Lukie’s Lightweight Rankings, and Why Devin Haney Is #1
After a few major lightweight fights, we’re starting to see the lightweight division at the top take shape, as it appears clear to me Devin Haney is the best, but now let’s look at the best and the contenders that I currently see in the division.
01. Devin Haney
He literally couldn’t buy a fight, until he got the undisputed lightweight title clash against George Kambosos Jnr, and Haney made the most of it, winning all, but one round on my scorecard to capture all four of the world titles. Haney looks the part of a star, now has a star-like performance against Kambosos on enemy soil, as well as faced solid competition in Jorge Linares and Joseph Diaz Jr., what we’ve wanted to see is him in with a prime fighter, and I think he wants that, too. It is hard not to say Devin Haney is the best right now.
Next Fight: A 12-round unanimous decision over George Kambosos Jnr.
02. Vasyl Lomachenko
Lomachenko is currently in the Ukraine helping fend off the Russians in some capacity, otherwise, he’d probably be fighting Kambosos Jnr. Lomachenko’s career is historic, but his loss to Teofimo Lopez, who has now left the division, set him back a bit. Lomachenko is one of the icons of the past era, and now we just have to see where he goes from here in the final stages of his career. Despite being one of the best featherweights I have ever seen, a three-division world champion and only losing one amateur fight in his whole life, we have set the bar so high for Lomachenko, so far it feels as though he is still looking to live up to that standard. With a worthy rival in Haney now in the division, that looks to be a great future fight for both.
Next Fight: TBA
03. Gervonta Davis
The biggest draw in the division by far, the money man, who is supported by “Money” Mayweather is putting forth big events. Davis reminds me of Aaron Pryor with a bit better defense, all-offense, with a ton of power. Davis punches with the ferocity that he has had a hard life and wants you to experience it. I hope we get to see “Tank” in against the top names because he very well could be the best guy in the division currently. Currently, Davis is fighting in entertaining bouts, as more of concert-type attraction to see him fight, more so than chasing legacy in the sport. That being said, all but two of his fights end in a knockout which will get everyone excited.
Next Fight: Davis just recorded a sixth-round KO over Rolando Romero
04. Issac Cruz
“Pibull” Cruz is somewhat like a modern Orlando Salido, tough, aggressive, and relentless. With Sean Gibbons also advising him, Cruz is one the most marquee fighter, that many will avoid as he quite possibly could be better than his given ranking currently. Cruz had a very close fight with Davis in December, that many felt he won. Now, Cruz is looking around the division to see who can match-up with as he looks to be one of the young forces looking to make a name for himself.
05. William Zepeda
He might have a short prime with how reckless Zepeda is on defense, but William Zepeda appears to be one of these guys like Francisco Vargas or Miguel Berchelt, in which he will be a lot to handle when in his prime. Zepeda is a southpaw, a power puncher who throws a lot, and doesn’t mind taking a few to give some. The downside, Zepeda looks to have regressed a bit in his last two fights, but his win over Hector Tanajara is a top win in the division.
Next Fight: Just beat former champion Rene Alvarado by decision.
06. Michel Rivera
Michel Rivera, has been touted by the hardcore fight fans as the guy who could emerge in the lightweight division. Rivera is emerging into the world title picture with solid wins and professional performances as well as an elite team. I am very high on the upside of Rivera, who is a very big lightweight and has a chance to be a two-to-three division world champion.
Next Fight: TBA
07. George Kambosos Jnr.
He beat the man who beat the man. Kambosos Jnr beat Teofimo Lopez, who beat Vasyl Lomachenko. Kambosos Jnr as a healthy underdog shocked the world and became an international boxing superstar. The problem is that Kambosos Jnr followed that performance with a one-sided loss to Devin Haney. I am probably more so shocked at the nature of the result as I have moved him more than likely a tad lower than I should have, but that is life. We overeact. I still think Kambosos Jnr will be an iconic fighter of the era.
Next Fight: lost a 12-round decision to Devin Haney.
08. Rolando Romero
I truly believe if you’re not one of the best fighters in the world at lightweight you stand no chance against Rolly. Romero hits hard, stays in-shape and is fearless. Oh, and he can box as well, despite having his own style to boxing, Romero proved in his fight with “Tank” Davis, he is a world-class boxer.
Next Fight: KO loss to Gervonta Davis.
09. Jeremia Nakathila
Defeating a former champion, Nakathila, enters the list with an upset KO win over Miguel Berchelt. Nakathila might not be the face of the division, and might not even stay in this list for more than a few months, but deserves credit for an outstanding main event win. A fighter, who knows how to fight long with good snap on his punches when they’re fully extended, should be an interesting fight for many, including Keyshawn Davis in the future.
10. Richard Commey
Probably one of the most underrated fighters of the past decade. Commey always seems to lose the big fight, but never falls off TV, because he will relugate a club fighter back to the regional scene if they look
Prospects of the division: Ryan Garcia, Jose Valenzuela and Keyshawn Davis
Ryan Garcia hasn’t seemed to decide if he wants to commit to the sport of boxing fully. Garcia is not taking the steps to become a world champion, and furthermore has been in marquee bouts for the past five-to-six years, with little progression. Garcia is a star, but at some point, if you want to be viewed as a world-level boxer, you have to fight in world-level competition.
Next Fight: Javier Fortuna, July 16th,
Jose Valenzuela, better known as “Rayo”, is big puncher, who is focused on power, and high offensive output. Training with Jose Benvidez Sr., Valenzuela is about to be one of the guys in his division, and not unlike his stablemates, Valenzuela seemingly wants all the big fights, which endears you to fight fans.
Keyshawn Davis is the 2020 Olympic silver medalist, who is being fast-tracked already. Davis despite so few fights in his career, Davis is looking like one of the better young offensive fighters, and even with so few pro fights, is already looking like a true player in this division. By the end of the year, Davis should face a stren test, and by the summer of next year, I beleive we will start to see Davis fight against some elite names in the divisions.
Spoilers of the division: Joseph Diaz Jr., Jezzrel Corrales and Denys Berinchyk
Joseph Diaz Jr has as much talent as anyone in the division and if I was Golden Boy Promotions I would’ve heavily invested in him during the pandemic, but Diaz Jr is seemingly having more troubles outside of the ring than inside. Management issues, legal issues, a slew of stuff is taking away from his focus, and I am not completely sure he is best suited at 135 lbs either.
Next Fight: TBA
Jeezrel Corrales is a former world champion, who just beat a fighter who is signed to Thompson Boxing who is undefeated. Corrales is a game spoiler ready to be awkward and test young fighters. Corrales has accepted his role in the sport, and that makes him very dangerous. In his last fight, Corrales beat Miguel Madueno, an undefeated Thompson Boxing prospect. Corrales will get a world title shot in the near future.
Next Fight: TBA
The Ukrainian medalist from the famed team, “Papachenko” took to the Olympics, Denys Berinchyk might be one of boxing’s greatest “what-if’s”. He is still undefeated, but it just feels like his time as an elite fighter is nearing a close or closed. I think I last heard he was doing bare-knuckle. I truly believe he is a top-15 talent, but it is getting harder and harder to keep him on this list. I would love to read a book about what happened to his career after his Olympic run.
Next Fight: TBA