Fightful Boxing Newsletter (9/12/2019): Canelo vs. Kovalev Finalized?, Gervonta Davis, More

Fightful Boxing Newsletter (9/12/19) Table Of Contents:

  1. Is Canelo Alvarez’s next fight done? (Page 1)
  2. KSI-Logan Paul 2 Finalized (Page 2)
  3. Vasiliy Lomachenko vs. Luke Campbell Review (Page 3)
  4. Erislandy Lara vs. Ramon Alvarez Review (Page 4)
  5. Boxing News And Notes (Page 5)
  6. Gervonta Davis vacates WBA super featherweight title (Page 6)
  7. Fightful Boxing Rankings (Pages 7-8)
  8. Jose Ramirez Out For Remainder Of 2019 After Surgery (Page 9)
Sunday Morning Matchmaker: Bellator 263 & UFC Vegas 33

Is Canelo Alvarez’s next fight done?

Canelo Alvarez’s move to light heavyweight to challenge for Sergey Kovalev’s WBO world title is all but official after the two sides appear to have agreed to terms to a fight.

The two are set to face off in the main event of a DAZN card on November 2, more than likely at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, though the location isn’t fully set in stone. The Nevada State Athletic Commission does have November 2 at the MGM Grand reserved for a Golden Boy Promotions card headlined by Alvarez, but the exact venue could always be changed. What does appear to be set in stone is that it will take place in Las Vegas.

A fight between the two has been in the works for months, but after talks stalled during the summer due to Kovalev’s camp not being fully satisfied with the money being offered to him.

That was the main issue that delayed the fight and allowed Kovalev to fight mandatory challenger Anthony Yarde on August 24 in Russia. Not only was Kovalev not happy with the money offered to him, but even if he were to take what was offered to him at the time, there was still the matter of paying Yarde and promoter Frank Warren a substantial step-aside fee.

But with Kovalev emerging victorious against Yarde, negotiations with the Alvarez camp resumed and there was a feeling from all parties involved that the fight will be made. There are a couple of interesting things to note about the November 2 date.

That date also happens to be the date for UFC 244 at Madison Square Garden and with a loaded card headlined by Nate Diaz vs. Jorge Masvidal, that card could potentially be give ESPN the highest pay-per-view buyrate ever since pay-per-view events were ESPN-exclusive. That will definitely make a dent on the Canelo vs. Kovalev viewership, but it won’t be as bad as some may fear.

Boxing, when competing against UFC, isn’t hurt too bad if a show’s main event is an attractive one. Think back to March 2018 when a fight between Deontay Wilder and Luis Ortiz had to compete directly with UFC 222, headlined by Cris Cyborg vs. Yana Kunitskaya. Despite competing against UFC and an HBO Boxing card at Madison Square Garden, Wilder vs. Ortiz still averaged more than a million viewers on Showtime, which is a rare feat for the network. While the UFC 244 main event is far more eye-catching than the UFC 222 show, the parallel does still exist and those that want to see Alvarez take on Kovalev will still watch.

If we’re talking about recent history, things don’t look so promising for Alvarez as far as boxers looking to move up two weight classes for a title fight. In the last few years, the likes of Amir Khan, Guillermo Rigondeaux, Mikey Garcia and Kell Brook have all moved up two weight classes and all have failed. With Alvarez, however, things are different.

Unlike the aforementioned fighters, Alvarez would be the one to be favored in the matchup against Kovalev. If we’re talking strictly on the styles matchup between the two, this fight is almost taylormade for Alvarez to win.

Kovalev, as great as he has been in 2019 since bringing on Buddy McGirt as his trainer, still has glaring flaws, mainly in how he reacts to getting hit in the body. Looking back on the fight against Yarde, Kovalev was perhaps at his most vulnerable whenever Yarde managed to string together several body combinations.

Seeing as how Alvarez is unafraid to attack the body from the early going, Alvarez is capable of stopping Kovalev if Kovalev can’t shake off the early body shots that will be thrown at him. The one thing that Kovalev has going for him is having McGirt in his corner as Kovalev has been effectively rebuilt into a technically sound boxing machine who beats opponents utilizing the jab. The jab was what won the fight against Yarde for Kovalev, but it is by no means a guarantee that it will work as well against Alvarez.

For starters, Alvarez is leagues above Yarde as far as boxing skills are concerned and Alvarez is more than capable of adapting on the fly and working around Kovalev’s jab. What will decide if the fight lasts the distance or merely a few rounds is if Alvarez attacks the body before Kovalev can get into a rhythm with the jab.

The buildup to this fight will center around Kovalev still being a stalwart of the light heavyweight division and this being perhaps the most unique challenge of Alvarez’s career. In some regards, that is true given how the success rate for fighters moving up two weight classes and immediately winning a world title in the last 20 years is extremely low. But if Alvarez does pull off the win against Kovalev, it isn’t like it will be the most significant win of his career. As great as Kovalev has fought this year, he is 36 years old and his Achilles heel, succumbing to body shots, is what Alvarez perhaps excels the most. It will certainly be a nice feather in Alvarez’s cap when it is all said and done, but not what will define his career when he’s beaten the likes of Gennadiy Golovkin, Miguel Cotto, Shane Mosley throughout his career.

KSI-Logan Paul 2 Finalized

YouTube stars KSI and Logan Paul battled to a draw in their first fight last year and now they will now run it again, this time in the pro ranks and with a lot of added support.

The two will fight at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on November 9 and it will not only be streamed on DAZN but also have Matchroom Boxing as a promoter. It will be the professional debut for both internet celebrities after they passed medicals.

Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn said he took the opportunity to be able to be a part of a major event, but said he wanted to make sure both KSI and Paul underwent the same procedure pro boxers underwent for their fights in anticipation for this rematch.

“13 months ago when the first fight took place I smirked and pondered how embarrassing it would be to stage this event in a 20,000 seater arena. What I saw was a phenomenon; a sold out arena, over one million PPV buys but more importantly an energy of a new audience to the sport of boxing. When I was asked to be involved in the rematch it got me excited but I had some requests to help integrate the two audiences. I requested that both fighters turn professional and undergo the same medicals that any other fighter would. I asked that the fighters lose the headguards and use 10 oz gloves, if we are going to do this then let’s do it properly. Both men obliged and now they prepare for war on November 9 - this event will be huge, a World championship card beneath an event that will create a hype for boxing not seen in the US for a long time. Staples Center will be sold out and a new audience will join our great sport and tune in live on DAZN,” Hearn said.

“Finally, after over a year since our rematch, I get to enter the ring once again to fight Logan Paul. If I’m being honest, I didn’t fight well at all in the first fight, and even then, I still managed to draw against him. This time I won’t make it so close, especially now that it’s a pro fight, no head guards and 10oz gloves. The time to end him is nearing. I can’t wait to see the memes of him slumped on the ground after I’ve repeatedly beaten the life out of him. He’s facing a different animal this time. He will soon realize," KSI said.

“I’m excited to ruin JJs face and I want to thank DAZN for giving me the platform to do so. Last fight, KSI couldn’t beat me with only three months of training under my belt. For the past year, while JJ has been wasting his time trying to become a rapper, I’ve been training every single day. I’m finally getting what I wanted from the beginning - no headgear, 10oz gloves, and the opportunity to dismantle JJ’s repugnant face in Los Angeles, my home city. After November 9, the embarrassment of losing will eat away at KSI’s ego for the next decade; he will be afraid to show face in America. This time, I won’t leave it up to the judges. I’ve been a DAZN fan for a very long time, so it’s an honor to partner with DAZN and Matchroom Boxing USA for what will become the biggest combat sporting event of the year," Paul said.

The two YouTubers feuded for months back in 2018 and it resulted in the two having an amateur boxing match in England. The fight headlined an event at the Manchester Arena in August 2018, with Michael Buffer working as the ring announcer and after six rounds, the two boxers fought to a majority draw (58-57 KSI, 57-57, 57-57). On the undercard of that August 2018 card, which did more than a million pay-per-view buys, was another amateur fight between Deji and Jake Paul, who are the brothers of KSI and Logan, respectively.

Vasiliy Lomachenko vs. Luke Campbell Review

Vasiliy Lomachenko is now one title away from being called the undisputed champion.

Traveling to the United Kingdom, Lomachenko's jab work and timely body shots earned him a wide unanimous decision victory over Luke Campbell to win the WBC lightweight title. Lomachenko won the fight by unanimous decision (119-108, 119-108, 118-109), retaining his WBA and WBO titles in the process.

After a slow start in the first round for Lomachenko, he started landing single and double jabs that snapped Campbell's head back in various rounds. Campbell was able to hold off Lomachenko's rhythm for most of the first half of the fight, but Lomachenko was able to hurt Campbell with a short left hand in the fifth round. Campbell was able to bounce back and show no signs of being hurt for the next couple of rounds.

The British challenger managed to stun Lomachenko in the seventh round, but just a minute later, Lomachenko hurt Campbell with a flurry of punches that sent him to the ropes. For the remainder of the fight, Lomachenko would continue winning exchanges and eventually dropped him in the 11th round. Campbell managed to recover but was tagged by Lomachenko with various body shots for the remainder of the fight.

There is only one title remaining for Lomachenko to become the undisputed lightweight champion and that is the IBF belt currently being held by Richard Commey. The 32-year-old Commey is headed for a title defense against mandatory challenger Teofimo Lopez before the year is over. But before that happens, Lomachenko will figure who his mandatory challenger for the WBC champion in September. On September 13, Devin Haney and Zaur Abdullaev will fight in a WBC lightweight title eliminator at Madison Square Garden with the fight being streamed on DAZN.

The other world title fight on the undercard saw Charlie Edwards retain the WBC flyweight title after a no contest against Julio Cesar Martinez. After scoring a number of wicked combinations to knock him, Martinez was initially ruled the winner and the new WBC champion in the third round. But that was until the WBC stepped and overruled the original fight result.

The fight result was overturned and ruled a no contest after it was revealed on instant replay that Martinez landed a hard body shot when Edwards’ knee was already touching the canvas. Normally, the British Boxing Board of Control does not have instant replay, but because it was a WBC-sanctioned title fight, the WBC made the decision to overrule the result after looking at replays of the incident. With the bout being called a no contest, Edwards would remain the WBC champion.

As for what is next for both men, WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman said after the decision to change the result was made that a rematch will happen between the two. Edwards said he would give his opponent a rematch while a frustrated Martinez said he wanted a rematch and to be the A-side as he feels he is the rightful champion.

Martinez had dominated the fight, landing several combinations and not allowing Edwards to do more than throw single shots at times. Martinez threw a furious combination in the third round to hurt Edwards and when Edwards was already touching the canvas, Martinez landed the punch that would end the fight but not win it.

Erislandy Lara vs. Ramon Alvarez Review

In the span of 36 hours, Ramon Alvarez went from preparing to fight for a secondary world title to missing weight and getting knocked out in less than two complete rounds.

Erislandy Lara took advantage of a weakened Alvarez and stopped him in the second round of the main event of a PBC on FOX card from Minneapolis on August 31. With the win, Lara became the new WBA "Regular" junior middleweight champion.

After a slow start from Alvarez in the first round, Lara sought to end the fight in the following round. Lara threw a series of left hands that nearly sent Alvarez through the ropes and outside of the ring. Alvarez managed to avoid getting counted but would get stopped by Lara just seconds later.

The controversy surrounding the fight came from the fact that Alvarez, whose brother is middleweight world champion Canelo Alvarez, missed weight by nearly five pounds the day before the fight, making him ineligible to win the title. Ramon and his team would go on to claim that a scale they used before the weigh-ins was not calibrated properly and believed he was much closer to the target weight of 154 pounds than what the reality ended up being.

As Lara now holds the WBA's secondary championship, Julian Williams holds not just the WBA "Super" version of the title but also the IBF title as well.

The broadcast averaged 1.104 million viewers (399,000 in the 18-49 demographic) and drew a 0.73 household rating. This is the third-lowest viewership for a live broadcast of a PBC card this year, behind Caleb Plant vs. Mike Lee from July 20 (923,000 viewers) and Danny Garcia vs. Adrian Granados from April 20 (1.082 million viewers). The card was also set to have an IBF super middleweight title eliminator between hometown fighter Caleb Truax and Peter Quillin. The fight was scrapped after it had been revealed that Truax suffered an Achilles injury and would not be able to recover in time to fight.

Boxing News And Notes

- Andrew Cancio's first title defense as the sole WBA super featherweight champion appears to be set. First reported by Boxing Scene, Cancio will defend his WBA title against mandatory challenger Rene Alvarado on an upcoming Golden Boy Promotions card on November 23. The fight will headline the event, to be streamed on DAZN, taking place at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, California. This will be Cancio's second defense of the belt since he won it by knocking out Alberto Machado in February. Cancio, who held the WBA's "Regular" version of the title, would later defend the title this summer when he stopped Machado in a rematch. Since then, Gervonta Davis would go on to vacate the WBA "Super" title in order to move up to lightweight, leaving Cancio as the only WBA world champion at super featherweight. A fight against Alvarado was one Cancio had been looking forward to, even before the rematch against Machado. Cancio previously told Fightful that he was going to have a fight against Alvarado given that the two share history in the ring and that Alvarado won a title eliminator against Carlos Morales last year. In their first fight back in 2015, Cancio defeated Alvarado by stopping him in the eighth round. Also on the card is Chinese boxing star Can Xu defending his WBA "Regular" featherweight title against unbeaten contender Manny Robles III. Xu first won the title back in January with a dominant win over Jesus Rojas in Texas, but then defended the belt in May against Shun Kubo on a boxing card in China. Robles has won all 18 of his pro bouts, capturing the NABF title in June 2018. Robles is also currently ranked No. 4 by the WBA at 126 pounds.

- The last 10 months have been eventful for the IBF minimumweight title and now a third man has won the belt in that span. On a boxing card promoted by Manny Pacquiao in the Philippines, Pedro Taduran came from behind to beat Samuel Salva and capture the vacant 105-pound title. Taduran stopped Salva after four rounds and being knocked down in the first round. Taduran, who previously challenged for the WBC title back in 2018, is now the third titleholder since December. The title was vacant after DeeJay Kriel, the previous titleholder who won the belt back in February, vacated it in order to move up in weight and become a two-division champion. Also on that card was flyweight title contender Giemel Magramo stopping Richard Claveras to extend his win streak to seven fights. Magramo was originally supposed to be fighting Komgrich Nantapech in an IBF flyweight title eliminator, but Nantapech pulled out of the fight right before the event due to food poisoning.

- Matchroom Boxing Italy's show is announced, set for October 11 in Trento. Here are the title fights set:

  • Fabio Turchi vs. Tommy McCarthy: WBC International Silver cruiserweight title title
  • Kamil Szeremeta vs. Matteo Signani: EBU European middleweight title
  • Francesco Grandelli vs. Reece Bellotti: WBC International Silver featherweight title

- Magomedrasul Majidov has signed a promotional deal with Matchroom Boxing USA. The former amateur champion will make his pro debut on September 13 at the Madison Square Garden show headlined by Devin Haney vs. Zaur Abdullaev for the interim WBC lightweight title on DAZN.

- Irish amateur standout Paddy Donovan will make his pro debut on an MTK Global show on October 11 at Ulster Hall in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The card will be streamed on ESPN+ in the United States.

- Miguel Cotto Promotions will have a card in San Juan, Puerto Rico on October 5 with the following fights confirmed:

  • Danielito Zorilla vs. Mexican Jesus Perez for the Interim WBO NABO Jr. welterweight title
  • Carlos Buitrago vs. Israel Vazquez for the vacant WBO Latino light flyweight title
  • Juan Carlos Camacho vs. Lucas Fernandez

- The rematch between Julian Williams and Jarrett Hurd for the unified WBA and IBF junior middleweight titles, which was planned for December but never officially announced, is off according to a report by Boxing Scene. It almost seemed like the fight was a lock, but one theory that is more of a product of poor timing than it being a concrete idea is that Hurd was not comfortable with Williams' demand for true, random drug testing administered by VADA. Really, the reason for the fight not happening could be anyone's guess and only the fighters and their camps truly know what caused the fight to fall through, but it is expected that Williams will still fight around December, but no names have been brought up. One fight that has slowly gotten traction on social media would be one between Williams and Danny Garcia as they are both from Philadelphia. Garcia is a welterweight but has talked about moving up to junior middleweight for months, so it wouldn't be that much of a surprise if it does get made, but the probability of this being the replacement bout still seem a bit low. 

- Kendo Castaneda will take on Stan Martyniouk in the main event of a RJJ Boxing/Joey Gilbert Promotions show at the Silver Legacy Resort Casino in Reno, Nevada on October 25. The fight will be streamed on UFC Fight Pass.

- Nicola Adams will defend her WBO Female flyweight title against Maria Salinas on the undercard of Daniel Dubois vs. Ebenezer Tetteh taking place September 27 at the Royal Albert Hall in London. This will be her first title defense since being elevated from interim titleholder to full champion weeks ago. The WBO ruled that Arely Mucino’s reign as the WBO champion is over after she was unable to get ready to fight Adams in a WBO-mandated title bout in September due to injury. Mucino suffered the injury in a car accident in Puerto Rico weeks ago and is expected to be out of action until November at the earliest. Originally, Mucino and Adams were going to fight in March, but Adams suffered an injury that postponed the bout. With the bout then planned for this September and Mucino suffering the injury some time ago, the WBO decided to simply strip her of her title and elevate Adams. Although Mucino is no longer champion, she does have the right to request the organization to be named the mandatory challenger for the flyweight title when she returns to active competition.

- The annual Matchroom Boxing show in Monaco will take place at Casino de Monte-Carlo on November 30 with fights to be announced in the coming weeks. The 2018 show had Kal Yafai, Denis Lebedev, Michael Hunter, Meng Fanlong, Daniyar Yeleussinov and Frank Buglioni’s final fight. Expect none of those names to fight on this year's card, but if one were to guess, expect at least a world title fight on the card, if not a fight with world title implications on it. Typically, the Monaco show isn't exactly an "Event of the Year" type of show, but given how unique the setting is, they are always worth a watch with several notable names typically competing.

- Former WBA “Regular” super middleweight titlist Rocky Fielding will have his first fight of 2019 on an MTK Global card November 15 at Liverpool’s Olympia. Fielding was supposed to fight in July, but suffered a toe injury weeks before the event. The card will be streamed on ESPN+. No undercard is set but given the name at the top of the card, expect MTK Global to make this an above average club show, which could make this a borderline must-see show if you're a fan of UK boxing.

- As if things couldn't have taken a stranger turn when it comes to British legend Nigel Benn, not only is he actually following through with him coming out of retirement, but an opponent might have been found for the 55-year-old former world champion. It had been teased that a former WBC world champion will be Benn's opponent and that turned out to be Sakio Bika, per a report from the Daily Mail. The fight is set to take place November 23 at Birmingham’s Resorts World Arena. It's a very bizarre set of circumstances given that Bika has not fought since 2017 and Benn hasn't fought since 1996.

- Unbeaten cruiserweight prospect Lawrence Okolie has vacated his British title, which meant the British Boxing Board of Control has ordered a fight for the vacant title: Jack Massey vs. Richard Riakporhe with a purse bid set for October 9. As part of the ruling, the fight must take before the end of January 2020. In other British title news, Joshua Buatsi has vacated his British title, but unlike the cruiserweight title, the BBBofC has not made a decision on which two fighters will fight for the vacant belt.

- As for the BBBofC English titles, a number of divisions have been given updates. The super middleweight belt is now vacant with a title eliminator between Micahel Ellison and Charlie Schofield taking place September 28 in Bolton, England. In the middleweight division, a fight between titleholder Jack Cullen and Linus Udofia has gone to purse bids with the bids taking place on September 18. The fight must take place by the end of December 2019. On the super bantamweight division, a title eliminator between Muheeb Fazeldin and Josh Kennedy has been postponed until November 30 at York Hall in London due to Kennedy suffering an injury.

- Sky Sports has secured the U.K. broadcast rights to the Golden Contract tournaments that MTK Global is organizing and set to begin in the coming weeks. The tournaments will pit eight boxers from the featherweight, junior welterweight and light heavyweight divisions with the winners of each tournament receiving a two-year, five-fight deal with MTK Global with six-figure purses in each fight. The twist in this tournament is that all eight fighters in one division will compete on the same card starting off, but the exact matchups won't be known until fight week. The tournament rosters look like this:

Featherweight:

  • Ryan Walsh
  • Leigh Wood
  • Jazza Dickens 
  • Davey Oliver Joyce
  • Tyrone McCullagh
  • Hairon Socarras
  • Carlos Araujo
  • Carlos Ramos

Junior Welterweight:

  • Anthony Yigit
  • Mohamed Mimoune
  • Ohara Davies
  • Zhankosh Turarov
  • Tyrone McKenna 
  • Akeem Ennis Brown
  • Darren Surtees

Light Heavyweight:

  • Hosea Burton
  • Bob Ajisafe
  • Steven Ward
  • Liam Conroy
  • Serge Michel

- Top Rank has announced that Crystina Poncher will now do play-by-play commentary for all ESPN+ undercard and international broadcasts. This isn't surprising given how impressive Poncher has been on commentary for months. In reality, Poncher is slowly starting to make a case for being one of the best play-by-play broadcasters in U.S. boxing today and the reception from social media has always been overwhelmingly positive. Poncher and Brian "BoMac" McIntyre have always been a solid duo on commentary and is really half the reason to check on the ESPN+ undercards for these Top Rank Boxing cards.

Gervonta Davis Vacates WBA Super Featherweight Title

Gervonta Davis has, somewhat unsurprisingly, vacated his WBA super featherweight title and looking to move up in weight to lightweight in order to become a two-division titlist. This change has a profound impact on both the super featherweight and lightweight divisions, both in the short and long term.

Firstly, as Davis was the WBA's "Super" champion and Andrew Cancio held the "Regular" title, Cancio now stands as the sole WBA world champion at 130 pounds. It is poetic justice in the sense that Cancio should have been the true “Super” champion in the first place if one were to look at the lineage of Cancio’s title which traces all the way to Takashi Uchiyama a few years ago. Uchiyama was beaten by Jezreel Corrales and Corrales lost the belt at the scales in 2017 and then Alberto Machado won the belt by knocking out Corrales. Cancio then beat Machado this past February to become the new champion. Davis’ version of the title was simply made in April 2018 when he defeated Jesus Cuellar, a former featherweight champion who was moving up in weight coming from a loss in his last fight prior to facing Davis.

Secondly, Davis is now the top contender ranked by the WBA for one of the three world titles being held by unified titleholder Vasiliy Lomachenko. A fight between Lomachenko and Davis had been one that many clamored for in the past. Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe previously told Fightful he is confident that Davis can beat Lomachenko.

But if we're speaking frankly, the idea that a Lomachenko vs. Davis superfight will be made anytime soon is borderline ludicrous, given the obstacles in play. There's the matter of Lomachenko effectively having the next 6-9 months already mapped out for him as he tries to win the IBF title, the last belt before he is officially declared the undisputed champion at 135 pounds. Lomachenko just finished up a fight against Luke Campbell to become the new WBC champion and the current plan in place is to have him possibly wait until IBF champion Richard Commey and Teofimo Lopez have their fight later this year. Lomachenko would then face the Commey vs. Lopez winner in what could be a pay-per-view showdown in 2020 for all four belts. Yet, if it takes too long for the Lomachenko vs. Commey-Lopez winner to be made, Lomachenko could face a mandatory challenger in the interim.

On September 13, Devin Haney and Zaur Abdullaev will fight for the interim WBC lightweight title at Madison Square Garden. The fight serves as a final eliminator for Lomachenko’s WBC title and, assuming Haney wins, Haney and promoter Eddie Hearn told Fightful they will aggressively push for the WBC to order a fight against Lomachenko within the next six months. Needless to say, Lomachenko will be too busy to fight Davis.

But back to Davis, he has had issues in the past trying to make weight at super featherweight. In 2017, right before a title defense against Francisco Fonseca that took place on the Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor pay-per-view event, Davis missed weight and was stripped of his IBF title. He nearly missed weight again earlier this year when it took him three tries to get under the 130-pound limit before a WBA title defense against Hugo Ruiz in February.

In his most recent fight, Davis stopped mandatory challenger Ricardo Nunez in July in front of Davis' hometown fans of Baltimore. Prior to that fight, Mayweather Promotions sought to give Davis a unification bout in the fall, but Ellerbe told Fightful that there will still be big fights for Davis if he doesn't get that unification.

Finding out what Davis’ first fight at lightweight may not be too hard to figure out. Looking at the WBA rankings, Yuriorkis Gamboa is ranked No. 2 behind Davis and a fight between the two had been nearly secured before Davis was ordered by the sanctioning body to fight Nunez. The WBA technically has a vacant “Regular” lightweight title and as Showtime and Mayweather Promotions were building up to a Davis vs. Gamboa fight, the logical next step would be for that fight to be made for the vacant “Regular” title, either in late fall or early winter.

Fightful Boxing Rankings:

Pound-for-pound

  1. Naoya Inoue
  2. Vasiliy Lomachenko
  3. Terence Crawford
  4. Canelo Alvarez
  5. Oleksandr Usyk
  6. Gennadiy Golovkin
  7. Juan Francisco Estrada
  8. Errol Spence Jr.
  9. Kosei Tanaka
  10. Manny Pacquiao

Heavyweight

  1. Tyson Fury
  2. Deontay Wilder
  3. Andy Ruiz Jr.
  4. Anthony Joshua
  5. Dillian Whyte
  6. Luis Ortiz
  7. Kubrat Pulev
  8. Oscar Rivas
  9. Adam Kownacki
  10. Michael Hunter

Cruiserweight

  1. Beibut Shumenov
  2. Mairis Briedis
  3. Yuniel Dorticos
  4. Krzysztof Glowacki
  5. Kevin Lerena
  6. Ilunga Makabu
  7. Firat Arslan
  8. Marco Huck
  9. Lawrence Okolie
  10. Thabiso Mchunu

Light heavyweight

  1. Dmitry Bivol
  2. Gilberto Ramirez
  3. Oleksandr Gvozdyk
  4. Sergey Kovalev
  5. Artur Beterbiev
  6. Jean Pascal
  7. Eleider Alvarez
  8. Marcus Browne
  9. Badou Jack
  10. Jesse Hart

Super middleweight

  1. Canelo Alvarez
  2. Callum Smith
  3. Caleb Plant
  4. David Benavidez
  5. Billy Joe Saunders
  6. John Ryder
  7. Anthony Dirrell
  8. Chris Eubank Jr.
  9. Avni Yildirim
  10. Caleb Truax

Middleweight

  1. Canelo Alvarez
  2. Gennadiy Golovkin
  3. Demetrius Andrade
  4. Daniel Jacobs
  5. Jermall Charlo
  6. Ryota Murata
  7. Sergiy Derevyanchenko
  8. Matt Korobov
  9. Kamil Szeremeta
  10. Jeff Horn

Junior middleweight

  1. Julian Williams
  2. Jarrett Hurd
  3. Erislandy Lara
  4. Brian Castano
  5. Tony Harrison
  6. Jermell Charlo
  7. Jaime Munguia
  8. Liam Smith
  9. Kell Brook
  10. Michel Soro

Welterweight

  1. Terrence Crawford
  2. Errol Spence Jr.
  3. Manny Pacquiao
  4. Shawn Porter
  5. Danny Garcia
  6. Keith Thurman
  7. Mikey Garcia
  8. Sergey Lipinets
  9. Yordenis Ugas
  10. David Avanesyan

The rest of the rankings are in the next page.

Junior welterweight

  1. Regis Prograis
  2. Jose Ramirez
  3. Josh Taylor
  4. Ivan Baranchyk
  5. Maurice Hooker
  6. Kiryl Relikh
  7. Jack Catterall
  8. Jono Carroll
  9. Viktor Postol
  10. Pablo Cesar Cano

Lightweight

  1. Vasiliy Lomachenko
  2. Teofimo Lopez
  3. Richard Commey
  4. Jose Pedraza
  5. Robert Easter Jr.
  6. Devin Haney
  7. Luke Campbell
  8. Anthony Crolla
  9. Rances Barthelemy
  10. Zaur Abdullaev

Super featherweight

  1. Gervonta Davis
  2. Miguel Berchelt
  3. Tevin Farmer
  4. Andrew Cancio
  5. Jamel Herring
  6. Joseph Diaz Jr.
  7. Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov

  8. Alberto Machado

  9. Miguel Roman
  10. Masayuki Ito

Featherweight

  1. Leo Santa Cruz
  2. Gary Russell Jr.
  3. Oscar Valdez
  4. Shakur Stevenson
  5. Josh Warrington
  6. Carl Frampton
  7. Can Xu
  8. Jessie Magdaleno
  9. Tugstsogt Nyambayar
  10. Jesus Rojas

Super bantamweight

  1. Daniel Roman
  2. Emanuel Navarrete
  3. Rey Vargas
  4. Guillermo Rigondeaux
  5. Ryan Burnett
  6. Brandon Figueroa
  7. Isaac Dogboe
  8. TJ Doheny​​​​​​
  9. Ryosuke Iwasa
  10. Stephen Fulton

Bantamweight

  1. Naoya Inoue
  2. Luis Nery
  3. Nonito Donaire
  4. Zolani Tete
  5. Nordine Oubaali
  6. John Riel Casimero
  7. Emmanuel Rodriguez
  8. Juan Carlos Payano
  9. Richard Espinoza
  10. Jason Moloney

Super Flyweight

  1. Juan Francisco Estrada
  2. Roman Gonzalez
  3. Donnie Nietes
  4. Srisaket Sor Rungvisai
  5. Jerwin Ancajas
  6. Kal Yafai
  7. Kazuto Ioka
  8. Aston Palicte
  9. Carlos Cuadras
  10. Andrew Moloney

Flyweight

  1. Kosei Tanaka
  2. Artem Dalakian
  3. Moruti Mthalane
  4. Julio Cesar Martinez
  5. Charlie Edwards
  6. Ryoichi Taguchi
  7. Daigo Higa
  8. Cristofer Rosales
  9. Andrew Selby
  10. Wulan Tuolehazi

Light flyweight/Minimumweight

  1. Wanheng Menayothin
  2. Hiroto Kyoguchi
  3. Ken Shiro
  4. Elwin Soto
  5. Carlos Canizales
  6. Pedro Taduran
  7. Angel Acosta
  8. Hekkie Budler
  9. Wilfredo Mendez
  10. Felix Alvarado

Jose Ramirez Out For Remainder Of 2019 After Surgery

Plans for unified WBC and WBO junior welterweight champion Jose Ramirez won't be boxing for the remainder of the year after he revealed that he had surgery for an injured left hand. 

Ramirez broke the news on social media and revealed he had surgery two weeks after his win against Maurice Hooker on DAZN to unify the two 140-pound world titles in late July. With a recovery timetable of six to eight weeks following an early August surgery, Ramirez could theoretically return in December, but that month is normally a dead month in boxing on the western side of the world. With Top Rank already putting all its chips on the annual December Madison Square Garden show and a main event of Terence Crawford vs. Egidijus Kavaliauskas potentially set, there's no room for Ramirez's first fight.

"Had surgery two weeks after my July 27th fight. I can't use [my left hand] until 6-8 weeks post-surgery. I could be back in the ring in December, however due to no dates available that month, we will be back in the ring early 2020. I just need my hand to heal and I'll give anybody a rung for their money," Ramirez said, slightly edited for clarity.

If one were to give Ramirez enough time to recover and also map out the early 2020 Top Rank schedule, it's possible that Ramirez could return to the ring the weekend of the Super Bowl, which would be either January 31 or February 1. What's going to be interesting is Ramirez's opponent in his first fight back. 

Ramirez currently has a mandatory challenger for each of his two world titles with both looking to be the first to have an opportunity to face Ramirez. The WBC mandatory is Viktor Postol while the WBO mandatory is Jack Catterall. 

Regardless of who will be Ramirez's first opponent back, he will have to go through the two of them before moving forward with a potential superfight against the winner of the World Boxing Super Series junior welterweight tournament. That fight will have WBA champion Regis Prograis take on IBF champion Josh Taylor. 

Naturally, the bigger fight here in the United States would be Ramirez vs. Prograis, especially given the history between the two and the fact that fight has been in the making since early 2018. A fight between Ramirez and the WBSS winner would crown the first undisputed 140-pound champion since Terence Crawford accomplished it in 2017 when he knocked out Julius Indongo in the third round in Omaha, Nebraska.

But the news of Ramirez's surgery and unavailability to fight for the remainder of 2019, the absolute best case scenario for Ramirez's 2020 would be the following: a fight against either Postol or Catterall next February, a fight in the summer against whomever Ramirez didn't fight in February and then a fight against the WBSS winner late in the fall or early winter.

The problem with that is that there could also be the possibility of the WBSS winner dealing with his mandatories after unifying the WBA and IBF titles. On the WBA side, there is no mandatory, but Alberto Puello holds the interim title while Mario Barrios and Batyr Akhmedov will fight for the "Regular" title on September 28. Yves Ulysse Jr. is also the WBA Gold champion and even though that's not a guarantee for a world title fight anytime soon, it more or less makes him a wild card. 

For the IBF, the top two-ranked fighters are Apinan Khongsong and Subriel Matias and although the IBF has yet to acknowledge a fight has been ordered for Khongsong against its world champion. However, given the IBF's history of being very strict when it comes to enforcing mandatory fights, things could get sticky as far as an undisputed title fight is concerned. 

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