If you've taken a look at the recent rankings published by the WBC you'll likely have spotted a few oddities though the most obvious one concerns former Light Welterweight title holder Amir "King" Khan (27-3, 19) who the WBC have shockingly placed at #2 in the Welterweight division.

Whilst Khan is a big name in the sport and a former WBA "super" and IBF champion at Light Welterweight his ranking here genuinely leaves a lot of question marks regarding the WBC ranking process.

First how has Khan gotten such a high ranking in a division he has never fought at before. The heaviest weight Khan has ever fought 140lbs (dead on the Light Welterweight limit), the highest weight any opponent Khan has ever weighed has been 140lbs (again, dead on the Light Welterweight limit). Had Khan weighed in or above 140 whilst fighting a guy in the low to mid 140's then a ranking (not as high as #2 admittedly) could at least be explained in that he had tested the water there, in a similar way to how Akira Yaegashi was ranked at Flyweight after his victory over Saenmuangloei Kokietgym.

Secondly Khan is now 1-2 in his last 3 bouts with his only win coming against Carlos Molina who himself is nowhere to be found anywhere on the WBC's rankings (which place 40 fighters per division). Molina isn't ranked at Lightweight, Light Wetlerweight or Welterweight (where ironically he has fought).

Whilst Khan's loss to Lamont Peterson is highly questioned (with Peterson having tested positive for a banned substance in the build up the a rematch) his 4th round TKO loss to Danny Garcia isn't up for question at all. In fact not only is Khan 1-2 in his last 3 bouts but he is without a notable win in over 18 months (since stopping Zab Judah in July 2011).

Whilst it's fair enough that the WBC don't rank champions from other organisations. They also don't rank (for various reasons) any of Manny Pacquiao (medical), Kell Brook, Mike Jones, Victor Ortiz (medical), Keith Thurman, Anton Novikov (legal) or Ruslan Provodnikov (amongst others). Which is part if the reason their rankings in the division are so bizarre, though it still doesn't excuse them for ranking Khan so highly.
 
 
We all love to rip the rankings of the various organisations to pieces, lets be honest it's often more interesting than watching a Miguel Vazquez fight (oooh burn!) but sometimes they do get it right and we need to be fair and give credit where it's due. So in the interest of fairness Let me just congratulate the WBC on having some very good rankings.

For example the WBC rank Denver Cuello #1 (Minimumweight) a very, very deserved ranking for one of the real danger men at 105lbs. Like wise they also rank Kazuo Ioka at #1 (Light Flyweight) following his move from 105lbs where he had to vacate the WBC belt. Unsurprisingly Bernard Hopkins (Light Heavyweight) is also the #1 ranked fighter having recently held the WBC world title in that division (though I do expect him to fall swiftly if he doesn't fight again in the next few months) and quite deservedly Erislandy Lara is #1 at Light Middleweight. I don't think too many fight fans would complain at any of those rankings.

With that said however I do need to remember that this is www.weirdboxing.info and not http://suljosblog.com, I'm not here to be nice to the WBC and in fact I'm only here to be fair. I've been fair and pointed out the WBC do have some good rankings...so on the flip of that, I'm now going to point out some of their ludicrous #1 contenders (after all, I like fairness!).

At Heavyweight the WBC have Chris Arreola (35-2, 30) at #1. I like Arreola, he's great for weird boxing due to his memorable interviews and his unique personality, however he is a man who's beaten no one of note since erm...er...Chazz Witherspoon? Arreola will be fighting the WBC's #2 ranked fighter Bermane Stiverne (22-1-1, 20) in a WBC Eliminator later this year and whilst I do love the look of that bout, I need to ask how either man got his ranking.

At Cruiserweight the WBC have veteran Giacobbe Fragomeni (29-3-2, 12) at #1 and fellow Italian old man Silvio Branco (62-10-3, 37) at #2. Now I like the fact these two are #1 and #2 they drew last time out showing that they are about on level pegging with one another. However Fragomeni is now 3-2-2 in his last 7 (including 0-2-1 in WBC world title bouts) and Branco has barely fought at Cruiserweight having started his career around Middleweight. Someone one from the Mafia helping the Italian pair here?

Below Light Heavyweight we get into the realm of "who?" with Super Middleweight Nikola Sjekloca (25-0, 7) who's best win appears to be over Khoren Gevor-who at the time was banned after hitting referee Manfred Kuechler just months earlier. Likewise at Middleweight we have Argentinian Billi Facundo Godoy (26-1, 13), who was oddly upset after the rankings came out by the unranked Sergio Jose Sanders (20-9-2, 11). Lets see what happens there over the coming weeks!

The WBC's stupid rankings were of course shown up last weekend when their #1 Welterweight Thomas Dulorme (16-1, 12) was stopped in 7 by hard hitting Argentinian Luis Carlos Abregu (34-1, 28). Going into this bout Dulorme had beaten nobody for his ranking, Abregu, whilst with out big wins himself had only lost to Timothy Bradley and had beaten a number of "credible" opponents. It'll be interesting again here to see how far Dulorme falls and how far Abregu climbs when the next rankings come out in November.

We then get another case of "who?" with Light Welterweight Prawet Singwangcha (48-3-2, 27). Singwancha maybe known by some as "the guy who drew with Jose Cotto" but that is pretty his only claim to fame other than losing to Jose Alfaro in his following fight. Since the Cotto and Alfaro fights Singwangcha has vanished into relative obscurity back in Thailand piling up a number of wins against limited opponents.

Things do, thankfully get better at Lightweight where Nihito Arakawa (23-1-1, 15) is ranked #1 and whilst he may not be as well known as someone like Gavin Rees (37-1-1, 18) he is a deserving top ranked fighter. Arakawa will be fighting in an Eliminator with the #2 ranked Daniel Estrada (29-2-1, 22) in what on paper should be a great bout. I certainly can't argue with this bout.

Super Featherweight is much like Lightweight with the WBC having a deserving #1 in Sergio Thompson (25-2, 23) who is perhaps a little over-looked though is a very dangerous guy at 130lbs. The story doing the rounds is that Thompson is favoured for a bout with current champion Gamaliel Diaz (37-9-2, 17) who took the WBC title from Takahiro Ao earlier this week.

After having really good #1 ranked fighters at both Lightweight and Super Featherweight we then get Thai Chonlatarn Piriyapinyo (44-0, 27) who has really faced no one of note, however on November 9th Piriyapinyo will fight for the WBA "super" title at Featherweight against Chris John (47-0-2, 22). Whilst 91-0-2 (47) looks great for a combined record, it's hard to get excited about that bout.

Thankfully the WBC have some common sense and have Victor Terrazas (35-2-1, 21) as their Super Bantamweight #1. Whilst Terrazas is probably best known in the UK for losing to Rendall Munroe, he has since bounced back with 9 wins including victories over Nehomar Cermeno and Fernando Montiel. Solid wins have been rewarded here.

Sadly the WBC then go a bit weird and have Hugo Cazares (37-7-2, 26) as their #1 Bantamweight, despite the fact he's never fought between 115 and 118 and actually fought all the way up at 122 last time out. I really like Cazares, he's always fun to watch, however this ranking does seem a little bit "off" with not only the fact he's never fought at the weight, but he's also never won a WBC "world" title at any weight.

Despite not agreeing with Carlos Cuadras (26-0, 22) being the #1 guy at Super Flyweight, I can understand where the WBC are coming from here. Cuadras is an exciting and popular Mexican and he's the "Silver" belt holder however I'd personally have slightly down the rankings due to his competition (or rather lack of).

Thankfully as mentioned much earlier on the WBC have got it right at both Minimumweight and Light Flyweight, though it's also worth noting that their Flyweight #1, Edgar Sosa (47-7, 28) is also a worthy top ranking fighter.

These are the October rankings so don't be shocked when they change massively in the next few days. At least 2 of the current "#1" fighters should have lost their ranking though it will interesting to see what happens to the men who beat them.
 
 
I never really understood the idea of "Youth" titles though I had always assumed they were to be fought for by two...well...youngsters, however it seems that that, is not always the case and that age is just presumable a number.

Earlier this evening Mexican youngster Gilberto Ramirez Sanchez (23-0, 19) defended his WBC Youth Middleweight title against Colombian veteran Richard Gutierrez (26-10-1-1, 16). The 21 year Ramirez Sanchez has now made 6 defenses of this title and I think we're all willing to accept that he's a "youth", at least in terms of boxing. His opponents however will struggle to be called "youths".

The first title defense for Ramirez Sanchez was just over a year ago as he beat Oney Valdez, Valdez was 36. The second defense was against just months later and came against Amilcar Edgardo Funes Melian, Melian was more youthful than Valdez but was 29. Colombian Samuel Miller was 32, Costa Rican Jaime Barboza was 33, and Gutierrez was 34. (Note-I've not got an age for Isaac Mendez, the only other title defense for Ramirez Sanchez).

Now, like I said, I accept Ramirez Sanchez is a "youth" however how are men well into their 30's considered youths? What exactly does the WBC term as a "youth"? And why isn't Ramirez Sanchez (who is admittedly one of my favourite prospects) facing other youth fighters? The Middleweight division is full of youth with fighters like Billy Joe Saunders, Alex Theran, John Ryder, Chris Eubank Jr, Demetrius Andrade, Marcos Reyes and Dominik Britsch (just to name a few)...so why are old men managing to fight for a "Youth" title that really should be fought for between guys like those I've just name?

Come on WBC if you're going to have a youth title at least keep it to the youths!
 
 
In a follow up to our piece entitled "WBC Weird Bastards in Control" we've since found out just how much the WBC hate unification bouts. Firstly it appears they weren't particularly happy with the WBC/WBA Minimumweight title unification bout between Kazuto Ioka and Akira Yaegashi that took place just a few weeks ago. Whilst both titles in that situation had mandatory challengers it may have made more sense to allow the champion to unify and then face both mandatories over the following 6-12 months instead of forcing the winner (Ioka) to give up one of his titles.

Following the Ioka v Yaegahsi fight the WBC stepped in the way of unification bouts with Saul "Canelo" Alvarez (WBC Light Middleweight champion) and Austin Trout (WBA Light Middleweight champion) or Cornelius Bundrage (IBF Light Middleweight champion). The situation for Canelo now sees him defending his WBC world title against career Light Welterweight Josesito Lopez in what can only be described as mismatch.

After the WBA re-instated Amir Khan as the WBA Light Welterweight "Super Champion" ahead of his bout with WBC champion Danny Garcia boxing fans all expected to see a unified champion at 140lbs. Instead of a proper unification the WBC once again threw their toys out of the proverbial pram and has stated "The WBC will accept only the WBC. Whoever doesn't want it, the title is vacant." Effectively the winner will be forced to make a decision, they can be either the WBA or the WBC champion.

Whilst this decision won't matter too much if Khan wins (as he is generally expected to) due to the fact the Englishman is expect to move to Welterweight if he wins it will matter if Garcia wins as the belt situation in the division will be a real mess.

Hopefully the WBC will change their mind on this bizarre stance sooner rather than later. Boxing needs to head towards unification bouts, we need more unified champions and we need to have the best fighting the best. If one champion holds all 4 titles (as Bernard Hopkins did) then that's good for the sport as it gives a clear #1 in the division. Sadly however if the WBC want to step in the way of unification then they ultimately need to be ignored and put into the same boat as the likes of the WBF, they are standing in the way of progress.

With the Middleweight division heading towards a bit of a "spiritual unification" with Chavez v Martinez (WBC, RING) and Sturm v Geale (WBA "super" and IBF) hopefully the WBC grow up and and allow the winners to fight to sort out one of the most ridiculous situations in world boxing.
 
 
After the recent defeat of "Vicious" Victor Ortiz by Josesito Lopez boxing fans have been wondering who will step up to the plate and face the current WBC Light Middleweight (154lbs) champion Saul "Canelo" Alvarez. The list of possible names is extensive with the likes of Miguel Cotto, Javier Maciel, Carlos Molina, Ricardo Mayorga, Cornelius "K9" Bundrage, Marcos Maidana, Josesito Lopez, Acelino Freitas, Austin Trout and Erislandy Lara all being mentioned by one source or another.

The strongest rumours seemed to suggest that Canelo Alvarez would be defending his WBC title against the current WBA "regular" champion Austin Trout. The Trout v Alvarez bout seemed on paper to make plenty of sense with it being a unification between two top 10 Light Middleweights. Sadly earlier this evening the WBC nixed the bout in the bud with a statement reading:
“We do not accept unification, because if we agree we would be losing authority. We are not going to take away the exclusivity because we own the WBC brand."

Seems funny that just a week prior to this statement the WBC and WBA had a unification bout down at Minimumweight between Kazuto Ioka and Akira Yeagashi with Ioka unifying those to title belts. In the past unification bouts have been seen by boxing fans as "the holy grail" or bouts even more so when both fighters are generally regarded as top 10 fighters in their division.

The WBC had yet more surprises for us. Not only had they prevented a very promising unification bout between two youngsters but presumably they had also ruled out Cornelius Bundrage (the current IBF champion)-as long as he defeats Cory Spinks this coming weekend. They also pushed 3 possible names, one is James Kirkland-a fighter who has recently suffered and injury and will likely still be recovering by the mooted date of the Canelo bout, one is Carlos Molina-a fighter that would test Canelo in ways he's never been tested, a genuinely good fight and 36 year old Acelino Freitas.

Freitas, a former champion down at Super Featherweight (130lbs) and Lightweight (135) retired in 2007 following a stoppage loss Juan Diaz though recently returned from his retirement to stop countryman Michael Oliveira. The win over the unproven Oliveira has some how earned Freitas a #15 ranking at Light Middleweight by the WBC, a ranking that enables him to challenge Canelo for the world title.

Whilst Freitas was once an excellent fighter he is no Light Middleweight and the folk at the WBC need to take a long hard look at themselves here for trying to feed Canelo a faded and much smaller Brazilian. Sadly however the idea of a Freitas v Canelo fight does rather sum up Canelo's uninspiring reign as a world champion which has seen him generally defending against Welterweights (147lbs) such as Alfonso Gomez, Shane Mosley and Kermit Cintron as well as winning the then vacant title in a bout against Matthew Hatton.

Don't be shocked if the WBC manage to confuse us all over the coming weeks until an opponent for Alvarez is eventually named.