Rankings: Cotto returns at junior middleweight

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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 Sept. 4. In an effort to provide the most up-to-date rankings, ESPN.com’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


JUNIOR MIDDLEWEIGHT DIVISION (UP TO 154 POUNDS)

1. Erislandy Lara (24-2-2)

Lara, a former Cuban amateur standout, is a runner who usually stinks out his opponents and makes terrible fights. He has made five defenses against generally weak opposition, including the worst of them all on Jan. 13, when he destroyed semi-retired former titlist-turned-rabbi Yuri Foreman in the fourth round of a shameful mismatch. He’ll return to headline a Showtime card against 2012 U.S. Olympian Terrell Gausha (20-0).
Next: Oct. 14 vs. Gausha

2. Demetrius Andrade (24-0)
In 2015, Andrade was stripped of a world title because of inactivity and his own poor business decisions, but looked outstanding in June 2016 on Showtime when, fighting for only the second time in two years, he dropped Willie Nelson four times in a dominating 12th-round knockout victory. On March 11, Andrade returned from a nine-month layoff by going to Germany as the mandatory challenger for secondary titlist Jack Culcay and outboxed him to claim a belt. He is the mandatory challenger for titleholder Erislandy Lara but the organization refuses to order the fight. So Andrade is headed in another direction, which includes a return to HBO this fall.
Next: Oct. 21 vs. TBA

3. Jermell Charlo (29-0)
Houston’s Charlo, twin brother of former titleholder Jermall Charlo, returned from an 11-month layoff on April 22 and, in a dominant performance, drilled mandatory challenger Charles Hatley in a brutal sixth-round knockout victory. Next up is an outstanding fight with mandatory challenger and 2016 ESPN.com prospect of the year Erickson Lubin (18-0) on Showtime.
Next: Oct. 14 vs. Lubin

4. Jarrett Hurd (20-0)
On Feb. 25, on the Deontay Wilder-Gerald Washington undercard, Hurd scored yet another impressive victory as he knocked out Tony Harrison in the ninth round to win the world title vacated a week earlier by Jermall Charlo. Hurd got an exception to his mandatory defense against Cedric Vitu in order to make his first defense against former titlist Austin Trout (30-3), who he will meet on a Showtime tripleheader featuring three junior middleweight title bouts.
Next: Oct. 14 vs. Trout

5. Austin Trout (30-3)
After back-to-back decision losses to Alvarez and Lara, former titleholder Trout scored four wins in a row (three by knockout), all against decent opposition to land another title shot against Jermall Charlo in May 2016. Trout was competitive all the way but lost a unanimous decision. He will get another shot at a belt in his next fight when he challenges Jarrett Hurd (20-0) on Showtime.
Next: Oct. 14 vs. Hurd

6. Miguel Cotto (41-5)
Puerto Rican legend Cotto, who has won world titles in four weight classes, returned on Aug. 26 for his first fight since losing a decision and the middleweight crown to Canelo Alvarez in November 2015. Cotto took on rugged Yoshihiro Kamegai, of Japan, and outclassed him in a one-sided demolition to claim a vacant junior middleweight world title.
Next: TBA

7. Julian Williams (23-1-1)
When Philadelphia’s “J Rock” Williams got a mandatory title shot against Jermall Charlo in December, he paid the price for all the trash talk he heaped on Charlo, who destroyed him with three hard knockdowns in a fifth-round knockout victory that surprised many who viewed the bout as an even-money bet. Williams returned on June 30 and scored a seventh-round knockout of Joshua Conley.
Next: TBA

8. Liam Smith (25-1-1)
England’s Smith, who lost his world title by ninth-round knockout to Canelo Alvarez in September 2016, stopped Wales’ Liam Williams on cuts in the ninth round on April 8 but could not claim the interim title at stake because he had failed to make weight. A rematch with Williams (16-1-1), which will be a world title eliminator, is on deck.
Next: Oct. 28 vs. Williams

9. Erickson Lubin (18-0)
Lubin, the 2016 ESPN.com prospect of the year, has looked tremendous in virtually every one of his fights as he climbs the ladder to a title shot. The Orlando, Florida, product is coming off a one-sided fourth-round knockout of Jorge Cota on March 4 in a title eliminator that earned him a mandatory fight against world titleholder Jermell Charlo. That fight is set to take place on Showtime at Barclays Center in New York.
Next: Oct. 14 vs. Charlo

10. Maciej Sulecki (25-0)
Poland’s Sulecki won four fights in a row in the United States, including knockouts of decent opponents Hugo Centeno Jr. and Grzegorz Proksa. He returned home to Poland for his next fight on April 8 against Michi Munoz and knocked him out in the third round. And on June 24, he notched a third-round stoppage of Argentina’s Damian Ezequiel Bonelli.
Next: TBA

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