The lightweight division had been in a state of flux for a while, with many of the best names either moving up in weight, or getting old and retiring. After some stability had returned, a whole new flock of fighters moved up in weight, leaving the division back in flux once again. Take a look at our latest ProBoxing-Fans.com lightweight division rankings to see where everyone stands.
Lightweight division rankings (135 lbs.) last updated June 2015
Lightweight Division Champion:
Champ Terence Crawford moved up to 140 lbs, leaving the Lightweight Championship vacant.
Top 10 Lightweight Contenders
- Miguel Vazquez – Do you believe that Miguel Vazquez lost to Mickey Bey? I don’t. That’s why Vazquez is still our top contender in the division. He had been the longtime IBF titleholder racking up wins over Ji Hoon Kim, Ricardo Dominguez, Breidis Prescott, Lenny Zappa, Mercito Gesta, and Denis Shafikov. By the way, his last real loss? To some guy named Saul Alvarez! Yes, Canelo. Got back into the saddle with a win over Jerry Belmontes.
- Raymundo Beltran – Raymundo appeared to all the world to defeat Ricky Burns in their fight, and got jobbed out of a title in the process. The record isn’t pretty, but who said it had to be? Beltran is a tough dude. He outworked Hank Lundy to ruin his momentum, and his three recent losses were all to undefeated top 10 fighters in the division: Sharif Bogere and Luis Ramos, and of course, Terence Crawford, who’s one of the rising fighters in the sport. He blew his title chane though by failing to make weight for his easy win over Takahiro Ao.
- Jorge Linares – Linares has strung together some nice wins as of late, highlighted by a strong showing over Nihito Arakawa, and most recently, over Kevin Mitchell. We all know he can’t take a big punch, though. Last loss was a KO defeat to Sergio Thompson, which made two straight KO defeats for Linares, but that was three years ago. Eight straight wins since.
- Yuriorkis Gamboa – “We all know the script at this point: tons of talent, some pretty big weaknesses, and lately, lots of inactivity.” That’s what I had to say about Gamboa before his loss to Crawford, and that’s essentially exactly how the fight played out. Gamboa showed some heart and grit in there, along with his fatal flaws. Would be better served moving back down in weight, and he still may, after weighing in under 132 lbs in his last outing.
- Richar Abril – Abril’s strong showing, and subsequent robbery against Brandon Rios, shook up the top 10 in the lightweight division. Besides the Rios fight, he also had a huge win against Miguel Acosta, but he lost to Lundy a few years back. All of his career losses were by Split Decision, and he contests the legitimacy of each one. Got through a tough win over Sharif Bogere. Difficult match for anybody. But he’s been inactive, and it’s stalled his momentum.
- Dejan Zlaticanin – The unbeaten Zlaticanin bursts onto the world scene after his decision victory over the sliding Ricky Burns. Also of note is a recent win over Petr Petrov, who survived the awfully-named “Boxcino” tournament by winning three straight bouts. Was the underdog against fellow unbeaten Ivan Redkach, but came away with a stoppage win.
- Darleys Perez: Has been on a very impressive tear since losing to Yuriorkis gamboa. His last three opponents had a combined two losses between them. He goes into hostile territory to face Anthony Crolla in Manchester net.
- Anthony Crolla – Since losing back to back fights in 2012, Crolla has been on a tear. Defeated John Murray, and Gavin Rees before that. Fight against Gamaliel Diaz ended in a technical draw after 3 rounds. Fight with Abril kept on getting scratched. Now, he faces Perez.
- Denis Shafikov -After losing to Miguel Vazquez, his only career defeat and a recurring theme here at lightweight, he earned a stoppage win over the tough Rustam Nugaev in his last outing, getting him back into the top 10. Stayed busy with another win and now faces Mickey Bey.
- Mickey Bey – I guess this is as good a place as any for Mickey Bey. I don’t care what the official ledger says, he didn’t beat Vazquez. And sure, he was outclassing John Molina, but then he got caught and got kayoed. Think Vazquez will get a rematch? I don’t. Faces Shafikov next.
Also in the mix:
Diego Magdaleno, Sharif Bogere, Dierry Jean, Ivan Redkach, Rustam Nugaev, Petr Petrov, Luis Ramos Jr, Art Hovahnnisyan, Andrey Klimov, Terry Flannagan, Kevin Mitchell, Miguel Acosta, Dannie Williams, John Murray, Lenny Zappa, Anthony Peterson, Gavin Rees