Ring Ratings Update: Crawford takes No. 1 at welterweight, Canelo remains P4P King
Just when it seemed like Canelo Alvarez had solidified his claim as the consensus No. 1 on pound-for-pound lists by halting Caleb Plant in 11 rounds to become the first undisputed super middleweight champion, Terence Crawford reminded the boxing world that he could very well be the man atop the mythical rankings with his surgical breakdown of Shawn Porter in defense of his WBO welterweight title.
Crawford (38-0, 29 KOs), arguably the most complete and versatile fighter in the game, seldom loses a round but Porter (31-4-1, 17 KOs) won his share before two knockdowns in Round 10 prompted his father/trainer to call a halt to the contest.
The former two-time titleholder, who called it a career during the post-fight press conference, was gutsy and experienced enough to push Crawford, but as they entered the championship rounds “Bud” showed Porter (and the boxing world) the difference between a world-class fighter and an elite boxer.
Crawford, who held Ring Magazine titles at lightweight and junior welterweight (where he was undisputed champ), is elite. However, a weak schedule since moving to welterweight in 2018 allowed him to slip to No. 4 in The Ring’s pound-for-pound rankings, as Naoya Inoue and Oleksandr Usyk racked up quality victories against top-rated opposition (in multiple countries).
But Crawford shined bright enough against Porter, The Ring’s No. 4-rated welterweight going into their November 20 showdown, to merit an advancement within the pound-for-pound top five.
Panelist Anson Wainwright suggested a move to No. 3, behind Alvarez and Usyk, which the rest of the panel unanimously backed.
“Crawford had some issues with Shawn Porter, but who doesn’t? However, nobody has closed the show quite like that,” he said.
“Yes, Crawford’s performance against Porter combined with Inoue’s slight dip in momentum since beating Donaire in late 2019 means it’s only fair for those guys to swap places,” said Managing Editor Tom Gray.
“No. 1. Canelo, No. 2. Usyk, No. 3. Crawford, and No. 4. Inoue sounds about right,” added panelist Daisuke Sugiura. “People in my country will be disappointed in moving Inoue down (they follow his Ring ranking religiously), but it’s hard to argue now.”
Wainwright also suggested that Crawford advance from No. 2 to the No. 1 spot in the welterweight rankings that was held by WBC/IBF titleholder Errol Spence Jr. (27-0, 21 KOs). The suggestion was met by a mixed response at first.
Gray agreed with Crawford going to No. 1 but acknowledged that both have a case for that lofty spot.
“I’m good with Crawford taking the No. 1 spot at 147,” he said. “The win was THAT good. With that said, there’s a counter argument that Spence’s overall resume at welterweight is superior.”
Panelists Adam Abramowitz and Martin Mulchahey were in favor of keeping Spence, who owns a split-decision 2019 victory over Porter and outpointed Danny Garcia in his last bout in December 2020.
“Spence still has a better resume at 147 despite Crawford besting his performance over Porter, so Spence stays my No. 1 right now,” said Mulcahey.
However, panelists Sugiura, Diego Morilla, Tris Dixon and Michael Montero voted for Crawford to advance to No. 1.
“I think it’s pretty simple,” remarked Montero, “we need to reward activity and rate recent accomplishments over prior ones.
“Spence has fought exactly once in the last two and half years. I don’t rate his wins over the Garcias (Mikey and Danny) as highly as others do. Danny was never an elite welterweight and Mikey is a blown-up lightweight who was just outboxed by Sandor Martin.
“Bottom line, Shawn Porter was the best win at 147 pounds for both Spence and Crawford. Difference being, Bud stopped him. I like Crawford at No. 1 and Spence at No. 2.”
Wainwright summed up the debate the best: “Here’s to hoping we get to see them decide it in the ring and not leave it to our imagination. Now that Crawford is a free agent there is every chance. It’s 2022 or never.”
RING RATINGS UPDATE (as of November 13):
Pound for pound – Alvarez remains at No. 1. Crawford advances to No. 3.
“Canelo showed why he’s the best fighter in the world at the moment,” said Wainwright. “He has a far better resume than any other active fighter, it’s not even close.”
Added Mulchahey: “Canelo is No. 1 for as long as he keeps fighting the best opponents often, which so few seem to do nowadays when it comes to frequency. It is an important criterion, and we can rate him for consistency as well because of it. Yes, Crawford is consistent but not on the level of Canelo. In fact, I would even say if Canelo were to have a bad outing and barely scrape out a win he gets a pass because he gets in the ring so often.”
Cruiserweight – Yuniel Dorticos remains at No. 1 following a two-round stoppage of unrated Jesse Bryan.
Super middleweight – Alvarez remains champion. Caleb Plant remains at No. 2. David Benavidez remains at No. 1 after stopping unrated late-substitute Kyrone Davis in seven rounds.
“It’s difficult to move Plant back despite the loss because the man behind him, Billy Joe Saunders, is also coming off a loss to Canelo and Plant possibly did a little better in terms of going 11,” remarked Wainwright.
Middleweight – Demetrius Andrade remains at No. 2 after overwhelming unrated Jason Quigley in two rounds. Jaime Munguia advances to No. 5 following a hard-fought unanimous decision over unrated gatekeeper Gabriel Rosado. Janibek Alimkhanuly remains at No. 7 after stopping faded former titleholder Hassan N’dam in eight rounds.
Junior middleweight – Tim Tszyu advances one spot to No. 5 after scoring a one-sided decision over tough-but-unrated former title challenger Takeshi Inoue.
Welterweight – Crawford moves to No. 1. Porter, who announced his retirement, exits the rankings. Radzhab Butaev (14-0, 11 KOs), who looked strong stopping Jamal James in nine rounds in his most recent fight, enters at No. 10.
Lightweight – William Zepeda remains at No. 10 after stopping unrated John Vincent Moralde in four rounds.
Featherweight – Kiko Martinez enters at No. 5 after scoring a huge upset sixth-round TKO of IBF beltholder Kid Galahad, who drops to No. 7. Jessie Magdaleno exits the rankings due to inactivity.
Junior featherweight – Murodjon Akhmadaliev remains at No. 1 following a tougher-than-expected unanimous decision over unrated late-sub Jose Velazquez.
Flyweight – Julio Cesar Martinez remains at No. 1 following a briefly thrilling three-round No-Contest vs. former title challenger McWilliams Arroyo. Artem Dalakian advances one spot to No. 3 after a dominant nine-round stoppage of former titleholder Luis Concepcion.
Junior flyweight – Agustin Gauto remains at No. 8 following a first-round stoppage of unrated late-substitute Jaba Memishishi.
Strawweight – Petchmanee CP Freshmart (AKA Panya Pradabsri) remains at No. 2 after widely outpointing unrated Danai Ngiabphukhiaw. Wanheng Menayothin remains at No. 3 after stopping unrated Jinnawat Rienpit in three rounds. Yudai Shigeoka (4-0, 3 KOs) enters at No. 10 following a close majority decision over Tsubasa Koura.
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