancha (#13) whilst close behind him is Japanese champion Yuki Nonaka (#15) we believe these men were in last months rankings but we've began to wonder about a possible fight between the two, a bout that would have serious implications for both men.
At Middleweight we now know that Matt Korobov (#1) will be fighting against Andy Lee (#4) for the recently vacated title. That bout may not be a monster fight but it should set the tone of the division for the next year or so, depending on how good the winners turns out to actually be. No matter who wins here we suspect Gennady Golovkin would love to fight them.
At Super Middleweight there is no real story regarding any Asian fighter, in fact the only real story here is that the WBO have refused to force a rematch between champion Arthur Abraham and Englishman Paul Smith (#5) following their bout a few weeks ago.
In the Light Heavyweight division we're extremely excited about the WBO/IBF/WBA unification bout between Sergey Kovalev and Bernard Hopkins. It's fair to say that that's not just the WBO story but the actual division one.
At Cruiserweight and Heavyweight there is little to really get excited about in regards to the WBO though we suspect that the Russian contingent at Cruiserweight will be hunting a world title bout against Marco Huck at some point.
(Image courtesy of the WBO)
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