Ring Ratings Update: Burns crashes jr. lightweight division
Ricky Burns did more than win a major junior lightweight belt by out-pointing Ramon “Rocky” Martinez in front of his countrymen in Glasgow, Scotland, on Saturday.
Burns (29-2, 7 knockouts) also participated in a Fight of the Year candidate with his spirited unanimous decision over the hard-punching defending titleholder from Puerto Rico, and in doing so, the rangy Scottish boxer injected some much needed excitement into the stagnant junior lightweight division.
THE RING’s Editorial Board rewarded Burns’ gutsy (and surprising) belt-winning effort with Martinez’s No. 2 ranking in the magazine’s junior lightweight ratings.
“Ricky Burns’ win over Roman Martinez came as a shock,” said Nigel Collins, Editor-in-Chief of THE RING magazine. “There was quite a diversity of opinion from the Ratings Advisory Panel as to where Burns should be rated, but considering the marvelous quality of the fight and the fact that Martinez was undefeated and so highly regarded going into the match, we decided to place Burns in Martinez’ old spot.”
Burns, a 27-year-old resident of Bellshill, Scotland, is a welcome addition to the junior lightweight mix. The 130-pound division has lost much of its luster in recent years with the departures of Manny Pacquiao, Juan Manuel Marquez, Joan Guzman, Humberto Soto and the late Edwin Valero.
Perhaps Burns, who exhibited sound boxing fundamentals and sharp offensive technique against Martinez (as well as lots of guts), can excite fans in the UK and make for interesting matchups with the few standouts the junior lightweight division has.
If nothing else a rematch with Martinez (24-1-1, 15 KOs), who is now THE RING’s No. 3-rated junior lightweight, could make for another barnburner.
RING RATINGS UPDATE:
Jan Zaveck (No. 8 last week) advances to No. 7 due to his victory over Rafal Jackiewicz (No. 7 last week), who falls to No. 9. Viacheslav Senchenko (No. 9 last week) moves up to No. 8, thanks to his win over Jose Navarro and Jackiewicz’ loss.
Major shakeup: Mzonke Fana (No. 1 last week) retains top spot with a one-sided victory over Cassius Baloyi, who tumbles to No. 10. Previously unranked Ricky Burns crashes the rankings at No. 2 after upsetting Roman Martinez in a Fight of the Year candidate. Martinez (No. 2 last week) falls to No. 3. Malcolm Klassen (No. 3 last week) exits because he had not fought in more than a year. Klassen’s departure pushes up Takashi Uchiyama (No. 5 last week) to No. 4. Jorge Solis (No. 7 last week) climbs to No. 5 on the strength of his kayo of previously undefeated Francisco Cordero. The realignment also allows Jorge Linares (No. 8 last week), Vitali Tajbert (No. 9 last week), and Argenis Mendez (No. 10 last week) to all move up one slot each.
Cesar Seda (No. 9 last week) departs because he is now fighting at junior bantamweight. This advances Julio Cesar Miranda (No. 10 last week) to No. 9, and makes room for Rocky Fuentes to debut at No. 10.
Oleydong Sithsamerchai (No. 2 last week) was held to a draw by Pornsawan Porpramook, which results in Sithsamerchai slipping to No. 3. His demotion allows Nkosinathi Joyi (No. 3 last week) to rise to No. 2.
“There was some consideration given to ranking Pornsawan Porpramook at No. 10, especially as Yasutaka Kuroki (No. 10 last week) lost a decision to Sithsamerchai,” said Collins. “But as Kuroki has a superior overall record and his fight with Sithsamerchai was also very close, we decided to keep Kuroki at No. 10.”