As with last weeks look at the Light Heavyweight division we will also only be looking at the top 5 Current Asian Cruiserweights, rather than top 10, as the division really is that thin in terms of talent. Also, for the sake of these particular rankings, we will not be including current "WBA Crusierweight champion" Beibut Shumenov. He might be a world champion but his inactivity means he's not being included, and we're really not sure if we'll ever see him in the ring again.
1-Ali Baloyev (9-0, 7)
Promising Kazakh hopeful Ali Baloyev looks to be the man to pin Asian hopes on at the moment. The heavy handed and promising 27 year old is the biggest hope but also a great example of how weak the Asian interest is in the division. He spent most of 2019 out of the ring, before picking up a decision against Hamilton Ventura in July, and is now almost a year away removed from that bout. Although talented and promising his competition so far hasn't been great, and he will need to be moved fast when boxing returns, if he's to become an actual threat in the division.
2-Peng Qu (15-2-1, 11)
China is potentially the place where we could see some major names pop up in the division over the coming years. Sadly Qu isn't going to be the first Chinese world champion in the division, unless something completely bizarre happens. The 30 year old boxer-puncher isn't a bad fighter, by any stretch, but he's also not a particularly good one and he certainly hasn't got the ability to set the world alight. He's talented and can boxer and punch, he has good size, but his age is against him and his competition so far has done little to suggest he can make the massive leap from regional class to world class.
3-Issa Akberbayev (20-1-0-1, 15)
Once beaten 36 year old Kazakh Issa Akberbayev was beaten back in November following almost 2 years out of the ring. In his prime he was seen as a promising fighter but the reality is that he's beyond his best, was never great or a particularly proven fighter and scored little in terms of wins. His best win came more than 5 years ago, and even that wasn't a major win, and his most notable result, other than his loss, was a No Contest in 2013 against Anthony Ferrante, which saw Akberbayev being knocked out only for Ferrante to fail a drug test.
4-Muhamad Farkhan (11-0, 11)
Malaysia isn't a boxing hot bed, but it is nice to see a name coming from the country which is worthy of talking about, and that is 31 year old Muhamad Farkhan. The unbeaten fighter from Johore has been a professional since 2015 and has been matched relatively softly. In saying that however wins over Alexander Bajawa and Pascal Abel Ndomba are pretty much as good as anything on Akberbayev's record. It would be good to see Farkhan have a big fight but in reality we suspect his handlers will treat him very carefully to try and make him into a local draw before he retires, rather than getting him a truly noteworthy bout.
5-Ibragim Iskandarov (7-0, 7)
We finish the top 5, which is another really weak top 5, with unbeaten Kazakh Ibragim Iskandarov, who is 33 years old and has just 15 rounds of professional experience to his name. The 5'11" puncher made his debut in 2017 and blew through his first 6 opponents in a combined 8 rounds, he then struggled last time out before finally stopping Mussa Ajibu in the 7th round. Given his age, and the struggle against Ajibu, he's unlikely to make any kind of mark at the higher levels of the sport, but sadly we needed a #5 to complete this list.
Right now the best of the Asian Cruiserweights are in the amateurs, but hopefully in 2021 or 2022 they do head over to the professional ranks and make a mark there.
Thinking Out East
With this site being pretty successful so far we've decided to open up about our own views and start what could be considered effectively an editorial style opinion column dubbed "Thinking Out East" (T.O.E).