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Divisional rankings: Junior Flyweight

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.

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

Note: Results through Nov. 20. 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


JUNIOR FLYWEIGHT/STRAWWEIGHT DIVISION (UP TO 108/105 POUNDS)

1. Milan Melindo (37-2)

The Philippines' Melindo traveled to enemy turf in Japan and was ruthless in his first-round destruction of Akira Yaegashi, a three-division titleholder, to win a junior flyweight belt on May 21. Melindo, who entered the fight as the interim titlist and mandatory challenger, scored three knockdowns, including a fight-finishing right hand, in a very impressive performance. Melindo made his first defense in the Philippines against former strawweight titlist Hekkie Budler (31-2), of South Africa, on Sept. 16 and won a split decision. He dropped Budler in the 12th round to put a cherry on top of his victory. Next up, Melindo will return to Japan for a rare 108-pound unification fight against Japan's Ryoichi Taguchi (26-2-2).
Next: Dec. 31 vs. Taguchi

2. Kosei Tanaka (10-0)
Japan's Tanaka, who has already has won belts in two weight classes, made his first junior flyweight defense on May 20 and won a hard-fought unanimous decision against Miguel Cotto-promoted Angel Acosta, of Puerto Rico, in a good fight. Tanaka scored a knockdown in the fifth round and was in control for most of the bout. Defense No. 2 came Sept. 13 in Osaka, Japan, where Tanaka scored a ninth-round knockout of Thailand's Rangsan Chayanram, who was fighting away from home for the first time.
Next: TBA

3. Ryoichi Taguchi (26-2-2)
Since losing a 10-round decision for the Japanese junior flyweight title in August 2013 to Naoya Inoue (now a two-division titleholder and reigning junior bantamweight titlist), Taguchi is unbeaten in nine consecutive fights. During the run he won a junior flyweight world title and retained it for the sixth time by knocking out mandatory challenger Robert Barrera, of Colombia, in the ninth round on July 23. Taguchi would next like to unify belts with countryman Kosei Tanaka (9-0) but will get the next best thing instead -- a unification fight in Tokyo against the Philippines' Milan Melindo (37-2).
Next: Dec. 31 vs. Melindo

4. Knockout CP Freshmart (16-0)
Thailand's CP Freshmart knocked out Japanese challenger Go Odaira, who was getting his third crack at a world title, in the fifth round on March 1 to retain his strawweight title for the second time. On July 15, in Thailand, he made his third defense, scoring a ninth-round knockdown and winning a unanimous decision against mandatory challenger Rey Loreto, of the Philippines.
Next: TBA

5. Hekkie Budler (31-3)

South Africa's Budler, with the sweet nickname of "The Hexecutioner," made four successful strawweight title defenses before losing the belt by close upset decision to Nicaragua's Byron Rojas in March 2016. Budler moved up to junior flyweight and won his next two bouts, including one-sided seventh-round knockout of the Philippines' Joey Canoy on Feb. 4. Then he traveled to the Philippines for a world title shot against junior flyweight titlist Milan Melindo on Sept. 16 and lost a hard-fought split decision.

Next: TBA

Other contenders: Ken Shiro, Wanheng Menayothin, Hiroto Kyoguchi, Byron Rojas, Jose Argumedo.