RING Ratings Update: Errol Spence enters the P4P Top 10
The RING Editorial Board had a tough decision to make this week.
Wisaksil Wangek’s spectacular knockout of Roman Gonzalez on Saturday knocked the Nicaraguan out of the RING’s pound-for-pound Top 10, which created an opening. The process of filling it took a great deal of thought and discussion.
First, it’s important to note that we try to balance resume with the eye test when making such a selection.
With that in mind, the Ratings Panel suggested a number of candidates. Wangek (Srisaket Sor Rungvisai), of course. Errol Spence Jr. Keith Thurman. Juan Francisco Estrada. Donnie Nietes. Oleksandr Usyk. Jorge Linares. Leo Santa Cruz. Anthony Joshua. Jermall Charlo. The list went on.
And the Editorial Board thought that most of the fighters listed above were worthy of consideration.
The easiest choice would’ve been Wangek after what he did to the former No. 1 fighter. That was a very big victory. A conservative choice would’ve been Keith Thurman, who arguably has as strong a resume as anyone not in the Top 10. Estrada is on a particular strong run, as is Linares. And Nietes, Usyk, Santa Cruz, Joshua and Charlo have their strengths.
It came down to Wangek, Thurman and Spence.
Wangek deserves credit for beating Gonzalez in consecutive fights but most observers agree that Gonzalez had moved up one division too many and has shown signs of wear and tear. Still, Wangek came close to getting the nod.
Thurman has victories over Shawn Porter and Danny Garcia. The problem is that he barely beat both of them and didn’t look remotely dynamic in the process.
Spence doesn’t have a resume comparable to either Wangek or Thurman, although he dominated a good fighter in Kell Brook in his most recent fight. The Dallas fighter excels in the eye test, as many have pegged him as a potential superstar.
In the end, we decided to lean more on the eye test than resume. Thus, Spence replaces Gonzalez, entering at No. 10.
We know that will spark some conversation, which is par for the course. Spence will determine whether we made a wise decision.
In the weight divisions:
Oleksandr Usyk (No. 1) stopped Marco Huck (No. 7 last week) on Saturday in Berlin, Huck’s second consecutive loss. That pushes him out of the Top 10. Also, time has run out on Firat Arslan (No. 8 last week), who hasn’t had a meaningful fight in three years.
Huck and Arslan are replaced by Dmitry Kudryashov and Yunier Dorticos, who enter at Nos. 9 and 10 respectively. Kudyashov and Dorticso fight one another on September 23.
Twenty-year-old David Benavidez (No. 9 last week) moves up one notch after outpointing Ronald Gavril (unrated last week) to win the vacant WBC title Friday in Las Vegas.
Another tough decision with which we wrestled was what to do about the top of the 115-pound decision.
Naoya Inoue entered the week at No. 1 and stopped overmatched Antonio Nieves (unrated last week) on the Wangek-Gonzalez card. Wangek was No. 2. Some members of the panel thought his performance should catapult him above Inoue.
However, the Editorial Board decided to leave things alone. Inoue, a strong No. 1, did nothing to lose his position. And, again, while Wangek’s KO was spectacular, we feel it came against a fighter who was at least somewhat damaged.
Gonzalez (No. 3 last week) drops to No. 8.
Also, Juan Francisco Estrada (No. 5 last week) narrowly outpointed Carlos Cuadras (No. 4 last week) in a compelling fight on the Wangek-Gonzalez card. As a result, Estrada rises to No. 3 while Cuadras stays put.
Randy Petalcorin (No. 8 last week) held his position after stopping Jetly Purisima (unrated last week) on Saturday in the Philippines.
THE RING Magazine Editor Michael Rosenthal and U.K. Correspondent/Editor Tom Gray discuss Wisaksil Wangek’s knockout win, others on the the “Superfly” card and preview the upcoming Canelo-Golovkin superfight: