Thursday, February 02, 2023  |



Ring Ratings Update: Gary Russell Jr. crashes featherweight rankings



Photo by Naoki Fukuda

Photo by Naoki Fukuda

Once-beaten American phenom Gary Russell Jr. broke into THE RING’s featherweight rankings in dynamic fashion, dropping respected veteran Jhonny Gonzalez three times en route to a four-round stoppage to earn the WBC belt in his second title shot this past Saturday in Las Vegas.

Other bouts with RING-rankings implications took place last week.

Junior middleweight: Jermell Charlo (26-0, 11 knockouts) won a close 10-round decision over fellow contender Vanes Martirosyan (35-2-1, 21 KOs). Martirosyan, who was rated No. 5, will switch places with previously No. 6-rated Charlo. Jermall Charlo (21-0, 16 KOs), won a 10-round decision over unrated Michael Finney. It was a decent win for Jermall but he was deemed too high at his previous ranking of No. 7 by the ratings panel. He will switch spots with IBF beltholder Cornelius Brundage (34-5, 19 KOs), the previously No. 8-rated junior middleweight who has a more extensive resume at 154 pounds.

Welterweight: No. 2-rateed Kell Brook (34-0, 23 KOs) easily beat unrated Jo Jo Dan, forcing the Romanian-born fighter to retire at the end of the fourth round. No change.

Junior lightweight: Rances Barthelemy (22-0, 13 KOs) easily beat unrated Angino Perez in two rounds at 137 pounds, thus exiting the 130-pound ratings. He has no resume at 135 pounds, where he intends to campaign going forward, so no lightweight ranking as yet. With Barthelemy exiting the junior lightweight division, Jamthong Chuwatana (9-0, 4 KOs) will enter at No. 10 with Nos. 3 through 10 moving up one spot each.

Featherweight: Nonito Doanire (34-3, 22 KOs), who was in action on Saturday at 122 pounds, is no longer fighting at 126 pounds and will be taken out of the featherweight rankings. Russell looked terrific blitzing previously No. 1-rated Gonzalez (57-9, 48 KOs) to win the WBC featherweight title. The new rankings are:

  1. Nicholas Walters (25-0, 21 KOs)
  2. Vasyl Lomachenko (3-1, 1 KO) [The record shown for Lomanchenko is the one listed by However, he was paid to participate in the World Series of Boxing six times during 2013, with a record of 6-0.]
  3. Gary Russell (26-1, 15 KOs)
  4. Abner Mares (29-1-1, 15 KOs)
  5. Evgeny Gradovich (19-0, 9 KOs)
  6. Jhonny Gonzalez (57-9, 48 KOs)
  7. Simpiwe Vetyeka (27-3, 16 KOs)
  8. Lee Selby (20-1, 8 KOs)
  9. Jesus Cuellar (26-1, 20 KOs)
  10. Jayson Velez (22-0-1, 16 KOs)

Junior featherweight: Donaire beat down unrated William Prado in two rounds. He will re-enter the 122 rankings at No. 4. Albert Pagara (23-0, 16 KOs) was very impressive forcing unrated Rodolfo Hernandez to retire at the end of the fifth round. Nos. 4 through 9 will move down a spot each to make room for Donaire at No. 4. Hugo Ruiz (35-2, 31 KOs) will drop out of the rankings.

Flyweight: No. 1-rated Juan Francisco Estrada (32-2, 23 KOs) easily stopped unrated Rommel Asenjo in three rounds. Moises Fuentes (21-2-1, 11 KOs) outpointed unrated Javier Cifuentes over six rounds. We will see if Fuentes continues fighting at 112/115 before removing him at 108. This was only a six rounder designed to get Fuentes back in action.

Junior flyweight: Champion Donnie Nietes (35-1-4, 21 KOs) beat unrated Gilberto Parra, retiring Parra at the end of the ninth round.