Heavyweight contender Tomasz Adamek, previously ranked No. 3 in THE RING’s rankings, won a controversial split decision over Steve Cunningham on Saturday. Adamek, who struggled with Travis Walker before stopping the journeyman in his previous bout and earned a disputed decision over Eddie Chambers in June, was dropped to No. 5 in the magazine’s heavyweight rankings on the advice of the Ratings Panel.
Adamek (48-2, 29 knockouts), a 36-year-old Polish veteran based in New Jersey, hasn’t looked the same since being stopped by WBC titleholder Vitali Klitschko last September and has struggled in some way in every fight since then. The former light heavyweight beltholder and RING cruiserweight champ had a tougher-than-expected fight with journeyman Nagy Aguilera in February.
Although Cunningham, a former two-time cruiserweight titleholder who recently entered the heavyweight division, showed that he can give any heavyweight a problem, the Ratings Panel does not believe the 36-year-old veteran from Philadelphia merits a top -10 ranking yet. Saturday’s rematch said more about Adamek than it did about Cunningham.
David Haye, who was previously ranked at No. 4, will replace Adamek at No. 3. Kubrat Pulev will move up one place from No. 5 to No. 4. Nos. 6 through 10 will remain the same, although undefeated British standout David Price is closing in on a top-10 spot.
At lightweight, John Murray will be dropped from the No. 10 ranking due to inactivity (the British standout hasn’t fought since being stopped by Brandon Rios last December). Murray will be replaced by Daniel Estrada (30-2-1, 22 KOs), who is the most logical choice to move into our rankings at No. 10.
The 27-year-old Mexican contender has won seven in a row since dropping a 12-round split-decision to Reyes Sanchez in 2010. Although Estrada has not defeated a top-10 rated lightweight he has a bunch of wins against solid opposition.
Undefeated prospect Terrence Crawford is not top-10 worthy yet, but he is closing in on breaking into the lightweight rankings.
Junior featherweight contender Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym, who had to withdraw from his scheduled Dec. 15 WBA title bout against Guillermo Rigondeaux after failing a pre-fight blood test, has been removed from the active rankings. The Thai veteran was THE RING’s No. 2-rated junior featherweight.
The Ratings Panel does not know what Kratingdaenggym status is regarding licensing, but it’s possible that he may not fight again. Nos. 3 through 5 (Abner Mares, Jeffrey Mathebula and Rico Ramos) all move up one spot. Alexander Bakhtin, previously the No. 7-rated junior featherweight, will move up to the No. 5 spot. Carl Framption will stay at No. 6. The Ratings Panel did not think that Frampton was ready to move up a spot, or be rated too many spots higher than fellow unbeaten UK standout Scott Quigg, who is now rated No. 9.
Hozumi Hasagawa, a former bantamweight and featherweight beltholder who recently dropped down to junior featherweight, will enter THE RING’s 122-pound rankings at No. 10.
At bantamweight, former two-time betlholder Joseph Agbeko will be dropped from our the rankings due to his lack of activity. Everyone else in the ratings will move up one spot. The Panel suggested that Jamie McDonnell (20-2-1, 9 KOs), who has won 12 consecutive bouts since dropping an eight-round decision to Lee Haskins in 2008 enter the bantamweight rankings at No. 10 spot.
Among the 26-year-old Brit’s victories is a majority decision over Stephane Jamoye last January. Jamoye’s only other losses are to top contenders Tomoki Kameda and Leo Santa Cruz and the 23-year-old Belgian scored an eighth-round TKO of Haskins in a Dec. 14 European bantamweight title bout.
There were no other changes in THE RING’s divisional or pound-for-pound rankings.