03
Jul
2020

What on earth is going on with the WBA heavyweight rankings?

Phil Jay 03/09/2018

The World Boxing Association released their September rankings this week and eyes were immediately raised at the current heavyweight list. 

Not only is the list bereft of world-rated contenders Luis Ortiz, Tyson Fury, the beltless Joseph Parker, or Tony Bellew despite the fact the Briton defeated the previously number five-rated David Haye twice, there are some massively eyebrow-raising and unfathomable fighters included.

Looking down the list you’ll see some who fully warrant a place like Dillian Whyte, Jarrell Miller, Dereck Chisora, Bryant Jennings and the emerging Joe Joyce, but reading between the lines there are a host of boxers whose form is highly questionable for their position.

Here’s the recent form of the Top 15:

1 TREVOR BRYAN – 20-0, 14 KO’s

BoxRec ranking – 39
WBC – 19
IBF – Not rated in Top 15
IBO Computerized – 50

The current interim champion with the WBA, Bryan defeated BJ Flores, having never fought anyone of note during his 20-fight career. Bryan’s last five opponents have 89 losses between them.

2 ALEXANDER POVETKIN

Warrants number two on current form.

3 FRES OQUENDO – 37-8, 24 KO’s

BoxRec Ranking: Classified inactive
WBC: Out of Top 40
IBF Out of Top 15
IBO Computerized: Out of Top 100

Without a fight in four years, Oquendo has to remain ranked due to a legal row with the WBA. Oquendo is due to face Manuel Charr for the regular title this month despite his lack of action.

4 JARRELL MILLER
5 DILLIAN WHYTE
6 DERECK CHISORA

Warranted on current form.

7 OTTO WALLIN – 20-0, 13 KO’s

BoxRec Ranking: 21
WBC: 35
IBF: 6
IBO Computerized: 20

Slightly higher than where he should be, also with the IBF, Wallin needs a bigger name on his resume to cement his position as a top ten operator.

8 BRYANT JENNINGS

Warranted on current form but could be higher on the list.

9 GUILLERMO JONES – 41-3-2, 30 KO’s

BoxRec Ranking: 83
WBC: Out of Top 40
IBF: Out of Top 15
IBO Computerized: 78

It’s flabbergasting how Jones, who previously served a suspension for a failed drug test at cruiserweight, can be rated in the WBA Top 10 after three bouts at the weight against questionable opposition. Barring Denis Lebedev, a victory which was wiped off his record due to the ban, Jones hasn’t faced a top contender in seven years.

10 BJ FLORES – 34-4-1, 21 KO’s

BoxRec Ranking: 115
WBC: Out of Top 40
IBF: Out of Top 15
IBO Computerized: Out of Top 100

No disrespect to BJ, who is a thoroughly nice guy, but how he can be rated at 10 following his loss to Bryan is unbelievable. Add to the fact the American has lost three of his last six bouts and he shouldn’t even feature in the top 50.

11 CHRISTIAN HAMMER – 22-5, 12 KO’s

BoxRec Ranking: 14
WBC: Out of Top 40
IBF: Out of Top 15
IBO Computerized: 11

It’s possibly down to a matter of opinion as to whether you have Hammer in your Top 15 or not, but with one fight in seventeen months – and a loss at that, you have to wonder whether the German deserves his spot without getting back to winning ways first.

12 ALEXANDER USTINOV – 34-2, 25 KO’s

BoxRec Ranking: 56
WBC: Out of Top 40
IBF: Out of Top 15
IBO Computerized: 53

Ustinov – like Hammer, was only slightly deserving of his place in 2017. Fast forward to September 2018 and Ustinov is without a win for sixteen months. Prior to that, Ustinov had not beaten an opponent with less than nine losses since a win over David Tua in 2013.

13 BOGDAN DINU – 18-0, 14 KO’s

BoxRec Ranking: 54
WBC: Out of Top 40
IBF: 13
IBO Computerized: 51

Still making his way in the sport, Dinu is on his way to being placed at the top end of the rankings but it seems a little early for him to be rated at thirteen.


14 JOE JOYCE

As Commonwealth champion and with an Olympic silver medal to his name, there’s no doubting Joyce’s ability and promise will out-reach his current rating.

15 CHRISTOPHER LOVEJOY 12-0, 12 KO’s

BoxRec Ranking: 244
WBC: Out of Top 40
IBF: Out of Top 15
IBO Computerized: Out of Top 100

Probably the most eye-popping of the lot is to see Lovejoy rated at number fifteen. The 34 year-old American, nicknamed ‘Pretty Boy’ has knocked out all of his opponents in the first round. Only one had a winning record, with five of his victories making their debut and all taking place on Mexican soil. BoxRec’s rating of 244 seems about right, so it’s worrying how the WBA have rated him so astronomically.

Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay