To say that Andre Ward is on the rise is a gross understatement.
The 2004 Olympic gold medalist entered the Super Six World Boxing Classic as a prospect. He emerged with THE RING championship, two major titles and recognition as the best 168-pounder in the world.
And his ascent continued on Monday. In addition to claiming vacant RING belt with his victory over Carl Froch on Saturday, he also rises from No. 9 to No. 5 in the pound-for-pound rankings.
Ward leapfrogs Juan Manuel Marquez, Wladimir Klitschko, Pongsaklek Wonjongkam and Timothy Bradley.
More than one member of the Ratings Advisory Panel suggested that Ward rise as high as No. 3 – behind only Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayeather Jr. – but we don’t feel he has accomplished enough yet to overtake Sergio Martinez and Nonito Donaire.
Of course, Ward is just getting started. We have a feeling his ascent is far from over.
RING RATINGS UPDATE
Pound for pound: Ward rises from No. 9 to No. 5 after his unanimous-decision victory over Froch, knocking Marquez (No. 5 last week), Klitschko (No. 6 last week), Wonjongkam (No. 7 last week) and Bradley (No. 8 last week) down one notch each.
Super middleweight: Ward claims the vacant 168-pound title with his victory over Froch.
Ward is replaced by James DeGale, who enters at No. 10. DeGale bounced back from a razor-thin loss to British rival George Groves to narrowly outpoint Piotr Wilczewski in his most-recent fight.
Junior featherweight: Jorge Arce (No. 8 last week) drops out because he went down to bantamweight.
The Mexican veteran beat Angky Angkota on Nov. 26 to win the vacant WBO title and is scheduled to defend on Feb. 18, although no opponent has been named.
Arce is replaced by Victor Terrazas, who is coming off a unanimous-decision upset of Fernando Montiel. Terrazas is No. 10.
Bantamweight: Nonito Donaire (No. 1 last week) drops out of the ratings because he has moved up to junior featherweight, his trainer Robert Garcia confirmed.
Donaire is scheduled to face Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. at 122 pounds on Feb. 4 in San Antonio.
“He’s done at 118,” Garcia said. “He’s fighting at 122. And hopefully he’ll end up at 126 within three fights.”
Arce replaces Donaire, coming in at No. 10.
Flyweight: Champion Pongsaklek Wonjongkam (No. 8 pound for pound) vs. Hirofumi Mukai (Friday)
Junior flyweight: No. 1 Adrian Hernandez vs. Kompayak Porpramook(Friday)
Strawweight:No. 6 Wenhang Menayothin vs. Michael Rodriguez (Friday)