Ring Ratings Update: busy Saturday coming up
There was very little movement in THE RING’s divisional ratings last week but that should change this Saturday, when five of the magazine’s contenders see action on two cards taking place on opposite ends of the world.
THE RING’s No. 2-rated featherweight, Steven Luevano (37-1-1, 15 knockouts), defends his 126-pound title belt against the magazine’s No. 3-rated junior featherweight, Juan Manuel Lopez (27-0, 24 KOs), Saturday in New York City.
THE RING’s No. 10-rated featherweight, Yuriorkis Gamboa (16-0, 14 KOs), takes on rugged Rogers Mtagwa in the co-featured bout of that HBO Boxing After Dark double header from the WaMu Theater at Madison Square Garden.
Also on Jan. 23, THE RING’s No. 1-rated junior flyweight Brian Viloria (26-2, 15 KOs) defends his 108-pound title belt against Carlos Tamara in the main event of a card in Metro Manila, Philippines.
In the co-featured bout of that card, THE RING’s No. 5-rated strawweight, Donnie Nietes (25-1-3, 14 KOs), defends his 105-pound title belt against Jesus Silvestre.
All five RING-rated fighters are in their prime (mid-to-late 20s) and should make for interesting contests on Saturday.
Should Luevano beat the favored Lopez, his upset over the talented KO artist might be enough to displace fellow beltholder Chris John as THE RING’s No. 1-rated featherweight.
If Lopez beats Luevano, the popular Puerto Rican southpaw would crash the magazine’s featherweight ratings in a big way and set up a proposed showdown with Gamboa later in the year.
If Gamboa can decisively beat Mtagwa, who gave Lopez hell in a scintillating 12-round loss last year, the explosive Cuban will undoubtedly climb in THE RING’s featherweight ratings.
If Viloria defends his title against Tamara, a shot against THE RING 108-pound champ Ivan Calderon is reportedly in the works.
The young veterans have a lot riding on their fights this weekend. They should be fun to watch.
RING RATINGSj UPDATE:
Milan Melindo moves up from strawweight and enters the 108-pound division at No. 10, which bumps Cesar Canchillo out of the Top 10. Canchillo has lost two of his three most recent fights, two by knockout.
Due to Melindo’s departure, everybody rated No. 6 through No. 10 last week climbs up one rung each. Yasutaka Kuroki debuts at No. 10.