One of the most-painful duties for us is to vacate a championship. However, that’s the position we’re in now with Juan Manuel Marquez.
Marquez, the lightweight champ since he stopped Joel Casamayor in 2008, easily outpointed Sergei Fedchenko to win an interim junior welterweight title Saturday in Mexico City and all his prospective opponents are 140- to 147-pounders.
Also, he hasn’t fought at 135 pounds since he stopped Michael Katsidis in nine rounds in November 2010, almost a year and a half ago.
Thus, it’s time to vacate the lightweight title and recognize Marquez as a 140-pounder. He enters the ratings at No. 8 after his victory over Fedchenko, pushing Humberto Soto (No. 10 last week) out of the Top 10.
Marquez isn’t the only fighter rated at 135 pounds to go. The Nos. 1 and 2 lightweights also were dropped.
Brandon Rios (No. 1 last week) has failed to make the 135 limit in consecutive lightweight fights, including his disputed split-decision victory over Richard Abril on Saturday in Las Vegas. He obviously is a 140-pounder now.
And Robert Guerrero (No. 2 last week) is scheduled to face Selcuk Aydin for an interim 147-pound title on July 28 in San Jose, Calif., meaning it will have been more than 15 months since he fought at 135 pounds.
Guerrero has indicated he wouldn’t rule out fighting as a lightweight again but it seems highly unlikely, particularly because there are no high-profile prospective opponents there.
These moves mean that Antonio DeMarco (No. 3 last week) ascends to No. 1 and no one else stayed put either. Abril (No. 9 last week) moves up to No. 7 because he gave an outstanding performance in defeat.
RING RATINGS UPDATE
Heavyweight: Denis Boytsov (No. 6 last week) easily outpointed unrated Dominick Guinn to retain his position. The same for Tyson Fury (No. 10 last week), who stopped unrated Martin Rogan in five rounds Saturday.
Middleweight: Felix Sturm (No. 2 last week) gave a strong performance against Sebastian Zbik (No. 4 last week), stopping his fellow German in nine rounds.
That was enough for Sturm to switch places with Daniel Geale (No. 1 last week).
Junior welterweight: Marquez (unrated last week) enters at No. 8, pushing Soto (No. 10 last week) out.
We considered moving up Mike Alvarado (No. 7 last week) after his impressive unanimous-decision victory over Mauricio Herrera on the Rios-Abril card but decided against it because of the stature of those above him.
Rated fighters in action this coming weekend (with current ratings)
Heavyweight: Ruslan Chagaev (No. 7) vs. Billy Zumbrun (Saturday)
Middleweight: Erislandy Lara (No. 4 junior middleweight) vs. Ronald Hearns (Friday)
Bantamweight: Abner Mares (No. 2) vs. Eric Morel (No. 5); Anselmo Moreno (No. 1) vs. David De La Mora (Saturday)
Junior bantamweight: Omar Narvaez (No. 1) vs. Jose Cabrera (Saturday)