Who is the top 140 lb fighter?
By Alex Fesl: The 140 lb division is, without a doubt, the most intriguing division in boxing today. This division is home to some of boxing’s brightest talents as well as several emerging stars. Given the amount of talented fighters at 140 lbs, who stands above the rest?
Regis Prograis (WBC): Recent Matchroom signee, Prograis is regarded as one of the most talented fighters in the 140 lb division. Most recently, in late 2022, we saw Prograis dominate the tough Jose Zepeda to claim the WBC title. In Prograis’ most notable fight, he battled Josh Taylor in a unification title fight but would end up losing by majority decision. Many fans viewed that fight as a toss-up at the end, as both fighters showed tremendous skills throughout. The only criticism of Prograis’ resume is the lack of a signature victory. With a powerful promotion team behind him now, hopefully Prograis can prove his doubters wrong. Perhaps a rematch with Taylor?
Josh Taylor (WBO): After defeating Jose Carlos Ramirez in 2021 in an impressive performance, Taylor became the undisputed super lightweight champion holding the WBC, WBA, WBO, and IBF belts, respectively. Taylor would follow that win with a lackluster and controversial decision win vs. Jack Catterall in early 2022. Since then, Taylor has been stripped of all his belts due to inactivity except the WBO belt, which he will be defending against Teofimo Lopez later this year. All in all, Taylor has shown to be one of the best 140 lb fighters despite the stalling of his career lately.
Subriel Matias (IBF): This past February, Matias would capture the IBF title after a sensational stoppage victory over then-undefeated Jeremias Ponce. Matias likewise boasts an impressive 100% knockout ratio in his 19 victories. Despite these impressive stats, Matias has yet to face a quality opponent so it’s difficult to say if he’s the real deal or not.
Rolando “Rolly” Romero (WBA): Rolly was gifted the WBA title last week after the referee inexplicably stopped the fight in favor of Romero against Ismael Barroso. Barroso was ahead on all three judges’ scorecards at the time of the stoppage and seemed to be on his way to a decision victory. In a perfect world, the WBA would order an immediate rematch or call this fight a no-contest as the referee made a clear mistake. In reality, Rolly will most likely look to secure a payday against an undeserving opponent.
While Rolly is an entertaining character and showman, he does not have the power or skills to be an elite 140 lb fighter.
Jack Catterall: Most observers and fans scored Catterall winning a close decision over the then undisputed champion Taylor last year. Securing a rematch vs. Taylor has proved to be fruitless for Catterall. It has been talked about that Catterall may be in line for the winner of the Taylor vs. Lopez match, but Catterall should probably look at other options rather than waste time negotiating with Taylor again. A fight with Prograis would be intriguing.
Teofimo Lopez: The former unified lightweight champion has not looked very impressive since his shocking victory over Lomachenko in 2020. Lopez would follow that win with his first career loss to George Kambosos Jr and then two lackluster performances vs. Pedro Campa and Sandor Martin. Lopez is scheduled to take on Taylor later this year, but based on his last few outings, he will most likely be schooled by the world-class Taylor.
Jose Carlos Ramirez: The former WBC and WBO champion at 140 lbs has seemingly taken a few steps back after losing to Taylor back in 2021. In 2022 Ramirez defeated past prime Jose Pedraza in a dull affair, and this past March, he defeated an equally faded Richard Commey in a snoozer. Ramirez had an opportunity to take on Prograis this year for the WBC strap but decided to face Commey instead.
Gary Antuanne Russell: Russell may be the most talented fighter in all of the 140 lb division. He possesses knockout power and top-level skills. In his last two fights, we’ve seen Russell dominate and stop quality opponents Viktor Postol and Rances Barthelemy. Russell will likely be avoided by the top fighters, and we may end up seeing Russell move up in weight for better fights.
Ryan Garcia: Most recently, we saw Ryan get stopped by superstar Gervonta “Tank” Davis in their highly anticipated PPV affair. While that fight was at a catchweight, Ryan looks to cement himself at 140 lbs, where he feels most comfortable physically. It will be interesting to see Ryan’s career progress as he’s one of the most popular fighters today. Yet, at the same time, Ryan still has a long way to go to compete with the elites.
Terence Crawford: Former undisputed champ at 140 lbs and current WBO welterweight champion Crawford has expressed in the past that he was open to taking on Josh Taylor. With the never-ending negotiations still ongoing with Errol Spence, maybe Crawford will make a return to the 140 lb division to shake things up. Fans would be much more interested in seeing Crawford fighting Taylor or Prograis than guys like David Avanesyan.
Devin Haney: Undisputed lightweight champion Haney has expressed in the past that he has trouble making the 135 lb limit. Win or lose, we will likely see Hanney move up to 140 lbs after his upcoming fight with Lomachenko this weekend. Can Haney make a splash at 140 lbs?
Adrien Broner: While we may have seen the best days of Broner long ago, don’t be surprised if you see Broner in a high-profile fight next year. Quite interestingly, Prograis and Rolly Romero have expressed a desire to fight Broner in the past. Polarizing as he may be, a motivated and focused Broner is still a quality fighter, and fans will tune in to see him fight.
Despite being stripped of his titles and controversial win vs. Catterall, I believe Taylor stands above the rest. Just the resume alone, Taylor has wins over Catterall, Ramirez, Prograis, Postol, and Ohara Davies. Much more impressive than his fellow 140 lb competitors.
With that said, who do you think is the best 140 lb fighter? Let me know in the comments.
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