Divisional rankings: Bantamweight

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 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. Luis Nery (25-0)

In his first fight outside his home country of Mexico, Nery, the mandatory challenger, traveled to Japan and battered long-reigning titleholder Shinsuke Yamanaka into a fourth-round knockout on Aug. 15 to claim a world title in impressive fashion. He was battering Yamanaka when his corner threw in the towel to save him from further punishment. After the fight, Nery tested positive for a banned substance but following the WBC's investigation, it was ruled it was caused by contaminated food. Meantime, Nery faced former title challenger Arthur Villanueva, of the Philippines, in a nontitle bout on Nov. 4. Nery survived a fourth-round knockdown en route to a sixth-round knockout victory. He must face Yamanaka in a mandatory rematch next.
Next: TBD

2. Jamie McDonnell (29-2-1)
England's McDonnell retained his secondary title fifth time in November 2016 in Monte Carlo against Venezuela's Liborio Solis (25-5-1), a former junior bantamweight titlist, when McDonnell got a gift decision in a mediocre performance. The decision was bad enough that a rematch was ordered. They met again on Nov. 4 and it was an exciting fight while it lasted but was cut short in the third round and declared a no decision after McDonnell was deemed unable to continue after suffering a terrible cut from an accidental head butt. He is likely to vacate to move up in weight.
Next: TBA

3. Shinsuke Yamanaka (27-1-2)
Yamanaka made 12 successful title defenses and was bidding to tie the Japanese record for world title defenses set by Hall of Fame former junior flyweight titleholder Yoko Gushiken. But when Yamanaka met talented Mexican mandatory challenger Luis Nery on Aug. 15, he was overwhelmed in a fourth-round knockout loss that ended his long title reign. But a rematch has been ordered and is supposed to be the next fight for both guys.
Next: TBA.

4. Ryan Burnett (18-0)
In June, Northern Ireland's Burnett easily outpointed Lee Haskins to win a world title and then, on Oct. 21, had the home crowd behind him in Belfast as he squared off to unify belts with Kazakhstan's Zhanat Zhakiyanov. It was a rough, hard-hitting scrap that Burnett won by unanimous decision to claim a second belt and set himself up for major business.
Next: TBA

5. Zolani Tete (26-3)
South Africa's Tete, a former junior bantamweight world titlist, made the first defense of his bantamweight crown on Nov. 18 on the Carl Frampton-Horacio Garcia undercard in Belfast, Northern Ireland and stole the show. He needed only 11 seconds and one monster right hook to knock countryman Siboniso Gonya out cold in a knockout of the year contender. Tete's second defense will come against mandatory challenger and former longtime flyweight and junior bantamweight titlist Omar Narvaez (47-2-2) of Argentina at the Copper Box Arena in London.
Next: Feb. 10 vs. Narvaez

Other contenders: Zhanat Zhakiyanov, Juan Carlos Payano, Lee Haskins, Liborio Solis, Omar Narvaez.