October top fighters by division
What changes were made in the weight class rankings for October? Dan Rafael reveals his new world standings.
Check out my rankings within each boxing division by clicking on the links below. The next rankings will be updated on Nov. 10.
Who is the world's best fighter, regardless of weight class? See my pound-for-pound rankings.
Note: Results through Oct. 12:
1. Vitali Klitschko (35-2)
The long and winding road to a fight with former champ Hasim Rahman is nearly over as the year's biggest heavyweight match is finally set.
Next: Nov. 12 vs. Rahman
2. Chris Byrd (39-2-1)
On behalf of all insomniac boxing fans, thank you for curing us with that wretched fight against DaVarryl Williamson on Oct. 1. That was the worst heavyweight title fight we have ever seen.
3. James Toney (69-4-2)
In first fight since testing positive for steroids and being stripped of a title, Toney did his part by outclassing Dominick Guinn to win a decision. However, because Byrd looked so putrid in the other half of the doubleheader, Showtime has cooled to the idea of a Byrd-Toney showdown.
4. Lamon Brewster (33-2)
Give him credit for having the guts to go to Germany to defend his title. It wasn't easy, but Brewster -- on what would have been the 100th birthday of German legend Max Schmeling -- rallied from a points deficit on the scorecards to drop Luan Krasniqi in the eighth and stop him in the ninth.
5. John Ruiz (41-5-1)
Fraud titlist is out of sight and out of mind. Let's keep it that way.
6. Hasim Rahman (40-5-1)
Between a lawsuit with promoter Don King and recent bankruptcy filing, the former champ is set when it comes to finding excuses if he loses to Klitschko.
Next: Nov. 12 vs. V. Klitschko
7. Wladimir Klitschko (45-3)
Although he clearly won a decision against Samuel Peter and showed stamina in doing so, his performance was a disappointment. He was knocked down three times and spent most of the night clutching into Peter for dear life, in his best Ruiz impression.
8. Calvin Brock (26-0)
Will stay busy by fighting in his hometown of Charlotte, N.C., next month against journeyman David Bostice while awaiting a more significant fight early next year. We'd love to see him fight someone like David Tua.
Next: Nov. 19 vs. Bostice
9. Samuel Peter (24-1)
Just because he lost to Wladimir Klitschko, do not give up on him. He's still only 24 and he proved he has the power and chin to be a champion. However, he also proved he needs to improve his technique, strategy and corner if he wants to be a champion.
10. Jameel McCline (32-5-3)
After years of fighting top names and back-to-back losses to Brock and Byrd, "Big Time" is taking a second consecutive breather when he faces Zuri Lawrence (19-10-4), who has no knockouts.
Next: Oct. 21 vs. Lawrence
1. Jean-Marc Mormeck (31-2)
Guillermo Jones is now his official mandatory challenger. That's an outstanding fight and one that shouldn't be too hard to make since both are promoted by Don King.
2. Johnny Nelson (44-12-2)
He's 38 and will have been idle for 14 months by the time he travels to Italy to defend belt against mandatory Vincenzo Cantatore. Smells like an upset.
Next: Nov. 26 vs. Cantatore
3. Guillermo Jones (33-3-2)
With back-to-back fourth-round knockout victories against former titleholders Wayne Braithwaite and Kelvin Davis, he deserves a title shot as much as anyone. He should get one now that he's the mandatory challenger for unified champ Mormeck.
4. Steve Cunningham (18-0)
If Jones is the most deserving of a title shot, then Cunningham is a close second with a controversial split decision victory against Jones and a decision against Davis in his last two fights. He'll get his shot, too, because he's O'Neil Bell's mandatory.
5. O'Neil Bell (25-1-1)
Maybe he's part Irish because he sure has the luck. Scored a desperation 11th-round knockout of Sebastian Rothmann in August to preserve a title he didn't much deserve in the first place, after receiving a gift decision against Dale Brown when they met for a vacant belt in May.
6. Dale Brown (34-4-1)
Rebounded from robbery against Bell to stop Damon Reed in the fifth round of his comeback fight in August. We demand that Bell give him a rematch.
7. Wayne Brathwaite (21-2)
He probably can't wait until New Year's Eve to bid farewell to 2005 because the year has not been kind to him. He began it an undefeated champion but then lost two in a row, a decision in an April unification bout with Mormeck and a fourth-round TKO to Jones.
8. Carl Thompson (33-6)
Exciting British slugger has not fought for a year, partially because of injuries. At age 41, time is running out for him to make one more push.
9. Virgil Hill (49-5)
Bout with Valery Brudov of Russia for a vacant belt had been slated for Sept. 30 in St. Louis until King scrapped the card because it was a non-starter. We're not that surprised. Who's paying to see a bogus title fight between Hill and Brudov this side of Moscow?
Next: TBA vs. Brudov
10. Sebastian Rothmann (18-4-2)
South African-based Israeli had Bell in serious trouble, easily outboxing him most of the way. That is, until he ran into that monster punch and got knocked out in the 11th.
1. Antonio Tarver (24-3)
Although he didn't look great, the "Magic Man" is still the light heavyweight king after a thorough and lopsided unanimous decision against Roy Jones in their rubber match.
2. Glen Johnson (43-10-2)
Returned from summer loss in rematch to Tarver to dominate and stop George Khalid Jones on Sept. 30 in a very impressive performance. The next night, Johnson showed up at the Tarver-Jones post-fight press conference asking for another fight with either of them.
3. Zsolt Erdei (22-0)
German-based Hungarian is in Los Angeles for the first time, where he is training for a defense in Germany against ex-titlist Mehdi Sahnoune (31-1, 27 KOs). The reason: Erdei and heavyweight champ Vitali Klitschko, who lives in L.A., share trainer Fritz Sdunek, who is also training Klitschko for fight with Hasim Rahman.
Next: Oct. 22 vs. Sahnoune
4. Fabrice Tiozzo (47-2)
Will defend belt against Paul Murdoch of Australia, who is 24-5-1 with 15 KOs against a huge collection of stiffs. This fight is weak, to put it nicely.
Next: Dec. 5 vs. Murdoch
5. Roy Jones Jr. (49-4)
Who could have ever imagined that the once great Jones would now consider it a moral victory just to go the distance? But that's what happened in his rubber match with Tarver, which wasn't even close. Sad to see, but true. Yet Jones says he wants to continue fighting. Why? We have no idea.
6. Clinton Woods (38-3-1)
In first title defense, British overachiever scored a career-best victory when he unanimously outpointed Julio Gonzalez in a good fight last month; Johnson, who is 1-0-1 against Woods, now looms as his mandatory.
7. Julio Gonzalez (38-3)
Dropped unanimous decision to Woods in fight for a vacant title last month but will try to shake the loss off with a quick return against Australia's Jason Delisle (18-3-2, 9 KOs) -- who also has lost to Woods -- in San Jose next month.
Next: Nov. 17 vs. Delisle
8. Tomasz Adamek (29-0)
After such a brutal vacant title-winning effort against Paul Briggs in May, Adamek is not resting on his victory. Instead, the Polish hero heads to Germany to face tough mandatory Thomas Ulrich (28-1), whose only loss was to Glen Johnson in 2001.
Next: Saturday vs. Ulrich
9. Paul Briggs (23-2)
He'll have a new corner headed up by famed Australian trainer Johnny Lewis when he returns from loss to Adamek on the Adamek-Ulrich undercard against journeyman Etienne Whitaker (32-17-2).
Next: Saturday vs. Whitaker
10. Montell Griffin (47-6)
Former champ has failed to take advantage of so many opportunities over the last few years that you have to wonder whether he'll ever win another important fight.
1. Joe Calzaghe (39-0)
Blew huge unification fight with Jeff Lacy because he took a stupid tune-up bout against undeserving Evans Ashira on Sept. 10. In the lopsided decision victory, Calzaghe retained his title but injured his hand and left us asking the perpetual question: Will he ever face a truly significant opponent?
2. Jeff Lacy (20-0)
With the Calzaghe fight off because of his injury, Lacy will instead give his former sparring partner, Scott Pemberton, a long-deserved title shot in what could be a pretty exciting fight.
Next: Nov. 5 vs. Pemberton
3. Mikkel Kessler (36-0)
Danish titleholder could have gotten a unification fight with Lacy after Calzaghe fell out but was asking for money that simply was not there.
4. Markus Beyer (33-2)
Content to stay in the comfy confines of Germany fighting weak opposition unless mandated to face someone with a pulse. Took the easy route last month by dominating the thoroughly undeserving Omar Sheika, who was coming off a loss.
Next: Dec. 10 vs. TBA
5. Danny Green (20-2)
The fight all of Australia wants to see is close to happening. If he and rival Anthony Mundine beat opponents to be named on the same card, they'll meet in a mega fight early next year.
Next: Dec. 11 vs. TBA
6. Anthony Mundine (24-3)
Eventual fight with Green isn't for a world title but no one in a crowd that could exceed 35,000 will care. Mundine-Green will be Australia's biggest fight since Jeff Fenech faced Azumah Nelson there in 1992.
Next: Dec. 11 vs. TBA
7. Librado Andrade (22-0)
With issues with Golden Boy behind him and a new manager in Alan Haymon, his career should get back on track.
8. Otis Grant (37-2-1)
Canadian contender was supposed to face former titlist Cristian Sanavia this month in an eliminator, but Sanavia is injured so Grant will fight a tune-up instead.
Next: Oct. 29 vs. TBA
9. Robin Reid (38-5-1)
Probably still doesn't know what hit him after suffering four knockdowns against Lacy in August. Prior to that, he had never been knocked down.
10. Scott Pemberton (29-3-1)
Good things come to those who wait. After being passed over time and again for a title shot and then having a fight with Green fall apart, Pemberton finally is getting his opportunity against Lacy as a replacement for the injured Calzaghe. Now let's see if the New England brawler can make the most of it.
Next: Nov. 5 vs. Lacy
1. Jermain Taylor (24-0)
Champ is being far more animated and vocal about his rematch with Bernard Hopkins than he was before the first fight. Let's hope that aggression translates into more punching so we don't get another dull affair.
Next: Dec. 3 vs. Hopkins
2. Bernard Hopkins (46-3-1)
With the way he continues to complain about judge Duane Ford's 12th-round score in the first fight, you would think he's going to fight Ford on HBO PPV instead of Taylor.
Next: Dec. 3 vs. Taylor
3. Winky Wright (49-3)
Yawn. His encore to masterpiece against Felix Trinidad is a fight with Sam Soliman. What, HBO couldn't find a better way to spend a few million?
Next: Dec. 10 vs. Soliman
4. Felix Sturm (24-1)
Was on the wish list to be Wright's opponen,t but instead will headline a card in Germany next month. Nothing is set yet, but he could face Maselino Masoe for a minor title or Kingsley Ikeke for the IBF belt that Taylor has vacated.
Next: Nov. 26 vs. TBA
5. Arthur Abraham (18-0)
German-based Armenian continued to cruise along unscathed with a fifth-round TKO of Luis Parad on Oct. 1; could find himself fighting for the IBF belt that Taylor vacated.
6. Howard Eastman (40-3)
After back-to-back decision losses to Abraham and Hopkins, he is in desperate need of a victory to keep his fledgling title hopes alive.
7. Kingsley Ikeke (23-1)
With Taylor relinquishing the IBF belt, Ikeke will fight for the vacant strap. The only question is against whom? Whoever wins the fight, however, will be nothing more than a paper titlist.
8. Sam Soliman (31-7)
Australian took a tough match with Wright rather than wait around to fight for a bogus belt. If he beats Wright, then he won't need a sham title to make money.
Next: Dec. 10 vs. Wright
9. Raymond Joval (34-4)
Manager Stan Hoffman has landed him a lucrative fight in Australia against Shannan Taylor, who is best known for challenging Shane Mosley for the welterweight title in 2001.
Next: Nov. 27 vs. S. Taylor
10. Kelly Pavlik (27-0)
In a solid ninth-round TKO of Fulgencio Zuniga last week, Pavlik survived the first knockdown of his career. His chin and defense are question marks but he is just 23 and has tremendous power and a strong amateur background.
1. Daniel Santos (29-2-1)
Was supposed to defend title against untested Joe Wyatt (21-0) on promoter Don King's Sept. 30 card in St. Louis but the card was canceled because no one wanted to buy tickets for such a meaningless fight. With that fight down the drain, he's due to face southpaw mandatory Sergei Dzindziruk (30-0, 21 KOs), the German-based European champion originally from Ukraine.
2. Roman Karmazin (34-1-1)
Outclassed Kassim Ouma to win a title in July, and King is hoping to put together a 154-pound tournament. He's already pitched Showtime on a Karmazin-Santos fight for January.
3. Kassim Ouma (21-2-1)
Returns from lopsided loss to Karmazin to face Freddy Cuevas on HBO Latino in a fight Ouma should win easily.
Next: Oct. 13 vs. Cuevas
4. Ricardo Mayorga (27-5-1)
With Fernando Vargas fading from the picture, Mayorga (and his title) seems to have the inside track on being Oscar De La Hoya's May opponent.
5. Fernando Vargas (26-2)
With De La Hoya's interest in a rematch cooling, look for Vargas to return to HBO in March. It's probably too much to ask, but we'd like to see a rematch with Winky Wright instead of HBO buying yet another weak fight.
6. Travis Simms (24-0)
Idle since an October victory against Bronco McKart, Simms has had major problems with King and is suing the WBA. His career is slipping away and one day he will regret it.
7. Alex "Terra" Garcia (25-1)
This guy makes exciting fights, has excellent power and has a title belt, yet King continues to unceremoniously bury him on undercards without TV coverage. It's really starting to irritate us.
8. Ike Quartey (36-2-1)
Ex-welterweight champ rejected Wright bout, hoping instead to land May date with De La Hoya. In the meantime, Quartey will face Carlos Bojorquez on the Taylor-Hopkins II HBO PPV undercard, and it probably won't hurt that he'll be around promoter De La Hoya all week leading into the fight.
Next: Dec. 3 vs. Bojorquez
9. Rodney Jones (36-3-1)
Held to a draw by Raul Frank in an eliminator to determine Karmazin's mandatory. The fight was deep on the Tarver-Jones III undercard; be thankful it wasn't part of the telecast because if it had been, you would have fallen asleep and missed the rest of the show.
10. Javier Castillejo (58-6)
Former champ didn't put up much of a fight in lopsided points defeat against Vargas. At 37, Castillejo is just about done and simply keeping a spot in the rankings warm until someone emerges who deserves it more than he does.
1. Zab Judah (34-2)
Undisputed champ is supposed to face undeserving mandatory challenger Carlos Baldomir but with no TV network interested in the match, promoter Don King is having a hard time placing it.
Next: TBA vs. Baldomir
2. Antonio Margarito (32-4)
Defends belt against Manuel Gomez in the cofeature on the Klitschko-Rahman HBO PPV card. It should be an excellent action fight for however long it lasts.
Next: Nov. 12 vs. Gomez
3. Cory Spinks (34-3)
Former undisputed champ is moving up to 154 pounds. Because of the messy legal situation over his contract with King, however, the only fighting he's done lately is with his wife. Last month, she allegedly stabbed him in the shoulder and abdomen in a domestic incident, but the injuries were minor.
4. Shane Mosley (41-4)
Although he handily outpointed Jose Luis Cruz last month, he just didn't look as dynamic as he once did as a welterweight. It's time for him to line up the biggest money fight possible -- Fernando Vargas perhaps? -- before it is too late.
5. Manuel Gomez (27-10-2)
He's deserved a title opportunity for some time and we're glad to see Margarito finally stepping up to the plate and giving him one.
Next: Nov. 12 vs. Margarito
6. Thomas Damgaard (37-0)
Danish southpaw scored easy eight-round decision against Bruno Sakabunda on Sept. 30; next up is HBO fight with Arturo Gatti, probably Jan. 28 but the date is not set yet.
Next: TBA vs. Gatti
7. Luis Collazo (26-1)
Follow up to easy TKO victory against washed up Miguel Angel Gonzalez probably will be a trip to Europe to defend against Oktay Urkal in a very dangerous fight.
8. Kermit Cintron (25-1)
Returned from brutal April knockout loss to Margarito to score a third-round knockout of journeyman Francisco Parra on Sept. 29 on Maryland promoter Scott Wagner's popular "Ballroom Boxing" series.
9. Sharmba Mitchell (56-4)
Fight with Floyd Mayweather is an utter waste of time. Can you believe HBO would actually spend in the $4 million neighborhood on that garbage?
Next: Nov. 19 vs. Mayweather
10. Oktay Urkal (36-3)
Skilled German retained European title with a decision victory against Russia's Maxim Nesterenko last month; shot at Collazo looms.
1. Ricky Hatton (39-0)
For those interested in seeing unification bout with free-swinging Carlos Maussa, the fight is going to be available live on PPV in the United States for the modest price of $19.95 at 4 p.m. ET.
Next: Nov. 26 vs. Maussa
2. Floyd Mayweather Jr. (34-0)
Fight with Sharmba Mitchell is pathetic. Mitchell looked awful in his last fight and was knocked silly in the fight before that. Since Mayweather-Mitchell is supposed to take place at the Rose Garden in Portland, Ore., we're calling it "Garbage at the Garden."
Next: Nov. 19 vs. Mitchell
3. Miguel Cotto (25-0)
Survived the first knockdown of his career and several anxious moments to stop Ricardo Torres in the seventh round and retain belt in a sensational action fight last month
4. Kostya Tszyu (31-2)
Still no decision from the former undisputed champ on his ring future. However, if he does give it one more go, we expect it will be as a welterweight.
5. Arturo "Thunder" Gatti (39-7)
Following lopsided loss to Mayweather, new chapter of career begins in January, when the human highlight film moves up to welterweight to face undefeated Thomas Damgaard of Denmark.
Next: Jan. 28 vs. Damgaard
6. Junior Witter (32-1-2)
Slick Brit will defend the European title against Colin Lynes in London and then face Gianluca Branco in an eliminator with to produce Mayweather's mandatory.
Next: Oct. 21 vs. Lynes
7. DeMarcus "Chop Chop" Corley (31-4-1)
Former titlist continued comeback from TKO loss to Cotto by stopping journeyman Johnny Walker (18-18) in the ninth round on Sept. 17 in the second consecutive fight against a terrible opponent.
8. Carlos Maussa (19-2)
Fearless wild swinger headed to England to face real champion Hatton in a unification bout, as long as the courts don't stop the fight because of the litigation promoter Frank Warren has pending against Hatton.
Next: Nov. 26 vs. Hatton
9. Vivian Harris (25-2-1)
Between knockout loss to Maussa and difficult attitude, promoter Main Events has released Harris. Maybe a change of scenery will help get it together.
10. Ricardo Torres (28-1)
Colombian puncher pushed Cotto to the brink. For sure, he would beat many, many solid opponents. We can't wait to see him again.
1. Jose Luis Castillo (53-7-1)
With his failure to make weight for the rematch with Diego Corrales, he should probably change his name to "Fatstillo." While Castillo lacked professionalism in blowing the weight, Corrales' handlers had a choice to fight or not fight. They elected to fight and they must live with the result: a crushing fourth-round knockout.
2. Diego "Chico" Corrales (40-3)
The loser and still champion! That's Corrales, who despite being knocked out by Castillo, remains the champ because his titles were not at stake due to Weightgate. We need a third fight, and we need it bad to clear up this mess.
3. Acelino "Popo" Freitas (37-1)
Brazilian star will fight before the end of the year but when and where remain up in the air. He might come to the United States for a Nov. 19 fight at Connecticut's Foxwoods resort or fight in December in Rio de Janeiro.
4. Juan Diaz (28-0)
Beat an injured Lakva Sim for a title in a grueling fight in 2004 and now must face a healthy version in a mandatory rematch after Sim wiped out the overrated Ebo Elder in a recent elimination bout.
Next: TBA vs. Sim
5. Joel Casamayor (31-3-1)
Former junior lightweight champ was one of the possible opponents for Mayweather in November but Mitchell got the fight instead.
6. Julio Diaz (32-3)
Former titlist has rebounded well from a tough 10th-round TKO loss to Castillo in March by scoring back-to-back first-round knockouts.
7. Juan Lazcano (34-3-1)
In his second fight since ending a 14-month layoff, he'll headline a Telefutura card in Chicago against Courtney Burton.
Next: Nov. 11 vs. Burton
8. Zahir Raheem (27-1)
1996 U.S. Olympian scored a career-best victory last month when he pulled off a stunningly lopsided decision against Erik Morales, who was testing the waters at 135.
9. Jesus Chavez (43-3)
Former 130 titlist moved up to 135 and claimed a title with an ill-fated 11th-round TKO of Leavander Johnson, who died a few days after the fight. Despite a heavy heart, Chavez will carry on with his career and most likely face junior lightweight champ Marco Antonio Barrera on Feb. 4 in an HBO main event.
10. Lakva Sim (21-4-1)
Former 130 and 135 titlist -- the only world champion ever from Mongolia -- dominated Ebo Elder en route to an impressive 12th-round TKO last month. The victory earned Sim a rematch with titlist Juan Diaz, the man who took his belt in July 2004.
Next: TBA vs. Juan Diaz
1. Marco Antonio Barrera (61-4)
Future Hall of Famer unified belts with a dominant decision against Robbie Peden last month; now eyeing Feb. 4 crack at 135 titlist Jesus Chavez hoping to become the first Mexican fighter to win belts in four divisions.
2. Erik Morales (48-3)
Went up to 135 for an ill-advised fight with slick Zahir Raheem last month. Morales was out of shape, disinterested and embarrassed in losing a lopsided decision. But he's returning at 130 and intent on facing Manny Pacquiao in a rematch of their great fight from March.
Next: Jan. 21 vs. Pacquiao
3. Manny Pacquiao (40-3-2)
Returned from loss to Morales with a sixth-round TKO of Hector Velazquez last month on the same card on which Raheem upset Morales. No matter. The show must go on, which is why he and Morales will fight again despite Morales' defeat.
Next: Jan. 21 vs. Morales
4. Jorge Barrios (44-2-1)
Nothing is set, but there have been quiet discussions about a possible rematch with Acelino Freitas at 135, a fight that would be paired with Chavez-Barrera on HBO's Feb. 4 card.
5. Carlos Hernandez (41-6-1)
Forget about his farcical decision loss to Bobby Pacquiao last week. It was a complete robbery, and the two judges who scored for Pacquiao -- Chuck Giampa and Duane Ford -- need to be held accountable by the Nevada commission. Hernandez won the fight and can hold his head high knowing he kicked the butt of Manny's brother.
6. Vicente Mosquera (21-1-1)
Title victory against Yodsanan Nanthachai in April was a terrific scrap but a little outside-the-ring trouble combined with promoter Don King's lack of dates have left him inactive.
7. Yodsanan Nanthachai (43-3-1)
Although the Thai southpaw lost his title to Mosquera, he'd be a dangerous opponent for any of the top guys at 130 or 135.
8. Alex Arthur (21-1)
Scottish fan favorite easily outpointed tough Russian Boris Sinitsin to win the European title in July and is expected to defend against either fellow Scotsman Willie Limond or Sergei Gulyakevitch of Russia.
9. Robbie Peden (25-3)
Lost title in a very disappointing performance against Barrera last month. Simply did not do what he said he would do, which is fight. He basically surrendered early on and was content to go the distance.
10. Manuel Medina (65-14)
Former five-time featherweight titlist successfully moved up to 130 to score a fifth-round TKO of Miguel Angel Galindo in Mexico last month.
1. Juan Manuel Marquez (44-2-1)
Although he's been stripped of his belts for horrendously unfair political reasons, he remains the true champ at featherweight regardless of what the disgusting IBF and WBA say.
2. Injin Chi (30-2-1)
The twisted WBC is allowing titlist Chi (who is coming off an injury) and interim titlist Humberto Soto each to take a voluntary defense before forcing the winners to face each other. Once again, it's a case of one organization having two champions in one division for the sole purpose of collecting two sanctioning fees. And you wonder why boxing gets no respect? It's absolutely insane.
3. Scott Harrison (24-2-2)
Defends belt in native Scotland against Nedal Hussein of Australia, who is hoping he fights better than brother Hussein Hussein, who was blown out in two rounds by Jorge Arce in a flyweight title challenge Saturday.
Next: Nov. 5 vs. Hussein
4. Humberto Soto (37-5-2)
Upset Rocky Juarez to win an interim belt and launch himself onto the world scene. It should have propelled him into a fight with full WBC titleholder Chi in an effort to remove the "interim" tag from his title. However, the laughable WBC would rather let two fighters in the same division parade around as champions.
5. Chris John (36-0-1)
Indonesian titleholder retained belt with a ninth-round TKO of Tommy Browne in Browne's home turf in Australia. John is a virtual unknown in the United States, but he's putting together a nice résumé that includes wins against Derrick Gainer, Oscar Leon and Osamu Sato.
6. Rocky Juarez (23-1)
Will return from upset loss to Soto to fight a smallish bout in Corpus Christi, Texas, before going after a big name such as Marquez in 2006.
Next: Dec. 9 vs. TBA
7. Joan Guzman (24-0)
Although ex-junior featherweight titlist easily beat Thailand's Terdsak Jandaeng in an eliminator to become Harrison's mandatory, Guzman might not stick around at 126 long enough for the fight. Rumblings are that he already is considering going to 130, where there is more money to be made.
8. Victor Polo (34-5-3)
His decision loss to Marquez in May 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.
9. Derrick Gainer (39-7-1)
Former featherweight titlist was supposed to make 130 debut on promoter Lou DiBella's Oct. 21 "Broadway Boxing" card until Gainer decided against it.
10. Nicky Cook (25-0)
European champ from England has been mandated to face American Robert Guerrero in an eliminator with the winner earning a shot at the fighter who emerges from the Chi-Soto mess.
1. Oscar Larios (56-3-1)
If you're sick to death of the title belt nonsense, then Larios has to be one of your guys. He'll face Israel Vazquez in a unification fight on the Taylor-Hopkins II HBO PPV undercard. More important than unifying titles is that the winner will be recognized as the Ring magazine champion -- the real 122-pound champ.
Next: Dec. 3 vs. Vazquez
2. Mahyar Monshipour (28-2-2)
In a perfect world, the winner of Larios-Vazquez III would face Monshipour. Of course, as we know, the boxing world is far from perfect.
3. Israel Vazquez (38-3)
Besides the high stakes of his fight with Larios, the bout completes their trilogy. Vazquez scored a shocking first-round knockout of Larios in 1997 and then lost via 12th-round stoppage in 2002.
Next: Dec. 3 vs. Larios
4. Celestino Caballero (22-2)
Southpaw from Panama coming off impressive back-to-back victories against Jose Luis Valbuena and Daniel Ponce De Leon. However, instead of getting a big opportunity, he's mired in contractual issues. Golden Boy has given up a claim on him but Don King and All-Star Boxing still claim to have a deal with him.
5. Daniel Ponce De Leon (26-1)
De La Hoya protégé has won two in a row since dropping a decision to Caballero in February and is set to fight for the belt that Joan Guzman vacated to move up in weight.
Next: Oct. 28 vs. Sod Looknongyangtoy
Other contenders: Yoddamrong Sithyodthong, Poonsawat Kratingaengym, Sergio Manuel Medina, Ricardo Cordoba
1. Rafael Marquez (34-3)
Became ill the week he was supposed to make sixth defense against mandatory Silence Mabuza of South Africa, so the fight, originally scheduled for Oct. 1 on Showtime, has been shifted to the network's Lacy-Pemberton undercard.
Next: Nov. 5 vs. Mabuza
2. Hozumi Hasegawa (19-2)
Retained title on Sept. 25 via seventh-round TKO of late substitute Gerardo Martinez, who was filling in for injured mandatory Diego Morales (the younger brother of Erik Morales).
Next: TBA vs. D. Morales
3. Veeraphol Sahaprom (49-2-2)
Former champ stands next in line to face Hasegawa as long as Hasegawa wins the soon-to-be rescheduled mandatory fight against Morales.
4. Ratanachai Sor Vorapin (65-8)
Defeated Pedro Malco Jr. on a 10-round decision in a non-title bout to tune up for a title defense against the exciting Jhonny Gonzalez on an HBO Latino card featuring four title fights pitting Mexican fighters against Thai fighters.
Next: Oct. 29 vs. Gonzalez
5. Silence Mabuza (18-0)
Because Marquez's last-minute illness forced South African star's title shot to be postponed for a month, Mabuza will have had to make an extra trip back and forth to his home country. Talk about an inconvenience. Next: Nov. 5 vs. Marquez
Other contenders: Genaro Garcia, Jhonny Gonzalez, Cruz Carvajal, Wladimir Sidorenko, Ivan "Choko" Hernandez
1. Martin Castillo (29-1)
He'll be on a big stage when he defends the 115 title on Klitschko-Rahman HBO PPV undercard. In a mandatory rematch, he'll face Alexander Munoz of Venezuela, the former champ he took the title from in 2004.
Next: Nov. 12 vs. Munoz
2. Fernando Montiel (31-1-1)
Slated to defend against Thai mandatory on Golden Boy's HBO PPV Latino card that will feature four top Mexicans against four top Thais in world title bouts.
Next: Oct. 29 vs. Pramuansak Phosawan
3. Luis Perez (23-1)
The most exciting, most unappreciated little guy in the business should have defended title vs. Hugo "Rambo" Ramirez (21-4) of Mexico on Don King's Sept. 30 card in St. Louis. But it was scrapped and Perez is on ice again..
4. Masamori Tokuyama (31-3-1)
Regained title from Katsushige Kawashima and now obligated to face mandatory challenger Jose Navarro.
Next: Jan. 3 vs. Navarro
5. Jose Navarro (23-1)
One year to the day since when he was blatantly robbed of a world title on a terrible decision in Japan against Katsushige Kawashima, Navarro will get a mandatory second opportunity against Tokuyama, who beat Kawashima to reclaim the title.
Next: Jan. 3 vs. Tokuyama
Other contenders: Katsushige Kawashima, Mark Johnson, Alexander Munoz
1. Pongsaklek Wonjongkam (58-2)
Defended title for 12th time on Monday with a seven-round technical decision against Japan's Daisuke Naito in a rematch of a 2002 defense in which he drilled Naito in just 34 seconds.
Next: TBA vs. Rosendo Alvarez
2. Jorge Arce (41-3-1)
Retained interim belt on Corrales-Castillo II card when he hammered out Hussein Hussein in two rounds of their disappointing rematch. Should be mandated to face Wonjongkam next to clear up the interim status, but the WBC refuses to enforce it.
3. Lorenzo Parra (26-0)
Venezuela native hung on to title with a majority decision against Takefumi Sakata in Japan on Sept. 19, setting the stage for a mandatory against France's Brahim Asloum, a 2000 Olympic gold medalist.
Next: Dec. 5 vs. Asloum
4. Vic Darchinyan (24-0)
Australia's "Raging Bull" next defends against Damean Kelly of Ireland, but after that, he wants a piece of Arce in order to avenge the loss of his good pal and training partner Hussein.
Next: Nov. 25 vs. Kelly
5. Rosendo Alvarez (34-2-2)
Former junior flyweight and strawweight champ from Nicaragua is now at a more comfortable 112 pounds, where he is the mandatory for Wonjongkam.
Other contenders: Victor Burgos, Irene Pacheco, Omar Narvaez, Brahim Asloum
1. Ivan "Iron Boy" Calderon (23-0)
Don't be surprised to see slick 105 champ eventually move up to 108 and challenge new titlist Brian Viloria, his old amateur rival. Should be an easy fight to make since they are both with Top Rank.
2. Roberto "The Spider" Vasquez (20-1)
Exciting 22-year-old champion from Panama preparing for second hometown defense of 108 belt when he faces Nerys Espinoza of Nicaragua.
Next: Nov. 19 vs. Espinoza
3. Will Grigsby (18-2-1)
Promoter Don King won the purse bid for Grigsby's first 108 defense against mandatory Ulises Solis and has said he'd like to do the fight in Grigsby's hometown of Minneapolis before the end of the year. However, with dates so scarce, it appears highly unlikely.
Next: TBA vs. Solis
4. Hugo Cazares (21-3-1)
Defends 108 belt against Kaichon Sor Vorapin of Thailand on Golden Boy's HBO Latino card featuring four Mexico vs. Thailand title fights.
Next: Oct. 29 vs. Vorapin
5. Brian Viloria (18-0)
2000 U.S. Olympian joined teammates Jeff Lacy and Jermain Taylor in the world champion club when he obliterated Eric Ortiz with a first-round knockout to claim a 108-pound title Sept. 10 in Los Angeles.
Next: TBA vs. Juanito Rubillar
Other contenders: Nelson Dieppa, Yutaka Niida, Beibis Mendoza, Muhammad Rachman
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