The junior middleweight division is not a historically famous one. Rather, it has more been the spot of great welterweights on their rise up through further weight divisions or smallish middleweights who couldn’t compete with the bigger bangers at 160. However, that is thankfully no longer the case. And a crop of rising stars makes the future of the division very promising. Here’s a look at boxing’s super welterweight or junior middleweight weight class rankings, one of the sport’s hottest and most exciting divisions.
Junior Middleweight Division Rankings (154 lbs.) Last Updated June 2015
Junior Middleweight Division Champion:
Our 154lbs Championship has been made vacant, with Floyd Mayweather no longer pursuing dual-citizenship at Welterweight and Junior Middleweight.
Top 10 Junior Middleweight Contenders
- Canelo Alvarez – After earning his stripes against Austin Trout, coming up very, very short against Floyd Mayweather, and coming back against Alfredo Angulo, Canelo scored a close, but deserved, victory over Erislandy Lara. The 117-111 scorecard was ridiculous, but there was no robbery there. Dispatched of James Kirkland. Now seems headed to middleweight, but until that’s official, we’ll leave him here.
- Erislandy Lara – Ultimately, Lara wasn’t able to convince the judges that he did enough to defeat Canelo, which is exactly the problem he has always had, haunting him in performances against Carlos Molina and Vanes Martirosyan. He’s had plenty of bad luck along the way, including the all-time stinker of a decision against Paul Williams years ago. After completely dominating Trout, who seemed clueless against him, the Canelo performance was a touch uninspired. Easily got past Ishe Smith and Delvin Rodriguez.
- Demetrius Andrade – The highly talented Andrade had been brought along agonizingly slowly. Finally got a big fight, and a big win, over Martirosyan. Suffered a flash knockdown, but really outclassed his fellow U.S. Olympian in the bout, and now has the title and credit to be able to land an even larger fight. Blew right past Brian Rose, as was expected, and is now looking at big names, while also bypassing some opportunities. We’ll see how that works out for him.
- Jermell Charlo – Charlo stepped up against Gabriel Rosado, and really had a chance to display his skills. Was dominant, if not exciting, against Charlie Ohta after that, and stayed busy in December after a fight with Demetrius Andrade fell through. Got past his toughest fight to date in defeating Vanes Martirosyan.
- Vanes Martirosyan – Vanes reemerged in the top 10 following his win over Willie Nelson, who had been on a tear. His only losses are to Andrade and Charlo, and his fight against Lara was called a Technical Draw through 9 rounds. Deceptive skill in some ways, and toughness for days.
- Austin Trout – It’s hard to mark him down much for the Canelo fight, which was close, and he holds that win over Miguel Cotto as well. But he really looked miserable against Erislandy Lara. Inept. Confused. Clueless. Whatever descriptors you want, it was an ugly, ugly one-sided loss that hurts his standing. Styles make fights, of course, but Trout needs somebody with a style that matches up well with his in a hurry to come back with. Three light wins since.
- Cornelius Bundrage – Thought you could get rid of K9, didn’t you? Well, not so fast. Upset the apple cart by winning a clear decision over Carlos Molina, scoring several knockdowns along the way. In the mix for some big name fights once again.
- Jermall Charlo – Up to now the “second” Charlo, Jermall seemed likely to land the first title shot amongst the twins. But the fight against K9 Bundrage fell through. Been staying busy against relatively middling opposition.
- Ishe Smith – There’s not too much shame in losing a split decision to Carlos Molina. Smith had finally broken through with a title-strap win over Cornelius Bundrage, and after the Molina loss, stepped up for a very difficult assignment, against Lara. He lost that one too, and there’s certainly no shame there, either. Defeated Cecil McCalla in his last fight.
- Julian Williams – The unbeaten Williams makes his debut into the top 10 at 154 lbs. Not on the strength of any particular win, really, but in recognition of his standing and rise, and due to the horrific beating that James Kirkland just took, leaving an open slot.
The rest of the pack: James Kirkland, Willie Nelson, Carlos Molina, Hugo Centeno, James De La Rosa, Alfredo Angulo, Glen Tapia, Delvin Rodriguez, Luciano Cuello, Sergey Rabchenko, Brian Rose