Ring Ratings Update: Devin Haney takes the lightweight throne
The buzz this week, so far, is Naoya Inoue’s sensational second-round stoppage of future hall of famer Nonito Donaire on June 7 in Saitama, Japan. The Ring Magazine bantamweight champ added Donaire’s WBC title to his WBA and IBF straps with the breathtaking rematch victory, and sparked Boxing Twitter talk of whether the performance was special enough to move him closer to the No. 1 spot in the pound-for-pound rankings.
That’s a debate The Ring Ratings Panel will have next Sunday. This Sunday’s discussion revolved around what went down last weekend – Devin Haney outboxing George Kambosos for the undisputed lightweight championship, Stephen Fulton nearly shutting out Danny Roman, Joe Cordina’s KO-of-the-Year caliber one-hitter-quitter of Kenichi Ogawa, David Morrell’s latest stoppage, and the return of the Moloney twins.
Haney’s and Fulton’s performances were significant and impressive enough to merit talk of the undefeated Americans entering the pound-for-pound top 10. Panelist Anson Wainwright, as usual, got the conversation started.
“Devin Haney is worthy of a shout out for pound-for-pound consideration after dominating George Kambosos Jr. to become the undisputed lightweight king,” said Wainwright. “He’s probably next in, but I don’t see him jumping over (Jermell) Charlo for the No. 10 spot. Haney was excellent, won on the road, and dominated but I think Charlo beating (Brian) Castano was a little more impressive (because) I rate Castano more than Kambosos. Fulton is also worth a mention for the top 10. The manner of his win over Daniel Roman suggests he has the potential. Currently, we have more than 10 fighters who are worthy of top-10 (P4P) status.”
Added panelist Martin Mulcahey: “I have been higher than most on Haney, so have had to listen to people tell me how bad/boring he looked in many fights before this win (despite Haney winning almost every round in fights). I think it was (Guillermo Rigondeaux) level distaste (that others had for him). Haney has obvious talent. Still, I don’t see him as P4P after beating a guy (Kambosos) who upset a guy (Teofimo Lopez) who upset a guy (Vasiliy Lomachenko), if that makes sense. It is like we are perpetuating a victory (Teofimo over Loma) that got Teofimo into P4P that should have never made him a P4P entrant in the first place. Now, on talent alone I can see Haney in there, but not on the record of the people he beat. I hope that makes sense.”
It made sense to panelist Michael Montero.
“I like Marty’s take on the P4P thing,” said Montero. “Haney is a guy who beat a guy (Kambosos) who upset a guy (Teo) who upset a guy (Loma) who had proven/established himself at the P4P level for years. To a certain extent, Teo, George and Devin all kinda benefited from Loma’s work with one big win. Not exactly P4P… yet. I do believe Haney is there in terms of talent, he’s right on the cusp. Same with Fulton.”
Wainwright also suggested that Kambosos drop “as low as” No. 5 in the lightweight rankings, while the vanquished Ogawa (who lost the IBF 130-pound title to Cordina) drop to No. 10 in the junior lightweight rankings.
Managing Editor Tom Gray agreed with these suggestions but panelist Adam Abramowitz thought they were a little harsh.
“I think that’s too steep of a drop for Kambosos, who had a clear win over Teofimo Lopez,” said Abramowitz. “I’d have Devin as champion and George at No. 1. And if he lays an egg in the rematch or (other contenders) impress I’d consider adjusting at that point.
“I also think that’s too steep of a drop for Ogawa who has some solid wins in the division. I’d move him to No. 8.”
Answered Wainwright: “My thinking behind dropping Kambosos was he didn’t look good at all. He couldn’t get past the jab and after his catching lightning in a bottle moment against Teofimo Lopez, he clearly looks behind the elite in the division. Lopez is going to 140 pounds, but we don’t rank (them in a new division) until they’ve officially fought at the weight.
“Ogawa was flattened in two rounds. I did think about taking him out altogether but kept him in because it’s not the strongest of divisions.”
Mulcahey, Montero and panelist Diego Morilla agreed with Abramowitz.
RING RATINGS UPDATE (as of June 4/June 5):
Pound-for-Pound – No changes.
Super middleweight – David Morrell advances to No. 7 after stopping unrated Kalvin Henderson in four rounds.
“I’d like to see Morrell more active,” said Wainwright. “He fights every six months. I’d also like to see better opposition. He talks about (David) Benavidez, (Caleb) Plant or (Anthony) Dirrell, we shall see if that happens.”
Added Mulcahey: “Love me some David Morrell, all for him moving up a place, but I think Lerrone (Richards) has a better resume still. Not much separating them though.”
Lightweight – Haney is the new Ring champion. Kambosos drops to No. 1.
“I can’t see putting Kambosos below Teofimo despite (the) lopsided loss (to Haney), especially since we have not seen Teofimo back in the ring yet,” said Mulcahey.
Added Montero: “In terms of talent/potential, I rate Haney, Lopez, Loma, Davis and Garcia all above Kambosos. But I can’t do that in terms of actual accomplishment. Haney is the new champ obviously, and I believe Kambosos has to be at our No. 1 spot.”
Junior lightweight – Cordina enters at No. 5. Ogawa drops to No. 8.
“Very impressive win,” said Wainwright. “I don’t think anyone expected Cordina to score an early one-punch knockout.”
Junior featherweight – Fulton remains No. 1. Roman drops to No. 4.
“Fulton is the No. 1 junior featherweight fighter in the world,” said Wainwright. “Roman to drop to No. 4. I would say (he should drop) more but I think I’d have Roman over Angelo Leo and the guys behind haven’t done enough to be over Roman.”
Bantamweight – Jason Moloney advances to No. 3 after stopping former 115-pound title challenger Aston Palicte in three rounds.
“Nice win,” said Wainwright. “He’s rebounded from the Inoue loss.”
Junior bantamweight – Andrew Moloney remains at No. 10 after stopping unrated Alexander Espinoza.
“(Andrew) looks ready to dip his toe back in the deep end of the 115-pound division,” said Wainwright.
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