One question that emerged after Floyd Mayweather Jr. defeated Miguel Cotto on Saturday was sure to stir the passions of many fans: Did Mayweather do enough to supplant Manny Pacquiao atop THE RING’s pound-for-pound list?
Members of THE RING Ratings Panel pushed for Mayweather to become No. 1, citing his hard-fought but convincing victory over the top junior middleweight in the world.
Another argument against Pacquiao is that many people believe he was given a gift victory over Juan Manuel Marquez in his most-recent fight, the same Marquez who was overwhelmed by Mayweather.
Members of the Editorial Board leaned the other direction, pointing out that Mayweather had much more trouble with Cotto than Pacquiao did. The editors initially preferred to wait to see how Pacquiao looks against Tim Bradley on June 9 in Las Vegas before making a decision.
Then the editors remembered a course of action they considered immediately after the Pacquiao-Marquez fight: Leave the No. 1 spot vacant until one of them either seizes the mythical title or falters badly.
This is what we wrote in the article announcing that Pacquiao would remain No. 1 in spite of his performance against Marquez: “Pacquiao survives as THE RING’s No. 1 fighter by a hair. Should he stumble again or Mayweather turn in an outstanding performance, a new king probably would be crowned.”
Some will argue that Mayweather’s performance against Cotto was outstanding. He stood up to a stiff challenge from a very good fighter after moving up in weight and emerged with an impressive victory.
Others have suggested that Mayweather shouldn’t have struggled as much as he did against Cotto, who many believed was fading as an elite fighter going into Saturday. Perhaps we saw the first signs that Mayweather, at 35, was beginning to show his age.
In the end, the editors decided that Mayweather did enough against Cotto to pull even with Pacquiao but not ahead of him. Thus, we decided to leave the No. 1 position vacant, meaning Pacquiao and Mayweather are now tied at No. 2.
Pacquiao can reclaim the top spot if he looks sensational against Bradley, maintain the status quo with a solid victory or open the door for Mayweather to become No. 1 with a poor performance.
And if there is no movement at that time, Pacquiao and Mayweather could decide who is No. 1 by fighting one another. We think everyone would agree that that is the best way to determine such things.
RING RATINGS UPDATE
Heavyweight: Kubrat Pulev (No. 9 last week) rises to No. 4 after stopping Alexander Dimitrenko (No. 4 last week) in 11 rounds Saturday in Germany.
Dimitrenko, who has lost the two biggest fights in his career (the other against Eddie Chambers), drops out. He is replaced by Tony Thompson (36-2, 24 knockouts).
Cruiserweight: Marco Huck (No. 1 last week) retains his position after his entertaining draw with Ola Afolabi (No. 5 last week) on Saturday in Germany.
We considered dropping Huck because he failed to win but decided against it because of his solid effort against a very good opponent in Afolabi, who swaps places with Denis Lebedev (No. 4 last week).
Super middleweight: Robert Stieglitz (No. 4 last week) retains his position after outpointing unrated Nader Hamdam on Saturday in Germany.
Also, Mikkel Kessler (No. 2 last week) drops out because he has moved up to light heavyweight. He is replaced by Edwin Rodriguez (21-0, 14 KOs), who enters at No. 10.
Middleweight: Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (No. 6 last week) changes places with Matthew Macklin (No. 5 last week) after easily outpointing unrated Max Bursak on Friday in France.
Also, Dimitry Pirog (No. 4 last week) stayed put after a one-sided decision over unrated Nobuhiro Ishida on Tuesday in Russia.
Junior middleweight: Mayweather (unrated last week) enters at No. 1 after outpointing Cotto (No. 1 last week) on Saturday.
The editors considered dropping Cotto to No. 3, below Saul Alvarez (No. 2 last week), but decided against it because we believe Cotto’s performance against a great fighter was at least as good as Alvarez’s in his victory over a faded Shane Mosley. Thus, Cotto is now No. 2 and Alvarez is No. 3.
Delvin Rodriguez (No. 10 last week) is out.
Welterweight: Mayweather (No. 2 last week) retains his position even though he fought at junior middleweight.
The feeling is that he’s a small junior welterweight who might very well fight at 147 pounds in his next fight. He also retains a major title at that weight.
Featherweight: Daniel Ponce de Leon (No. 8) stays put after his shutout victory over unrated Eduardo Lazcano in a junior lightweight bout Friday in Las Vegas.
One member of the Ratings Panel suggested we remove Ponce de Leon from the 126-pound ratings because four of his past five fights have been over that weight. However, his management team is seeking a fight with WBC featherweight titleholder Jhonny Gonzalez.
Also, Chris John (No. 3 last week) easily outpointed unrated Shoji Kimura on Saturday in Singapore.
That was John’s 16th defense of his WBA title, a remarkable achievement. One member of the Ratings Panel suggested he vault over No. 1 Yuriorkis Gamboa (whose future is uncertain) and No. 2 Orlando Salido, a suggestion that was seriously considered.
However, the editors decided to wait a little longer to see how Gamboa’s situation plays out. And we didn’t feel we could justify demoting Salido after two KOs of Juan Manuel Lopez in Lopez’s country.
Junior flyweight: Kampayak Porpramook (No. 4 last week) remains where he is after his five-round technical-decision victory over unrated Jonathan Taconing on Thursday in Thailand.
You can view all the current RING ratings here.
Rated fighters in action this coming weekend (with current ratings)
Middleweight: Gennady Golovkin (No. 8) vs. Makoto Fuchigami
Junior bantamweight: Juan Carlos Sanchez (No. 9) vs. Juan Alberto Rosas (No. 10) (Saturday)
Flyweight: Juan Carlos Reveco (No. 9) vs. Karim Guerfi (Friday); Brian Viloria (No. 2) vs. Omar Nino (Saturday); Julio Cesar Miranda (No. 7) vs. Rodel Mayol (Saturday)