November top fighters by division

What changes were made in the weight class rankings for November? Dan Rafael reveals his new world standings.

Originally Published: November 10, 2005
By Dan Rafael | ESPN.com

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:

HEAVYWEIGHTS (201 AND UP)
Vitali Klitschko

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.
Next: None



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.
Next: TBA

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.
Next: TBA

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.
Next: TBA

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.
Next: TBA

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.
Next: TBA