Lucas Browne's win was an upset while Luis Ortiz' defeat of Tony Thompson was expected, and both move up in our rankings. Ortiz slides up two spots to #8, while Browne leaps all the way to #7.
SportsRatings Top Ten Heavyweight rankings through fights of March 5, 2016:
|Rated Record||March 1-5 results
|2||2||4||4||4||VITALI KLITSCHKO||29.40||27-2-0||last win -42 months.|
|21||13||17||18||7||LUCAS BROWNE||21.31||10-0-0||KO 10 #7 RUSLAN CHAGAEV|
|50||31||10||10||8||LUIS ORTIZ||19.78||10-0-0||KO 6 #43 TONY THOMPSON|
|9||11||8||9||10||ANDY RUIZ JR||17.98||9-0-0||last win -15 months.|
Over the next several months there is the potential, at least, for many interesting fights. There is of course the rematch of new #1 Tyson Fury with former perennial champ Wladimir Klitschko for several belts including the WBA, WBO, and IBO. That fight is most likely to occur in June.
The WBC mandatory pits #3 Alexander Povetkin with #5 Deontay Wilder. When, or if, that fight takes place is anybody's guess right now, but May 21st has been suggested for some time.
Then there is the only officially scheduled rumble, with #6 Charles Martin taking on #15 Anthony Joshua for the IBF title on April 9th.
New #7 Browne faces a mandatory defense of his version of the WBA belt against Fres Oquendo, currently at #162 in our rankings. Ortiz presumably faces #33 Alexander Ustinov next.
With #4 Vitali Klitschko long inactive and officially retired, that leaves only #9 Erkan Teper, currently on steroids ban, and Andy Ruiz Jr., who hasn't faced a reasonable opponent in over a year.
The heavyweight division suddenly become more interesting with Klitschko's loss. If he beats Fury in the rematch—as we would expect—then what becomes of that interesting scenario? It doesn't disappear. Klitschko certainly looks vulnerable now, and even if he becomes champ again he won't hold the belt for several more years. While Martin and Browne probably aren't championship caliber. Ortiz has been very impressive and Wilder can't be dismissed. The worst-case scenario is a Klitschko win over Fury, Povetkin defeating Wilder, and Ortiz being upset by Ustinov.
But if any of Fury, Wilder, or Ortiz survive the next round the heavyweight division is moving in a more entertaining direction.