Orlando Salido’s spectacular knockout of Juan Manuel Lopez and Mikey Garcia’s KO of Bernabe Concepcion on Saturday in Puerto Rico, as well as Billy Dib’s victory, were destined to shake up the RING featherweight ratings.
We just didn’t realize how much when we started the deliberation process.
As a matter of practice, we like to make changes in the ratings based solely on results from the previous week. In other words, we want the fighters to sort out the ratings themselves whenever possible.
However, after wrestling for some time with the featherweight division, THE RING Editorial Board decided in this case to shuffle the ratings in an effort to place the fighters where they truly belong.
This was the 126-pound Top 10 going into last week:
1. Yurikorkis Gamboa
2. Chris John
5. Daniel Ponce De Leon
6. Rafael Marquez
7. Jhonny Gonzalez
10. Celestino Caballero
This is what it looks like now:
8. De Leon
First, there was Gamboa. The Cuban defector agreed to face Brandon Rios in a lightweight fight on April 14, which would seem to open the door to his removal from the ratings. However, the fight is in jeopardy after Gamboa failed to show up for two news conferences and then announced that he was unhappy with his management.
We’ll wait to see how this plays out before making any decisions on Gamboa.
Then came Salido, whose situation wasn’t too complicated: We just had to decide whether he should change places with John, the accomplished fighter from Indonesia.
We decided that two sensational knockouts of an elite opponent on the opponent’s home turf trumped anything John has accomplished recently, although it wasn’t an easy decision given John’s solid resume and unquestioned ability.
Next came Nos. 4 through 10, which we felt was out of whack based on recent activity. Thus, we decided to move Nos. 4-6 (Lopez, De Leon and Marquez) down and move Nos. 7-9 (Gonzalez, Garcia and Dib) up.
Clearly, the latter group has accomplished much more recently than the former group.
Lopez has been knocked out in two of his past three fights, although he didn’t go willingly in either setback. De Leon is 1-2 in his last three fights and hasn’t won a meaningful featherweight bout since he stopped Antonio Escalante in 2010. Marquez also is 1-2 in his last three fights and, in his last fight, lost a one-sided decision to Toshiaki Nishioka in a junior featherweight matchup.
Gonzalez has knocked out all 11 of his opponents – including Hozumi Hasegawa, Jackson Asiku and Rogers Mtagwa – since he was stopped by Nishioka in 2009. Garcia seems to be blossoming into a star, as his seventh-round KO of Concepcion seemed to illustrate. Dib, who stopped Eduardo Escobedo in six rounds on Wednesday, just keeps on winning.
In the end, we hope we ended up with featherweight ratings that do the fighters justice.
RING RATINGS UPDATE
Cruiserweight: Marco Huck (unrated last week) re-enters the ratings at No. 1 after losing a close fight to heavyweight Alexander Povetkin and then moving back down to 200 pounds.
That pushes everyone from No. 1 to No. 9 down one notch each. Alexander Alekseev (No. 10 last week) drops out.
Middleweight: Daniel Geale (No. 1 last week) retains his position with a one-sided unanimous decision over unrated Osumanu Adama on Wednesday in Australia.
Lightweight: Ricky Burns (No. 7 last week) rises to No. 5 after a convincing unanimous decision over Paulus Moses (No. 6 last week) in Scotland. That pushes Kevin Mitchell (No. 5 last week) down to No. 6. Moses drops to No. 10, lifting those rated Nos. 8-10 last week up one notch each.
Junior flyweight: Masayuki Kuroda (No. 4 last week) switches places with Kompayak Porpramook (No. 5) last week after drawing with unrated Ryoichi Taguchi.
Strawweight: Denver Cuello (No. 7 last week) retained his position by stopping unrated Kid Suryana in four rounds.
Rated fighters in action this coming weekend (with current ratings)
Cruiserweight: Giacobbe Fragomeni (No. 7) vs. Silvio Branco (Saturday)
Super middleweight: George Groves (No. 7) vs. Kenny Anderson (Friday)
Middleweight: Sergio Martinez (C) vs. Matthew Macklin (No. 3) (Saturday); Grzegorz Proksa (No. 4) vs. Kerry Hope (Saturday)
Welterweight: Kell Brook (No. 6) s. Matthew Hatton (Saturday)
Lightweight: Antonio DeMarco (No. 3) vs. Miguel Roman (Saturday)
Junior lightweight: Argenis Mendez (No. 7) vs. Daniel Attah (Saturday)
Flyweight: Luis Concepcion (No. 8) vs. Oscar Gallardo (Thursday)
Junior flyweight: Roman Gonzalez (No. 2) vs. Manuel Jimenez
Pound for pound: Sergio Martinez (No. 3) vs. Matthew Macklin (Saturday)