Thursday, June 08, 2023  |



RING Ratings: Big weekend ahead

Fighters Network

Tomasz Adamek prepares for the first defense of his RING cruiserweight championship against Johnathon Banks on Saturday in Newark, N.J. Photo / Tom Casino

Few weekends promise to shake up THE RING Ratings like this coming one.

Six fighters rated by the magazine are taking part in four televised fights on either Friday and Saturday, including two – Juan Manuel Marquez and Tomasz Adamek – who will be defending their RING belts.

In the most-compelling of the matchups, Marquez, THE RING lightweight champion, faces No. 1-rated Juan Diaz on Saturday in Houston on HBO World Championship Boxing.

This is Marquez’s first defense of The Ring belt, which he won by knocking out Joel Casamayor on Sept. 13, 2007.

“You can’t ask for more than the champion taking on the No. 1 contender, which is exactly what’s happening in Houston on Saturday,” said Nigel Collins, editor the magazine. “Whoever prevails, I’m certain that The Ring will be well represented by the winner.”

Also on the Houston card, No. 1-rated featherweight Chris John of Indonesia faces No. 3 junior lightweight Rocky Juarez. John, long admired from afar for his unusual ability, will be fighting outside of Asia for the first time.

And on Friday, on Showtime, Adamek, THE RING cruiserweight champion, makes his first defense against undefeated Johnathon Banks in Newark, N.J.

Adamek, who received his belt last Saturday, won the title by narrowly outpointing Steve Cunningham in a thrilling, give-and-take fight on Dec. 11 in Newark.

“Although Banks is not currently rated by The Ring, he is an undefeated fighter with a big punch, so Adamek certainly isn’t taking an easy first defense,” Collins said. “I wouldn’t be at all surprised if it’s another slam-bam affair, similar to Adamek’s scintillating slugfest with Steve Cunningham to win The Ring championship.”

And, on ESPN2’s Friday Night Fights, former Ring champion and current No. 3 light heavyweight Glen Johnson takes on Daniel Judah in Hollywood, Fla.

The only movement this past weekend occurred in the middleweight division.

Marco Antonio Rubio, No. 8 last week, exits the ratings because of his one-sided, ninth-round TKO loss Saturday to champion Kelly Pavlik, who was making the second defense of the title he took from Jermain Taylor on Sept. 29, 2007.

As a result, Amin Asikainen jumps from No. 9 last week to No. 8 and Daniel Geale moes from No. 10 to No. 9. John Duddy, who easily outpointed Matt Vanda on the Miguel Cotto-Michael Jennings undercard on Saturday, enters at No. 10.