Winning isn’t everything. Sometimes a fighter can advance his standing in the sport after a loss, especially when the fight he lost was entertaining and most observers thought he did enough to win.
That was the case with Matthew Macklin and Lucas Matthysse, two RING-rated contenders who advanced in the magazine’s ratings despite losing controversial decisions in high-profile fights on Saturday.
Macklin (28-3, 19 knokcouts), a 29-year-old middleweight from Birmingham, England, dropped a 12-round split decision to Felix Sturm in the WBA beltholder’s hometown of Cologne, Germany. Matthysse (28-2, 26 KOs), a 28-year-old junior welterweight from Buenos Aires, Argentina, dropped a 10-round split decision to Devon Alexander in St. Charles, Mo., which is right outside of the former beltholder’s hometown of St. Louis.
Macklin, who was THE RING’s No. 5-rated middleweight last week, took the fight to Sturm throughout the fight and outworked the 32-year-old veteran in every round. The tough Irishman lost the fight by scores of 116-112, 116-112 and 113-115, but his spirited effort bumped him to No. 4 in THE RING’s middleweight rankings.
Matthysse, who was THE RING’s No. 9-rated junior welterweight last week, dropped Alexander in the fourth round and punished the southpaw over the second half of the fight. The heavy handed Argentine lost by scores of 96-93, 95-94 and 93-96. However, his performance bumped him up two spots in THE RING’s 140-pound rankings, to No. 7.
“It is rare that two fighters who lost fights advance in the weekly ratings update the same week, but that’s exactly what happened to Matthew Macklin and Lucas Matthysse,” said Nigel Collins, Editor-in-Chief of THE RING magazine. “Most observers agree that Macklin’s loss to Felix Sturm was more egregious that Matthysse’s setback against Devon Alexander. Nonetheless, the vast majority of THE RING’s Ratings Advisory Panel contributing this week felt that both losers got the shaft. The Editorial Board agrees and has advanced both Macklin and Matthysse based on what took place inside the ring, as opposed to the judges’ scorecards.”
Ring ratings update:
Sturm held on to his No. 1 position with a close, controversial decision over Macklin (No. 5 last week), who moved up to No. 4 due to his excellent showing. Macklin’s advancement bumps down Sebastian Sylvester (No. 4 last week) to No. 5.
Junior middleweights: Cornelius Bundrage (No. 9 last week) shoots up to No. 6 thanks to his 12-round unanimous decision over Sechew Powell (No. 5 last week), who falls to No. 9. The realignment also allows Vanes Martirosyan to advance from No. 6 to No. 5.
Junior welterweights: Alexander barely clings to his No. 4 slot, thanks to a controversial decision over Matthysse, who moved up from No. 9 to No. 7, based on his performance against the former beltholder. Matthysee’s upgrade bumps down Lamont Peterson (No. 7 last week) and Erik Morales (No. 8 last week) one rung each, respectively.
Bantamweights: Fernando Montiel (No. 5 last week) departs to campaign at junior featherweight, which advances all rated No. 6 through No. 10 last week one place each and makes room for Christian Esquivel to debut at No. 10.
“Despite stopping Nehomar Cermeno in his junior featherweight debut, Fernando Montiel will have to do more to earn a spot in the 122-pound division’s top 10,” said Collins. “Going in, Cermeno had lost three of his four most recent bouts and has not won a significant match since 2009. Therefore, for the time being, Montiel is unrated.”