Thursday, March 22, 2018  |


RING Ratings Update: Canelo-GGG changes nothing

Photo by Matt Heasley

A draw generally doesn’t shake things up. And that’s the case with the RING Ratings after the Canelo-GGG fight.

Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez remained in the positions they held going into the fight in both the pound-for-pound Top 10 and in the middleweight ratings following their controversial split-decision draw Saturday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Golovkin remains No. 2 pound for pound, the same for Canelo at No. 7. The Editorial Board didn’t feel GGG should supplant No. 1 Andre Ward, who is coming off a knockout of then-No. 2 Sergey Kovalev. And Canelo shouldn’t move up in spite of his strong performance because of consensus, which had Golovkin winning.

Canelo retains his RING middleweight title because of the draw, just as Golovkin keeps his sanctioning-body titles.

Remember: Canelo beat then-middleweight champ Miguel Cotto, who took the title from Sergio Martinez, who took it from Kelly Pavlik, who took it from Jermain Taylor, who took it from Bernard Hopkins, who was the first RING middleweight champ after the magazine’s titles were reinstituted.

Some believe Canelo should never have been recognized as RING champion because the Cotto fight took place at a catchweight of 155 pounds, five below the division limit. (For the record: Cotto-Martinez was fought at a catchweight of 159.) Canelo also defended the title against Amir Khan with the same 155-pound catchweight.

The RING has no policy in place to prohibit catchweights in championship fights. And the Editorial Board as a whole believes no such a policy should be instituted; if the champion and challenger agree to a catchweight below the division limit, it’s up to them.

And, finally, Canelo gave up his WBC title over a dispute with the sanctioning body but never relinquished his RING title.

Golovkin remains the No. 1-rated middleweight.

In other divisions:


Callum Smith (No. 5 last week) and Andre Dirrell (No. 4 last week) switch places after Smith outpointed Erik Skoglund as part of the World Boxing Super Series on Saturday in Liverpool.


Viktor Postol (No. 1 last week) outpointed Jamshidbek Najmiddinov (unrated last week) in his comeback fight Saturday in Ukraine but had to survive a hard knockdown to do it. Thus, he switches places with Mikey Garcia (No. 2 last week).


Jo Jo Diaz (No. 7 last week) held his position after outpointing late-replacement Rafael Rivera (unrated last week) on the Canelo-GGG card.

Also, Jesus Rojas (unrated last week) maintained his hot streak by stopping capable Claudio Marrero (unrated last week) on Friday in Las Vegas. Rojas enters at No. 10. That pushes out No. 9 Jorge Lara, who had been relatively inactive and had to pull out of the Diaz fight after injuring himself in a fall. Scott Quigg (No. 10 last week) moves up one notch.


Diego De La Hoya (No. 6 last week) looked sharp in his one-sided decision over Randy Caballero (unrated last week) on the Canelo-GGG card. Also, Ryosuke Iwasa (unrated last week) stopped Yukinori Oguni (No. 8 last week) on Wednesday in Japan. As a result of those fights and general housekeeping, the new 122-pound Top 10 looks like this:

  1. Guillermo Rigondeaux
  2. Jessie Magdaleno
  3. Rey Vargas
  4. Diego De La Hoya
  5. Nonito Donaire
  6. Moises Flores
  7. Hugo Ruiz
  8. Daniel Roman
  9. Ryosuke Iwasa
  10. Julio Ceja


Jonas Sultan (unrated last week) outpointed fellow Filipino Johnriel Casimero (No. last week) on Saturday in Cebu City. As a result, Casimero drops out and Sultan enters at No. 10.


Kosei Tanaka (No. 2 last week) stopped Rangsan Chayanram (unrated last week) on Wednesday in Japan. Thus, he supplants Pedro Guevara (No. 1 last week) atop the list. Guevara hasn’t had a notable opponent since 2015, although he’s scheduled to face Ken Shiro on October 22.

Also, Milan Melindo (No. 4 last week) narrowly outpointed Hekkie Budler (No. 9 last week) on Saturday in the Philippines. Melindo and Ryoichi Taguchi (No. 3 last week) change places. Budler drops one notch.


  • Don Badowski

    Michael, the thing is Cotto won it at a catchweight, defended it (Geale) at a catchweight, and lost it at a catchweight. Then Alvarez won it at a catchweight, defended it against Khan at a catchweight, gave up the WBC belt (who insist mandatory defenses be at the full weight limit), fought Smith at the next lower weightclass limit, etc.He tells us he’s not ready for 160? Chavez Jr. at 164.5?
    Ring Rules or no, don’t you get a sinking feeling in your guts you’re being played?

    • Stephen M

      Or being stubbornly stupid…

      • Fist_ti_cuffs

        They’re afraid of getting canned by fishnets, so they have to keep his concubine in the ratings.

    • Fist_ti_cuffs

      Wow, I actually agree with you.

      • Don Badowski

        I’ve noticed that whenever the discussion is not about Floyd, we usually do.

    • Ten Count Toronto

      Not to mention that NONE of those people ever had any business getting a shot at any Middleweight title that pretends to be legitimate. Not Cotto, not, Alvarez and certainly not Khan. Geale wasn;t a worthy challenger at that point either, but at least he was a Middleweight and owned a win over a Middleweight at 160. If the the ring title had any integrity it would have been suspended or made vacant until somebody fought Golovkin for it.Years ago.

      • Ain’t no dinos in Holy books

        Golovkin-Murray should have been recognized for the vacant legit 160lb title in Feb ’15.
        Murray was near universally regarded as the strongest contender in the division outside of GGG, virtue of his strong showings against Sturm and Martinez, both of which many, many people felt he had won.

        • Ten Count Toronto

          The haters would never have accepted Murray as the guy to legitimize GGG as Universal Champion, that’s why I didn’t include that possibility. However Murray was the last guy before GGG to actually deserve his title shot although hard core junkies would rather have seen Martinez-GGG even then.

          In retrospect boxing would have been much better off had Murray gotten the decision over Martinez in that inconclusive fight. I think he’d have fought Golovkin much sooner, there never would have been any of these bullshit 155lb fights involving Cotto & Khan, and the Jacobs fight might have happened earlier..

          • Ain’t no dinos in Holy books

            Absolutely although, in fairness, the haters would have found a way to discredit GGG regardless of who he faced.
            Considering that Martinez-Murray in April ’13 was the last lineal and/or Ring middleweight championship fight before GGG-Canelo to actually be contested at 160lb, and that Murray arguably won that fight, I really feel that The Ring missed a trick in not endorsing GGG-Murray as for the vacant legitimate title nearly 2 whole years later. Yet, as you say, it would have been far more ideal had Murray received the decision over Martinez in the first place.

          • Don Badowski

            The haters could only come back with “Real champions move up to fight Ward at (fill in the blank).” Or, “The middleweight division is weak.”
            3 years ago, when I heard this talk I would ask if Golovkin is so weak in this weak division, then why are not the better middleweight trying to get his belts? Quillin was my favorite example, as he was supposed to be hot stuff. I do not recall ever getting a satisfactory answer.

  • Stephen M

    ”So, we at the Ring thought about it for a while and we decided to keep the rules that allow us to have a meritless and meaningless Ring middleweight champion”.
    That old saying applies here: ‘Only fools and dead men don’t change their minds. Fools won’t and dead men can’t.’.

    • Chris Stans

      There should be a rule of voting on whether the Ring championship should keep his title. Every 12-18 months his accomplishments at the weight should be reviewed and if he’s found lacking, the next highest ranked should get the title

  • Dee Money

    I’m a GGG fan, and have been for a while, but I dont know if I would still rank him number 2 p4p right now.

    I guess it comes down to if we are looking at how they are at this moment, or what they have been over the past few years (eye test or resume). The sad thing is 3-4 years ago when he was at his peak he was barely cracking the top 10 p4p.

    Such is boxing, too often we don’t recognize how good someone is until they are no longer that good.

    • Stephen M

      I have to agree. GGG doesn’t look like #2 P4P.

      • Mitchell Nelms

        This is a legitimate question; if not Golovkin, then who? I think Lomachenko and Crawford are two of the most talented fighters alive, but they aren’t quite #2 p4p, yet.

        • Stephen M

          I agree.

      • Ain’t no dinos in Holy books

        In a sense he doesn’t. I think he is clearly past his prime, will only continue to decline, and the likes of Lomachenko and Crawford definitely have more upside. However, after re-watching his performance Saturday night, in which I feel he legitimately beat one of the sports’ 10 best fighters by a solid 2-4 points, I think GGG solidified his standing amongst boxings best for now.

        • Stephen M

          True enough, it was a win against a P4P boxer, and who would replace him at #2?

        • Dee Money

          Oh yeah, I think he is still top 10, but I think Bud and Loma are now clearly ahead of him (as well as Ward)

    • Chris Stans

      Seems he hasn’t looked as dominant because they’re adapting his style to fit his age.

      • Dee Money

        I hope thats what it is, he seems like a good guy and Id like to see him stay near the top of the sport.

    • Ain’t no dinos in Holy books

      We never saw GGG at his absolute best because he was unashamedly ducked in his athletic prime – 2012/2013.

      A Golovkin challenge to Martinez in 2012, off the back of stoppage wins of Sturm, Sylvester and Chavez jr, would have been wonderful for the sport and produced a new champion in a great, give and take fight. Unfortunately, none of that ever happened because GGG was denied the opportunity to build sufficient momentum under the Universum banner.

      Based purely on ability at this point, GGG at 35 probably is a little behind Lomachenko, Crawford, maybe even Spence. However, accomplishments are equally as important as ability, maybe even more so , and I thought Canelo was a really good scalp on his record, a solid win over a primed, elite level opponent and a pound for pound peer. It was as significant win as that produced by any other fighter over the last few years. And boxing has been lacking in depth of really skilled AND really accomplished fighters for a number of years now. I say Golovkin still ranks near the very top. Whether he still will 12 months from now is another matter.

      SOG? Let’s just say that the Queensbury rules are there for a reason.

      • Giuseppe

        i agree with what you say. But i can’t entertain the idea that Ward is not equally skilled as these guys. Probably more so.

        • Dee Money

          Apparently Ward is no longer the #1…retiring

        • Ain’t no dinos in Holy books

          I acknowledge there is a great deal of near perfected learned technique in Ward’s game, augmented by elite athleticism and terrific mental strength.

          Far too much of that technique blatantly flouts the rule-book though. He should have been disqualified way back against Kessler.

          • Giuseppe

            fair enough. but just think… now he can teach a whole generation of oakland boxers how to headbutt and nut punch. 🙂

  • Harrison

    Absolutely agreeing with some of the comments here. The credibility of the ring championship has fallen spectacularly over the past few years. Champions like Adonis Stevenson, Canelo, Miguel Cotto, Tyson Fury (He is retired, why is he still champion?) all failing to defend their championships meaningfully against the best and literally leaving only Terence Crawford and Guillermo Rigondeaux as the only recognized champion that is legitimately the consensus best in their division. Its a shame but as it is the Ring’s championship rules are too lax to recognize them as the best in their division.
    I mean lineal champions dragging their belt in the mud is nothing new, but it has become trendy. As a fan I would rather recognize those going after the best and successfully taking risk, and if the current champ ducks, long live the new champ.

  • Jorge Montes

    How come Canelo appears as the middleweight champion?

    • Stephen M

      The Ring champion works a bit like the lineal champ: you have to beat the man who beat the man. Canelo beat Cotto who beat Martinez. They maintain the policy even if it creates champs like Canelo.

  • wadabs

    The cavalry is here, an outsourced army of neutralizers to the big issue on Nevada’s judging of fights. The P4P ratings of Ring Magazine is only as good as how the fughts were hjudged, or how flawed.

  • Conrad

    Tyson Fury should have been stripped of the RING heavyweight title a long time ago according to your rules.

  • Raymond Strang

    Just a quick observation. In every single piece I have seen written that is referenced to GGG v Canelo, the photograph that accompanies the article is always canelo punching GGG. This wouldn’t be Ring bias would it?

    • Stephen M

      They seem to have a limited budget for photos, they seem to use the same ones over and over. In the photo above I thought I was seeing Golovkin avoid a punch…

      • Raymond Strang

        Not really Stephen. Those beads of sweat flying off him are really the giveaway. But you tell yourself something else if it suits you.

        • Stephen M

          I hadn’t noticed the beads of sweat. Still, as evidence of bias it’s a bit thin…