Saturday, September 30, 2023  |



RING Ratings Update: Ward moves up pound-for-pound list

Fighters Network

The question was inevitable: Was Andre Ward’s sensational knockout of Chad Dawson enough for him to leap frog Sergio Martinez and Nonito Donaire in THE RING pound-for-pound ratings?

Ward, THE RING super middleweight champion, stopped Dawson in the 10th round Saturday night in Oakland, Calif., his most-impressive victory in an astounding run of dominance over top-tier opponents the past few years.

Ward has manhandled in succession Mikkel Kessler, Allan Green, Sakio Bika, Arthur Abraham, Carl Froch and now Dawson.

Martinez, No. 3 pound-for-pound last week, and No. 4 Donaire have their share of important victories – including some breathtaking knockouts – but they don’t have the resume Ward has.

Plus, what have Martinez and Donaire done for us lately? Martinez deserves more credit than he has received for stopping Sergei Dzinziruk, Darren Barker and Matthew Macklin in his last three fights. Still, Dzinziruk, Barker and Macklin aren’t Kessler, Froch and Dawson.

Donaire had sensational knockouts over Wladimir Sidorenko and Fernando Montiel in 2010 and 2011 but has beaten Omar Narvaez, Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. and Jeffrey Mathebula since, good but hardly monumental victories.

The argument in favor of Martinez and Donaire is that they have continued to win. The philosophy of THE RING Editorial Board is that fighters generally must falter to lose their positions in the ratings. Martinez and Donaire haven’t really faltered.

That’s why Manny Pacquiao remains tied with Floyd Mayweather Jr. at the top of our pound-for-pound ratings. As we wrote previously, we didn’t feel he should be punished for narrowly outpointing a fellow superstar in Juan Manuel Marquez (even if the result was controversial) and handling unbeaten Tim Bradley.

Still, the board decided that Ward must be rewarded for not only fighting one elite opponent after the other but dominating each one of them, capped by a remarkable victory over THE RING light heavyweight champ on Saturday.

Thus, Ward, No. 5 last week, moves into the No. 3 spot, which pushes Martinez down to No. 4 and Donaire to No. 5.

The good news for Martinez and Donaire is that they both fight soon, Martinez against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. on Saturday in Las Vegas and Donaire against Toshiaki Nishioka on Oct. 13 in Carson, Calif.

If one or both turn in special performances, we’ll have to take another look at their positioning in the pound-for-pound ratings.

Dawson (No. 10 last week) drops out of the pound-for-pound Top 10. No. 1-rated bantamweight Anselmo Moreno (33-1-1, 12 KOs) takes his position on the list.


Cruiserweight: Steve Cunningham (No. 3 last week) is out at 200 pounds after easily outpointing Jason Gavern in his heavyweight debut on Saturday. He is replaced by undefeated Pole Pawel Kolodziej (30-0, 17 knockouts), who enters at No. 10.

Light heavyweight: Dawson remains the 175-pound champion because he fought Ward at 168 pounds.

Junior welterweight: Olusegun Ajose (No. 9 last week) remains in the ratings – dropping to No. 10 – because of a spirited effort on Saturday against No. 1 Lucas Matthysse, who stopped Ajose in the 10th round.

Lightweight: John Molina (No. 6 last week) drops out of the Top 10 after his 44-second knockout loss to Antonio DeMarco on the Ward-Dawson card Saturday. He is replaced by Nihito Arakawa (23-1-1, 15 KOs), whose only loss came six years ago. The Japanese fighter enters at No. 10.


Rated fighters in action this coming weekend (with current ratings). All bouts are on Saturday.

Cruiserweight: Yoan Pablo Hernandez (C) vs. Troy Ross; Mateusz Masternak (No. 10) vs. David Quinonero

Middleweight: Sergio Martinez (C) vs. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (No. 3); Matthew Macklin (No. 7) vs. Joachim Alcine

Junior middleweight: Saul Alvarez (No. 3) vs. Josesito Lopez (No. 8 welterweight)

Junior lightweight: Roman Martinez (No. 4) vs. Miguel Beltran Jr.

Featherweight: Jhonny Gonzalez (No. 4) vs. Daniel Ponce de Leon (No. 8)

Junior featherweight: Guillermo Rigondeaux (No. 2) vs. Robert Marroquin

Bantamweight: Leo Santa Cruz (No. 7) vs. Eric Morel (No. 5)

Strawweight: Katsunari Takayama (No. 9) vs. Mathew Handig