Monday, May 29, 2023  |



Ring Ratings Update

Fighters Network

This past Saturday three of the sport’s brightest up-and-comers – James Kirkland, Robert Guerrero and Victor Ortiz – saw action against solid opposition on an HBO-televised triple header from San Jose, Calif. But only one of the young guns advanced in terms of their contender status as recognized by THE RING.

Kirkland (25-0, 22 knockouts), previously THE RING’s No. 10-rated junior middleweight, relentlessly punished former title challenger Joel Julio to a sixth-round technical knockout to advance to the No. 9 spot in the 154-pound rankings.

Guerrero (23-1-1, 16 KOs), THE RING’s No. 10-rated junior lightweight, didn’t move at all because his fight with Daud Yordan came to a disappointing and premature end midway through the second round when an accidental clash of heads sliced a jagged cut through the 25-year-old former featherweight titleholder’s right eyebrow and eyelid. Guerrero told the ringside physician that he couldn’t see out of the injured eye immediately ending the bout and rendering it a No Decision.

More than a few fans and members of the media thought Guerrero packed it in despite the severity of his cut. They believed he should have continued until the ring doctor or his corner forced him to stop, and some probably wonder if he should be ranked among the top 130 pounders, a collection of very tough hombres.

However, Guerrero always showed heart as a 126-pound beltholder and there’s no reason to think that he won’t erase the memory of March 7 with a good performance sometime this summer. The truth is, he might advance in THE RING’s 130-pound rankings before his next fight as No. 1-rated Edwin Valero, No. 6-rated Jorge Barrios and No. 7-rated Urbano Antillon are all scheduled to fight at lightweight in their next bouts and will likely stay in the 135-pound division.

Like Guerrero, Ortiz, the youngest of the trio recently signed by Golden Boy Promotions, had a short night Saturday but the results of his fight with Mike Arnaoutis were a little more conclusive. Ortiz (24-1-1, 19 KOs) rocked Arnaoutis with a sledgehammer left in the second round and then overwhelmed the veteran to a quick but not unfair technical knockout.

Ortiz, only 22, was everybody’s Prospect of the Year for 2008, and in the eyes of THE RING, he’s still a prospect. However, that status is more a reflection of how deep the 140-pound division is and not a knock on his obvious talent and considerable accomplishments for such a young fighter.

The final four spots of THE RING’s junior welterweight rankings belong to a former titleholder (Ricardo Torres) who has only lost to Miguel Cotto and No. 6-rated Kendall Holt, a two-time former title challenger (Herman Ngoudjo) whose last two losses were to No. 4-rated Paul Malignaggi and No. 5-rated Juan Urango, a recent title challenger (Marcos Maidana) who has only lost to No. 3-rated Andreas Kotelnik, and former lightweight titleholder Nate Campbell.

Still, Ortiz will probably break into the rankings before his 23rd birthday. In the past 18 months he’s blown out a former titleholder (Carlos Maussa), a former prospect (Jeffery Resto) and a former title challenger who had never been knocked out (Arnaoutis) all inside two rounds.

Read on for recent changes and other notes on THE RING’s rankings:


Kirkland advanced from No. 10 to No. 9 on the strength of his TKO of Julio, changing places with Joachim Alcine (30-1, 19 KOs), who hasn’t fought since his TKO loss to Daniel Santos last July.


Fernando Montiel (38-2-1, 28 KOs), No. 2 at junior bantamweight last week, exited the rankings due to the fact that he has moved up to the bantamweight division. All fighters rated below Montiel last week climbed one rung each, which made room for Japan’s somewhat infamous Daiki Kameda (13-1, 10 KOs) to enter at No. 10.

“It often creates a dilemma when a world-class fighter moves from one division to another, but has not yet accomplished enough in his new division to be rated, which is what has happened to Fernando Montiel,” THE RING Editor-In-Chief Nigel Collins said. “In his first start at bantamweight, he won a 10-round decision over Juan Alberto Rosas, who had lost four of his last six fights going into the Montiel bout. That was not enough to earn Montiel a rating at 118 pounds, but he’s scheduled to fight Diego Oscar Silva (38-2-1, 28 KOs) on March 28, and if he wins in convincing fashion, there’s a good chance Montiel will then be rated among the top-10 bantamweights.”


Former light heavyweight champ Glen Johnson, THE RING’s No. 3-rated 175-pound contender, entered his 300th consecutive week in the light heavyweight rankings this week.

Johnson, who recently out-pointed Daniel Judah and has fought five contenders currently ranked in the top 10, is the second longest reigning 175-pound contender behind fellow former champ Antonio Tarver, who just happens to be THE RING’s longest-reigning contender in any division with a whopping 547 consecutive weeks in the ratings.

Congratulations to both 40-year-old veterans.

There are only 10 other RING contenders who have 300 weeks (roughly 5.7 years) or more in the rankings: junior welterweight champ Ricky Hatton (308), junior featherweight champ Israel Vazquez (374), super middleweight Anthony Mundine (338), welterweight Antonio Margarito (400), junior lightweight Jorge Barrios (363), bantamweight Silence Mabuza (331), junior bantamweight Alexander Munoz (363), flyweights Pongsaklek Wonjongkam (417) and Omar Narvaez (343), and junior flyweight Nelson Dieppa (407).

Doug Fischer can be reached at [email protected]