Sunday, September 24, 2023  |


Ring Ratings Update: Dawson or Gamboa on pound-for-pound list?

Fighters Network

Chad Dawson‘s convincing victory over Bernard Hopkins to win THE RING light heavyweight championship Saturday in Atlantic City, N.J., presented us with two important questions:

Should Dawson enter the pound-for-pound Top 10? And where does Hopkins fit into the 175-pound ratings now?

The members of THE RING Ratings Panel who provided input this week were passionate in their belief that Dawson should replace unbeaten Yuriorkis Gamboa at No. 10 on the pound-for-pound list.

Panel member Ryan Maqui├▒ana provided a compelling argument in Dawson’s favor, pointing out that Dawson has victories over fighters currently rated at 168 pounds (Glen Johnson), 175 pounds (Bernard Hopkins and Adrian Diaconu), cruiserweight (Antonio Tarver) and heavyweight (Tomasz Adamek).

That’s stunning.

And, of course, he became the first to beat Hopkins convincingly since Roy Jones Jr. did so in 1993, 19 years ago.

Still, I personally was against having Dawson replace Gamboa. I think his victory over Hopkins was an important accomplishment and I respect his resume but I wasn’t particularly impressed with his performance on Saturday.

I think he did enough to win comfortably but looked anything but special. He’s also boring as hell, which works against him in my book.

And what did Gamboa do to deserve demotion? He earned his way into the Top 10, beating a string of quality opponents – including Orlando Salido – convincingly the past two years.

Gamboa has been inactive for more than seven months and put himself in a difficult position by bolting from his promoter. However, this is the bottom line for me: He’s a better, more-complete fighter than Dawson and a hell of a lot more fun to watch.

My vote was to stick with Gamboa at No. 10.

Alas, THE RING Editorial Board decided to go with the suggestion of the Ratings Panel this time because its diligent members were unanimous in support of Dawson.

So Dawson is in at No. 10 and Gamboa is out – for now.

What about Hopkins? The consensus of the Ratings Panel was to rate the now-former champion No. 1 and drop Jean Pascal (No. 1 last week) to No. 2 because Hopkins beat Pascal in May of last year.

Plus, although Pascal has agreed to fight Tavoris Cloud, he has been inactive since he lost to Hopkins.

The argument against demoting Pascal is that he beat Dawson in August 2010.

In the end, the Editorial Board decided to rate Hopkins above Pascal because he was competitive in defeat against Dawson and defeated the Canadian head to head.


Pound for pound: Dawson replaces Gamboa at No. 10 after his majority-decision victory over Hopkins on Saturday.

Light heavyweight: Dawson becomes RING champion with his victory over Hopkins, who had held the title. Hopkins is rated No. 1, pushing Pascal (No. 1 last week) to No. 2.

Also, Ismayl Sillakh (No. 10 last week) drops out after he was stopped by unrated Denis Grachev in eight rounds on Friday. Sillakh is replaced at No. 10 by Issac Chilemba (19-1-1, 9 knockouts) of Malawi.

Super middleweight: Thomas Oosthuizen (No. 6 last week) of South Africa changes places with Sakio Bika (No. 5 last week) after easily outpointing unrated Marcus Johnson on Friday.

Welterweight: Paulie Malignaggi (unrated last week) enters at No. 7 after stopping Vyacheslav Senchenko (No. 6 last week) in nine rounds on Saturday in Senchenko’s home country of Ukraine.

Senchenko drops to No. 10, pushing Devon Alexander (No. 10 last week) out.

Junior lightweight: Juan Carlos Salgado (No. 2 last week) holds his position after defeating unrated Martin Honorio by a majority decision Saturday.

Featherweight: Jhonny Gonzalez (No. 4 last week) retains his rating after his unanimous-decision victory over unrated Elio Rojas on Saturday.

Junior flyweight: Roman Gonzalez (No. 2 last week) changes places with Ulises Solis (No. 1 last week) after stopping Ramon Garcia Hirales (No. 8 last week) in four rounds on Saturday.

Some members of the Ratings Panel argued that Solis should remain No. 1 because of his long track record in the division. However, Gonzalez obviously has established himself as the best 108-pounder with one dominating performance after another.

The Editorial Board decided to drop both Hirales and Gilberto Keb Baas (No. 10 last week), who have consecutive losses. They are replaced by Luis Ceja (22-1-3, 18 KOs) and Ryoichi Taguchi (16-1-1, 7 KOs), who enter at Nos. 9 and 10 respectively.

Strawweight: Wanheng Menayothin (No. 6 last week) retains his position after stopping unrated Boy Tanto in two rounds on Friday.