RING Ratings update: Ricky Burns, Tony Bellew make statements
It was another big weekend for the Brits.
Unrated veteran Ricky Burns added to the U.K.’s world-title haul but stopping Michele Di Rocco (also unrated) in eight rounds to win the vacant WBA junior welterweight belt Saturday in Glasgow, Scotland. That gives Burns titles in three divisions.
And cruiserweight Tony Bellew (No. 9 last week) scored a brutal knockout of Ilunga Makabu (No. 5 last week) on Sunday in Liverpool.
The big question we faced was what (if anything) to do with Burns in terms of the ratings.
The 33-year-old Scot had a record of 1-3 in 2014 and early ’15 before winning three in a row against mediocre opposition, including Di Rocco. At the same time, he has had significant success in the past and won a a third major title. Plus, his competition near the bottom of the 140-pound ratings is unproven.
In the end, we decided to give Burns the benefit of the doubt and have him enter the junior welterweight ratings at No. 10. That pushed young Regis Prograis (No. 10 last week) out of the ratings for now.
Meanwhile, Bellew made a strong statement by stopping a highly rated rival. As a result, he and Makabu swap places. The possibility of lifting Bellew even higher was mentioned but he happens to fight in a deep division, with Grigory Drozd, Denis Lebedev, Krzysztof Glowacki and Marco Huck above him.
In other divisions:
Hassan N’Dam (No. 8 last week) held his position by stopping Robert Swierzbinski (unrated last week) on Friday in Paris.
Arthur Villanueva (No. 8 last week) stopped unrated Juan Jimenez in four rounds in a bantamweight fight Saturday in the Philippines. Villanueva will remain in the 115-pound ratings for now.
Johnriel Casimero (No. 10 last week) stunned previously unbeaten Amnat Ruenroeng (No. 2 last week) by scoring a fourth-round knockout to take Ruenroeng’s IBF belt Wednesday in Beijing, China. As a result, Casimero climbs to No. 4 and Ruenroeng drops to No. 6.
RING champion Donnie Nietes successfully defended his title by stopping Raul Garcia (unrated last week) in five rounds Saturday in the Philippines.
Also on that card, Milan Melindo (No. 6 last week) defeated Maximo Flores (unrated last week) by a technical decision to retain his position.
Wanheng Menayothin (No. 1 last week) held his position by stopping Edo Anggoro (unrated last week) Friday in Thailand.
Also, Jose Antonio Jimenez (unrated last week) upset Chao Zhong Xiong (No. 8 last week) on Wednesday in Beijing, winning by a split decision. As a result, Xiong was dropped the ratings. And Kosei Tanaka (No. 5 last week) was dropped from the ratings because has moved up to 108 pounds.
That created two openings, which were filled by Riku Kano at No. 9 and Jimenez at No. 10.