Michael Rosenthal

RING Ratings update: Chavez won’t be dropped

Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.’s positive test for marijuana after his loss to Sergio Martinez on Sept. 15 in Las Vegas presented the Editorial Board with a significant decision.

THE RING’s new policy on failed drug tests states clearly: “THE RING will remove from its ratings any rated boxer – including a champion – if such boxer at some point undergoes drug testing (Olympic-style or otherwise) and that boxer tests positive for a banned substance.”

Marijuana is a banned substance in Nevada, meaning that Chavez should be dropped if we adhere strictly to the new policy.

However, because marijuana is not a performance-enhancing drug, the Editorial Board believes that penalizing Chavez would be the wrong move. Some testing organizations – including VADA – don’t even test for marijuana.

Thus, we’ve made two decisions:

1. Chavez will remain in the middleweight ratings. He is No. 4.

2. We will change the wording in the policy to reflect our conviction that fighters should gain no advantage from foreign substances. The words “banned substance” will be changed to “performance-enhancing drug.”

To be clear, THE RING does not condone the use of illegal drugs. Even Chavez admitted that he was wrong.

At the same time, we don’t feel it’s our place to punish an offender when the substance he has taken does not give him an advantage in the ring.


Light heavyweight: Jean Pascal (No. 2 last week) is out because he hasn’t fought in 16 months and has no fight scheduled. He is replaced by British champion Tony Bellew (18-1, 12 knockouts), who enters at No. 10.

Lightweight: Ricky Burns (No. 3 last week) retains his position after stopping Kevin Mitchell (No. 4 last week) in four rounds on Saturday. Mitchell and No. 5 John Murray (who lost to Mitchell 14 months ago) drop to Nos. 7 and 8.

Featherweight: Yuriorkis Gamboa (No. 1 last week) is out because he hasn’t fought in more than a year. Plus, Gamboa isn’t expected to fight at 126 pounds when he does return. Daud Yordan (29-2, 23 KOs), coming off two quick knockout victories since a competitive loss to No. 3-rated Chris John, enters at No. 10.

Junior featherweight: Irishman Carl Frampton (unrated last week) enters at No. 10 after his impressive sixth-round knockout of Steve Molitor (No. 9 last week) on Saturday. Molitor drops out.

Bantamweight: Jorge Arce (No. 7 last week) drops out because he is no longer a 118-pounder. Hard-punching Mexican Julio Ceja (21-0, 19 KOs) enters at No. 10.

Junior bantamweight: Juan Carlos Sanchez Jr. (No. 6 last week) changes places with Tomonobu Shimizu (No. 5 last week) after stopping Rodel Mayol (No. 8 last week) in nine rounds on Saturday. Mayol slips to No. 10.

Junior flyweight: Ulises Solis (No. 2 last week) drops out because he hasn’t fought in 13 months. He is replaced by Mexican Armando Torres (19-9, 13 KOs), who enters at No. 10.

Strawweight: Hekkie Budler enters the ratings at No. 10 after defeating Florante Condes (No. 8 last week) by a unanimous decision Saturday. Condes drops out.



Rated fighters in action this coming weekend (with current ratings).

Heavyweight: Alexander Povetkin (No. 2) vs. Hasim Rahman; Kubrat Pulev (No. 5) vs. Alexander Ustinov (Saturday)

Super middleweight: Edwin Rodriguez (No. 9) vs. Jason Escalera (Saturday)

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