Divisional rankings: Junior bantamweight

Naoya Inoue, left, defeated Kohei Kono on Dec. 30 to retain his junior bantamweight title Toru Takahashi/AP

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 Jan. 9. 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. Roman "Chocolatito" Gonzalez (46-0)

Nicaragua's Gonzalez, a protégé of the late Hall of Famer and countryman Alexis Arguello and a former strawweight and junior flyweight titleholder, was anointed by most as the pound-for-pound king in the wake of Floyd Mayweather's retirement in September 2015. Gonzalez has done nothing to make anyone regret that decision. He retained his title for the fourth time on April 23 as he won a near-shutout decision against quality contender McWilliams Arroyo in an entertaining fight. Then he moved up to junior bantamweight in search of a world title in a fourth weight class -- something Arguello failed to do twice -- and got the job done on Sept. 10, outpointing titleholder Carlos Cuadras on HBO in a terrific action fight. Gonzalez returns to face mandatory challenger and former titlist Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (41-4-1) on the Gennady Golovkin-Daniel Jacobs HBO PPV undercard but will do so without longtime trainer Arnulfo Obando, who passed away in November.
Next: March 18 vs. Sor Rungvisai

2. Naoya Inoue (12-0)
The seven-time Japanese amateur champion looked sensational as he moved up two weight classes, scored four knockdowns and knocked out long-reigning titleholder Omar Narvaez in the second round in December 2014 in Tokyo to win a world title in a second weight class in eight months. Inoue previously claimed a junior flyweight world title in only his sixth professional fight in April 2014 by knocking out Adrian Hernandez. Inoue made his fourth junior bantamweight defense against former two-time titleholder Kohei Kono on Dec. 30 and flattened him in the sixth round.
Next: TBA

3. Carlos Cuadras (35-1-1)
On April 23, Mexico's Cuadras retained his title for the sixth time when he knocked out the Philippines' Richie Mepranum, who was challenging for a world title for the third time, in the eighth round. Cuadras dominated the fight and Mepranum's corner stopped it after the eighth round. Cuadras then got the biggest fight of his career, an opportunity to defend against pound-for-pound king and flyweight champion Roman "Chocolatito" Gonzalez on Sept. 10. It was a terrific fight, but Gonzalez won a close decision to take the belt. He will get a chance to reclaim the belt as the mandatory challenger for the winner of the March 18 bout between Gonzalez and former titlist Srisaket Sor Rungvisai.
Next: TBA

4. Khalid Yafai (21-0)
England's Yafai easily outpointed Luis Concepcion -- who had been stripped for failing to make weight -- to win a vacant title on Dec. 10 on the Anthony Joshua-Eric Molina undercard. Yafai became the first boxer from his home city of Birmingham to win a world title in 109 years, since Owen Moran won 20-round decision against Al Delmont to win what many recognized as the bantamweight world title in 1907.
Next: TBA

5. Jerwin Ancajas (25-1-1)
The Philippines' Ancajas became the first Manny Pacquiao-promoted fighter to win a world title when he dropped Puerto Rico's McJoe Arroyo in the eighth round and claimed a well-deserved unanimous decision -- 118-109, 117-110, 115-112 -- for his 12th win in a row in an upset on Sept. 3. Ancajas will make his first defense against Mexico's Jose Alfredo Rodriguez (32-4, 19 KOs) in Macau.
Next: Jan. 29 vs. Rodriguez

Other contenders: Juan Francisco Estrada, Omar Narvaez, Luis Concepcion, Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, McJoe Arroyo.