After a very strong period for the cruiserweight scene, things have chilled a bit as of late. Still, there are some talented, proven fighters, and a crop of up and comers as well, and most seem willing to fight each other. After the best of the old group moved up to heavyweight, how do the top 10 cruiserweight division rankings play out? Here’s a look at the best cruiserweight fighters in boxing today.
Cruiserweight division rankings (200 lbs.) last updated August 2015
Cruiserweight Division Champion:
Our Cruiserweight Championship was declared vacant when previous champ Yoan Pablo Hernandez failed to face a top 10 opponent in the allotted time as per our ratings policies.
Top 10 Cruiserweight Contenders
- Marco Huck – The only loss on Huck’s cruiserweight resume is a stoppage to Steve Cunningham, who had been the major player in the division. Huck has good power and has reeled off over a dozen defenses, and noteworthy wins over several top-5 cruisers. After almost winning a heavyweight title against Alexander Povetkin, he has come back to cruiserweight. Recently has finished up old business against Ola Afolabi and Firat Arslan. Makes his stateside debut this August.
- Grigory Drozd- Hasn’t lost since a setback to Firat Arslan about eight years ago. Mostly has been fighting a ho-hum crop of opponents, but then scored a win overly the previously undefeated Mateusz Masternak, which stamped his place in the top 10. Got a shot at titleholder Wlodarczyk, and earned a clear win punctuated by a knockdown, asserting his status as one of the best fighters in the division right now. Will we get to see him in there with Huck?
- Yoan Pablo Hernandez – Hernandez was undoubtedly The Man after two wins over Steve Cunningham in a four month span from the end of 2011-beginning of 2012. Injuries have kept him on the shelf though, and his only two fights since facing Troy Ross in December 2012 were against Firat Arslan and Alexander Alekseev. Not awful, but neither were ranked in the top 10 at the time, causing his championship to be vacated. Has spent another year on the shelf since.
- Krzysztof Wlodarczyk – Talk about fighters with strange careers. This guy seems to have a preordained capacity for picking up loose titles in fights you didn’t see against fighters you don’t know or with decisions he didn’t deserve. But much of his best work has come in the past few years. Stopped Danny Green, took out the previously unbeaten and highly touted Rakhim Chakiev and stopped old rival Giacobbe Fragomeni. But came up short against Drozd.
- Rakhim Chakiev – Chakiev only has one loss on his ledger, and that’s to Wlodarczyk. No shame there, and has since won seven in a row as he looks to work his way back towards the top of the division. Most recently stopped the unbeaten Junior Wright.
- Denis Lebedev – Lebedev had a four year layoff in his career between 2004 and 2008 but put together a big 8 wins before meeting Marco Huck and losing a hard fought split decision. After going through the American super-senior circuit, Roy Jones and James Toney, Lebedev met Guillermo Jones, and surprisingly was stopped, thanks in large part to an extremely gory swelling and injury to his eye. He’s going to have a tough physical climb to come back from that beating. The rematch with Jones was cancelled, but he’s since gotten two wins under his belt.
- Tony Bellew – Bellew looked strong in his cruiserweight debut, and scored two wins in the division before securing his rematch against former light heavyweight rival Nathan Cleverly, both of whom got bashed on their way out at 175 lbs. Bellew overpowered Cleverly in the rematch, proving his worth as a contender at cruiserweight while also leaving Cleverly’s future a bit in question.
- Beibut Shumenov – After being schooled by Bernard Hopkins, Shumenov jumped up to cruiserweight. In his second and most recent outing, he won a close fight against BJ Flores.
- Ilunga Makubu – Makubu lost his first fight by stoppage, and has since won 19 straight. Most recently, scored an 11th round KO over Thabiso Mchunu, who had begun to make a name for himself in the division.
- Yunier Dorticos – The unbeaten Cuban hasn’t fought the best opposition thus far, but he’s making waves nevertheless. He stands at 19-0 with 18 stoppages, and although he was never at the top of the Cuban system, you have to respect the pedigree he earned there anyway.
Ola Afolabi, Thabiso Mchunu, Youri Kalenga, Oleksandr Usyk, Victor Emilio Rodriguez, Krzysztof Glowaki, Dmitry Kudrayshov, Pawel Kolodziej, Firat Arslan, Troy Ross, Mateusz Masternak, Dmitry Kudryashov, William Fernando Souza Bezerra, Eddie Chambers, Alexander Alekseev, Alexander Frenkel, Danny Green, Matt Godfrey, Steve Herelius, BJ Flores, Denton Daley, Junior Wright