The WBA has hit a new low.
It might sound impossible for an organization that has done so much damage to boxing, but it's true, even for an alphabet body that, between its so-called "super" titleholders, regular titleholders and interim titleholders, currently recognizes 41 belt holders in 17 weight classes (not including "champions in recess"). But the World Boxing Association loves all those sanctioning fees, and fighters rarely turn down a chance to win a belt, no matter how scrubby it is.
In the WBA's latest divisional rankings, which were published on Friday and include results through June 4, Ali Raymi (25-0, 25 KOs) is rated as the No. 11 junior flyweight in the world.
He should not be ranked that high. In fact, he should not be ranked at all.
Raymi, a 41-year-old fighter from Yemen who began his career with 21 consecutive first-round knockouts, a hollow boxing record considering he fought absolutely nobody of remote recognition or accomplishment as he fashioned that glittering but meaningless mark, has fought all of his bouts in his home country. In fact, all four of his fights in 2014 came against the same opponent, the totally unknown Prince Maz, whom he knocked out each and every time.
The WBA flouts these kinds of bizarre rankings regularly. I don't even blink at such pure nonsense anymore because I have no respect or regard for, or expectations of, the folks who put together the WBA's rankings month after month. So that is not the reason Raymi's No. 11 ranking is so utterly and absolutely indefensible.
No, there is another very, very, very big problem with Raymi's ranking.
Raymi died on May 23, reportedly in an explosion caused by an airstrike in Yemen's capital of Sana'a.
The WBA ranked Raymi on June 4.