Boxing Rankings (Jan 24): Mark Magsayo Reaches Featherweight

We are back. It’s been nearly three quiet weeks since our last update to ring in the new year, but we’ve got one big thing to talk about.

Also, there won’t be an update next Monday, because there’s just not enough going on. So the next update is coming on February 7.

Ranked battles for the next two weeks:

  • Cruiser Weight: (3) Member Junior Makabu vs (7) Thabiso Mchunu, Jan. 29
  • middleweight: (5) Chris Eubank Jr vs (10) Liam Williams, February 5
  • Minimum weight: (8) Rene Mark fourth vs. (9) Pedro Taduran, February 6
  • Ladies P4P: (2) Claressa Shields vs Ema Kozin, February 5

Would also pay special attention to the fight between Keith Thurman and Mario Barrios on February 5; the winner of that will probably get a spot in the welterweight top 10. Honestly, they both could.

Upcoming battles: Not yet known

Upcoming battles: (3) Ilunga Junior Makabu vs (7) Thabiso Mchunu, Jan. 29…(2) Lawrence Okolie vs (6) Michal Cieslak, Feb. 27

Comments: Joe Smith Jr. didn’t get Callum Johnson on January 15, but did fight, and made a pretty easy job of a game, but outperformed Steve Geffrard. Smith has understandably expressed his desire to fight Canelo Alvarez, and with Canelo you never know, that could end up on the table. Smith has a belt, a fight with him should be easy enough to get done, and it’s believable. If Canelo wanted to go unchallenged at 175, Smith is a good place to start. But if not, the Callum Johnson fight could be re-watched, or Frank Warren could insist that Anthony Yarde get the crack; the Smith-Johnson winner was just about ready to take on Yarde. Smith is one of those guys that I love to watch against any credible opponent, so any of those fights work for me.

Upcoming battles: Not yet known

Upcoming battles: (7) John Ryder vs (8) Daniel Jacobs, February 12

Upcoming battles: (5) Chris Eubank Jr vs (10) Liam Williams, February 5

Upcoming battles: (1) Jermell Charlo vs (2) Brian Castano, TBA

Upcoming battles: (4) Vergil Ortiz Jr v Michael McKinson, March. 19 … (1) Errol Spence Jr v (3) Yordenis Ugas, TBA … (7) Radzhab Butaev v (10) Eimantas Stanionis, TBA

Comments: Subriel Matias climbs into position after a dominant revenge win over Petros Ananyan on Saturday. Maybe Montana Love beats him, maybe not, and Matias actually makes his contract weights, so that’s a point in his favor too. The Puerto Rican has mistreated his recent opposition – I wouldn’t like Sandor Martin’s odds or even Jose Pedraza’s chances, I guess. He has a ruthlessness that opponents must be special to move. But I’ll watch the man fight everyone. Most likely, Jeremias Ponce will be next in an IBF finals eliminator, and I’m looking forward to it.

Upcoming battles: (1) Josh Taylor v (10) Jack Catterall, Feb 26… (3) Jose Ramirez v (5) Jose Pedraza, Mar 4

Upcoming battles: Not yet known

Comments: Only adjustment with the news that Leo Santa Cruz’s return on February 5 against Keenan Carbajal at junior lightweight will be and not back at 126, with Santa Cruz not defending the WBA featherweight title he still absurdly holds. I know number 8 might seem low to put Leo back here, and maybe he should be higher, but I would also argue that Santa Cruz hasn’t had anything close to a big win for nearly four years now, since his rematch win over Abner Mares in 2018. Since then, he’s fought Rafael Rivera and Miguel Flores in 2019, and lost to Gervonta Davis in 2020. That he’s ranked at all is just a failure in how we count time. So we’ll see what he does.

Keep a close eye on Robson Conceicao vs Xavier Martinez this coming Saturday on ESPN. If the winner of that one looks good, they’ll probably grab Fuzile’s spot in the top 10.

Upcoming battles: (8) Leo Santa Cruz vs Keenan Carbajal, Feb 5… (7) Chris Colbert vs (9) Roger Gutierrez, Feb 26

Comments: Anyway, with Santa Cruz back at 130, at least for now, Joet Gonzalez is back at 126, at least for now.

But the much bigger news, of course, is Mark Magsayo’s upset win over Gary Russell Jr, which put an end to Russell’s long, boring WBC title regime, and throws another crazy loop in a division that is downright ridiculous to now rank after Emanuel Navarrete. I personally didn’t think Magsayo was a clear winner over Russell, but I don’t think the outcome is a shock or outrage either.

Is Magsayo the second best featherweight in the world? I do not know. Could be? Does anyone here really know where they are other than Navarrete? The second best man may really be Rey Vargas, but he still has work to do in the division. Michael Conlan will get the chance to finally make a big statement on March 12, but then Leigh Wood on the other side of that ring will too. Ruben Villa is arguably the second best featherweight at the moment! He gave Navarrete a hard, difficult night. It could still be Russell, as Gary clearly and legitimately did with one handed shoulder injury against Magsayo.

This distribution remains a mess to figure out something like this, but I actually kind of like how weird it’s gotten. Old Man Kiko with one game-changer punch and he’s a titlist in the top five, Mark Magsayo is there now, Leigh Wood, Mauricio Lara could be No. 2! It’s fun. Strange, but interesting.

Upcoming battles: (3) Mauricio Lara vs Emilio Sanchez, March 5… (6) Leigh Wood vs Michael Conlan, March 12… (5) Kiko Martinez vs (7) Josh Warrington, March 26

Upcoming battles: (6) Luis Nery vs. Carlos Castro, February 5… (1) Murodjon Akhmadaliev vs. (8) Ronny Rios, TBA

Upcoming battles: Not yet known

Upcoming battles: (3) Srisaket Sor Rungvisai vs. Carlos Cuadras, Feb 5… (5) Jerwin Ancajas vs. Fernando Daniel Martinez, Feb 26…(1) Juan Francisco Estrada vs. (4) Chocolatito Gonzalez, March. 5

Upcoming battles: Not yet known

Upcoming battles: (3) Masamichi Yabuki vs (5) Kenshiro Teraji, TBA

Upcoming battles: (8) Rene Mark Cuarto vs. (9) Pedro Taduran, Feb 6… (10) Vic Saludar vs. TBA, March 5…(2) Petchmanee CP Freshmart vs. (3) Wanheng Menayothin, March 29

Upcoming battles: (6) Josh Taylor vs Jack Catterall, Feb 26… (9) Juan Francisco Estrada vs Chocolatito Gonzalez, Mar 5… (5) Errol Spence Jr vs Yordenis Ugas, TBA

Upcoming battles: (2) Claressa Shields vs Ema Kozin, Feb 5…(1) Katie Taylor vs (3) Amanda Serrano, TBA…(10) Chantelle Cameron vs Kali Reis, TBA

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