Monday, May 29, 2023  |


RING Ratings Update: Hopkins remains No. 1 light heavyweight

Fighters Network

Is it time for undefeated Chad Dawson to replace ageless Bernard Hopkins as THE RING’s No. 1-rated light heavyweight in the world?

Not yet.

Dawson easily outpointed Antonio Tarver in their rematch Saturday in Las Vegas, repeating his performance of their October meeting, but didn’t do enough to displace Hopkins.

Thus, Dawson remains at No. 2.

“Some consideration was given to moving Dawson ahead of Bernard Hopkins, but the majority of the panel members responding this week and the editorial board felt that due to the fact that Dawson showed no significant improvement since his first decision over Tarver, it would be best to maintain the status quo,” said Nigel Collins, editor of THE RING magazine.

Tarver drops from No. 5 to No. 4 after the consecutive losses, switching places with Zsolt Erdei.

Hopkins hasn’t fought since he outpointed middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik in October.

Another question: Should Juan Manuel Marquez be stripped of his lightweight championship because he’s fighting Floyd Mayweather Jr. at a catch weight of 144 pounds on July 18?

Again, no. Collins explains.

“Prior to the announcement of the July 18 catch-weight bout between THE RING magazine lightweight champion Juan Manuel Marquez and Floyd Mayweather, I was approached by a member of Marquez’ camp who asked if THE RING would strip Marquez of its 135-pound championship for facing Mayweather at a higher weight,” Collins said. “Marquez’ camp was assured that providing he planned to return to the lightweight division after the Mayweather fight and defend the title, THE RING would continue to recognized Marquez as world champion.

“We had a similar request from then-RING magazine junior welterweight champion Ricky Hatton when he moved up to 147 pounds to challenge Luis Collazo for the WBA welterweight title in May 2006. THE RING granted Hatton his request, and true to this word, Ricky returned to 140 pounds and made four additional successful defenses of the junior welter championship before losing it to Manny Pacquiao on May 2.

“We see no reason not to grant Marquez the same courtesy,” Collins continued. “Since the launch of THE RING’s new Championship Policy in the April 2002 issue, all RING champions have done the honorable thing when moving to a new weight class on a permanent basis and voluntarily relinquished their RING belt from the lower weight class. They include Manny Pacquiao (twice), Joe Calzaghe, Winky Wright, and Paulie Ayala.”

More movement: The only other movement in the ratings occurred in the cruiserweight division, where Marco Huck moves from No. 5 to No. 4 after stopping Vitaliy Rusal in five rounds on Saturday. Huck has stopped six consecutive opponents since he was knocked out by Steve Cunningham in November 2007.

Firat Arslan drops from No. 4 to No. 5. He hasn’t fought since he was TKO’d by Guillermo Jones (No. 3) in September of last year.