Ring Ratings Update
European lightweight champ John Murray continued to build on a very solid 2009 with his second victory of 2010, a hard-fought stoppage of Andriy Kudryavtsev on Saturday in Wigan, Lancashire, England.
Murray (30-0, 18 knockouts), a popular and improving 25-year-old native of Manchester, England, gradually wore down Kudryavtsev to a ninth-round TKO. The tough Ukrainian veteran had only been stopped once before, by former belt holder Paulus Moses in 2007, in his 11-year career.
The Kudryavtsev victory was Murray’s fifth consecutive knockout since he stopped Lee Meager in the fifth round to claim the British title in July of 2008. Once-beaten Scottish standout Lee McAllister, British veteran Jonathan Thaxton, and Welsh prospect Gary Buckland — who Murray beat for the European title in May — are among the entertaining Mancunian’s stoppage victims.
THE RING’s Editorial board has rewarded Murray’s consistency by moving him to No. 6 in the magazine’s lightweight rankings.
The one-place advancement positions Murray right where he says he wants to be, within striking range of the world's top lightweights.
For years the strong-willed fighter has said that he would target the world beltholders after he won the European title and has recently stated on record that he wants to challenge the winner of the Nov. 27 showdown between RING champ Juan Manuel Marquez and Michael Katsidis.
Murray has also expressed a desire to face beltholder Humberto Soto, THE RING’s No. 3-rated contender.
While the still-developing boxer-brawler lacks the seasoning to contend with Marquez and Soto, his aggressive style and body attack would mesh well with seek-and-destroy types such as Katsidis, Brandon Rios and Urbano Antillon, THE RING’s No. 1-, No. 5- and No. 9-rated contenders respectively.
Murray would relish a fight with Katsidis, who traveled to London and bludgeoned then-undefeated Essex native Kevin Mitchell in May, temporarily spoiling what was building up to be a huge domestic showdown.
Murray would likely be an underdog against any of his fellow RING-rated contenders, but the scrappy youth, who dreams of one day challenging junior welterweight titleholder Amir Khan, doesn’t see it that way.
“The lightweight division is wide open,” Murray recently told Boxingprospects.tv. “It’s up to someone to take hold of it and establish himself as the best and I feel more than capable of doing that.”
RING RATINGS UPDATE
Murray (No. 7 last week) and Paulus Moses (No. 6 last week) trade places following Murray’s kayo of Kudryavtsev in defense of the European 135-pound title.
Zolani Tete (No. 8 last week) exits after being stopped by Moruti Mthalane, who is currently No. 7. Tete’s departure pushed up Julio Cesar Miranda (No. 9 last week) and Rocky Fuentes (No. 10 last week) one slot each, and makes room for undefeated Milan Melindo to debut at No. 10.
Edgar Sosa (No. 4 last week) exits due to the fact he is now fighting at flyweight but has not accomplished enough yet at 112 pounds to be rated in his new division. Sosa’s move up in weight allows everybody rated No. 5 or below last week to climb one rung each. Johnriel Casimero, whose only loss was via split decision to Ramon Hirales (currently No. 9) fills the vacancy at No. 10.
Previously unrated Denver Cuello takes over the No. 8 position on the strength of his kayo of Muhammad Rachman (No. 8 last week), who exits. Also departing is Yasutaka Takayama (No. 10 last week) due to his kayo loss to Michael Landero, who replaces him at No. 10.