Sunday, March 26, 2023  |



RING Ratings update: ‘Hi-Tech’ Lomachenko gets an upgrade

Lomachenko won his first world title with a majority decision over Gary Russell Jr. Photo / Naoki Fukuda

Vasyl Lomachenko’s upward trajectory continued on Saturday, when he forced previously unbeaten Nicholas Walters to quit after seven rounds.

Lomachenko’s dazzling performance allowed him to move up in both the RING pound-for-pound and junior lightweight ratings.

Pound-for-pound: Lomachenko (No. 7 last week) leapfrogs stagnant No. 6 Guillermo Rigondeaux. The Ukrainian now trails Roman Gonzalez, Andre Ward, Sergey Kovalev, Gennady Golovkin and Terence Crawford.

Junior lightweight: Lomachenko (No. 3 last week) jumps over Nos. 1 and 2 Francisco Vargas and Orlando Salido into the No. 1 position.

That decision wasn’t made without some discussion. After all, Salido did beat Lomachenko in the latter’s second pro fight in March 2014. However, in addition to the eye test, consider:

· Lomachenko is 6-0 since his loss, including five knockouts. He outpointed Gary Russell Jr. immediately following the Salido fight.

· Salido is 1-1-2 since he fought Lomachenko, including a unanimous-decision loss to Roman Martinez (though Martinez-Salido II, which ended in a draw, was deemed such a robbery at Salido’s expense that he was elevated above Martinez in the ratings). Lomachenko stopped Martinez in June.

· And Vargas is coming off a majority-decision draw with Salido in June.

Thus, Lomachenko lands on top of the 130-pound divison. And he has said he wants to fight Vargas next. That fight would be for the RING championship.

In other divisions:


Terry Flanagan (No. 2 last week) retains his position after stopping Orlando Cruz (unrated last week) in eight rounds Saturday in Wales.


Javier Mendoza (No. 5 last week) drops out because he has lost back-to-back fights, including his last one at 115 pounds. He is replaced by unbeaten Ken Shiro, who enters at No. 10.