Divisional rankings: Heavyweight

Check out my rankings within each division by clicking on the links below. If there is a lineal champion in a weight class, he is ranked No. 1.

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

Note: Results through Dec. 18. 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. Anthony Joshua (20-0)

Joshua, the 2012 Olympic super heavyweight gold medalist and unified world titleholder, is one of the biggest sports stars in the United Kingdom and has a chance to become the biggest star in all of boxing. In April, he sent former longtime champion Wladimir Klitschko into retirement with an 11th-round knockout loss in the leading fight of the year candidate before 90,000 at sold-out Wembley Stadium in London. When Klitschko retired rather than execute his right to an immediate rematch, Joshua faced late replacement Carlos Takam, of France, on Oct. 28 before an indoor boxing record crowd of 78,000 at Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales, where he won by 10th-round knockout. Next up is likely to be a unification fight with New Zealand's Joseph Parker (24-0) on March 31 at Principality Stadium in what will be another huge fight.
Next: TBA

2. Deontay Wilder (39-0)
Wilder has scored knockouts in all six of his title defenses, including on Nov. 4 when he utterly destroyed former titlist Bermane Stiverne with three hard knockdowns in the first round. Stiverne is the only man to go the distance with Wilder when he lost the title to him in 2015, but he couldn't make it through three minutes in the rematch, which came about only when original opponent Luis "King Kong" Ortiz tested positive for two banned substances and was dropped from the fight. After the fight, Wilder continued to call out for a unification with Anthony Joshua (20-0), but it is likely that now that Ortiz (28-0) has been reinstated they will reschedule that bout for the spring.
Next: TBA

3. Joseph Parker (24-0)
On Sept. 23, New Zealand's Parker traveled to Hughie Fury's hometown of Manchester, England and won a majority decision in a dreadful fight to retain his world title for the second time. There have been several options mentioned for Parker's next bout, including a possible unification match with Anthony Joshua (20-0), a fight with two-time Australian drug cheat Lucas Browne (25-0), a trip to China to face Zhang Zhilei (18-0, 14 KOs) or potential fight in Las Vegas against Bryant Jennings (22-2, 11 KOs). However, more and more it appears as though the unification fight with Joshua will be made for this spring.
Next: TBA

4. Luis "King Kong" Ortiz (28-0)
Cuban defector Ortiz has twice failed drug tests for banned substances, including one that cost him a Nov. 4 for shot at titleholder Deontay Wilder. However, the WBC accepted his story that the bad test was because he was taking medication to regulate his blood pressure and he was reinstated, though he remains suspended by another sanctioning body. He returned from a 13-month layoff on Dec. 8 and smashed journeyman Daniel Martz in a second-round knockout win, after which Wilder (39-0), who was ringside, entered the ring. They argued WWE-style and Wilder promised to give him the fight. They'll probably meet in the spring.
Next: TBA

5. Alexander Povetkin (33-1)
Former secondary titlist Povetkin, of Russia, had two fights in 2016 canceled because he tested positive for banned substances, a title shot against Deontay Wilder and an eliminator against Bermane Stiverne. Yet, Povetkin has not had any kind of significant punishment from a sanctioning body or athletic commission. He won both of his bouts in 2017, including a near-shutout decision against Germany's Christian Hammer on Dec. 15 in a title eliminator that positioned him for a mandatory fight with unified titleholder Anthony Joshua.
Next: TBA

6. Kubrat Pulev (25-1)
Bulgaria's Pulev, who got knocked out in a title shot against then-world champion Wladimir Klitschko in November 2014, has since won four in a row. On Dec. 3, Pulev's first fight in his home country, he hammered washed-up, out-of-shape former titlist Samuel Peter for three rounds. Peter quit with an apparent arm injury just after the bell rang to begin the fourth round. Pulev returned for his fifth win in a row, also at home, as he rolled to a near-shutout decision against journeyman Kevin Johnson on April 28 to remain in position as one of Anthony Joshua's mandatory challengers. He was due to face him on Oct. 28 but suffered a shoulder injury, forcing him to withdraw from the fight and costing him his mandatory position.
Next: TBA

7. Dillian Whyte (22-1)
Whyte, the former British champion, outpointed former world title challenger Dereck Chisora in an epic slugfest that was one of the best fights of 2016 on Dec. 10. The victory was Whyte's fourth in a row since a knockout loss to Anthony Joshua in December 2015, and he deserves another meaningful fight. He returned from an eight-month layoff to hammer journeyman Malcolm Tann, dropping him four times in en route to a third-round knockout victory on Aug. 19 on the Terence Crawford-Julius Indongo undercard. Whyte has been calling out Deontay Wilder for a title shot, but his wide decision win against Finland's Robert Helenius in a snoozer on the Oct. 28 Joshua-Carlos Takam undercard wasn't the kind of showing to make anyone demand that fight. When injured David Haye withdrew from his Dec. 17 rematch with Tony Bellew, Whyte said he was willing to take the fight on short notice, but that match isn't going to happen.
Next: TBA

8. Dominic Breazeale (19-1)
A 2012 U.S. Olympian, Breazeale gave a good account of himself in a seventh-round knockout loss challenging Anthony Joshua for his world title in June 2016 and bounced back to stop previously undefeated Izuagbe Ugonoh in the fifth round of a hellacious see-saw battle on Feb. 25 in a fight of the year candidate. He was slated to face former titlist Bermane Stiverne on the undercard of Deontay Wilder's Nov. 4 fight but when Luis Ortiz was bounced from the main event for a positive drug test, Stiverne was moved up to the main event to face Wilder, leaving Breazeale to face replacement opponent and former two-time world title challenger Eric Molina. Breazeale took care of business, knocking him out in the eighth round.
Next: TBA

9. Jarrell "Big Baby" Miller (20-0-1)
New York's Miller has a big body, a big punch and a big personality. After finally settling a dispute with promoter Dmitry Salita, "Big Baby" returned from an 11-month layoff and took on the best opponent of his career, former world title challenger Gerald Washington. Miller laid a beating on him and stopped him in the eighth round on July 29. Miller made his HBO debut on Nov. 11 in what amounted to an audition for a possible shot at titlist Anthony Joshua and stopped former title challenger Mariusz Wach in the ninth round.
Next: TBA

10. Carlos Takam (35-4-1)
France's Takam is just 2-2 in his last four fights but he gave excellent accounts of himself in both losses, a decision to Joseph Parker in the fight before Parker won a world title and then on Oct. 28 in a 10th-round stoppage challenging Anthony Joshua for his two world titles. Takam probably would give anyone a tough night.
Next: TBA