Ring Ratings Update: Tyson Fury holds onto top heavyweight spot
Tyson Fury did not have the look of a world-beater as he struggled against game-but-unheralded Otto Wallin for 12 rounds in Las Vegas this past Saturday. A gruesome cut caused by a punch in Round 3 contributed to the former Ring/unified champ’s trouble with Wallin but he put enough pressure and punishment on the southpaw Swede over the second half of the bout to earn a clear unanimous decision.
More than a few fans and pundits questioned if Fury deserves to be called an “elite” heavyweight (via social media, of course) after a much tougher-than-expected fight against an unranked fighter, but members of the Ring Ratings Panel gave the lineal champ, who remains unbeaten, the benefit of the doubt and suggested that he remain No. 1 in Ring Magazine’s rankings, ahead of American rival Deontay Wilder and new unified champ Andy Ruiz.
“Tyson Fury fought through a terrible cut to get the better of Otto Wallin, though was hurt in the final round,” recapped Panelist Anson Wainwright. “He didn’t look the best heavyweight in the world, but I think he’d be on point against Wilder, so I vote to keep him at No. 1.”
Panelist Martin Mulcahey offered his two cents:
“Wallin created a cut but was not able to exploit it or keep Fury under pressure enough to take rounds or get into the heavyweight top 10 in my opinion,” said Mulcahey, who like Wainwright, stated that fringe contender Michael hunter, who outpointed unbeaten Sergey Kuzmin on last Friday, is close to a Ring ranking. “Tyson Fury proved his worth again, in a different way, and remains our No. 1.”
Nobody on the Panel or Editorial Board voted against Fury remained No. 1.
Ring Ratings Update (August 31-September 14):
Heavyweight – Tyson Fury remains at No. 1 following a unanimous decision over Otto Wallin. Alexander Povetkin remains at No. 7 following a unanimous decision over unrated Hughie Fury.
Junior middleweight – Jaime Munguia remains at No. 4 following a fourth-round stoppage of unrated Patrick Allotey. Erislandy Lara remains at No. 3 after second-round KO of unrated Ramon Alvarez.
“Wish they would have given Jaime Munguia’s weight at fight time,” said Mulcahey, “not sure how much longer he can make weight and even in a dominant win showed he lacks top-flight skillset when his physicality is not enough. Also, not enough to move past Lara in rankings, who is also the type of boxer he needs to stay away from inside the ring.”
Junior welterweight – Jose Zepeda re-enters at No. 9 following a unanimous decision over top-rated lightweight Jose Pedraza.
“Jose Zepeda scored a nice win over former two-weight world champion Jose Pedraza,” said Wainwright. “I would take out Eduard Troyanovsky, who has been inactive for 11-months and has nothing coming up, and bring Zepeda back in at No. 10, though could see a place higher too.”
Panelist Adam Abramowitz suggested that Pedraza re-enter at No. 9.
Lightweight – Vasiliy Lomachenko remains Ring Magazine champ following a unanimous decision over No. 2-rated Luke Campbell, who drops to No. 5. Devin Haney advances from No. 3 to No. 2 following a fourth-round stoppage of unrated Zaur Abdullaev. Pedraza, now campaigning at 140 pounds, drops out of the rankings, and Rances Barthelemy re-enters at No. 10.
“With Pedraza moving up to 140 we have room at No. 10, and I would bring in Rances Barthelemy,” said Wainwright. “Not in love with the idea but he has a draw with Easter, who is at No. 6, last time out and don’t think we have any better options at the moment.”
Abramowitz agreed with Wainwright’s reluctant suggestion.
“You’re right, there’s absolutely no one to bring in at lightweight,” he admitted. “Grim division after the top seven or eight guys.”
Junior lightweight – Miguel Roman remains at No. 8 following unanimous decision over unrated Thomas Rojas.
Junior featherweight – Emanuel Navarrete remains at No. 3 following a fourth-round stoppage of unrated Juan Miguel Elorde. Azat Hovhannsyan enters at No. 10 following fourth-round KO of Franklin Manzanilla.
“Navarrete got his second title defense win in 28 days stopping Juan Miguel Elorde in four rounds to keep his WBO title,” recapped Wainwright. “In my opinion he’s the best 122-pounder in the world, however, he needs to be beat better opposition than De Vaca and Elorde to move above other excellent champions in a really good division.”
Said Mulcahey: “Again agree with Anson that Emanuel Navarrete is best in world at weight but needs a better win to advance to that spot. His all action style is the anti-Rey Vargas but can it actually beat Vargas?”
Flyweight – Julio Cesar Martinez and Charlie Edwards remain at Nos. 4 and 5 after their WBC title bout ended in a controversial no-contest. Andrew Selby remains No. 6.
Strawweight – Pedro Taduran enters at No. 9 after a fourth-round stoppage (wow, there were a lot of fourth-round stoppages in the past two weeks, eh?) of No. 10-rated Samuel Salva, who drops out of the rankings.
Email Fischer at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter and IG at @dougiefischer, and watch him on Periscope every Sunday from SMC track.