New month, same WBA Heavyweight Rankings problems

Anthony Joshua Michael Hunter Deontay Wilder

World Boxing Association Ratings for January unveiled a similar story as unfathomable heavyweight places leave significant head-scratching.

It’s never transparent when the WBA announces the top division rankings. There are always more questions than answers.

Like, how is Anthony Joshua – a two-time WBA heavyweight champion, only rated at the fifth position? He only lost via a decision to Oleskandr Usyk and had a rematch clause. Surely this would mean he gets placed at number one?

When he lost to Tyson Fury, WBC chiefs did something similar with Deontay Wilder. It seemed fitting that the next scheduled challenger got placed in the number one position.

Ironically, Wilder is one place behind Joshua at six. Both former long-reigning rulers get toppled by Daniel Dubois, Michael Hunter, Robert Helenius, and Hughie Fury.

How that quartet managed to be above those two is a clear signal of the problems the WBA committee struggles with today. Their scoring system is flawed.

Andy Ruiz Jr., a contender who won the unified title from Joshua and has since beaten Chris Arreola, is somehow eleventh. Filip Hrgovic, Joseph Parker, and Tony Yoka are all in-form – but even they lie behind Ruiz.

It’s another indication that all four major sanctioning bodies should put their heads together and discuss a potential unified rankings system.

They could still choose their number one contender via eliminators but go from a similar pool.

World Boxing Association Heavyweight Rankings

One positive is still rolling on, though.

When announcing their latest list, the WBA reiterated its desire to make sure the belts are back as one again for the first time in over a decade.

“The World Boxing Association (WBA) published its January rankings lists. All the movements of each division after the fights that took place in the first month of the year 2022.

“Both the men’s and women’s rankings are available on the official website of the pioneer entity for the press and fans in general.

“January was a month with several regional championships in different countries. The heavyweight world championship fight between Americans Trevor Bryan and Jonathan Guidry ended with a split decision victory for the former.

“The body is in the midst of an intense process of reducing world titles. This plan gets brought to accelerate by making decisions such as mandatory fights, mandatory challenger definitions, and champion vs. champion.

WBA HEAVYWEIGHT RANKINGS – January 2022

1 DANIEL DUBOIS
2 MICHAEL HUNTER
3 ROBERT HELENIUS
4 HUGHIE FURY
5 ANTHONY JOSHUA
6 DEONTAY WILDER
7 AGIT KABAYEL
8 ARSLANBEK MAKHMUDOV
9 ZHAN KOSSOBUTSKIY
10 MARTIN BAKOLE
11 ANDY RUIZ JR
12 FILIP HRGOVIC
13 JOSEPH PARKER
14 TONY YOKA FRA
15 LENIER PERO

The views expressed in this article are opinions of Phil Jay.

Phil Jay – Editor of World Boxing News since 2010 with over one billion views. Follow WBN on Twitter @WorldBoxingNews.