Divisional rankings: Light heavyweight

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.

Who is the best fighter regardless of weight class? See ESPN's pound-for-pound rankings.

For a list of the current champions in all weight classes, click here.

Note: Results through May 22. 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


1. Adonis Stevenson (28-1)

Quebec's Stevenson has made seven successful defenses, including on July 29 when he knocked out Thomas Williams Jr. in the fourth round. He was close to a deal to face Seanie Monaghan (28-0) in the first main event at the newly renovated Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Long Island, New York, where Monaghan is from, after making a deal with fellow Montreal fighter and mandatory challenger Eleider Alvarez (22-0) to step aside. However, the deal with Monaghan was abandoned and Stevenson will instead return to Montreal to face Andrzej Fonfara (29-4) in a Showtime-televised rematch of Stevenson's difficult decision win in 2014.
Next: June 3 vs. Fonfara

2. Andre Ward (31-0)
After easy wins in tuneup fights against Sullivan Barrera in March and Alexander Brand in August, former super middleweight world champion Ward challenged Sergey Kovalev for his three title belts in the best matchup of 2016. On Nov. 19, they put on an exciting fight, although there was a bit too much holding by Ward. But he survived a second-round knockdown to get back into the fight and won 114-113 across the board in a controversial result. Kovalev (30-1-1) quickly exercised his right to an immediate rematch and, after weeks of haggling over some of the finer points, it's on.
Next: June 17 vs. Kovalev

3. Sergey Kovalev (30-1-1)
Kovalev, a punching machine from Russia, had unified three belts by beating down the great Bernard Hopkins in a one-sided decision in November 2014 and then won four more fights in a row, including two knockouts of former world champion Jean Pascal, to set the stage for the big showdown with former super middleweight champion Andre Ward in a terrific match. They met Nov. 19, and, although Kovalev dropped Ward in the second round and dominated the first half of the fight, the judges awarded Ward a controversial decision with all three scoring the fight 114-113. Kovalev quickly picked up his option for an immediate rematch and Ward (31-0) finally signed off after some hard negotiating.
Next: June 17 vs. Ward

4. Nathan Cleverly (30-3)
On Oct. 1, Cleverly, of Wales, challenged Juergen Braehmer on his German turf for a secondary world title and, in a good fight, won by stoppage seconds into the seventh round because Braehmer quit on his stool with a right elbow injury. It is the second world title Cleverly has won. A rematch was supposed to take place in the spring in Germany but Cleverly is instead likely to have an interim bout first, according to promoter Team Sauerland. He owes interim titlist Dmitry Bivol (10-0) a mandatory fight.
Next: TBA

5. Juergen Braehmer (48-3)
Germany's Braehmer made the sixth defense of his secondary world title on March 12 and won a clear unanimous decision -- 118-110, 116-111 and 116-111 -- against Eduard Gutknecht in a rematch of Braehmer's similar decision win to claim the European title in 2013. Defense No. 7 did not go as well. He faced former titleholder Nathan Cleverly, of Wales, and lost by seventh-round knockout when he quit with a right elbow injury that turned out to be a minor muscle tear for which surgery was not needed. Brahmer has the contractual right to a rematch.
Next: TBA

6. Oleksandr Gvozdyk (13-0)
Gvozdyk, a 2012 Olympic bronze medalist for Ukraine who had around 250 amateur fights, has moved quickly since turning pro in 2014. On Nov. 19, on the Sergey Kovalev-Andre Ward undercard, Gvozdyk scored his most significant win. Using a diverse attack, he forced longtime contender and former world title challenger Isaac Chilemba to quit on his stool after the eighth round of a one-sided fight. On April 8, Gvozdyk destroyed rugged Cuban contender Yunieski Gonzalez in the third round on HBO. It was as impressive a performance as it gets.
Next: TBA

7. Artur Beterbiev (11-0)
Two-time Russian Olympian Beterbiev was due to meet Sullivan Barrera (18-1) in a world title eliminator on April 21 in Barrera's adopted hometown of Miami, in a fight that would have produced one of Andre Ward's mandatory challengers. But Barrera, unhappy with the terms, withdrew. Beterbiev promoter Yvon Michel made a deal for the eliminator with Germany's Enrico Koelling (23-1), but it is unclear whether Beterbiev will go through with the fight after taking Michel to court in an effort to break their contract.
Next: TBA

8. Joe Smith Jr. (23-1)
In a shocking upset, New Yorker Smith, a construction worker by trade, had his Rocky moment in his first televised fight on June 18. That's when he went to Polish contender Andrzej Fonfara's turf in Chicago and scored two heavy knockdowns in a first-round knockout victory. Fonfara never saw the shots coming. The victory was so big that it propelled Smith into the chance of a lifetime -- a fight with the great Bernard Hopkins, who was ending a 25-month layoff for a farewell fight on HBO on Dec. 17. Smith struck again with an upset as he viciously knocked Hopkins out of the ring in an eight-round knockout victory to send B-Hop into retirement with the first stoppage loss of his 28-year career. The win over Hopkins could have earned Smith an April 29 title shot against world champion Adonis Stevenson (28-1), but the deal fell apart. Instead, he'll face Sullivan Barrera (19-1) on HBO.
Next: July 15 vs. Barrera

9. Eleider "Storm" Alvarez (22-0)
Alvarez, a 2008 Olympian from Colombia fighting out of Montreal, earned a mandatory shot against world champion (and fellow Montreal fighter) Adonis Stevenson by virtue of his close decision win against Isaac Chilemba in a November 2015 title eliminator, but the title fight has been repeatedly delayed, though Alvarez has stayed busy, including in a fifth-round knockout of another Montreal fighter, former super middleweight titlist Lucian Bute on Feb. 24. The title shot will be put off at least one more fight after Alvarez made a deal with Stevenson to step aside to allow him an optional defense in a rematch with Andrzej Fonfara. On that Showtime-televised undercard, Alvarez will face former world champion and Montreal rival Jean Pascal (31-4-1).
Next: June 3 vs. Pascal

10. Sullivan Barrera (19-1)
Barrera bounced back from a lopsided decision loss to Andre Ward in March to score an impressive victory against then-unbeaten Vyacheslav Shabranskyy on Dec. 16. Barrera survived a knockdown but scored three of his own en route to a seventh-round knockout victory in an exciting fight. An eliminator for the right to challenge Ward was on deck against Artur Beterbiev (11-0) for April 21 until Barrera pulled out. Instead he faced Paul Parker in the main event of an HBO Latino card on April 15 and knocked him out in the fifth round. Next up with be a fight on HBO against fellow contender Joe Smith Jr. (23-1) in an interesting fight.
Next: July 15 vs. Smith