<
>

Divisional rankings: Lightweights

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 Dec. 11. 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


LIGHTWEIGHT DIVISION (UP TO 135 POUNDS)

1. Jorge Linares (43-3)

Linares, who has won world titles in three weight classes and is one of boxing's most exciting fighters, headlined an HBO card on Sept. 23 and won a close decision against mandatory challenger Luke Campbell of England, to retain his lightweight title. There were talks for a unification fight with Mikey Garcia (37-0) but Garcia turned it down. So Linares instead will return to HBO to defend his belt in a poor matchup against Mercito Gesta (31-1-2), who lost a lopsided decision to Miguel Vazquez in a 2012 world title fight and has done nothing of note since to warrant another opportunity.
Next: Jan. 27 vs. Gesta

2. Mikey Garcia (37-0)
Garcia, a former featherweight and junior lightweight titleholder, won his third world title on Jan. 28 in devastating knockout of the year-caliber fashion, scoring an extremely violent third-round destruction of then-unbeaten titlist Dejan Zlaticanin. Garcia then moved up to junior welterweight for the biggest fight he could get and dominated former four-division titlist Adrien Broner in a lopsided decision victory July 29. Garcia wants the biggest fight he can get and called out junior middleweight titlist Miguel Cotto, but when offered the bout for Dec. 2 he turned it down. Garcia also turned down a unification fight with Jorge Linares (43-3) despite Golden Boy meeting his deal requests. Instead, he is expected to return in early 2018 with three names rumored: Robert Easter Jr. (20-0) in a unification bout, Sergey Lipinets (13-0) in a shot at a junior welterweight belt and Omar Figueroa Jr. (27-0-1) in a pointless fight.
Next: TBA

3. Robert Easter Jr. (20-0)
Easter, nearly 6-feet tall with a long, lanky build and tremendous power, faced Ghana's unbeaten Richard Commey for a vacant belt in September and, in a fantastic action fight, they traded big blows throughout. Easter edged him to win a decision and truly announce his arrival. In his first defense, on Feb. 10 in his hometown of Toledo, Ohio, Easter dominated Puerto Rico's Luis Cruz, dropping him three times en route to a lopsided decision win. He defended again in Toledo on June 30 and won a hard-fought unanimous decision against longtime Russian contender Denis Shafikov.
Next: TBA

4. Terry Flanagan (33-0)
England's "Turbo" Flanagan made five title defenses, including one on April 8 against tough Russian contender Peter Petrov, whom he outpointed in messy fight. A mandatory defense against Felix Verdejo was called off multiple times for various reasons and won't happen because Flanagan has vacated his title and is moving up to junior welterweight, where he likely will face Maurice Hooker (23-0-3) for one of the belts Terence Crawford vacated.
Next: TBA

5. Anthony Crolla (32-6-3)
England's Crolla lost his world title in his second defense, dropping a decision in a hard-fought battle with Venezuela's Jorge Linares in September. In the immediate rematch in March, Crolla lost another decision, this one much more one-sided. In his return on Oct. 7, Crolla shook off the two-fight skid by winning an entertaining and competitive unanimous decision against Scotland's Ricky Burns, a three-division titleholder who returned to 135 pounds for the bout.
Next: TBA

6. Dejan Zlaticanin (22-1)
Zlaticanin, the first world titleholder from Montenegro, lost his belt in his first defense in January when Mikey Garcia scored a crushing knockout in the third round. Zlaticanin will fight for the first time since when he faces journeyman Hevinson Herrera (22-13-1) on promoter Lou DiBella's "Broadway Boxing" card.
Next: Dec. 14 vs. Herrera

7. Raymundo Beltran (34-7-1)
Phoenix-based Mexico native Beltran, a former two-time world title challenger, has won five fights in a row, including a hard-fought majority decision against Costa Rica's tough Bryan Vasquez on ESPN on Aug. 5 on the Vasyl Lomachenko-Miguel Marriaga undercard. With Terry Flanagan relinquishing his world title to move up in weight, Beltran is due to face former titlist Paulus Moses (40-3) for the vacant belt on a Top Rank ESPN card.
Next: Feb. 16 vs. Moses

8. Richard Commey (25-2)
Ghana's Commey is as tough as they come. He lost heart-breaking back-to-back split decisions to Robert Easter Jr. for a vacant world title and to Denis Shafikov in a title eliminator in 2016, but bounced back with a unanimous decision against Hedi Slimani in March. He signed with promoter Lou DiBella and was scheduled to travel to Kemerovo, Russia to face Russia's Roman Andreev (20-0) in a Dec. 9 world title eliminator for the right to become Easter's mandatory challenger. However, Andreev promoter Vlad Hrunov failed to meet the terms of the contract and the fight was canceled, so Commey will be ordered to face a new opponent.
Next: TBA

9. Luke Campbell (17-2)
England's Campbell, a 2012 Olympic gold medalist, looked sharp on April 29 on the Anthony Joshua-Wladimir Klitschko undercard as he dominated former world titleholder Darleys Perez (who was overweight) for a ninth-round knockout in a title eliminator. With the victory, Campbell earned a mandatory shot at champion Jorge Linares (42-3), who was ringside. They met Sept. 23 on HBO at The Forum in Inglewood, California, and although Campbell turned in a good performance, he got knocked down and lost a close decision.
Next: TBA

10. Paulus Moses (40-3)
Namibia's Moses, who held a lightweight world title from 2009 to 2010, is 5-0 with a no decision in his last six fight and will get another title shot in his next fight. He is due to travel to the United States to challenge Raymundo Beltran (34-7-1) on ESPN for the belt vacated by Terry Flanagan, who is moving up in weight.
Next: Feb. 16 vs. Beltran