RING Ratings update: Viktor Postol scores a hat trick
It gets better and better for Viktor Postol.
The Ukrainian technician turned in the performance of his life, stopping Lucas Matthysse – THE RING’s then-No. 1 junior welterweight – to win his first world title Saturday night in Carson, California.
As a result, Postol, rated No. 7 by THE RING at 140 pounds last week, jumps all the way to No.1 at junior welterweight. Matthysse, who suffered his first stoppage loss, drops to No. 4.
The Editorial Board also took advantage of the change to further shuffle the 140-pound ratings.
First, we dropped Lamont Peterson (No. 2 last week) because he hasn’t fought at 140 or below in more than a year and has a scheduled fight against Felix Diaz at a 143-pound catchweight on Oct. 17.
Barry Hunter, Peterson’s trainer, said Peterson hasn’t ruled out a return to 140 pounds but that seems very unlikely given his weight in his last two fights and the opportunities at 147. If he does go back, he would receive strong consideration for reentering the Top 10.
Also, we decided that Terence Crawford (No. 4 last week) should leapfrog over Ruslan Provodnikov (No. 3 last week) into the No. 2 spot now that Peterson is gone.
Crawford, who some members of the Ratings Panel and Editorial Board thought should be No. 1, has fought only once at 140 but won a title by stopping Thomas Dulorme. Provodnikov is 1-2 in his last three fights, although he lost very close decisions to Chris Algieri and Matthysse.
We applaud Adrien Broner (No. 5 last week) for his victory over Khabib Allakhverdiev, which earned him a vacant title, in his return to 140 but we didn’t feel that was enough to affect his standing.
A subject of debate was who among two unbeaten fighters should enter at No. 10.
Some felt Antonio Orozco (23-0, 15 knockouts) looked good enough in his unanimous-decision victory over Humberto Soto on Saturday to claim the vacant position. Others thought Cesar Cuenca (48-0, 2 KOs) should enter.
In the end, the Editorial Board gave Orozco the nod because of his impressive back-to-back victories over Emmanuel Taylor and Soto.
The new 140-pound list looks like this:
- Viktor Postol
- Terence Crawford
- Ruslan Provodnikov
- Lucas Matthysse
- Adrien Broner
- Jessie Vargas
- Mauricio Herrera
- Amir Imam
- Jose Benavidez
- Antonio Orozco
In other divisions:
Victor Ramirez (No. 8 last week) was dropped after fighting to a draw with late replacement Ovill McKenzie on Friday in Buenos Aires. Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (No. 5 last week) also leaves the ratings because of inactivity. He hasn’t fought in more than a year and has no fight scheduled.
That leaves two openings at 200 pounds. Oleksandr Usyk (8-0, 8 KOs) enters at No. 9 and Rakhim Chakhkiev rounds out the division at No. 10. Usyk, a 2012 Olympic gold medalist from Ukraine, is generating excitement. And Chakhkiev (24-1, 18 KOs) has lost only to Wlodarczyk, in 2013.
Marcos Maidana (No. 7 last week) is out because he hasn’t fought since he lost to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in September of last year. That gives us the opportunity to have Errol Spence enter the ratings at No. 10. Spence (18-0, 15 KOs) is a former U.S. Olympian who has looked sensational so far in his young career.
Javier Fortuna (No. 6 last week) retains his position after stopping Carlos Velasquez on Tuesday. Same for Jose Pedraza (No. 7 last week), who narrowly outpointed Edner Cherry (unrated) on Saturday.