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Boxing | International

The 100 best fighters in the world

In the January 2018 issue of The Ring magazine, which is known as the “Bible of Boxing”, they have listed their 100 best fighters in the world through to 8 October, 2017.

South Africa’s Zolani Tete is listed at No. 54 and Hekkie Budler at No. 76. There are no other South Africans listed. The editors state that they have been a fan of WBO bantamweight champion Tete for some time.

Even though junior-flyweight Budler is 2-2 in his last four fights, he showed enough in his most recent debatable loss to junior-flyweight Milan Melindo for the IBF belt. However, he still needs a win of consequence soon to stay relevant.

The top 10 fighters are Gennady Golovkin (37-01; 33), Terrence Crawford (32-0; 23), Vasyl Lomachenko (9-1; 7), Guillermo Rigondeaux (17-0; 11) (this was before his loss to Lomachenko), Sergey Kovalev (30-2-1; 26), Canelo Alvarez (49-1-2; 34), Mikey Garcia (37-0; 30), Naoya Inoue (14-0; 12), Errol Spence Jr (22-0; 19) and Wisakil Wanjek (44-4-1; 40).

WBO cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk (13-0; 11), who is listed at number fifteen, could end up with being recognised as the top cruiserweight in the world in the next 12 months.

The IBF and WBA heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua is in at 21 and WBC champion Deontay Wilder at No. 47.

Fighters to watch in 2018 include light-heavyweight Badou Jack (18), strawweight Thammanoon Niyomtrong (57), featherweight Oscar Valdez (59), junior-middleweight Jarrett Hurd (70), and super-middleweight Chris Eubank Jr (84).

It is interesting to note that welterweight Manny Pacquiao, who is well past his best, is 28th in the list.

Namibia’s Julius Ndongo (junior-welterweight), who was blasted out by Terrence Crawford to suffer his first loss, is listed at 72.


In the same January 2018 issue, the Ring Ratings taking into consideration fights up until 8 October, 2017 includes ratings for only four South African fighters.

They are Zolani Tete – No. 5 bantamweight, Moruti Mthalane – No. 6 flyweight, Hekkie Budler – No. 10 junior-flyweight and Simphiwe Khonco – No. 8 strawweight.

It is also interesting to note that Tyson Fury, who has just been granted his licence to box by the British Boxing Board, is rated as The Ring magazine heavyweight champion.

WBA and IBF champion Anthony Joshua is at number one and WBC champion Deontay Wilder at number two.

WBO champion Joseph Parker, who will be meeting Joshua in March in a unification match-up, is listed at number four.


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