June 22, 2016

KO Digest Rates The Top Five Best Weight Divisions In Boxing Today

Ward-Kovalev is happening at light-heavyweight
By Jeffrey Freeman, KO Digest 
1. Light-Heavyweight: An 'Original 8' weight class with an active, power-punching linear world champion on top in Adonis "Superman" Stevenson. That's a hell of a good place to start. Then there's the other champion in the division, Sergey "The Krusher" Kovalev, a pound-for-pound star. The "Krusher" is supposed to defend his belts against Andre Ward later this year. At 175, a real world champion reigns and a real superfight is on tap. Don't forget the young guys on the way up after their big upsets. Thomas Williams Jr. just obliterated Edwin "La Bomba" Rodriguez in a firefight. Now he gets a title shot. Joe Smith Jr. just upset Andrzej Fonfara on TV (KO 1) to become an overnight top ten contender. And to round out the best division in boxing, Artur Beterbiev is a murderous prospect-contender with future sights set on his amateur rival Kovalev. It's like those violent 1970s again.

The only thing missing is a definitive way of getting Stevenson and Kovalev into the ring for more than just cheap talk and middle fingers. 

Fans are confused about why this is not happening. The real reason is actually the opposite of what you've been led to believe. 

Porter says he's coming for Thurman's head
2. Welterweight: Another traditional boxing weight class packed with elite talent. Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao might be gone but the new generation of boxing stars will cut its teeth right here at 147. Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter are set to rumble this weekend in Brooklyn for the WBA title. 

British IBF champion Kell Brook is a truly special talent who beat Porter for his championship. Brook might actually be too good for his own good, like Rigo and Lara et al. Danny Garcia now holds the WBC title once held by Floyd. The winner of Thurman-Porter will probably target DSG on PBC. Throw Amir Khan, Tim Bradley, Jessie Vargas, Sammy Vasquez, and super-prospect Errol "The Truth" Spence Jr. into the mix and welterweight is looking damn good for years to come. 

Does Ortiz have time left to win the championship?
3. Heavyweight: Hard to believe isn't it? After too many long years in the Klitschko dominated doldrums, the heavyweight division is back in action. The price? No, not David. A splintered world championship. Tyson Fury's 2015 upset of Wladimir Klitschko for THE title pumped much needed new life into the division. The Fury-Klitschko II mandatory rematch happens soon and we're all wondering if the first "fight" was just a fluke, or a joke. American Olympian Deontay Wilder has the WBC title, three defenses of his green belt, and a televised date with Chris Arreola. Say what you want but that should be a fun fistfight. Across the pond in the UK, the IBF has their belt on Anthony Joshua. What a commotion he's been kicking up with his punching power. Oh and let's not forget 37 year-old Cuban southpaw Luis Ortiz. TKO winner over Bryant Jennings, Ortiz looks like a polished heavyweight from yesteryear. 

DeGale and Jack are on a course to unify
4. Super Middleweight: It took a while for 168 pounds to snap back into shape after the slow departure of Andre Ward from the world championship and the weight class itself. Ward is a light heavyweight now. A new crop of excellent young fighters are picking up where Ward left off. IBF champion James DeGale beat Andre Dirrell for his title and has already defended it twice against Lucian Bute and Porky Medina. DeGale, like Ward before him, has a chip on his shoulder and a desire to prove just how great he can really be. Badou Jack has the WBC title and just might be better than anybody truly understands. He beat Anthony Dirrell, George Groves, and arguably also Bute. WBO titlist Gilberto Ramirez is a good young undefeated Mexican technician. His shutout of Arthur Abraham was eye-opening. There is talk of Golovkin challenging Ramirez when "Triple G" moves up to super middleweight. It looks like unification fights will be able to be made while the UK's Callum Smith represents the future for the young guns. 

Canelo carries Oscar belt
5. Junior Middleweight: On its face, this division looks stacked. You have Erislandy Lara, Charlo twins Jermall and Jermell, Austin Trout, Julian Williams, and Demetrius "Boo Boo" Andrade. If these fighters can all somehow mix it up, 154 could be very special. The talent is right there with no rush by anybody to jump up to GGG's 160. Keep in mind that welterweights move up to junior middle. 

Keep in mind also the existence of Canelo Alvarez, 155 pound catchweight champion of economically correct match-ups like one against WBO champ Liam Smith. For all intents and purposes, Canelo's middleweight charade is over. 

Alvarez's star power tops off the division he really fights at and belongs in. 

Lomachenko is the future
Honorable Mentions: Middleweight (160) is ruled by undisputed champion Gennady Golovkin. While all roads should lead to GGG, Triple cleared out the division and is now being shamelessly ducked by Canelo. Junior Welterweight (140) will soon have an undisputed champion when Terence Crawford meets Viktor Postol. Then what though? Crawford will be a welterweight before you know it, leaving behind his second vacant championship. Crawford did that at lightweight for those keeping score at home like KO. Featherweight (126) still has star power and not for nothing but Leo Santa Cruz faces Carl Frampton soon in a top quality pairing. Lightweight (135) has a unification fight in its future when Jorge Linares squares off against Anthony Crolla for the WBA & WBC. This is a good thing but how long until Vasyl Lomachenko (WBO junior lightweight champ) is a full fledged lightweight?