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Divisional rankings: Light heavyweight

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Fonfara outslugs Cleverly in 12-round thriller (1:09)

Andrzej Fonfara outlasts Nathan Cleverly to win a unanimous decision. (1:09)

Check out my rankings within each division by clicking on the links below.

Who is the best fighter regardless of weight class? See ESPN's pound-for-pound rankings.

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

Note: Results through May 16. 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


LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT DIVISION (UP TO 175 POUNDS)

1. Adonis Stevenson (27-1)

Quebec's Stevenson burst onto the scene to win the world title by 76-second knockout of Chad Dawson in 2013, but he has disappointed many by not fighting the top opponents available to him, such as Sergey Kovalev and Jean Pascal, although Kovalev is now the one putting up barriers. Nonetheless, since bailing on a deal to face Kovalev, Stevenson has faced Andrzej Fonfara in a life-and-death struggle followed by three mismatches against Dmitry Sukhotsky, Sakio Bika and Tommy Karpency. The Karpency fight on Sept. 11 was a pointless match as he got smoked in two rounds in a result as predictable as the sunrise. He next likely will defend this summer against Thomas Williams Jr. (20-1), who knocked out Edwin Rodriguez in the second round of a de facto eliminator on April 30.
Next: TBA

2. Sergey Kovalev (29-0-1)
Kovalev, a punching machine from Russia, beat down the great Bernard Hopkins in a one-sided decision in November 2014 to unify three belts and followed with a similarly one-sided eighth-round knockout of former champion Jean Pascal in March 2015. Still unable to get champion Adonis Stevenson to fight him, Kovalev then crushed mandatory challenger Nadjib Mohammedi and Pascal in a rematch in January. Now he has another big fight. With a deal in place to face former super middleweight champion Andre Ward (29-0) in November, Kovalev will take on contender Isaac Chilemba (24-3-2) in a Russian homecoming fight first.
Next: July 11 vs. Chilemba

3. Andre Ward (29-0)
On March 26, in his hometown of Oakland, Ward, the former super middleweight champion, ended a nine-month layoff and fought for only the fourth time since the end of 2011, when he dropped and routed Sullivan Barrera in a lopsided decision win in a title eliminator. Despite the layoff, Ward looked superb as always as he moved closer to a much-anticipated fall showdown with unified titleholder Sergey Kovalev (29-0-1), who watched at ringside. Ward likely will have one more interim bout in July.
Next: TBA

4. Andrzej Fonfara (28-3)
Fonfara, born in Poland and based in Chicago, lost a surprisingly close decision challenging Adonis Stevenson for the title in May 2014. When he got another big-name opponent in May, he came through impressively, as he dropped Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. for the first time in his career in the ninth round and made him quit after the round. He returned Oct. 16 and outpointed former titlist Nathan Cleverly in a wildly entertaining fight that was so action-packed that they broke division CompuBox records for most combined punches thrown (2,524), most combined punches landed (936), most individual punches thrown (Fonfara, 1,413) and most individual punches landed (Fonfara, 474). Next up, he will headline a Premier Boxing Champions card on NBC in prime time in a poor match against Joe Smith Jr. (21-1).
Next: June 18 vs. Smith

5. Juergen Braehmer (48-2)
Germany's Braehmer made the sixth defense of secondary world title on March 12 and won a clear unanimous decision -- 118-110, 116-111 and 116-111 -- against Eduard Gutknecht in a rematch of Braehmer's similar decision win to claim the European title in 2013.
Next: TBA

6. Artur Beterbiev (9-0)
Beterbiev, a two-time Russian Olympian, is on the fast track as a pro and seemingly on his way to a world title shot sooner than later. In his sixth fight, he crushed former titleholder Tavoris Cloud by second-round knockout, by far Cloud's worst showing. In April 2015, Beterbiev blew away former titlist Gabriel Campillo, dropping him twice in a one-sided, fourth-round knockout victory. He returned June 12 and smashed southpaw Alexander Johnson, dropping him four times in a seventh-round knockout victory. Beterbiev is a bad man and his next fight was supposed to be a Showtime-televised title eliminator against Russia's Igor Mikhalkin (17-1), the European champion, on Nov. 28. However, Beterbiev suffered a shoulder injury, withdrew from the bout and had surgery. He's due back to face Argentina's Ezequiel Maderna (23-2) on an ESPN PBC card.
Next: June 4 vs. Maderna

7. Eleider "Storm" Alvarez (19-0)

Alvarez, a 2008 Olympian from Colombia fighting out of Montreal, earned a mandatory shot against world champion (and fellow Montreal fighter) Adonis Stevenson by virtue of his close decision win against Isaac Chilemba in their title eliminator in November. Alvarez will stay busy against Argentina's Maximiliano Gomez (20-5) on the Artur Beterbiev-Ezequiel Maderna undercard.

Next: June 4 vs. Gomez

8. Vyacheslav Shabranskyy (16-0)
A native of Ukraine based in Los Angeles, Shabranskyy is a powerful puncher with a good amateur background. He got his first high-profile fight when he headlined on HBO Latino against tough Cuban contender Yunieski Gonzalez on Dec.19 and won a hard-fought, action-packed majority decision. Shabranskyy, who could make some major noise in a hot division, returned April 15 and hammered journeyman Derrick Findley in a third-round knockout win.
Next: TBA

9. Isaac Chilemba (24-3-2)

Although Chilemba is coming off a decision loss (a very questionable one) to Eleider Alvarez in a November title eliminator, he will still get a world title shot against Sergey Kovalev (29-0-1) thanks to the fact that they share promoter Main Events and it was an easy deal to make. Chilemba will go to Kovalev's home country of Russia for the fight hoping to win and upset the fall plans for a Kovalev-Andre Ward HBO PPV fight.

Next: July 11 vs. Kovalev

10. Jean Pascal (30-4-1)

Pascal, the former world champion, has had an outstanding career, but the tough fights have clearly taken their toll. In March 2015, he fought like a valiant warrior against unified titleholder Sergey Kovalev but got dropped for the first time in his career and stopped for the first time in the eighth round. His return fight in July was a massive struggle against Yunieski Gonzalez in a brutal slugfest on a Kovalev undercard, but Pascal got the gift decision to set up a rematch with Kovalev on Jan. 30, again in Pascal's hometown of Montreal. It was wickedly one-sided as Kovalev gave him a beatdown so severe before the fight was stopped after the seventh round that Pascal's career as a top fighter is probably over.

Next: TBA