Division-by-division rankings

Originally Published: June 9, 2005
By Dan Rafael | ESPN.com

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 June 8:

Vitali Klitschko

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.
Next: TBA

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.
Next: TBA

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.
Next: TBA

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.
Next: TBA