Thursday, June 08, 2023  |



RING Ratings Update: Andre Ward gets out of limbo

Fighters Network

Andre Ward is now a full-fledged light heavyweight.

The former super middleweight champ outpointed Sullivan Barrera in his first fight at 175 pounds Saturday in Oakland after fighting Paul Smith at a 172-pound catchweight in June of last year.

Ward did well enough to enter our light heavyweight ratings for the first time. The question was where.

Members of the Ratings Panel suggested he should enter somewhere between No. 2 and No. 5. The Editorial Board decided on No. 5 for two reasons.

One, Barrera had a vast amateur background but had limited experience as a pro and he wasn’t rated going into the fight. Thus, while Ward’s victory was solid, it doesn’t carry the weight of beating a top 175-pounder.

As one member of the panel put it: “I do not think Andre Ward deserves Top 3 based on his achievement at the weight.”

Two, Ward probably would’ve landed in a higher position had he been dominating at 168 pounds of late. In fact, he hasn’t won an important fight in 3¾ years.

So the new Top 5 is 1. Sergey Kovalev, 2. Adonis Stevenson, 3. Bernard Hopkins, 4. Eleider Alvarez and No. 5 Andre Ward.

To make room for Ward, Jean Pascal (No. 10 last week) drops out.

In other divisions:


Chris Eubank Jr. (No. 8 last week) swaps places with Hassan N’Dam (No. 7 last week) after stopping Nick Blackwell in 10 rounds on Saturday in London.

Blackwell suffered a brain bleed as a result of the beating he took. He didn’t need surgery and was due to be brought out of an induced coma at any time.


No. 1-rated Kell Brook retained his position by stopping Kevin Bizier in two rounds Saturday in Sheffield, England.


Jose Benavidez (No. 7 last week) drops out of the ratings after declaring his intention to fight at 147 pounds. Unbeaten Englishman Jack Catterall comes in at No. 10.

Antonio Orozco (No. 8 last week) rose because of Benavidez’s departure but gained an extra notch to settle at No. 6 after stopping Miguel Acosta 1 minute, 54 seconds into their fight Friday in Indio, California.


This was a tough one. Ronny Rios (No. 10 last week) outpointed Jayson Velez (No. 10 at the time they fought) in November to earn a place in the ratings. Joseph Diaz Jr. did the same against Velez on the Ward-Barrera card, although he handled Velez much more easily.

Thus, we decided drop Rios and have Diaz enter at No. 10. Of course, the best way to settle it is to have Rios and Diaz fight one another, which is a possibility.