Check out my rankings within each division by clicking on the links below. If there is a lineal champion in a weight class, he is ranked No. 1.
For a list of the current champions in all weight classes, click here.
Note: Results through July 31. 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
MIDDLEWEIGHT DIVISION (UP TO 160 POUNDS)
1. Gennady Golovkin (37-0)
Unified world champion Golovkin hoped (like most boxing fans) that Canelo Alvarez would fight him in 2016 in what had been a mandatory fight. But Alvarez (49-1-1) fled, giving up his alphabet belt and saying he would fight Golovkin this fall instead. So Golovkin went about his business and, when others also ducked him, he took on willing welterweight titlist Kell Brook last September on Brook’s turf in London and stopped him in the fifth round. Then, on March 18, Golovkin eked out a tough decision win against Daniel Jacobs in a mandatory fight that saw his 23-fight knockout streak end. All along his team continued talking with Alvarez’s team, and they finally made the most anticipated fight in boxing. The HBO PPV fight, which will take place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, is going to be a monster.
Next: Sept. 16 vs. Alvarez.
2. Canelo Alvarez (49-1-1)
Alvarez, the face of boxing in the post-Floyd Mayweather/Manny Pacquiao era, won the lineal middleweight title by decision against Miguel Cotto in November 2015 and then defended it by gargantuan knockout of Amir Khan in May 2016. Then all attention turned to whether Alvarez would face Gennady Golovkin next, but Alvarez dodged him and instead returned to junior middleweight, where he knocked out Liam Smith to win a belt in September. Golden Boy Promotions put off the Golovkin showdown for one more fight as Alvarez moved up to a catch weight of 164.5 pounds and toyed with bitter Mexican rival Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. on May 6 in a huge fight. Then, moments after it was over, the long-awaited showdown with Golovkin (37-0) was, at long last, made official. Fights get no bigger.
Next: Sept. 16 vs. Golovkin.
3. Daniel Jacobs (32-2)
Jacobs defended his secondary title four times before squaring off with unified world champion Gennady Golovkin in a much-anticipated mandatory fight on March 18. Jacobs was a huge underdog, but did himself proud. Although he lost a decision in a very good fight, it was very close and he ended Golovkin’s 23-fight knockout streak to prove he belongs among the elite fighters in the world. If ever a fighter can win by losing, Jacobs did just that. There was a chance his return would come in the co-feature of Golovkin’s mega fight with Canelo Alvarez on Sept. 16, but it did not work out. Instead Jacobs is likely to headline a Premier Boxing Champions on Fox card on Oct. 14 at Barclays Center in his hometown of Brooklyn, New York.
4. David Lemieux (38-3)
Lemieux, a big slugger from Montreal, met fellow big hitter Golovkin on HBO PPV in October 2015 in a title unification fight, and got thrashed en route to a one-sided eighth-round knockout loss. Lemieux has won four consecutive fights since, including an absolutely crushing third-round KO of Curtis Stevens on March 11 on HBO and a one-sided decision against Marcos Reyes on May 6, in a fight contracted at 163 pounds on the Canelo Alvarez-Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. undercard. There’s been some back and forth between Lemieux and titleholder Billy Joe Saunders, so they ought to settle it in the ring.
5. Billy Joe Saunders (24-0)
England’s Saunders made his first title defense in December against obscure hand-picked Russian opponent Artur Akavov and although Saunders won a debatable decision, he looked awful. His next fight was scheduled to be a mandatory defense next against dangerous interim titlist Avtandil Khurtsidze (33-2-2) on July 8 in London, but the fight was called off when Khurtsidze was arrested and indicted for being part of a Russian crime syndicate. Given clearance for an optional defense, Saunders will face former title challenger Willie Monroe Jr. (21-2) instead.
Next: Sept. 16 vs. Monroe
6. Andy Lee (35-3-1)
Ireland’s Lee, a former titleholder, lost his belt to Saunders by majority decision in December 2015 and decided to take a break during 2016. But Lee returned March 18 on the Gennady Golovkin-Daniel Jacobs undercard and shook off the rust with a one-sided decision win against KeAndrae Leatherwood.
7. Sergiy Derevyanchenko (10-0)
Born in Ukraine and based in New York, Derevyanchenko was a sensational amateur who has moved quickly in the pros. In his last two fights he has knocked out former titlist Sam Soliman in the second round and previously undefeated Kemahl Russell in the fifth round on March 14. Next he is due to face Tureano Johnson (20-1) in a title eliminator to earn the position as one of Gennady Golovkin’s mandatory challengers. Derevyanchenko co-promoter Lou DiBella won the purse bid and the bout will headline a Premier Boxing Champions card on Fox Sports 1.
Next: Aug. 25 vs. Johnson
8. Jermall Charlo (26-0)
Houston’s Charlo made three junior middleweight title defenses and then vacated his belt in order to move up to middleweight. He made his debut at 160 pounds in a world title eliminator July 29 on the Mikey Garcia-Adrien Broner undercard and destroyed the hobbled and wildly overmatched Jorge Sebastian Heiland, dropping him twice and knocking him out in the fourth round to become one of Gennady Golovkin’s mandatory challengers.
9. Royota Murata (12-1)
Murata, who won an Olympic gold medal for Japan in 2012, faced France’s Hassan N’Dam for a vacant secondary title on May 20 in a major fight in Japan. Murata dropped N’Dam with a clean right hand in the fourth round and dominated the fight yet came up on the wrong side of a horrible split decision that ranks as one of the biggest scoring travesties in recent years. He won the fight and got absolutely robbed. WBA president Gilberto Mendoza Jr., whose organization sanctioned the bout, was so disgusted that a rematch was immediately ordered.
10. Hassan N’Dam (36-2)
France’s N’Dam, who briefly held a world title in 2012, won a secondary belt by highly controversial split decision against Ryota Murata in Tokyo on May 20 that was so badly received that an immediate rematch was ordered a few days later. So he and Murata are on track to meet again.