Nonito Donaire’s crushing third-round knockout of Jorge Arce in defense of his RING 122-pound title on Saturday capped a banner year that resulted in the emerging Filipino star’s advancement in the mythical pound-for-pound ratings.
Donaire (31-1, 20 knockouts), who unified two major 122-pound belts and earned THE RING’s vacant junior featherweight title with a ninth-round stoppage of Toshiaki Nishioka in October before dominating Arce, was advanced to No. 5 in the magazine’s Pound-for-Pound ratings, which are compiled by RING Ratings Committee Chairman Chuck Giampa.
The Fighter of the Year candidate displaces THE RING’s No. 1-rated lightweight Adrien Broner to the No. 6 spot in the roundup of the sport’s elite fighters.
The past weekend’s action also resulted in some movement in THE RING’s divisional ratings.
Former light heavyweight champ Jean Pascal returns to the ratings in the No. 10 spot of the 175-pound rankings after scoring a unanimous decision over Aleksy Kuziemski. Pascal injured his left arm during the bout but he is expected to recover in time for a rematch with current RING champ Chad Dawson, which is scheduled for march 23.
In the super middleweight rankings, Sako Bika and George Groves will flip flop in their placement. Bika, now No. 8, fought only once in 2012, a 10th-round TKO of fringe contender Dyah Davis. Although Groves, now No. 7, fought only twice, the undefeated Brit deserves to move up one spot in the rankings due to his opposition and activity over Bika’s.
Javier Fortuna, who outpointed Patrick Hyland for an interim featherweight title on Dec. 8, has been removed from the junior lightweight rankings. The Undefeated southpaw had fought his previous four bouts at 130 pounds (and looked sharp) but THE RING has been informed that the 23-year-old Dominican will campaign at 126 pounds going forward.
Undefeated heavyweight boxer-puncher Deontay Wilder’s one-punch third-round KO of Kelvin Price was eye catching and the 2008 Olympic bronze medalist is certainly a prospect to be watched in 2013, but he hasn’t earned a spot in THE RING’s top 10 yet.
Although former 154-pound contender Alfredo Angulo showed some technical improvement under new trainer Virgil Hunter, his points win over Jorge Silva on Saturday still doesn’t allow him to crack the top 10 of THE RING’s junior middleweight rankings.
Amir Khan, the magazine’s No. 2-rated junior welterweight, is still a work in progress (also under the training of Hunter). No movement in the 140-pound division.
There were no changes in the other divisions.
Photos / Naoki Fukuda