The Light Welterweight Opening

By Cain Bradley on August 20, 2017
The Light Welterweight Opening
The lucrative move for Crawford will surely be moving up to welterweight. (Sumio Yamada)

Crawford vacating all four belts would leave the division in flux, looking for a new order. How will that shake out?

With Terence Crawford (32-0) unifying the light welterweight titles against Julius Indongo (22-1), he is the undisputed champion and has arguably beat everyone the division has to offer. The lucrative move for him will surely be moving to welterweight and it is a move he has spoke positively of before. Crawford vacating all four belts would leave the division in flux, looking for a new order. How will that shake out?

Amir Imam (20-1) is ranked number one for the WBC despite only being two fights removed from a loss to Adrian Granados and has only had two wins since against non ranked opponents. Regis Prograis (20-0), who went to the 2012 Olympics, is ranked number two. The southpaw who holds the NABF title handed Joel Diaz his first defeat in his last bout. Viktor Postol (28-1) has not fought since losing to Crawford but will return next month against unbeaten Jamshidbek Najmiddinov (14-0). Jose Carlos Ramirez (20-0) is fourth, holding the WBC Continental Americas Title while Antonio Oroczo (26-0) holds the WBC USNBC Title.

Julius Indongo held the title prior to the weekend so where he ends up being ranked will be interesting. First place Rances Barthélemy (26-0) has been ordered to rematch second ranked Kiryl Relikh (21-2) after their controversial bout last time. The Belarusian lost a title attempt in the bout prior against Ricky Burns. Czar Amonsot (34-3-3) is rated third with his last loss coming in 2007 against Michael Katsidis and currently holds the WBA Oceania title.

Julius Indongo also held the IBF title so could play a part in where this belt goes. Sergey Lipinets (12-0) is probably the highest regarded prospect in the division with ten of his wins coming by stoppage. The second spot in the rankings is vacant ahead of Akihiro Kondo (29-6-1). He is on an eight fight winning streak. Maurice Hooker is ranked third (23-0-3) and holds the WBO NABO title although is perhaps best known for a controversial draw to Darleys Perez. The Beast, Ivan Baranchyk (17-0) holds the USABA title and is in fifth ahead of Anthony Yigit (19-0-1) and has wins over Lenny Daws and DeMarcus Corley.

Number one rated is Antonio Oroczo. The Mexican is defending his titles in September against Roberto Ortiz. Maurice Hooker is number two and holds the NABO Title. Jason Pagara (40-2) has not lost since 2011 and is also scheduled to fight in September. Jack Catterall (18-0) holds the WBO Inter-Continental Title although may have signaled his current intentions when taking a fight for the British title against Tyrone Nurse. Jose Zepeda (27-1) is ranked fifth, going on a four-fight winning streak and holding the WBO international belt since losing to Terry Flanagan in a world title attempt at lightweight. 

Other Contenders
Being outside the top five of the governing bodies will not necessarily keep boxers from a title shot. Mikey Garcia (37-0) was last seen defeating Adrien Broner (33-3) and are arguably the two marquee names if they remain in the division. John Molina Jr. (29-7) and Felix Diaz (19-2) both lost to Terence Crawford last time out but that is hardly a disgrace. Josh Taylor (10-0) is another superstar prospect but may be a couple of fights from a title bout.

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  1. Alfonso Bedoya 08:03am, 08/21/2017

    Let’s go Mikey!

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