Check out my rankings within each boxing division by clicking on the links below. The rankings will be updated on the second Thursday of each month.
Who is the world's best fighter, regardless of weight class? See my pound-for-pound rankings.
Note: Results through April 13:
1. Vitali Klitschko (35-2)
He rarely fights, he's often injured and now he's making noise about ducking a worthwhile mandatory against the Hasim Rahman-Monte Barrett winner. The big guy is trying our patience.
Next: Sept. 24 vs. TBA
2. Chris Byrd (38-2-1)
Was supposed to defend belt against Sergei Liakhovich on Don King's Aug. 13 pay-per-view card, but the fight is in limbo because he might have to fight a mandatory instead. Typical sanctioning organization nonsense.
3. James Toney (68-4-2)
Disgraced steroid-user was stripped of belt and is serving a 90-day suspension for positive drug test that followed fight with John Ruiz. A more severe punishment would be to force him to watch Ruiz fight tapes every day for a year.
4. John Ruiz (41-5-1)
Lost title to Toney, but it was handed back to him on a silver platter after Toney's positive drug test. We've heard that Ruiz has a four-leaf clover and rabbit-foot collection that he stores with his wish bones at the end of his leprechaun brother's rainbow.
5. Hasim Rahman (40-5-1)
He's supposed to fight Monte Barrett for an interim belt this summer, but he still found time to work for ESPN as an analyst on its coverage of Saturday's Mike Tyson fight.
Next: Aug. 13 vs. Barrett
6. Lamon Brewster (32-2)
His title-retaining, 53-second, three-knockdown destruction of Andrew Golota on May 21 was impressive and forces us to at least talk about him in the context of major fights. However, next up could be a mandatory vs. Luan Krasniqi.
7. Monte Barrett (31-3)
Five years ago, he was knocked down five times in a TKO loss to Wladimir Klitschko. Boy, how times change. He is now on the verge of fighting for an interim title.
Next: Aug. 13 vs. Rahman
8. Calvin Brock (25-0)
Brock is one of the division's fresh faces (along with Samuel Peter), and he returns from his big April win against Jameel McCline to fight a soft touch on the Arturo Gatti-Floyd Mayweather undercard.
Next: June 25 vs. Kenny Craven
9. Samuel Peter (23-0)
It's appropriate that the best young knockout artist in the division fights on July 4 weekend, because we expect fireworks in the form of an explosive KO when he headlines on Showtime.
Next: July 2 vs. Taurus Sykes
10. Wladimir Klitschko (44-3)
Fourth-round TKO of previously undefeated Eliseo Castillo was a solid win for a guy still grappling with confidence issues after shattering defeats to Brewster and Corrie Sanders.
1. Jean-Marc Mormeck (31-2)
Best cruiserweight since Evander Holyfield fights in an unloved division, but he's a unified champion and deserves attention when he fights.
2. Johnny Nelson (44-12-2)
British public wants to see him defend against hot young contender Enzo Maccarinelli, who scored a first-round knockout in a stay-busy bout last weekend to make a fight with Nelson possible this fall.
3. Wayne Brathwaite (21-1)
He's a crude fighter, but he has the power to change any fight with one shot. He just couldn't find that shot when he lost his title to Mormeck in April.
4. O'Neil Bell (24-1-1)
Claimed a vacant belt in highly controversial fashion on May 20 against Dale Brown. He should do the right thing and give Brown an immediate rematch.
5. Dale Brown (33-4-1)
Third shot at a title seemed like the charm until the scorecards for his fight with Bell were read. He deserves a rematch, as long as it's not in Florida, where the judging has been horrible lately.
6. Carl Thompson (33-6)
Beloved Brit is never in a boring fight; rejuvenated his career with upset knockout of rising star David Haye last fall.
7. Steve Cunningham (17-0)
His April victory against Guillermo Jones albeit slightly controversial looks even better now in light of Jones' May knockout of former titlist Kelvin Davis.
8. Guillermo Jones (32-3-2)
Panamanian moves into rankings off eye-opening four-round demolition of former titlist Kelvin Davis. This guy would be a handful for anyone.
9. Virgil Hill (49-5)
French promoter Michel Acaries won the purse bid for a vacant title bout between Hill and France-based Russian Valery Brudov (30-0). Don't be deceived by Brudov's record. He's fought a collection of nobodies.
Next: TBA vs. Brudov
10. Kelvin Davis (21-2-1)
Former titlist finally patched things up with promoter Don King after sitting out for a year in a snit, only to tear a biceps and get waxed by Jones on the Brewster-Golota undercard. Smart move.
1. Glen Johnson (42-9-2)
Is there any doubt that he's the best nine-loss fighter in the world? He can keep that recognition with another victory against Antonio Tarver in their rematch.
Next: June 18 vs. Tarver
2. Antonio Tarver (22-3)
When he lost to Eric Harding, he knocked him out in the rematch. When he lost to Roy Jones, he knocked him out in the rematch. When he lost to Glen Johnson, he we'll let you know next month.
Next: June 18 vs. Johnson
3. Zsolt Erdei (22-0)
Technical boxer puts his title up against former belt holder Mehdi Sahnoune in what could be a pretty solid fight.
Next: July 2 vs. Medhi Sahnoune
4. Roy Jones Jr. (49-3)
He told HBO in a meeting last week that he is coming back and plans to fight this fall. Names being discussed include Bernard Hopkins (if he beats Jermain Taylor), Clinton Woods, Eric Harding or the Johnson-Tarver II winner.
5. Fabrice Tiozzo (47-2)
French star's title-retaining sixth-round TKO of former champ Dariusz Michalczewski turned out to be the final fight for Michalczewski, who announced his retirement last week.
Next: Sept. 10 vs. Thomas Ulrich
6. Julio Gonzalez (38-2)
Former belt holder won a technical decision against Montell Griffin in an eliminator to become the mandatory challenger for Clinton Woods' title.
7. Clinton Woods (37-3-1)
Title holder from England is being considered as a potential comeback opponent for Jones, who already beat him in 2002. But Woods has a belt, which is why Jones is interested.
8. Tomasz Adameck (29-0)
Polish hero claimed belt that Tarver vacated in a sensational action fight with Paul Briggs one of the bloodiest brawls we've ever seen. Adamek's skills are crude but his heart is a monster.
9. Paul Briggs (23-2)
Australian might have lost a majority decision to Adamek on the Brewster-Golota undercard, but he won all-time respect for the heart he displayed in their epic battle. No one who saw it will forget it.
10. Montell Griffin (47-6)
Suffered disappointing technical decision loss to Gonzalez in recent elimination bout when an accidental clash of heads cut Gonzalez's right eye and sent the fight to the scorecards.
1. Joe Calzaghe (39-0)
It's taken 39 fights, but finally he'll engage in a truly meaningful fight when he unifies belts with Jeff Lacy this fall but only if Lacy wins an August bout.
Next: TBA vs. Jeff Lacy
2. Mikkel Kessler (36-0).
Titleholder from Denmark showed he's the real thing this week, scoring an impressive near-shutout in Australia when he surprisingly dominated hometown hero Anthony Mundine.
3. Jeff Lacy (19-0)
All that stands between him and a fall date with Calzaghe is dangerous former titlist Robin Reid, but we expect Lacy to take care of his biz.
Next: Aug. 6 vs. Robin Reid
4. Markus Beyer (32-2)
Titleholder from Germany weighing his options. He could face Cristian Sanavia in a rubber match, Eric Lucas in a rematch or Otis Grant for the first time.
Next: Sept. 3 vs. TBA
5. Danny Green (19-2)
Australian action fighter returns from disappointing decision loss to Beyer to face an American journeyman.
Next: July 3 vs. James Crawford
6. Anthony Mundine (23-3)
Despite overwhelming support from the Australian home crowd, he failed (miserably) to regain old title against a dominant Kessler in a surprisingly one-sided affair.
7. Robin Reid (38-4-1)
Give former champ from England credit for agreeing to come to Lacy's hometown of St. Petersburg, Fla., for the challenge. It is just Reid's second fight in the U.S. the first since a 1993 six-round preliminary bout in San Antonio.
Next: Aug. 6 vs. Lacy
8. Librado Andrade (22-0)
Oscar De La Hoya protégé having contractual issues that could keep him idle until the fall.
9. Otis Grant (36-2-1)
Canadian contender needs to get past next fight to preserve possible shot at Beyer.
Next: June 18 vs. Charles Adamu
10. Scott Pemberton (29-3-1)
New England brawler won five in a row since 2002 loss to Charles Brewer, including a pair of exciting wins over Omar Sheika.
1. Bernard Hopkins (46-2-1)
If he gets past Jermain Taylor in defense No. 21, Hopkins might look to go up for a rematch with Roy Jones because his big money rematch with Felix Trinidad was wiped away by Winky Wright's stellar jab.
Next: July 16 vs. Taylor
2. Winky Wright (49-3)
Former undisputed junior middleweight champ made a spectacular middleweight debut last month, wiping out Trinidad in a shocking shutout.
3. Felix Sturm (23-1)
Headlines German promotional company Universum's first card in Croatia when he meets Spaniard Jorge Sendra in an elimination bout.
Next: June 18 vs. Sendra
4. Jermain Taylor (23-0)
How do you spell win against Hopkins? J-A-B. Simple as that. If Taylor establishes his killer jab, he should win. But that's a big if.
Next: July 16 vs. Hopkins
5. Howard Eastman (40-2)
The only defeats for Britain's best middleweight are to Hopkins and former titlist William Joppy in a controversial decision. We think Eastman has one more run in him.
6. Oscar De La Hoya (37-4)
He's backing off his claim that he's going back to 147 and more likely will wind up back at 154. He's also backing off his insistence that he will fight Sept. 17 and more likely will wind up fighting in November. We hope it's against Ricardo Mayorga.
Next: Sept. 17 vs. TBA
7. Felix Trinidad (42-2)
After a stunningly horrible performance against Winky Wright, Trinidad said he thought he would retire again. But let's wait for the shock of the loss to wear off a little so he can see what he really wants to do.
8. Kingsley Ikeke (23-1)
Looked terrific in scoring a dominant 10th-round TKO of Antwun Echols recently on ESPN2 in an elimination bout that moved him one step closer to a title shot.
9. Sam Soliman (30-7)
Hopkins' mandatory has stayed busy sparring with Mikkel Kessler and Kostya Tszyu. But don't hold your breath waiting for him to face Hopkins, who probably would give up a belt before he fought the little-known Soliman.
10. Robert Allen (36-5)
He's going on a year of inactivity since losing to Hopkins in their third meeting last June.
1. Kassim Ouma (21-1-1)
Rises to No. 1 with Winky Wright's departure to middleweight. But before Ouma can get a major fight, he needs to take care of mandatory Roman Karmazin, a bout HBO hopes to fit in someplace this summer.
Next: TBA vs. Karmazin
2. Daniel Santos (29-2-1)
Puerto Rican titleholder recently signed with Don King, who also promotes Ricardo Mayorga, Travis Simms, Alex Garcia and Cory Spinks. That means there are a wealth of potential opponents for him, but Spinks is most likely.
3. Ricardo Mayorga (26-5-1)
Former unified welterweight champ probably will face Michele Piccirillo of Italy on King's upcoming pay-per-view card for the title left vacant when Javier Castillejo was stripped.
Next: Aug. 13 vs. TBA
4. Travis Simms (24-0)
The first time he met Alex Garcia in a 2003 title match, he knocked him out. Can he do it again when they meet in a mandated rematch?
Next: TBA vs. Garcia
5. Alex Terra Garcia (29-1)
Earned another crack at Simms' title when he stopped Rhoshii Wells in the ninth round of a terrific fight on the May 21 Brewster-Golota undercard.
Next: TBA vs. Simms
6. Verno Phillips (38-9-1)
His HBO match against comebacking Ike Quartey on the Johnson-Tarver II undercard has potential to be a barnburner.
Next: June 18 vs. Quartey
7. Rodney Jones (36-3)
Slick boxer won a split decision against Teddy Reid in May on ESPN2 in an elimination bout to move one step closer to a title opportunity.
Next: Aug. 26 vs. Kofi Jantuah
8. Javier Castillejo (58-5)
Was stripped of belt for refusing to fight bogus mandatory Mayorga in order to fight Fernando Vargas on HBO. Normally, we hate it when a fighter is stripped by one of the cancerous organizations, but in this case Castillejo was as big a joke as the WBC title holder as Mayorga was as his mandatory.
Next: Aug. 20 vs. Vargas
9. Fernando Vargas (25-2)
He'll still face Castillejo in a 12-rounder this summer, but it won't be for the title like he wanted. Good. It remains a good matchup, but Vargas didn't deserve a title shot at this point.
Next: Aug. 20 vs. Castillejo
10. Kofi Jantuah (28-2)
He made Ouma work for a decision win in January and could earn another shot when he meets Jones in a final eliminator on ESPN2.
Next: Aug. 26 vs. Jones
1. Zab Judah (33-2)
Funny ... despite being the undisputed champion, Judah cannot convince the other big names Oscar De La Hoya, Shane Mosley and Antonio Margarito to schedule a fight with him.
2. Antonio Margarito (32-4)
If the Julio Cesar Chavez farewell tour continues this summer or early fall, don't be surprised to see Margarito defending his belt on the card.
3. Cory Spinks (34-3)
Manager Kevin Cunningham said Spinks suffered severely in making weight for February rematch with Judah and will now go up to 154 pounds, probably to face Santos.
4. Shane Mosley (40-4)
Now that he has successfully returned to 147, the biggest and best fight for him is with Judah. It would be huge.
5. Manuel Gomez (27-10-2)
Exciting brawler just keeps plugging along. If by nothing other than attrition, he should eventually get a title fight.
6. Thomas Damgaard (35-0)
Undefeated Dane is now the mandatory challenger for Oktay Urkal's European title, a fight planned for Sept. 3 if Damgaard wins his tune-up bout.
Next: June 17 vs. TBA
7. Luis Collazo (25-1)
It wouldn't be a surprise if he wound up defending his minor belt on King's Aug. 13 pay-per-view card or in September on Showtime.
8. Kermit Cintron (24-1)
Probably still licking his wounds from the smackdown he took from Margarito in April, so don't expect to see him back in action until at least the fall.
9. Oktay Urkal (35-3)
Skilled boxer whose only losses are to Kostya Tszyu and twice to Vivian Harris moved up from 140 pounds to outpoint Frederic Klose for the European title on May 14.
10. Jose Antonio Rivera (37-4-1)
Lost an April slugfest to Collazo and could wind up in a rematch. Another possibility is a move up to 154 pounds.
1. Ricky Hatton (39-0)
Manchester, England's darling imposed his will on Kostya Tszyu, made the long-reigning champion simply quit and shook up the deepest division in boxing. It was a memorable performance, the first of what could be many for this energetic 26-year-old star.
2. Kostya Tszyu (31-2)
Although he is 35 and sadly quit after 11 rounds, it shouldn't be forgotten that he pushed Hatton hard in a competitive fight. We wouldn't be surprised if Tszyu retired. If he does, it's been a hell of a run despite a sour end.
3. Arturo "Thunder" Gatti (39-6)
OK, we know his fight with Floyd Mayweather is a biggie, but for sheer blood-and-guts excitement, is there a boxing fan alive who wouldn't give up a vital organ to see Gatti vs. Hatton? We shudder at the thought.
Next: June 25 vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr.
4. Floyd Mayweather Jr. (33-0)
Hatton has already taken Tszyu's title. Will Mayweather do the same to Gatti and continue the division's changing of the guard? That's why Gatti-Mayweather is must-see TV.
Next: June 25 vs. Gatti
5. Miguel Cotto (23-0)
Hatton might have replaced him for the moment as the division's top young gun, but he can make his case when he defends his belt against 2000 Olympic nemesis Muhammad Abdullaev in the main event of HBO's best "Boxing After Dark" card in a long time.
Next: Saturday vs. Abdullaev
6. Vivian Harris (25-1-1)
In a huge month of junior welterweight action, Harris will have his work cut out for himself to get noticed. He needs a lights-out performance when he defends his belt on the Gatti-Mayweather undercard.
Next: June 25 vs. Carlos Maussa
7. Sharmba Mitchell (55-4)
Former champ moves up to 147 pounds this weekend when he faces Chris Smith on the Mike Tyson-Kevin McBride Showtime PPV undercard.
Next: Saturday vs. Smith
8. Junior Witter (31-1-2)
European champ has been chasing countryman Hatton for years. If they ever meet, it could be the biggest all-British showdown since Lennox Lewis fought Frank Bruno in 1993 or the great Nigel Benn-Chris Eubank showdowns of the early 90s.
Next: July 9 vs. Andreas Kotelnik
9. DeMarcus "Chop Chop" Corley (29-4-1)
With all the action in this division right now, he's the one guy left out of the party.
10. Muhammad Abdullaev (15-1)
2000 Olympic gold medalist beat Cotto in the opening round of the tournament in Sydney. Now, he's got the opportunity to do it again for a world title.
Next: Saturday vs. Cotto
1. Diego "Chico" Corrales (40-2)
Unified champ is still taking bows following his epic, all-time battle with Jose Luis Castillo in May. They both deserve another round of applause.
2. Jose Luis Castillo (52-7-1)
He's chomping at the bit for a rematch with Corrales. If it happens, is there a boxing fan alive who wouldn't spend pay-per-view money to watch it? That's why we suspect it will eventually happen.
3. Acelino "Popo" Freitas (36-1)
If he wins his fight next month in his native Brazil, he could return to 130 pounds for a fall rematch with titlist Jorge Barrios. Freitas stopped Barrios in the 12th round of a sensational fight in 2003.
Next: July 15 vs. TBA
4. Joel Casamayor (31-3)
Former 130-pound champ is at the crossroads. If he beats Kid Diamond, he's back in the mix for a major fight. If he loses, he could slip to opponent status.
Next: Saturday vs. Almazbek Raiymkulov
5. Juan Diaz (27-0)
The fight with Ebo Elder that was canceled because Diaz suffered a cut the week before the April 23 fight date probably won't be rescheduled, because Diaz has a mandatory against an utterly unknown and untested fighter from Thailand named Prawet Singwancha.
6. Julio Diaz (31-3)
Former titleholder rebounded from March TKO loss to Castillo when he destroyed Marco Angel Perez in 66 seconds on this week's Tuesday Night Fights.
7. Juan Lazcano (33-3-1)
Between losing a decision to Castillo and battling with Golden Boy Promotions, he's been idle for a year. But the problems appear to be behind him and he should be back in the ring this summer.
8. "Kid Diamond" Almazbek Raiymkulov (20-0)
Takes big step up when he faces Casamayor in his first fight against a big-name opponent. The winner of this eliminator moves a step closer to a mandatory shot at Juan Diaz.
Next: Saturday vs. Casamayor
9. Javier Jauregui (49-11-2)
Former titlist faces tough southpaw Ricky Quiles in a title eliminator that should be a very competitive.
Next: June 16 vs. Quiles
10. Sirimongkol Singwangcha (48-2)
In becoming the mandatory for Corrales, the former 118 and 130 champ looked excellent in scoring two knockdowns en route to a seventh-round TKO of Michael Clark on the Wright-Trinidad undercard last month.
1. Marco Antonio Barrera (60-4)
The big fights are return matches with either Erik Morales or Manny Pacquiao, but while they are involved with each other, Barrera is at least making an attractive (albeit smaller) fight when he unifies belts with Robbie Peden.
Next: Sept. 17 vs. Peden
2. Erik Morales (48-2)
Before a possible December rematch with Manny Pacquiao, we may get either a rematch with Jesus Chavez or a scrumptious showdown with featherweight champ Juan Manuel Marquez.
Next: Sept. 10 vs. TBA
3. Manny Pacquiao (39-3-2)
He's supposed to go to trial with former promoter Murad Muhammad this summer, and if Pacquiao wins the case he ought to be ready for a September fight to be tentatively followed by a December rematch with Morales.
4. Jorge Barrios (43-2-1)
Supposed to make first title defense on the undercard of Barrera-Peden in the fall. Obviously, an eventual Barrera-Barrios fight makes sense since they are both promoted by Golden Boy.
Next: Sept. 17 vs. TBA
5. Jesus Chavez (41-3)
Talk about a warrior. After 15 months out with shoulder and knee injuries, he returned without missing a beat to take a split decision from Carlos Hernandez in a sensational action fight that earned him a shot at Barrera.
6. Carlos Hernandez (41-5-1)
A split-decision loss to Chavez, one that easily could have been a draw, didn't hurt his standing one bit. He deserves another meaningful bout coming off such a terrific fight.
7. Vicente Mosquera (21-1-1)
Let's hope this exciting new titleholder from Panama doesn't disappear for a long stretch after his blazing April victory against Yodsanan Nanthachai.
8. Yodsanan Nanthachai (43-3-1)
Probably will take a good, long rest after his impressive 11-year undefeated streak (in which he went 36-0-1) finally came to an end at the hands of Mosquera in April.
9. Robbie Peden (25-2)
Australian titleholder's fall unification bout with Barrera has potential to be a slugfest in a year already filled with them.
Next: Sept. 17 vs. Barrera
10. Cassius Baloyi (31-1)
Fine South African contender has back-to-back wins against countryman and former titleholder Lehlo Ledwaba.
1. Juan Manuel Marquez (44-2-1)
If he can't land a fight at 130 pounds with Erik Morales, we'd love to see him in a unification bout with Scott Harrison, a match that makes sense for both guys.
2. Injin Chi (30-2-1)
The first half of 2005 has been loaded with memorable slugfests, and we expect Chi's defense against Rocky Juarez on HBO to continue the great run.
Next: Aug. 20 vs. Juarez
3. Scott Harrison (24-2-2)
Scotsman went to the hometown of quality challenger Michael Brodie of Manchester, England, and knocked him out with a pulverizing shot to the belly to retain belt in impressive fashion; Brodie announced his retirement afterward.
4. Rocky Juarez (23-0)
2000 U.S. Olympic silver medalist has served his apprenticeship, and now he's stepping into the fire against rugged Chi. It's the kind of match that can either make Juarez a star or ruin him.
Next: Aug. 20 vs. Chi
5. Chris John (35-0-1)
Indonesian titleholder is a total unknown in the U.S., but he has quality victories against Derrick Gainer, Osamu Sato and Oscar Leon. In negotiations to face Spend Abazi of Denmark.
6. Manuel Medina (64-14)
Puerto Rican media reports indicate the former five-time titleholder will move up to 130 to fight an eliminator vs. Jose Miguel Cotto Miguel Cotto's older brother in Puerto Rico.
Next: Aug. 20 vs. Cotto
7. Victor Polo (34-5-2)
Recent loss to Marquez was his fifth unsuccessful try for a world title. Can he possibly get another one? With the lack of depth in this division it is certainly possible.
8. Derrick Gainer (39-7-1)
Whenever you see a horrible fight, just think about this: Is it possibly as bad as enduring a mythical pound-for-pound match between Gainer and Ruiz?
9. Nicky Cook (24-0)
He's the European champ and has an undefeated record, both good credentials, but he's fought a pretty low level of opposition.
Next: June 16 vs. Dazzo Williams
10. Spend Abazi (31-1)
Danish contender isn't a big puncher, but he's been getting the job done, including a solid win against former 122 champ Lehlo Ledwaba last year.
Next: June 17 vs. Geoffrey Munica
1. Oscar Larios (55-3-1)
First fight with Wayne McCullough in February was far closer than the crazy scorecards read, so they're going to do it again in what should be another strong action fight.
Next: July 16 vs. McCullough
2. Joan Guzman (23-0)
Although he's willing to move all the way to 130 for the right fight, "Little Tyson" retained belt with a comfortable unanimous decision against Fernando Beltran Jr. on April 22.
3. Israel Vazquez (38-3)
He just scraped by Armando Guerrero last week on a close decision to retain his belt and set up a possible fight with aging (but still popular) former three-division champ Johnny Tapia this summer.
4. Mahyar Monshipour (26-2-2)
Julio Zarate, who lost a bantamweight title challenge in February, is moving up to challenge Monshipour.
Next: June 25 vs. Julio Zarate
5. Wayne McCullough (27-5)
Despite losing a decision to Larios in February, it was a terrific fight and highly competitive, so the "Pocket Rocket" is getting a rematch on the Hopkins-Taylor HBO PPV undercard.
Next: July 16 vs. Larios
Other contenders: Celestino Caballero, Yoddamrong Sithyodthong
1. Rafael Marquez (34-3)
It wasn't his greatest performance, but he did score a 12th-round knockdown to seal a title-retaining decision against tough-as-nails Ricardo Vargas on the May 28 Julio Cesar Chavez-Ivan Robinson undercard.
2. Hozumi Hasegawa (18-2)
We'd like to see a rematch of his shocking upset of long-reigning champ Veerapol Sahaprom just to make sure his close decision win in April wasn't an accident. However, could face Diego Morales the younger brother of Erik Morales in his first defense.
3. Veerapol Sahaprom (47-2-2)
Although he's 36 and coming off his first loss since 1996, the fight with Hasegawa was close, and it looks like Sahaprom still has a lot left in the tank.
4. Ratanachai Sor Vorapin (63-8)
Although he defeated Cruz Carvajal to win a belt in 2004, he has yet to defend it, instead going 7-0 in non-title bouts. But he's headed to Las Vegas to defend it this summer.
Next: July 8 vs. Jose Luis Araiza
5. Silence Mabuza (18-0)
Emerging South African star was impressive in outpointing former titlist Carvajal (who tested positive for steroids after the fight) in Las Vegas last month to earn mandatory shot at Marquez. Next: TBA
Other contenders: Genaro Garcia, Jhonny Gonzalez, Cruz Carvajal, Toshiaki Nishioka, Wladimir Sidorenko
1. Martin Castillo (28-1)
Heading back to Japan for his second title defense to face southpaw Hideyasu Ishihara, whom he stopped in the 11th round in a May 2004 title eliminator.
Next: June 26 vs. Hideyasu Ishihara
2. Fernando Montiel (30-1-1)
Defense against Eric Morel on the Hopkins-Taylor undercard has all the makings for a snore-fest. It could get ugly.
Next: July 16 vs. Morel
3. Luis Perez (23-1)
Aggressive belt holder looked terrific dismantling Luis Bolano in six rounds in April, a performance even more impressive considering Perez hadn't fought for 15 months.
4. Katsushige Kawashima (28-3)
Defends against former champ Masamori Tokuyama in a rubber match, with the winner mandated to fight fine American contender Jose Navarro.
Next: June 18 vs. Tokuyama.
5. Ivan "Choko" Hernandez (20-1-1)
He lost his title when he was beaten every way possible by Montiel in April. The key will be to see if Hernandez, who is only 22, learns from the mistakes he made in that fight.
Other contenders: Jose Navarro, Mark Johnson, Masamori Tokuyama, Alexander Munoz, Masamori Tokuyama
1. Pongsaklek Wonjongkam (56-2)
We fully expect his mandatory title defense against Jorge Arce on the Christy Martin-Lucia Rijker undercard to be a fight of the year runner-up candidate (come on, nothing's gonna top Corrales-Castillo).
Next: July 30 vs. Arce
2. Jorge Arce (39-3-1)
Former 108 champ has already been in one of the year's best fights, his March brawl with Hussein Hussein. Can he go 2-for-2?
Next: July 30 vs. Wonjongkam
3. Lorenzo Parra (25-0)
Before the end of the year, he'll head to France for a mandatory defense against 2000 French Olympic gold medalist Brahim Asloum.
4. Vic Darchinyan (23-0)
Jeff Fenech-trained slugger makes his second title defense against Northern Ireland's Damean Kelly, whose only previous title fight was a seventh-round TKO loss in 2003 to then-champ Irene Pacheco, who later lost his title to Darchinyan.
Next: July 27 vs. Kelly
5. Irene Pacheco (28-1)
He rarely fought when he was a champion. Now that he's coming off a TKO loss to Darchinyan, the stretches of inactivity could grow even longer.
Other contenders: Rosendo Alvarez, Omar Narvaez, Hussein Hussein, Brahim Asloum.
1. Ivan "Iron Boy" Calderon (22-0)
Slick 105 champ from Puerto Rico faces former titlist Isaac Bustos of Mexico on the Gatti-Mayweather HBO PPV undercard, the fifth champion or former champion that Calderon will face in his last eight fights. Next: June 25 vs. Bustos
2. Will Grigsby (18-2-1)
After long stretches of inactivity and legal problems, he returned to the big stage to school Victor Burgos last month and reclaim the belt he lost to the great Ricardo Lopez in 1999.
3. Roberto "The Spider" Vasquez (19-1)
Lost a four-round decision in his 2001 pro debut but now is a world champion after a thrilling 10th-round knockout of formidable Beibis Mendoza in April.
4. Victor Burgos (36-14-3)
Lost title and No. 1 position when he was thoroughly outboxed and at times outpunched by Grigsby on the Trinidad-Wright undercard. Planning to move up to 112.
5. Hugo Cazares (20-3-1)
Native of Mexico went to Puerto Rico and pulled an upset, claiming a 108 belt with a 10-round technical decision vs. Nelson Dieppa in April. Looking at possible first defense against another Puerto Rican, former titleholder Alex "Nene" Sanchez.
Other contenders: Nelson Dieppa, Yutaka Niida, Beibis Mendoza, Eric Ortiz, Muhammad Rachman
MORE BOXING HEADLINES
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- Golden Boy wins bid for Russell-Lomachenko
- Pascal stays with longtime promoter Michel
- Titleholder Garcia files suit against Top Rank