Monday, May 29, 2023  |


Margarito-Mosley isn’t quite the right matchup to be for the RING belt

Fighters Network

The question arose immediately after it was announced that Antonio Margarito would defend his WBA welterweight title against Shane Mosley on Jan. 24: Should the winner of the fight be recognized as THE RING’s welterweight world champion?

Ultimately, the answer was no.

The championship became vacant when reigning champ Floyd Mayweather Jr. retired and relinquished his belt in writing.

When the fight was made, Margarito was rated No. 1 and Mosley No. 3, which would seem to be at least a possible match up for THE RING championship.

However, it wasn’t that simple. Mosley had lost to No. 2-rated Miguel Cotto. And what if Paul Williams decided to drop back down to 147 pounds? Where would he fit in?

So Nigel Collins, the editor of THE RING magazine, sought input from his worldwide Ratings Advisory Panel and 25 members provided input. Roughly 55 percent indicated they didn’t want Margarito-Mosley to be for the world championship.

THE RING editorial board, using that input and extensive discussion, then agreed unanimously with the panel members.

“This was not an easy decision to make, and it's times like this that the Ratings Advisory Panel is an especially useful tool for gauging opinions from a broad range of experts from around the world,” Collins said. “The decision was made for several reasons. First and foremost, was the fact that No. 2 contender Miguel Cotto holds a decision victory over Mosley.

“And whenever filling a vacancy, it is best to have a clear-cut case of the No. 1 contender vs. No. 2, and we have never heard a word of criticism when that formula has been used. Taking a conservative approach in such vital matters has proven the best course of action.”

Otherwise, the only change in the ratings was dropping heavyweight titleholder Nicolay Valuev from No. 4 to No. 5 because of his poor showing against Evander Holyfield on Saturday. Alexander Povetkin moved into the No. 4 spot.

The editorial board considered rating Holyfield but decided against it because he hasn’t beaten a rated contender since Hasim Rahman in 2002.