Boxing Only

The best division in boxing :: March 2019

Carl Frampton and Leo Santa Cruz served up two great featherweight title bouts.
Carl Frampton and Leo Santa Cruz served up two great featherweight title bouts.
Posted: 13-03-2019
Author: Andy Farr

The immediate answer that comes into my head is heavyweight but is that because they are getting more press than other weights? Maybe, but then it was only December 1st that Wilder and Fury gave the world one of the most controversial fights the division has ever seen, and that just made us all the more eager to find out if either of those two could topple Anthony Joshua.

There are plenty of interesting contenders coming along in the heavyweight division, in fact, it's hard to remember a time when the big men had such depth in their ranks.

The biggest money fight out there is the 3rd middleweight meeting of Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin, but Canelo has to get past IBF Champ Danny Jacobs on May 4th before that fight can take place and that is not a foregone conclusion.

Gary Russell Jnr defends his title against Joseph Diaz Jnr
WBC Featherweight Champion Gary Russell Jnr defends his title with a unanimous decision against unbeaten Joseph Diaz Jnr.

WBO ruler Demetrius Andrade and WBC Interim Champion Jarmall Charlo make up the middleweight elite but there are no truly outstanding contenders coming up behind them anytime soon. Super-Welterweight is hotting up with WBA/WBO Champ Jarratt Hurd leading the way. A rematch between Jarrell Charlo and new WBC ruler Tony Harrison has been ordered and WBO ruler Jaime Munguia is gradually building up to bigger fights. 

The Welterweights are making big noises because of the potential meeting of IBF Champ Errol Spence and WBO titleholder Terrence "Bud" Crawford. But, WBA champion Keith "One Time" Thurman can also stake a claim to the number one spot even though he has just come back from a 2-year layoff. If Mickey Garcia pulls off the seemingly impossible at the weekend then I might have to re-write this article.

Errol Spence Jnr vs Mikey Garcia poster
IBF Welterweight ruler Errol Spence Jnr defends his title against WBC Lightweight champ Mikey Garcia.

The surprise division in recent times has been the Super-Flyweights. Before his losses to Thai Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, Nicaraguan Roman "Chocolito" Gonzalez was seen by some as the P4P champ.

Rungvisai has a good rivalry going with Mexican Juan Francisco Estrada with the two meeting in a rematch on April 26th at The Forum in Inglewood, California. Also, Philippine duo, IBF Champ Jerwin Ancajus and Donnie Nietes, as well as Britain's Kal Yafai, can provide the Thai with some stiff challenges.

Gonzalez vs Rungvisai poster
The first Gonzalez vs Rungvisai WBC title clash was a pickem affair. The rematch was an easy 4th round stoppage for the Thai.

Three of the Light-Heavyweight champions are from Russia and the other is from Ukraine. The old campaigner is WBO Champ Sergei Kovalev, but Artur Beterbiev (IBF), Oleksandr Gvozdyk (WBC) and Dimitry Bivol (WBA) all look formidable forces who would be hard to choose between. A good time for the division for sure.

At Super-featherweight Gervonta Davis and Tevin Farmer stand out, but WBC Champion, Mexican Miguel Berchelt will give anyone in the division serious problems. WBO Champ Masayuki Ito won his title on the road in Florida against unbeaten Christopher Diaz (23-0-0) but is untested compared to the other champions.

But the Featherweight division is the one that stands out for me. WBA Champ Leo Santa Cruz faces unification bouts with WBC champ Gary Russell Jnr, WBO ruler Oscar Valdez and IBF Champion Josh Warrington. All are all mouth-watering options.

In a round-robin, my money would be on Gary Russell Jnr. His only loss was to Vasiliy Lomachenko in 2014, but he has looked fast and hard-punching in his fights since. But don't rule out Leeds hard man Warrington, who proved his worth in the heat of battle against Northern Ireland's Carl Frampton in a fight of the year contender.

Let's hope unification is on the mind of Santa Cruz because the Featherweight division could grab the headlines with some spectacular fights.