Bantamweight: Burnett wins another belt


Who is the best fighter regardless of weight class? See ESPN’s P4P rankings. Click here

Check out my rankings within each division by clicking on the links below. If there is a lineal champion in the weight class he is ranked No. 1.

For a list of the current champions in all weight classes, click here.

Note: Results through Oct. 23. In an effort to provide the most up-to-date rankings,’s division-by-division boxing rankings will be updated every Tuesday.

More divisional rankings

Heavyweight – Cruiserweight – Light heavyweight – Super middleweight

Middleweight – Junior middleweight – Welterweight – Junior welterweight

Lightweight – Junior lightweight – Featherweight – Junior featherweight

Bantamweight – Junior bantamweight – Flyweight – Junior flyweight/Strawweight


1. Luis Nery (24-0)

In his first fight outside his home country of Mexico, Nery, the mandatory challenger, traveled to Japan and battered long-reigning titleholder Shinsuke Yamanaka into a fourth-round knockout on Aug. 15 to claim a world title in impressive fashion. He was battering Yamanaka when his corner threw in the towel to save him from further punishment. Nery’s claim on No. 1 is tenuous because he tested positive for a banned substance after the fight. While the drug case is ongoing, Nery is due back for a nontitle bout against former title challenger Artur Villanueva (31-2) of the Philippines.
Next: Nov. 4 vs. Villanueva

2. Jamie McDonnell (29-2-1)
England’s McDonnell retained his secondary title fifth time in November in Monte Carlo against Venezuela’s Liborio Solis (25-5-1), a former junior bantamweight titlist, when McDonnell got a gift decision in a mediocre performance. The decision was bad enough that a rematch was ordered. The sides came to terms and avoided a purse bid, but then that deal went south and a new purse bid was ordered. But yet again they made a deal and the bid was called off. The rematch will head back to Monte Carlo and take place on the Dmitry Bivol-Trent Broadhurst undercard.
Next: Nov. 4 vs. Solis

3. Shinsuke Yamanaka (27-1-2)
Yamanaka made 12 successful title defenses and was bidding to tie the Japanese record for world title defenses set by Hall of Fame former junior flyweight titleholder Yoko Gushiken. But when Yamanaka met talented Mexican mandatory challenger Luis Nery on Aug. 15, he was overwhelmed in a fourth-round knockout loss that ended his long title reign.
Next: TBA.

4. Ryan Burnett (18-0)
In June, Northern Ireland’s Burnett easily outpointed Lee Haskins to win a world title and then, on Oct. 21, had the home crowd behind him in Belfast as he squared off to unify belts with Kazakhstan’s Zhanat Zhakiyanov. It was a rough, hard-hitting scrap that Burnett won by unanimous decision to claim a second belt and set himself up for major business.
Next: TBA

5. Zhanat Zhakiyanov (27-2)
Fighting in his 13th different country and in the United States for the first time on Feb. 10, Zhakiyanov scored an upset split decision over Rau’shee Warren in an exciting fight to win a world title. He became the first fighter trained by British legend Ricky Hatton to claim a title. But Zhakiyanov didn’t keep the belt for long. On Oct. 21, fighting in Ryan Burnett’s hometown of Belfast, Northern Ireland, he lost a hard-fought decision in their unification fight.
Next: TBA

Other contenders: Juan Carlos Payano, Zolani Tete, Lee Haskins, Liborio Solis, Omar Narvaez.


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