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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. 4. 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


HEAVYWEIGHT DIVISION (UNLIMITED)

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. He has made three title defenses, including his 11th-round knockout of former longtime champion Wladimir Klitschko, whom he sent into retirement following their all-time classic fight in April that drew 90,000 to sold-out Wembley Stadium in London and is the leading fight of the year candidate. Klitschko had the right to a rematch, but decided to retire, leaving Joshua make a mandatory defense against Kubrat Pulev on Showtime on Oct. 28 before an indoor boxing record crowd of 78,000 at Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales. However, Pulev suffered an injury and withdrew. Stepping in was the next leading available contender, France's Carlos Takam, the new mandatory challenger who had been on standby and training in case something happened to Pulev. Takam had a few decent moments and showed enormous heart and bravery, but Joshua stopped him in the 10th round. While the bigger fight for Joshua would be to unify with titles with Deontay Wilder, it looks more and more like he'll next have a unification fight with Joseph Parker (24-0), which is also a very big 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 fight for the only fight in the division that really matters, a showdown with Anthony Joshua (20-0).
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. 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

5. 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

6. 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 that could lead to a shot at Wilder next.
Next: TBA

7. 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

8. Andy Ruiz Jr. (29-1)
Ruiz, who has tremendous hand speed but is not always in the best condition, traveled to New Zealand to face Joseph Parker for a vacant title on Dec. 10 in a bid to become the first heavyweight of Mexican descent to win a world title. He came up just short of the goal, dropping a majority decision in a fight that was exceptionally close. Ruiz is due back in action on the Gilberto Ramirez-Habib Ahmed ESPN undercard.
Next: Feb. 3 vs. TBA

9. 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.

10. Adam Kownacki (16-0)
Kownacki, born in Poland and fighting out of Brooklyn, New York, looked outstanding in his last fight, when he destroyed former world title challenger and countryman Artur Szpilka via one-sided fourth-round knockout on July 15.

Next: TBA