Could certainly go higher, given that the best fight of 2016 – Sergey Kovalev vs Andre Ward – will be fought at this weight. Those two pound-for-pound stars will meet in November.
Then there’s the third wheel of the division, WBC champion Adonis Stevenson. There was a time when Kovalev-Stevenson was one of the most desired fights in the world, though Adonis’ unwillingness to pursue the fight, or take on top challengers, has dampened that clamour. Having said that, a fight between Stevenson and the Kovalev-Ward winner is a tantalising prospect.
Juergen Braehmer is still huge in Germany and faces former champion Nathan Cleverly in an intriguing clash in October. Artur Beterbiev, the unbeaten Russian wrecking ball, looks on the verge of being let loose on the division’s big guns, as does talented Colombian Eleider Alvarez.
Joe Smith’s emphatic win over Andrzej Fonfara proved upsets are still rife in the division while Vyacheslav Shabranskyy continues his impressive rise.
Division leader: Sergey Kovalev