Ring Ratings Update: Rios adds to resurging lightweight division
Yuriorkis Gamboa, left of his promoter Bob Arum, moved up in THE RING's featherweight rankings with is title unifying decision victory over Orlando Salido on Saturday. Brandon Rios (right), who is also promoted by Arum, debuted at No. 5 in THE RING's lightweight rankings based on his impressive seventh-round DQ victory over previously unbeaten Anthony Peterson on the Gamboa-Salido undercard. Photo / Chris Farina-Top Rank
This past Saturday’s Boxing After Dark double header on HBO featured the sport’s most talented featherweight in with a tough fellow contender and a showdown between undefeated lightweight up-and-comers. The results of the anticipated Las Vegas card caused major shakeups in THE RING’s featherweight and lightweight ratings.
Former Cuban amateur star Yuriorkis Gamboa won his second featherweight strap by outpointing rugged Mexican veteran Orlando Salido over 12 sometimes ugly rounds. The victory vaulted Gamboa (19-0, 15 knockouts) from No. 6 to No. 3 in THE RING’s featherweight rankings. Salido (34-11-2, 22 KOs) dropped from No. 3 to No. 4.
However, the story of the night was the impressive performance put forth by lightweight slugger Brandon Rios, who advanced from prospect status to bona fide contender by dominating fellow unbeaten 135-pound standout Anthony Peterson en route to a seventh-round disqualification victory.
Rios (25-0-1, 18 KOs) assumed THE RING’s No. 5 lightweight ranking after giving Peterson all he could handle before dropping the odds favorite in the fifth round and forcing the supposedly better-talented boxer to resort to low blows until the referee DQ’d him for the repeated infractions.
Peterson (30-1, 20 KOs) dropped to No. 8 in the rankings with the first loss of his six-year pro career. The addition of Rios and retention of Peterson caused further shakeups within the lightweight rankings.
“Brandon Rios’ debut meant that somebody would have to exit, so we took the opportunity to go over the records of all ranked lightweights and decided to do a little reshuffling,” said Nigel Collins, Editor-in-Chief of THE RING. “Robert Guerrero was dropped to make room for Rios due to the fact that only two of Guerrero’s 10 most recent bouts have actually been fought as a lightweight. Moreover, even though he says he wants to campaign at 135, Guerrero’s most recent start was as a junior welterweight. Ali Funeka and Miguel Acosta flip-flopped because it became clear when comparing their records that Acosta’s recent results at lightweight were superior to Funeka’s.”
Chances are if Guerrero, who may face Vicente Escobedo in a lightweight bout on Nov. 6, decides to commit to fighting at 135 pounds the talented southpaw will make his way back into THE RING’s ratings.
Guerrero should strongly consider staying at 135 pounds. Junior welterweight is currently one of the sport’s deepest weight classes but by this time next year the lightweight division may be just as hot.
Lightweight champ Juan Manuel Marquez is slated to defend his RING title against No. 1 contender Michael Katsidis on Nov. 27 in what is sure to be a memorable bout.
Rios, who is only 24 years old, Acosta, Funeka, Humberto Soto, Urbano Antillon, Miguel Vazquez, and Peterson, who at 25 has plenty of time to rebound from Saturday’s loss, can surely carry the momentum generated from Marquez-Katsidis into 2011 and beyond.
RING RATINGS UPDATE
Previously unrated Brandon Rios rockets to No. 5 on the strength of his seventh-round DQ victory over Anthony Peterson (No. 5 last week), who falls to No. 8. Robert Guerrero (No. 8 last week) departs, while Ali Funeka (No. 2 last week) and Miguel Acosta (No. 3 last week) switch places.
Yuriorkis Gamboa (No. 6 last week) jumps to No. 3 following his 12-round decision victory over Orlando Salido (No. 3 last week), who slips to No. 4. Steven Luevano (No. 5 last week) has retired and been removed from the rankings. Chistobal Cruz (No. 4 last week) slides down to No. 5 because of Gamboa’s advancement. Elio Rojas (No. 7 last week), Daniel Ponce De Leon (No. 8 last week), Bernanbe Concepcion (No. 9 last week), and Rafael Marquez (No. 10 last week) all climb one rung each, thanks to Luevano’s departure. Antonio Escalante debuts at No. 10.
“Chris John, THE RING’s No. 1 featherweight contender has not fought in almost a year, but we have given him some slack because he was legitimately ill,” said Collins. “But if John doesn’t sign for a fight in the near future, he will be removed from the rankings.”