Rankings (Feb. 6): Serrano, Navarrete, Baumgardner, more
Amanda Serrano is still a top pound-for-pound fighter, but is she past her best? Plus Emanuel Navarrete, Alycia Baumgardner, more.
Rankings go up on Mondays. No update next week, so the next update comes on Monday, Feb. 20.
Ranked fights this week:
- Junior Lightweight: (7) O’Shaquie Foster vs Rey Vargas, Feb. 11
- Featherweight: (3) Rey Vargas vs O’Shaquie Foster [junior lightweight], Feb. 11
- Junior Featherweight: (4) Luis Nery vs (5) Azat Hovhannisyan, Feb. 18
- Bantamweight: (2) Mauricio Lara vs (4) Leigh Wood, Feb. 18
- Flyweight: (9) Dave Apolinario vs Frengky Rohi, Feb. 11
Notes: A very eventful week for the women’s pound-for-pound, so we’re leading here. Amanda Serrano’s win over Erika Cruz was an absolute war, an incredible display of grit and action, and Serrano is now the undisputed featherweight champion of the world.
Now, Serrano heads to Dublin on May 20 to face Katie Taylor in a rematch for Taylor’s undisputed lightweight championship. Can they top last year? It is hard to imagine, but Serrano showed no less ability to be in a great fight than she did about nine months ago when she first met Taylor, and the Dublin crowd is going to be insane, whether it’s Croke Park or 3Arena or wherever. Irish fans were breaking noise records in London when Taylor fought at the Olympics in 2012 and she’s never fought at home as a professional. It’s long overdue and is going to be wild. And given their styles, I think we get a great fight again. They both have an unteachable will to win that comes from somewhere inside them, as “God-given” as Deontay Wilder’s power.
Alycia Baumgardner also went undisputed by beating Elhem Mekhaled to unify all four major belts at 130 lbs. Baumgardner isn’t flawless, but that also makes her fun. She sometimes relies too much on her power, but she has power, which again, makes her fun. She’s a top-level fighter. I expected Mekhaled to come scrap and she did, same with Erika Cruz.
On the Baumgardner note, Mikaela Mayer is tentatively slated to return at 135 lbs, likely against Christina Linardatou, in the spring, but that’s not official. I do think she will have a fight at 135, though, because Mayer has been specifically training to fight at 135. Accepting a fight back down at 130 next with Baumgardner — which she wants, mind you — might be risky unless they’re going to wait until pretty well into the summer to do it, which is possible.
Money does talk, of course, but don’t completely ignore the politics potential here, either. Matchroom may be willing to pay the most for Baumgardner vs Mayer 2, and Top Rank have not been willing to let their fighters fight on DAZN. The first one happened on “neutral ground” entirely, not only in the United Kingdom but on a Boxxer-promoted card, with ESPN+ picking up that show. Women’s boxing has been less affected by this than the men’s side for sure, and Bob Arum has never let any grudge or whatever hold forever, but it’s worth considering.
Upcoming Fights: (5) Seniesa Estrada vs Tina Rupprecht, Mar. 25 … (2) Katie Taylor vs (3) Amanda Serrano, May 20 … (6) Mikaela Mayer vs Christina Linardatou, TBA
Upcoming Fights: (4) Anthony Joshua vs Jermaine Franklin, Apr. 1
Upcoming Fights: (4) Ilunga Junior Makabu vs Badou Jack, Feb. 26 … (2) Lawrence Okolie vs David Light, Mar. 11
Upcoming Fights: (10) Jean Pascal vs Michael Eifert, Mar. 16
Upcoming Fights: (9) Carlos Gongora vs (10) Christian Mbilli, Mar. 23 … (2) David Benavidez vs (3) Caleb Plant, Mar. 25
Upcoming Fights: (1) Gennadiy Golovkin vs Esquiva Falcao, TBA
Upcoming Fights: (4) Tim Tszyu vs (8) Tony Harrison, Mar. 11
Upcoming Fights: (8) Cody Crowley vs Abel Ramos, Mar. 25 … (6) Vergil Ortiz Jr vs (7) Eimantas Stanionis, Apr. 29
Upcoming Fights: (5) Subriel Matias vs Jeremias Ponce, Feb. 25 … (4) Jose Ramirez vs Richard Commey, Mar. 25 … (7) Ryan Garcia vs Gervonta Davis, Apr. 15 … (2) Josh Taylor vs (3) Jack Catterall, TBA … (10) Alberto Puello vs Gary Antuanne Russell, TBA
Upcoming Fights: (3) Gervonta Davis vs Ryan Garcia [junior welterweight, technically], Apr. 15 … (1) Devin Haney vs (2) Vasiliy Lomachenko, May 20
Notes: It’s not clear if Emanuel Navarrete will stay at 130 or go back down to 126, but it seems like he’ll probably stay at 130 for the fight with Oscar Valdez. Navarrete’s win over Liam Wilson was a great fight and him the WBO title. Yeah, he had some struggles, including being put on the canvas, where he was given an inordinate amount of time to recover by referee Chris Flores, but he also showed a lot of spirit and resilience and the great offensive repertoire he’s been known for at 122 and 126.
Falling out with Navarrete’s arrival at the weight is Leo Santa Cruz, who hasn’t fought in a year and hasn’t beaten anyone particularly good in almost five years now, and has fought once since 2020.
We’ll possibly have the exact same Navarrete situation with Rey Vargas after this coming weekend if Vargas beats O’Shaquie Foster.
Upcoming Fights: (7) O’Shaquie Foster vs Rey Vargas, Feb. 11 … (2) Joe Cordina vs (3) Shavkat Rakhimov, TBA
Notes: We continue to be, for a few weeks at least, in a weird situation at featherweight. Navarrete might be staying at 130, but does still have the WBO belt at 126, too. Rey Vargas, again, is also fighting for a title at 130 this weekend, and still has a belt at 126. And we’ll also have the Wood vs Lara fight on Feb. 18.
So this will shake out. It’s a little frustrating right now, yes, but things will clear up.
Upcoming Fights: (3) Rey Vargas vs O’Shaquie Foster [junior lightweight], Feb. 11 … (2) Mauricio Lara vs (4) Leigh Wood, Feb. 18 … (5) Mark Magsayo vs Brandon Figueroa, Mar. 4 … (10) Isaac Dogboe vs Robeisy Ramirez, Apr. 1
Upcoming Fights: (4) Luis Nery vs (5) Azat Hovhannisyan, Feb. 18 … (10) Liam Davies vs Jason Cunningham, Apr. 29 … (1) Stephen Fulton Jr vs Naoya Inoue, TBA … (2) Murodjon Akhmadaliev vs (9) Marlon Tapales, TBA
Upcoming Fights: (10) Guillermo Rigondeaux vs Jesus Martinez, Feb. 24
Upcoming Fights: TBA
Notes: Seigo Yuri Akui won a shutout decision over 10 rounds in Japan over a fellow name of Jayson Vayson. Another note is that McWilliams Arroyo officially goes 15 months inactive on Feb. 19, so if he doesn’t get anything scheduled, he’s out in the Feb. 20 update.
Upcoming Fights: (9) Dave Apolinario vs Frengky Rohi, Feb. 11
Upcoming Fights: (1) Kenshiro Teraji vs (3) Jonathan Gonzalez, TBA
Upcoming Fights: TBA
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