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 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. 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. In early December, Tanaka vacated the title and plans to move up in weight.
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. Angel Acosta (17-1)

Puerto Rico's Acosta dropped a competitive decision to Kosei Tanaka for a world title in May but when Tanaka vacated the belt, Acosta met Mexico's Juan "Pinky" Alejo and knocked him out in the 10th round of a one-sided, but highly entertaining fight on the Miguel Cotto-Sadam Ali undercard on Dec. 2 to win the vacant belt.

Next: TBA

5. 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. Defense No. 4 was to come against the Philippines' Toto Landero (10-1-2) on Dec. 15 but it was called off.
Next: TBA

Other contenders: Hekkie Budler, Wanheng Menayothin, Ken Shiro, Hiroto Kyoguchi, Byron Rojas.