The Guillermo Rigondeaux-Rico Ramos fight on Friday sparked an interesting debate among the Ratings Advisory Panel and THE RING Editorial Board.
Rigondeaux, rated No. 6 among junior featherweights going into the fight, stopped No. 2 Ramos in six rounds to take Ramos’ WBA title in a dominating performance on national television.
Everyone agreed that the former Cuban amateur star should be elevated to No. 2 afterward, behind only proven veteran Toshiaki Nishioka.
What to do about Ramos was more complicated. Some suggested he should drop no lower than No. 3 because he recently knocked out Akifumi Shimoda, who was rated No. 4 at the time.
Good point. To rate Ramos below a man he just stopped would be awkward to say the least.
However, Ramos’ performance was in a word, miserable. He was utterly lost against a far superior opponent, as if he had no business being in the same ring with Rigondeaux. Plus, although we acknowledge that a victory is a victory, Ramos was being schooled by Shimoda when he turned things around with his undeniable power.
So we had to ask ourselves this: Do we keep a fighter at No. 3 when he doesn’t deserve it simply because he beat the guy at No. 4? Or do accept the awkwardness and give him a rating that reflects his most-recent performance?
The Editoral Board decided the latter made more sense. Thus, Ramos was dropped to No. 7, which we believe one could argue is generous given his performance.
The blessing for Ramos? He’s only 24. He has plenty of time to climb back up the ratings if he has the ability.
RING RATINGS UPDATE
The Editorial Board also decided to do some overdue housekeeping in two divisions.
Super middleweight: Andre Dirrell (unrated last week) re-enters the ratings at No. 9 after stopping Darryl Cunningham on Dec. 30.
That decision was made because Dirrell was forced from the ratings through no fault of his own. He hadn’t fought since March 2010, when he suffered a head injury as a result of a foul against Arthur Abraham. Plus, based on ability, Dirrell belongs in the Top 10.
James DeGale (rated No. 10 last week) drops out.
Junior welterweight: Marcos Maidana (No. 4 last week) and Devon Alexander (No. 5 last week) drop out of the 140-pound ratings because they’ve moved up in weight. They’re scheduled to fight one another at welterweight on Feb. 25 in St. Louis.
Vernon Paris and Humberto Soto, both of whom were unrated last week, enter at Nos. 9 and 10.
Rated fighters in action this coming weekend (with current ratings)
Heavyweights: Denis Boytsov (No. 7) vs. Darnell Wilson (Sat.); Ruslan Chagaev (No. 8) vs. Kertson Manswell (Sat.)
Flyweights: Milan Melindo (No. 4) vs. Juan Esquer (Sat.)