By David Finger
The latest WBO world rankings were just released ahead of the upcoming WBO Convention on October 29th and for Ghanaian boxing fans, there is reason to be hopeful for the future. Several noted Ghanaian boxers made significant progress in their quest to join Isaac Dogboe as world champions with the release of the latest world rankings with Duke Michal holding onto his #1 ranking at bantamweight and Richard Commey holding onto a #9 ranking at lightweight.
In the heavyweight division undefeated Ghanaian heavyweight prospect Ebenezer Tetteh (18-0, 15 KOs) was dropped from the ratings having previously been ranked at #14 in September. Tetteh had emerged as a contender after stopping Boniface Kabore in two rounds back in December of 2017 in a bout for the WBO Africa belt. But Tetteh had yet to defend his belt and although he fought three times against nondescript opponents since winning the African belt he nonetheless was dropped from the rankings. However, Ghanaian boxing fans were most likely mollified to see Tetteh’s countryman fill the void at #14. Accra Ghana’s Richard Lartey (13-1, 10 KOs) replaced Tetteh at #14 after winning the interim WBO Africa Heavyweight title back on August 11th against Boniface Kabore in the Bukom Boxing Arena.
Former #1 contender Alexander Povetkin (34-2, 24 KOs) was able to hold onto a position in the WBO rankings, slipping from #1 to #15 after getting stopped by Anthony Joshua in seven rounds back in September. Dominic Breazeale, who had been ranked #9 in September, dropped out of the WBO world rankings, while undefeated Croatian Flip Hrgovic (6-0, 5 KOs) moved into the world rankings at #14. Hrgovic scored a third round knockout over Amir Mansour in his previous fight back on September 8, 2018.
At junior heavyweight former IBF champion Murat Gassiev (26-1, 19 KOs) moved into the world rankings at #9. Gassiev replaced Ruslan Fayfer (23-1, 16 KOs) who had previously been ranked at #10 by the WBO in September but who dropped a decision to Andrew Tabiti on October 13th. Tabiti, who previously was unranked by the WBO, moved to #11 while the 13th ranked Matty Askin dropped out of the rankings after a loss to Lawrence Okolie on September 22.
In the light heavyweight division Sergey Kovalev moved up from #11 to #6 and at 168-pounds previously #8 ranked Vijender Singh (10-0, 7 KOs) dropped out of the rankings. Singh had not fought since December of 2017.
In the middleweight division undefeated Ghanaian Emmanuel Martey (14-0, 10 KOs) moved into the world rankings at #14 while countryman Patrick Allotey (39-3, 30 KOs) moved up from #14 to #13 in the junior middleweight division. At welterweight Amir Khan moved into the world rankings at #5 setting up an intriguing matchup between Khan and undefeated world champion Terrence Crawford in the future.
In the mini-flyweight division Puerto Rican prospect Wilfredo Mendez (11-1, 4 KOs) exploded onto the world rankings after winning the NABO strap on September 28th. Mendez now sits on the #7 ranking.