The WBC heavyweight rankings are set for a major shake-up at the very top with the hallowed green belt on the line soon for the first time in well over a year – and July’s latest list brought some early tweaks with Andy Ruiz Jr moving up to #2.
Ruiz Jr, who defeated Chris Arreola in his first fight in 17 months in May, now has only Deontay Wilder ahead of him in the rankings, while Oleksandr Usyk – formerly #2 and now about to challenge for Anthony Joshua’s IBF, WBA and WBO titles, disappears.
Current champion Tyson Fury of course had been expected to meet Anthony Joshua in a massive unification match in Saudi Arabia on August 14. But no sooner had ‘The Gypsy King’ happily announced that date, the whole plan was ruined.
Fury vs Wilder 3 on July 24 for WBC belt
The WBC’s #1 ranked contender Wilder won an arbitration ruling over his collapsed trilogy fight with Fury in 2020. The ruling stipulated Fury must fight Wilder again before September 15.
July 24 will be a watershed day for the division, with not only Fury vs Wilder 3 but a number of other big names also in action.
Joe Joyce – currently ranked #5 by the WBC, meets Frenchman Carlos Takam (a new entry at #14) in London, before a trio of big fights go down on the Fury vs Wilder undercard in Vegas.
Ajagba vs Sanchez a stellar matchup
The highlight will be the meeting of unbeaten prospects Efe Ajagba and Frank Sanchez. They are currently ranked #8 and #11 by the WBC.
Adam Kownacki and Robert Helenius are not currently in the WBC top 15, but their rematch the same night will have a bearing on what happens next in the division. American prospect Jared ‘Big Baby’ Anderson meanwhile continues his education against Vladimir Tereshkin.
Back to the July rankings update, and the biggest mover in the list is unbeaten German Agit Kabayel, who is up to #7 from #11 after his win over Kevin Johnson. Frenchman Tony Yoka meanwhile, formerly #12, cracks the top 10.