November top fighters by division
What changes were made in the weight class rankings for November? 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 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 Nov. 9:
1. Vitali Klitschko (35-2)
First he postponed mandatory title defense against Hasim Rahman for the fourth time this year. Then he abruptly announced his retirement because the knee injury that he suffered while training was too severe for him to fight for at least six months, and probably much longer. If he stays retired, we'll always wonder what could have been for the gentleman from the Ukraine. But he gets one more month atop the rankings as a sign of respect for his ability and character.
2. Chris Byrd (39-2-1)
Promoter Don King says he is negotiating a rematch for Byrd with Wladimir Klitschko. However, Byrd is fed up with his promoter, and, with a lawsuit brewing, King is probably wasting his time.
3. James Toney (69-4-2)
While we applaud Toney's desire to stay busy, fighting such an obvious mismatch with Rob Calloway is insulting to boxing fans. He might as well be fighting Cab Calloway.
Next: Dec. 15 vs. Calloway
4. Lamon Brewster (33-2)
Klitschko retired. Byrd put us into a coma with his horribly boring fight against DaVarryl Williamson. Toney tested positive for steroids and now is fighting a club fighter. Maybe Brewster is the savior we've been looking for? At least he deserves some sort of major fight because he's been active and knocking guys out.
5. John Ruiz (41-5-1)
No one in the U.S. will pay a nickel to see him fight so he's taking the jab-and-grab style to Germany to face his mandatory challenger, the 7-foot, 340-pound Nicolay Valuev of Russia. There's a good chance Ruiz will return home minus his belt..
Next:Dec. 17 vs. Valuev
6. Hasim Rahman (40-5-1)
The good news: He'll soon have the interim tag officially dropped from his title and gain the full WBC belt because of Klitschko's retirement. The bad news: He's in bankruptcy, but won't get the desperately needed $4.2 million payday he was due had the fight taken place on Nov. 12.
7. Wladimir Klitschko (45-3)
Vitali's baby brother may wind up with a rematch against Byrd, whom he destroyed the first time they met. We'd rather see Klitschko fight Brewster in a rematch or Rahman, the fighter his brother was supposed to face.
8. Calvin Brock (26-0)
If he takes care of business against journeyman David Bostice, we expect Brock to be in a significant fight early next year, although it might not be against David Tua, as had been discussed.
Next: Nov. 19 vs. Bostice
9. Samuel Peter (24-1)
Power punching Nigerian returns to the ring following September loss to Wladimir Klitschko to face Robert Hawkins. Peter should dominate.
Next: Dec. 15 vs. Hawkins
10. David Tua (44-3-1)
Former title challenger has posted two victories, including last month's decision against Cisse Salif, since coming back from a two-year layoff caused in large part by a lawsuit against his former managers.
1. Jean-Marc Mormeck (31-2)
If the much-discussed unification fight with O'Neil Bell comes off, Mormeck will be the heavy favorite to add Bell's belt to his two. The winner would become only the second undisputed cruiserweight champ in division history, joining Evander Holyfield. Showtime has interest in the fight -- and so do we.
2. 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.
3. Steve Cunningham (18-0)
His title-shot-worthy resume includes a controversial split decision victory against Jones and a decision against Davis in his last two fights. He'll get an eventual shot, too, because he's O'Neil Bell's mandatory.
4. Johnny Nelson (44-12-2)
If the 38-year-old Brit defeats mandatory Vincenzo Cantatore in Italy coming off a 14-month layoff and rising British star Enzo Maccarinelli wins his undercard fight, Nelson-Maccarinelli looms.
Next: Nov. 26 vs. Cantatore
5. O'Neil Bell (25-1-1)
If he faces Mormeck for the undisputed title, Bell will be the big underdog because of his recent shaky performances against Sebastian Rothmann and Dale Brown.
6. Dale Brown (34-4-1)
Mr. Hard Luck got robbed against Bell in a May fight for a vacant title, and Bell refuses to give him the rematch he so richly deserves.
7. Wayne Brathwaite (21-2)
It's been a rough year for the former champ. He entered 2005 as an undefeated champ. He will exit it with no title and two losses, including one by knockout..
8. Carl Thompson (33-6)
Exciting British slugger will return from a year layoff to fight on the undercard of the Ricky Hatton-Carlos Maussa pay-per-view card.
Next: Nov. 26 vs. TBA
9. Virgil Hill (49-5)
Bout with Valery Brudov of Russia for a bogus vacant belt has been on, then off, then on. Frankly, we've lost track. Someday it might take place. Someday we might care.
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. However, then he ran into that monster punch and got knocked out in the 11th.
1. Antonio Tarver (24-3)
He's moving up to heavyweight. Well, at least he's moving up on the big screen in order to play Mason "The Line" Dixon, the heavyweight champ, in "Rocky VI." Maybe a real life move up in weight will follow.
2. Glen Johnson (43-10-2)
Promotional deal with Dan Goossen has expired but they might continue working together. After all, it was Goossen who took Johnson from the land of inconsequential $10,000 purses to a string of seven-figure paydays.
3. Zsolt Erdei (23-0)
Scored a 12th-round TKO of tough former titlist Mehdi Sahnoune on Oct. 22 to retain title in fourth defense.
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. Let's not beat around the bush: This fight is not credible as a title fight.
Next: Dec. 5 vs. Murdoch
5. Roy Jones Jr. (49-4)
We know he said he wanted to continue fighting after Tarver whipped him again. Hopefully, that was just his pride talking and he will call it a career.
6. Tomasz Adamek (30-0)
Polish titlist's first defense was impressive: A sixth-round knockout of Thomas Ulrich in Germany on Oct. 15. Showtime would love to do the rematch between Adamek and Paul Briggs, who fought a war for the vacant title in May, but promoter Don King's financial desires are unrealistic.
7. Clinton Woods (38-3-1)
After four tries, he finally won a title this year and has made one defense against former titlist Julio Gonzalez. However, now Woods faces a stiff mandatory against Johnson, against whom he is already 0-1-1 (and should be 0-2).
8. Julio Gonzalez (38-3)
Making a quick return from losing title shot against Woods when he faces Austria's Jason Delisle (18-3-2, 9 KOs) -- who also has lost to Woods -- in a 12-rounder at San Jose.
Next: Nov. 17 vs. Delisle
9. Paul Briggs (24-2)
Australian contender scored a fifth-round knockout of journeyman Etienne Whitaker on the Adamek-Ulrich undercard to keep hopes alive for a rematch with Adamek.
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 if he'll ever win another important fight.
1. Joe Calzaghe (39-0)
Will he ever have a meaningful fight? Will he ever defend against a top-notch opponent? Will he ever stop ducking Lacy? Will his fragile body ever heal? Will we still care a year from now?
2. Jeff Lacy (21-0)
Looked sensational as he smoked Scott Pemberton in two rounds of his most impressive title defense thus far. Bring on Calzaghe at 168 or Tarver or Johnson at 175. But please, bring on someone who means something.
3. Mikkel Kessler (36-0)
Danish titlist will have home court advantage when he defends against former ex-titlist Eric Lucas of Canada.
Next: Jan. 13 or 14 vs. Lucas
4. Markus Beyer (33-2)
Titlist from Germany suffered a leg injury in training, forcing him to call off a Dec. 10 defense against an opponent who had not yet been named. But knowing Beyer's style, it wouldn' have been anyone too good. He should be back in March.
5. Danny Green (20-2)
In his second fight with new trainer Ismael Salas, Green faces rugged spoiler Kirino Garcia (37-26-3, 26 KOs) in a tune up for a much-anticipated early 2006 showdown with countryman Anthony Mundine.
Next: Dec. 11 vs. Garcia
6. Anthony Mundine (24-3)
Green has already selected his sacrificial lamb, and now it's up to Mundine to pick his opponent for a twinbill that will lead to their long-awaited collision next year.
Next: Dec. 11 vs. TBA
7. Otis Grant (38-2-1)
Canadian contender easily outpointed late substitute Donnell Wiggins on Oct. 29; it remains to be seen if Grant will accept a WBC-ordered elimination bout with Librado Andrade.
Next: Oct. 29 vs. TBA
8. Librado Andrade (22-0)
With eventual title shot at Beyer serving as the carrot, the WBC has ordered a purse bid for a title eliminator between Andrade and Grant. They go to purse bids Nov. 19.
9. Robin Reid (38-5-1)
After suffering the first four knockdowns of his career against Lacy in August, we're not surprised to see Reid taking a long layoff.
10. Eric Lucas (38-6-3)
Former beltholder from Canada has fought just once in each of the past two years, winning both matches, his first since being stopped in the sixth round by Green in a 2003 interim title bout.
1. Jermain Taylor (24-0)
Gave up one of his four titles so he could fight a huge rematch with Bernard Hopkins instead of taking a mandatory no one is interested in. Besides, belt or no belt, Taylor is the true champion until Hopkins or someone else proves otherwise.
Next: Dec. 3 vs. Hopkins
2. Bernard Hopkins (46-3-1)
Either Hopkins beats Taylor in their rematch to reclaim the middleweight throne he ruled for a decade or he loses again and, at 40, heads off into retirement. It doesn't get much more clear cut than that.
Next: Dec. 3 vs. Taylor
3. Winky Wright (49-3)
After seeing him twice defeat Shane Mosley and then dissect Felix Trinidad in his past three fights, it's pretty tough to get excited about a fight with Sam Soliman.
Next: Dec. 10 vs. Soliman
4. Felix Sturm (24-1)
Was supposed to fight Maselino Masoe for a minor belt on Nov. 26 in Germany, but Sturm injured his left elbow and will need surgery, so the match is off indefinitely.
5. Arthur Abraham (18-0)
With Taylor vacating one of his four titles, Abraham will face Kingsley Ikeke in Germany for a vacant belt and the chance to become a paper champion.
Next: Dec. 10 vs. Ikeke
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 flagging title hopes alive.
7. Kingsley Ikeke (23-1)
With Taylor relinquishing the IBF belt, Ikeke gets his shot at a title. However, he'll have to travel to Germany for a tough fight with Abraham.
Next: Dec. 10 vs. Abraham
8. Sam Soliman (31-7)
Australian contender is talking a good game as he prepares to face Wright. Maybe he believes his chatter but pardon us if we don't take it too seriously.
Next: Dec. 10 vs. Wright
9. Raymond Joval (34-4)
Heading down under to Australia to face former welterweight title challenger Shannan Taylor. It's not a major fight on the world scene, but it has potential to be a good scrap..
Next: Nov. 27 vs. S. Taylor
10. Kelly Pavlik (27-0)
Top Rank is making its move with the 23-year-old puncher. He'll get excellent exposure when he fights on the HBO PPV undercard of the Erik Morales-Manny Pacquiao rematch in Las Vegas.
Next: Jan. 21 vs. TBA
1. Daniel Santos (29-2-1)
Hasn't fought in 14 months, but in his defense he had several fights fall out that were not his fault. Now, he's got another fight scheduled. He'll head to Germany to face his mandatory, Ukrainian southpaw Sergei Dzindziruk (30-0, 21 KOs), the European champion.
Next: Dec. 3 vs. Dzindziruk
2. Roman Karmazin (34-1-1)
There has been talk that his first defense could come Jan. 7 on Showtime against former welterweight champ Vernon Forrest. But promoter Don King and Forrest promoter Dan Goossen are not seeing eye-to-eye on options, so don't count on it happening.
3. Kassim Ouma (21-2-1)
As expected, dispatched Freddie Cuevas in four rounds on Oct. 13 in return from lopsided title loss to Karmazin. Could headline the Jan. 20 season premier of ESPN2's "Friday Night Fights" in next match.
4. Ricardo Mayorga (27-5-1)
First (and probably last) defense of paper 154-pound title is expected to come against Oscar De La Hoya on May 6. It's a complicated deal but everything seems on track at the moment.
5. Fernando Vargas (26-2)
He and Shane Mosley might not be what they once were, but if the deal for their Feb. 25 HBO PPV fight is completed, we are looking forward to seeing two big stars in a terrific style matchup. The winner certainly will be in line for another monster payday.
6. Travis Simms (24-0)
Idle since an October win against Bronco McKart, Simms has had major problems with King and is suing the WBA. His career is slipping away and he will one day 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 will open the Taylor-Hopkins II HBO PPV undercard against Carlos Bojorquez hoping a strong performance leads to a significant 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. Although the fight was agonizingly boring, they'll meet in a rematch. You've been warned.
Next: Feb. 10 vs. Frank
10. Javier Castillejo (59-6)
Former champ outpointed Presente Brito in an eight-rounder in native Spain on Nov. 4. It was Castillejo's first bout since suffering a lopsided decision loss to Vargas in August.
1. Zab Judah (34-2)
Undisputed champ must face mandatory Carlos Baldomir (who cares!) or he'll be stripped of one of his belts. We figure it will happen, and after Judah wins easily, he can turn his attention to the money fight, a possible April mega showdown with Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Next: TBA vs. Baldomir
2. Antonio Margarito (32-4)
Defense against Manuel Gomez put on hold when Klitschko-Rahman card was canceled, but promoter Bob Arum promised he would save the fight. He's pitching it to Showtime for January and if that doesn't come through, he said he'd build a small pay-per-view event around it in February.
Next: TBA vs. Gomez
3. Cory Spinks (34-3)
He's been idle since losing undisputed title on a knockout to Judah in February. Since then, Spinks has been embroiled in contract issues with promoter Don King and domestic problems with his wife. Doesn'tleave much time for boxing.
4. Shane Mosley (41-4)
He came back down to welterweight two fights ago but appears headed back to junior middleweight for a big money bout in February against Fernando Vargas. They're negotiating, and it's close. If it happens, it promises to be an exciting fight between two big stars.
5. Manuel Gomez (27-10-2)
Long deserved title shot is in limbo because he was supposed to face Margarito on the canceled Klitschko-Rahman card; HBO had the opportunity to buy it to help beef up a pathetic Mayweather-Mitchell broadcast next week but declined.
Next: TBA vs. Margarito
6. Thomas Damgaard (37-0)
Southpaw from Denmark will risk perfect record when he ventures outside of his home country for the first time in his career to face Arturo Gatti on HBO.
Next: Jan. 28 vs. Gatti
7. Luis Collazo (26-1)
Tough New Yorker better be on his game when he goes to Germany to defend belt against slick Oktay Urkal early next year.
Next: TBA vs. Urkal
8. Kermit Cintron (25-1)
There is plenty of chatter that he might move up to 154 pounds and face former welterweight champ Vernon Forrest on Jan. 7 on Showtime, but nothing is official yet.
9. Sharmba Mitchell (56-4)
We like Mitchell, we respect him and we wish him well. But he has no business in the ring with Floyd Mayweather.
Next: Nov. 19 vs. Mayweather
10. Oktay Urkal (36-3)
Nothing is official yet, but the European champ probably will get a title opportunity early next against Collazo. That's an interesting fight.
Next: TBA vs. Collazo
1. Ricky Hatton (39-0)
In first bout since dumping promoter Frank Warren, Hatton will try to unify titles with Carlos Maussa in England on a card being made available live in the U.S. for $19.99 on pay-per-view. It could be an exciting fight while it lasts.
Next: Nov. 26 vs. Maussa
2. Floyd Mayweather Jr. (34-0)
Giving welterweight a try when he faces former 140-pound titlist Sharmba Mitchell in a mismatch that is not worth your time. It certainly isn't worth HBO's money (about $3.75 million).
Next: Nov. 19 vs. Mitchell
3. Miguel Cotto (25-0)
Expected back from September bout with Ricardo Torres in February. One of the fights we want to see next year is Cotto vs. Jose Luis Castillo. It's a tremendous matchup, and since both guys are with Top Rank, it can be made fairly easily.
4. Kostya Tszyu (31-2)
Despite recent rumors in the Australian media that he is going to continue his career and move up to welterweight (and that he wants a rematch with undisputed champ Zab Judah), Tszyu denied it and said he still hasn't made a decision on his next move.
5. Arturo "Thunder" Gatti (39-7)
In the wake of demolition by Mayweather, Gatti is moving up to welterweight to face undefeated southpaw Thomas Damgaard of Denmark. Perhaps you've never heard of Damgaard. Don't assume it is an easy fight for Gatti. It isn't.
Next: Jan. 28 vs. Damgaard
6. Junior Witter (33-1-2)
Slick Brit retained European belt with a ho-hum decision against countryman Colin Lynes on Oct. 21, setting up title eliminator against Gianluca Branco of Italy. The winner will become Mayweather's mandatory, but he probably will vacate before ever facing the Witter or Branco.
Next: TBA vs. Branco
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 a second consecutive fight against a terrible opponent.
8. Carlos Maussa (19-2)
He's not the most skilled fighter in the world, but he is a fearless, wild swinger. Hatton better be prepared when they meet in a unification bout in England.
Next: Nov. 26 vs. Hatton
9. Vivian Harris (25-2-1)
Between knockout loss to Maussa and difficult attitude, Harris is a handful. Promoter Main Events has released Harris. Maybe a change of scenery will help him get himself back together.
10. Ricardo Torres (28-1)
Colombian puncher scheduled to return from sensational September fight with Cotto to face fringe contender Henry Bruseles in Puerto Rico on the card headlined by Ivan Calderon's 105-pound defense against Daniel Reyes.
Next: Dec. 10 vs. Bruseles
1. Jose Luis Castillo (53-7-1)
Probably headed to a rubber match with rival Diego Corrales in early 2006. If the fight is made, what weight will they fight at? And if it's at 135, can Castillo make the weight or will he blow it again?
2. Diego "Chico" Corrales (40-3)
Although he got drilled in four rounds by Castillo in their October rematch, he retained his belts because Castillo was overweight. Now, Corrales has a choice -- either fight Castillo again or fulfill mandatory to Acelino "Popo" Freitas in a rematch? There's more money in the Castillo fight but the Freitas fight figures to be an easier option.
3. Acelino "Popo" Freitas (37-1)
Former two-time titlist was supposed to fight Dec. 19 in native Brazil, but opted against it when he got the opportunity to be the mandatory for Corrales. "Popo" wants a rematch with Corrales so he can avenge his loss and redeem himself for quitting during their August 2004 showdown.
4. Juan Diaz (28-0)
Mandatory rematch with former titlist Lakva Sim is set for Fox Sports Net, and we expect it to be another physically grueling fight. Diaz better be in top shape or his title is history.
Next: Dec. 15 vs. Sim
5. Joel Casamayor (31-3-1)
Promoter Cedric Kushner has talked about matching the former junior lightweight titlist with South African contender Isaac Hlatshwayo (22-0) before the end of the year. That's a solid fight for hardcore fans.
6. Julio Diaz (32-3)
Former titlist has rebounded well from a tough 10th-round TKO loss to Castillo in March to win both of his ensuing fights by first-round knockout. We fully expect him to get another significant opportunity.
7. Juan Lazcano (34-3-1)
In his second fight since ending a 14-month layoff, he faces onetime contender Courtney Burton in a Telefutura main event in Chicago. Assuming Lazcano wins, Golden Boy will look for a significant fight him.
Next: Nov. 11 vs. Burton
8. Zahir Raheem (27-1)
Top Rank will get him a fight before the end of the year as an encore to his major upset of Erik Morales in September. Assuming Raheem wins and Morales beats Pacquiao in a January rematch, we'llprobably see Raheem-Morales II in mid-2006.
9. Jesus Chavez (43-3)
Negotiations are ongoing for Chavez to make the first defense of his belt early next year against fellow Golden Boy fighter Marco Antonio Barrera, the unified 130-pound champ who would move up for the opportunity. If this fight happens, count on an exciting fight. You just hope Chavez will be mentally right after the tragic death of Leavander Johnson following their September fight.
10. Lakva Sim (21-4-1)
The last time he faced Juan Diaz, Sim had a bum shoulder and lost his title in an exciting fight. Now, the mandatory rematch is set for Fox Sports Net, and Sim's shoulder is fine. We won't be surprised if he regains his title.
Next: Dec. 15 vs. Juan Diaz
1. Marco Antonio Barrera (61-4)
Unified champ eyeing a jump to lightweight to fight for a title in a fourth division against Jesus Chavez early next year. But if that fight doesn't get made, the backup plan is to further unify at 130 with Jorge Barrios. Bring on either fight because they are both potential barnburners.
2. Erik Morales (48-3)
If he beats Manny Pacquiao again in their HBO PPV rematch, we expect to see Morales seek revenge for his shocking decision loss to Zahir Raheem.
Next: Jan. 21 vs. Pacquiao
3. Manny Pacquiao (40-3-2)
Although Pacquiao stopped Hector Velazquez on the same September card in which Morales was upset by Raheem, we still don'tgive Pacquiao much of a chance against Morales in their upcoming rematch.
Next: Jan. 21 vs. Morales
4. Jorge Barrios (44-2-1)
The exciting title holder will take a non-title fight in his native Argentina next month before looking for a significant defense next year.
Next: Dec. 10 vs. TBA
5. Carlos Hernandez (41-6-1)
In one of the worst decisions we have ever seen, Hernandez blatantly was robbed against Bobby Pacquiao on the Corrales-Castillo II card. It would have been less offensive watching Hernandez get mugged in broad daylight. And let's not forget who the two blind judges were who voted against him in the split decision: Chuck Giampa and Duane Ford. Shame on them.
6. Vicente Mosquera (21-1-1)
He's back in the gym training after some legal troubles. Hopefully, the exciting titlist will find his way into a ring early next year.
7. Yodsanan Nanthachai (43-3-1)
Thai southpaw set to return from April title loss to Mosquera when he faces Filipino journeyman Fernando Montilla (31-19-3).
8. Alex Arthur (21-1)
European champ headed to all-Scottish showdown with countryman Willie Limond. A purse bid for the fight is set for Nov. 22.
Next: TBA vs. Limond
9. Robbie Peden (25-3)
After losing belt in a lopsided unification fight against Barrera, Peden is on a break. But when he returns next year, he'll probably move up to lightweight.
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, and would like one more title shot before calling it a career.
1. Juan Manuel Marquez (44-2-1)
He remains the featherweight king regardless of who has the title belts, but my how the mighty have fallen. In about one year, he has gone from a unified champion who rejected $750,000 for a rematch with Manny Pacquiao to being stripped of both belts and having to settle for a trip to Indonesia to face titlist Chris John for $31,250. Ouch.
Next: Dec. 9 vs. John
2. Injin Chi (30-2-1)
Korean titlist is set to return from the leg injury that forced him bail out on a defense against Rocky Juarez in August. Chi will defend in Japan against Takashi Koshimoto (38-1-2), a 35-year-old southpaw whose only notable opponent was Freddie Norwood, and he knocked Koshimoto out in nine rounds in a 2000 title bout.
Next:Jan. 29 vs. Koshimoto
3. Scott Harrison (25-2-2)
Although he weathered some tough moments, Harrison scored a knockdown and won a unanimous decision to retain belt against Nedal Hussein on Nov. 5. The victory set up a dangerous mandatory against former junior featherweight titlist Joan Guzman.
Next: TBA vs. Guzman
4. Humberto Soto (38-5-2)
Interim titlist quietly returned from August upset victory against Rocky Juarez to score a first-round knockout of Ulises Duarte on Oct. 13. Next up is a rematch with Jorge Solis (28-0-2), with whom he had a no contest in 2004 because of an accidental head butt.
Next: Dec. 17 vs. Solis
5. Chris John (36-0-1)
Indonesian titleholder will face by far the toughest assignment of his career when he defends against Marquez, the rightful owner of John's paper title.
Next: Dec. 9 vs. Marquez
6. Rocky Juarez (23-1)
2000 U.S. Olympic silver medalist returns from upset loss to Soto for small fight in Corpus Christi, Texas, against Reynaldo Hurtado. Although Hurtado has lost his four fights, they've been against quality opponents (Tim Austin, Mauricio Martinez, Fernando Montiel and Jose Navarro).
Next: Dec. 9 vs. Hurtado
7. Joan Guzman (24-0)
With Harrison safely through title defense against Nedal Hussein, Guzman is next in line as the mandatory. The sides are talking and Guzman says he's fine with going to Scotland for the fight. We hope it happens, and we hope an American TV network sees fit to televise such a quality fight.
Next: TBA vs. Harrison
8. Victor Polo (34-5-3)
Lost a lopsided decision to Marquez in May, Polo's fifth unsuccessful try for a world title. Can't blame the guy for taking a long break after that disappointment.
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)
For the second time since August, Brit suffered a right hand injury, forcing him to pull out of a fight. This time he backed out of a Nov. 18 European title defense against Yuri Voronin.
1. Oscar Larios (56-3-1)
You want the best fighting the best? You got it. Larios and Israel Vazquez meet in a potentially outstanding rubber match to unify titles and produce a Ring magazine champ on the Taylor-Hopkins II undercard.
Next: Dec. 3 vs. Vazquez
2. Mahyar Monshipour (28-2-2)
We'd like to see him fight a serious contender instead of the obscure Somsak Sithchatchawlan of Thailand, whom he will fight in France in February or March.
Next: TBA vs. Sithchatchawlan
3. Israel Vazquez (38-3)
He scored a stunning first-round knockout of Larios in 1997. Larios won the 2002 rematch via 12th-round stoppage. Now they're set for the rubber match in a high-stakes fight that could be worth the price of the pay-per-view on its own.
Next: Dec. 3 vs. Larios
4. Celestino Caballero (23-2)
Southpaw from Panama outpointed former titlist Yorber Ortega on Oct. 15 to claim an interim title; could wind up facing former bantamweight champ Tim Austin, who is on the comeback trail after a 2 ½-year layoff.
5. Daniel Ponce De Leon (27-1)
Brute puncher was forced to go the distance, but was able to claim a vacant title by outpointing Sod Looknongyangtoy on the Oct. 29 Mexico vs. Thailand "World Cup" card; would be nice to see him get a chance to avenge his only loss to Caballero.
Other contenders: Yoddamrong Sithyodthong, Poonsawat Kratingaengym, Sergio Manuel Medina, Ricardo Cordoba
1. Rafael Marquez (35-3)
Looked sensational in destroying legitimate contender Silence Mabuza in four rounds of a mandatory defense on Nov. 5. At 118 pounds, Marquez is unstoppable right now.
2. Hozumi Hasegawa (19-2)
His dance card is filled up for the near future. First will come a mandatory defense that was delayed by an injury to Diego Morales (the younger brother of Erik Morales). Then comes a rematch with former champ Veerapol Sahaprom.
Next: TBA vs. D. Morales
3. Veeraphol Sahaprom (50-2-2)
Former champ stopped Roger Galicia in the fourth round Nov. 4 for third consecutive victory since losing title to Hasegawa in April. Sahaprom simply was staying busy while awaiting a rematch with Hasegawa next year.
4. Jhonny Gonzalez (31-4)
Ultra exciting puncher claimed a title at age 24 with an impressive seventh-round TKO of the respected Ratanachai Sor Vorapin on Oct. 29 on Golden Boy's Mexico vs. Thailand "World Cup"card.
5. Genaro Garcia (34-4)
Has 34 victories but the one that means the most is his second-round knockout of Marquez in 2000. We want to see a rematch. We've waited long enough. Next: Nov. 5 vs. Marquez
Other contenders: Ratanachai Sor Vorapin, Silence Mabuza, Cruz Carvajal, Wladimir Sidorenko, Ivan "Choko" Hernandez
1. Martin Castillo (29-1)
Mandatory rematch with former champ Alexander Munoz was one of the undercard casualties when Klitschko-Rahman was canceled, but it will be rescheduled no later than the Jan. 21 Morales-Pacquiao II HBO PPV undercard.
Next: TBA vs. Munoz
2. Fernando Montiel (32-1-1)
Although he retained belt against Thailand's Pramuansak Phosawan on a close decision on Oct. 29, Montiel was not as impressive as we expected.
3. Luis Perez (23-1)
One of the fights we've wanted to see for a long time -- a unification bout between Perez and Montiel -- could happen early next year. Perez promoter Don King and Montiel promoter Golden Boy are working on it. Fingers crossed.
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)
Can become the fourth member of the 2000 U.S. Olympic team to win a world title (joining Jermain Taylor, Jeff Lacy and Brian Viloria) if he beats Tokuyama. The fight will happen one year to the day since Navarro blatantly was robbed in his first shot at a world title against Katsushige Kawashima.
Next: Jan. 3 vs. Tokuyama
Other contenders: Katsushige Kawashima, Mark Johnson, Alexander Munoz
1. Pongsaklek Wonjongkam (58-2)
Veteran Thai champion has made 12 title defenses but he seems reluctant to face interim titlist Jorge Arce
Next: TBA vs. Rosendo Alvarez
2. Jorge Arce (41-3-1)
Little dynamo will fight in Monterey, Mexico, next month while awaiting eventual mandatory with Wonjongkam to be enforced.
Next: Dec. 10 vs. TBA
3. Lorenzo Parra (26-0)
Venezuela native headed to France for mandatory defense against young gun Brahim Asloum, a 2000 Olympic gold medalist.
Next: Dec. 5 vs. Asloum
4. Vic Darchinyan (24-0)
Australia's "Raging Bull" had his Nov. 25 title defense against Damean Kelly of Ireland reportedly called off two weeks before the fight because the promoter, d-Rush Promotions, is having serious financial problems.
Next: TBA vs. Kelly
5. Rosendo Alvarez (35-2-2)
Fighting in native Nicaragua on Oct. 29, the former junior flyweight and strawweight champ easily outpointed Julio Grimaldo in a tune-up for mandatory shot against Wonjongkam.
Next: TBA vs. Wonjongkam
Other contenders: Victor Burgos, Irene Pacheco, Omar Narvaez, Brahim Asloum
1. Ivan "Iron Boy" Calderon (23-0)
Slick 105-pound champ defends title in native Puerto Rico against former titlist Daniel Reyes, who will be the fifth champion or former champion that Calderon will have faced in his last nine fights.
Next:Dec. 10 vs. Reyes
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)
Mandatory against Ulises Solis is due by February, which means promoter Don King will need to find a home for it. He has a lot of fights he needs a home for.
Next: TBA vs. Solis
4. Hugo Cazares (22-3-1)
In first fight since signing with Golden Boy, Mexican southpaw knocked out Kaichon Sor Vorapin of Thailand on Oct. 29 to retain 108 title in a highly impressive performance.
5. Brian Viloria (18-0)
2000 U.S. Olympian crushed Eric Ortiz in one round in September to become third team member to win a world title; first defense will probably be on pay-per-view, either on the Jan. 21 Morales-Pacquiao undercard or a possible February card that Top Rank is considering.
Next: TBA vs. Juanito Rubillar
Other contenders: Nelson Dieppa, Yutaka Niida, Beibis Mendoza, Muhammad Rachman
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