Saturday, June 03, 2023  |



RING Ratings update: A new champion at middleweight

Fighters Network

Canelo Alvarez became the RING and WBC middleweight champion by convincingly outpointing Miguel Cotto on Saturday in Las Vegas, a pivotal day in the young Mexican’s career.

It doesn’t end there, though. As a result of his victory, Alvarez also re-enters the RING pound-for-pound Top 10 at No. 9.

The Editorial Board and Ratings Panel felt strongly that Alvarez had earned a place in the pound-for-pound ratings. That wasn’t an issue. Where he would end up wasn’t as clear cut.

The Panel as a whole suggested he should come in at No. 10, replacing Kell Brook (No. 10 last week). However, the Editorial Board decided to place him at No. 9 given that Shinsuke Yamanaka (No. 9 last week) barely got by Anselmo Moreno in his most recent fight.

We believed that Alvarez had an edge over Yamanaka because he handily beat a top-tier opponent while Yamanaka struggled with one.

Thus, Alvarez is the new No. 9, Yamanaka drops to No. 10 and Brook is out. This is the new RING pound-for-pound list:

1. Roman Gonzalez
2. Sergey Kovalev
3. Gennady Golovkin
4. Andre Ward
5. Guillermo Rigondeaux
6. Wladimir Klitschko
7. Terence Crawford
8. Manny Pacquiao
9. Canelo Alvarez
10. Shinsuke Yamanaka

The Editorial Board had some tougher decisions to make in regard to three RING champions: Yoan Pablo Hernandez, Adonis Stevenson and Rigondeaux.

All three of them have gone more than two years without fighting a Top 5 opponent in any division, which is grounds for stripping them of their titles as per RING rules.

In the end, only Hernandez and Stevenson were stripped. Rigondeaux was given a reprieve but is in danger of losing his belt too if he doesn’t schedule a fight with a Top 5 opponents very soon.

Hernandez hasn’t faced a Top 5 opponent since Steve Cunningham in February 2012. We cut him a tremendous amount of slack because he has been hampered by injuries but enough is enough: He has been dropped from the Ring Ratings entirely.

Even Hernandez evidently feels that way. He reportedly indicated he would retire, although his handlers say nothing has been decided.

Stevenson’s last Top 5 opponent was Tavoris Cloud in September 2013. He was given time to make a significant fight after his two years were up this past September but no deal is in place. He is likely to fight the winner of the Nov. 28 fight between No. 5 Eleider Alvarez and No. 6 Isaac Chilemba but nothing is set.

Stevenson will remain in the ratings but drop to No. 2, below No. 1 Sergey Kovalev. That means the two would fight for the RING championship if they hold their positions and were to ever meet in the ring.

Thomas Oosthuizen (No. 10 last week) drops out of the light heavyweight ratings.

Rigondeaux last fought a Top 5 foe in April 2013, when he outpointed Nonito Donaire. We decided to give him more time for two reasons: No one wants to fight him and he recently signed with a new promoter, Roc Nation Sports.

The Cuban will be on notice, though: Either fight a top opponent soon or we’ll have no choice but to strip you.

In other divisions:

Middleweight: Cotto was dropped from the middleweight ratings because he obviously is a 154-pounder even though he held the 160-pound title.

Cotto only one time weighed above the junior middleweight limit, when he came in at 155 to fight then-RING middleweight champion Sergio Martinez in June of last year. He weighed 153¾ this past Friday.

Junior middleweight: Alvarez (No. 1 last week) has been dropped from the 154-pound ratings after winning the 160-pound title. He hasn’t made the 154-pound limit since he weighed in at 152 for his fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr. in September 2013, more than two years ago.

Alvarez’s removal allows Erislandy Lara (No. 2 last week) and Austin Trout (No. 3 last week) to move up one notch each. Cotto enters at No. 3. Trout outpointed Cotto in 2012.

Lightweight: Anthony Crolla (No. 10 last week) moves up to No. 7 after stopping Darleys Perez in five rounds in their rematch Saturday in Manchester, England.

Junior lightweight: Francisco Vargas (No. 5 last week) moves up to No. 2 after his sensational ninth-round knockout of Takashi Miura (No. 2 last week) on the Alvarez-Cotto card. Miura drops to No. 3.

The Editorial Board normally would drop a knockout victim more than one position but Miura acquitted himself well against Vargas before the dramatic ending. Also, we felt his victory was more impressive than the recent performances of Orlando Salido and Rocky Martinez (Nos. 3 and 4 last week).

Saul Rodriguez (unrated last week) replaces Oscar Valdez at No. 10 after stopping Ivan Najera in one round Friday in Las Vegas.

Featherweight: Ronny Rios (unrated last week) replaces Jayson Velez at No. 10 after outpointing Velez on the Alvarez-Cotto card.

Bantamweight: Now-former IBF titleholder Randy Caballero (No. 6 last week) lost his title on the scale after weighing in 5¾ pounds over the limit and the fight, scheduled for the Alvarez-Cotto card, was canceled.

Caballero’s father, Marcos, said he can’t explain what happened but added that it’s possible his son will fight again at 118 pounds because weight had never been an issue before Saturday.

Thus, we decided to keep Caballero where he is and we’ll see what happens.