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David Haye now #3 in IBF rankings

David Haye

By Scott Gilfoid: In something of a controversial move, the International Boxing Federation has moved former two division world champion David Haye (26-2, 26 KOs) to the number three spot in their rankings.

The move by the IBF comes after the 35-year-old Haye’s 2nd round knockout victory over little known fringe contender Arnold Gjergjaj (29-1, 21 KOs) last month at the O2 Arena in London, UK. Haye has fought exactly twice since making his comeback in January, and he’s beaten the aforementioned 31-year-old Gjergjaj and a fighter named Mark De Mori.

Both of them looked terrible in the ring against Haye, and it’s very surprising the IBF would push Haye up the rankings based off victories over limited fighters like this rather than waiting until Haye fought someone arguably more talented like Kubrat Pulev.

Speaking of #2 Pulev, the IBF should make a move to have Haye fight him in an eliminator bout so that there will be a second mandatory challenger for the IBF title, which is currently held by Anthony Joshua. Joseph Parker recently beat Carlos Takam in an IBF eliminator to become Joshua’s mandatory.

Here are the current IBF’s top 15 rankings:

1 Joseph Parker
2 Kubrat Pulev
3 David Haye
4 Johan Duhaupas
5 Andy Ruiz
6 Carlos Takam
7 Vyacheslav Glazkov
8 Eric Molina
9 Dominic Breazeale
10 Charles Martin
11 Derek Chisora
12 David Price
13 Hugie Fury
14 Jarrell Miller
15 Bermane Stiverne

I have a problem seeing Haye ranked above Bermane Stiverne. I don’t think Haye rates being put at No.3 above Stiverne at No.15. That ranking doesn’t make any sense in my mind, particularly given the weak opposition Haye has fought since making his comeback this year. Haye was out of boxing for almost four years after his win over Dereck Chisora in 2012.

It’s not news for a fighter coming back after that long of a lay off to take a soft opponent or two, but it is a little off putting when you see that fighter vaulted to the number three spot after beating the kinds of opponents that Haye has. I mean, Shannon Briggs have beaten eight fodder opponents since making his own comeback, and he’s not ranked number three by the IBF. I’m just saying.

If Haye is going to be given a high ranking by the IBF after wins over poor opposition, then why isn’t Briggs getting the same rankings? For that matter, why aren’t a lot of the top contenders ranked in the top 5 after beating equally poor opponents? I think the sanctioning bodies need to have higher standards when it comes to ranking fighters in the top five.

I mean, if they’re rank someone in the top five, I think that fighter should beat another top five contender to get that ranking rather than picking two bottom dwelling contenders, beating them up, and then getting catapulted to the number three spot. With the wins that Haye has picked up in his comeback, I don’t see him worthy of a top 15 ranking, let alone a top 3. That’s me though. I believe that you have to beat quality to get ranked in the top five.

Haye will be facing the 44-year-old Briggs at the end of this summer. If Haye wins that fight, there’s talk of him potentially facing cruiserweight Tony Bellew at heavyweight. I can’t imagine wins over those two fighters pushing Haye up the rankings any further, but I won’t be surprised if the IBF moves Haye to No.1 in their rankings after he beats those two fighters.

I’d like to see Haye fight Jarrell Miller and Pulev. Those would be good matches to show whether he’s worthy of a top five ranking. If Haye wins those fights, then I would like to see him fight in a title eliminator against Stiverne. Is that asking too much? All Haye has to do is beat Miller, Pulev and Stiverne in consecutive fights. Sorry, I don’t consider Briggs and Bellew as worthy fighters to give Haye a push up the rankings. Actually, I think Haye should be moved down in the rankings if he fights those guys instead of Miller, Pullev and Stiverne in my view.

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