January top fighters by division

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

Originally Published: January 12, 2006
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 Jan. 12:

HEAVYWEIGHTS (201 AND UP)
Chris Byrd

1. Chris Byrd (39-2-1)


He's probably headed for Germany to defend his title in a rematch against Wladimir Klitschko in April. But he has just as big a fight beforehand, when he is expected to seek an injunction against promoter Don King in early February.
Next: TBA



2. James Toney (69-4-2)

Set to face Hasim Rahman in a second crack at a heavyweight title. Let's just hope this time Toney isn't on steroids like he was when he faced John Ruiz in April.
Next: March 18 vs. Rahman

3. Lamon Brewster (33-2)

One of the most unfair things we saw in boxing in 2005 was the absurdly long count Luan Krasniqi got from the referee when Brewster decked him in the eighth round of their September fight in Germany. So what did Brewster do? He drilled Krasniqi for good in the ninth.
Next: TBA

4. Hasim Rahman (41-5-1)

Brawled with Toney at a Mexican resort as the deal for their in-the-ring fight was being consummated. Hopefully, the aggression carries over into the real fight because we all need a stirring heavyweight championship fight to lift the division from its doldrums.
Next:March 18 vs. Toney

5. Wladimir Klitschko (45-3)

He destroyed Byrd when they first met in 2000, dropping him twice and winning a lopsided decision. That should give him much confidence should their anticipated rematch come off this spring.
Next: TBA

6. Nicolay Valuev (43-0)

The 7-foot, 330-pound Russian giant became the biggest heavyweight champ ever when he outpointed John Ruiz on Dec. 17 in Germany. Many have called it a robbery. We've seen the tape and to us it was simply a very close (and pretty bad) fight that could have gone either way.
Next:April 1 vs. TBA

7. John Ruiz (41-6-1)

It's hard to feel bad for him losing his title to Valuev because nothing has caused us more aggravation and depression over the past several years than being forced to cover his crappy fights. Besides, now he can lay claim to losing to the biggest heavyweight titlist and one of the smallest (Roy Jones).
Next: TBA

8. Calvin Brock (27-0)

Will continue to stay busy until he can land a major fight. That means facing journeyman Zuri Lawrence in an HBO PPV bout on the Fernando Vargas-Shane Mosley undercard.
Next: Feb. 25 vs. Lawrence

9. Samuel Peter (24-1)

Returned from disappointing September loss to Wladimir Klitschko to score a knockdown and outpoint Robert Hawkins on Dec. 15. But even though Peter won, where was his intensity? Where was his hunger for a knockout? All in all, a disappointing performance.
Next: TBA

10. David Tua (44-3-1)

"Tuaman" returned in 2005 after a two-year layoff to win both of his fights and set himself up for a meaningful match in 2006, although he will begin the year with a stay-busy match on a Warriors Boxing pay-per-view card.
Next: Feb. 24 vs. Javier Mora