Who is the best African boxer, pound for pound, today? Check out BoxingAfrica.com’s Top 10 list below!
BoxingAfrica.com is proud to present our list of Africa’s finest boxers, pound for pound. This list will be updated each month and, of course, all opinions are welcome:
1. Julius Indongo (Namibia), 22-0 (11 KO’s)
WBA, IBF World Lightweight Champion
Was there ever a doubt? Julius “The Blue Machine” Indongo shocked the world last December, when he traveled to Russia and flattened hometown favorite Eduard Troyanovsky with one frightening left in the first. The win netted him the IBF 140lb. belt. Indongo returned to the ring five months later, shutting out Ricky Burns in front of Burns’ Scottish kinsmen and taking home the WBA 140. title. Indongo is clearly the man in Africa and one of the best in the world today. The road won’t get easier with fellow titlist Terence Crawford seeking unification and Rances Barthelemy becoming his mandatory challenger. But Indongo always rises to the occasion and if he does so again, the world won’t be as surprised.
2. Richard Commey (Ghana), 25-2 (22 KO’s)
WBC #4, IBF #10 Ranked Lightweight
Richard Commey’s 2016 was a double-edged sword. In September, Commey traveled to Reading, Pennsylvania and suffered a close decision loss to Robert Easter Jr. for the vacant IBF world lightweight title. In December, he dropped another tough decision to Denis Shafikov—in Shafikov’s native Russia, no less. Despite the two defeats, Commey has put the division on notice and has gained an army of fans. Give him a different backdrop and he could easily be a world titlist. Look for him to make even more noise in the coming months.
3. Zolani Tete (South Africa), 25-3 (20 KO’s)
Interim WBO World Bantamweight Champion
Zolani Tete claimed his second world title in as many divisions last April, easily outpointing Arthur Villanueva over 12 rounds. Tete has a strong claim for the top spot as he appears to be getting better with age. The South African’s clever movement and boxing skills make him a tough out, and his fists aren’t packed with feather either. Another win like this latest one and he may be vying for number one.
4. Moruti Mthalane (South Africa), 33-2 (22 KO’s)
WBC #4 Ranked Flyweight
Moruti Mthalane may be 34 but you wouldn’t know it watching him fight. Mthalane was the IBF flyweight champion from 2009-2012, before taking an 18-month hiatus. He’s since won four in a row and is poised to make another run at a world title.
5. Xolisani Ndongeni (South Africa), 22-0 (11 KO’s)
WBA #6, WBC #10 Ranked Lightweight
Xolisani Ndongeni is knocking on the door of a world title shot and should get one within the next year. Ndongeni has conquered South Africa, winning a plethora of national and continental titles and, after relinquishing the minor IBO title, is ready for a major one.
6. Paulus Ambunda (Namibia), 24-2 (10 KO’s)
Paulus Ambunda lost his bid for the interim WBA world super bantamweight title when Moises Flores won a close decision over him in June 2016. Nevertheless, Ambunda remains one of Africa’s finest—and his performance that night proved it. Ambunda hasn’t fought since, making his hold at this position tenuous. We’d like to see him back in the ring as soon as possible.
7. Olanrewaju Durodola (Nigeria), 25-3 (23 KO’s)
WBC #5, WBO #6 Ranked Cruiserweight
Hard-hitting Olanrewaju Durodola will meet Dmitry Kudryashov on June 3rd. This will be a rematch of their first encounter in 2015, when Durodola blasted Kudryashov out in two rounds. This bout carries greater importance as a win will move Durodola in front of the line for a championship bout. He’ll be looking for a repeat performance.
8. Isaac Dogboe (Ghana), 16-0 (10 KO’s)
WBO #4 Ranked Junior Featherweight
Isaac “Royal Storm” Dogboe is only a couple more wins away from challenging for his first world title. The Ghanaian boxer-puncher has been touted by the likes of Azumah Nelson as a potential African great but struggled last August in a unanimous decision win over Neil John Tabanao. Dogboe bounced back with a pristine TKO of veteran Julian Aristule. If the Tabanao bout was a learning experience, then the future is looking bright for one of Ghana’s best.
9. Hekkie Budler (South Africa), 31-2 (10 KO’s)
WBC #6, WBA #4 & IBF #7 Junior Flyweight
“The Hexicutioner” stopped Joey Canoy in eight rounds last February as he looks to keep his world title dreams alive. Budler held the WBA minimumweight title for three years, losing it to Byron Rojas in March 2016. He’s nearing another world title bout in this, his second division.
10. Ryad Merhy (Cote D’Ivoire), 23-0 (19 KO’s)
WBA #6 Ranked Cruiserweight
The Belgian boxing scene is one of the best kept secrets in boxing today. Transplanted Cote D’Ivoire national Ryad Merhy may be the best of a burgeoning bunch. Merhy, a well-sculpted 24-year-old, is closing in on a world title shot but is largely untested. That said, he hasn’t looked out of place as the quality of opposition increases and that bodes well for the future. We’ve got our eye on him.