Saturday, June 03, 2023  |


Ring Ratings Update: Lots of action, not much movement

THE RING heavyweight championship belt, which was first awarded to Jack Dempsey in 1922 and was most recently held by Tyson Fury, is now vacant.
Fighters Network

The biggest change in The Ring’s rankings over the past four weeks was not the result of anything that happened inside the ropes. Tyson Fury’s confirmation to Managing Editor Tom Gray that he is indeed retired, and thus no longer The Ring’s heavyweight champion, caused more ripples in the rankings and throughout the sport than any single fight between mid-July and mid-August.

However, there were plenty of notable Ring-rated fighters in action during that time span, including Kazuto Ioka, Ryan Garcia, Knockout CP Freshmart, Vergil Ortiz Jr. and Teofimo Lopez.

But Fury vacating the Ring Magazine title will automatically crown a new heavyweight champion. The coveted belt is on the line in the unified heavyweight title rematch between No. 1-rated Oleksandr Usyk and No. 2-rated Anthony Joshua.

If Usyk defends the WBA, IBF and WBO title against the former two-time unified titleholder, he will become a two-division Ring champion and the first fighter to hold Ring titles in the cruiserweight and heavyweight divisions. (Evander Holylfield would have held this distinction but the magazine briefly stopped recognizing the cruiserweight division during the late 1980s when the Real Deal unified major 190-pound titles and the publication discontinued its long tradition of awarding championship belts during the 1990s.)


RING RATINGS UPDATE (as of Aug. 13):

Heavyweight – Tyson Fury vacates The Ring title and exits the rankings.

Cruiserweight – Chris Billam-Smith advances to No. 9 after winning a hard-fought unanimous decision over unrated Isaac Chamberlain.

Middleweight – Sergiy Derevyanchenko remains at No. 9 following a 10-round unanimous decision over unrated Joshua Conley.

Welterweight – Vergil Ortiz remains at No. 5 after a ninth-round stoppage over unbeaten but unrated Michael McKinson.

“Ortiz broke down McKinson and got the ninth-round stoppage to snap a year-long spell of inactivity to maintain his current position,” said panelist Anson Wainwright. “Steve Kim’s saying, ‘he brought a pea-shooter to a gun fight’ sprang to mind. Blair Cobbs got back to winning ways, dropping former 140-pound titleholder Maurice Hooker three times on his way to a comprehensive 10-round unanimous decision.”

Junior welterweight – Arnold Barboza remains at No. 6 after a 10-round unanimous decision over undefeated but unrated Danielito Zorilla. Gary Antuanne Russell advances to No. 7 following a controversial sixth-round stoppage of unrated Rances Barthelemy. Shohjahon Erhashev remains at No. 8 following a fifth-round stoppage over unrated Angel Martinez Hernandez.

Lightweight – Ryan Garcia remains at No. 5 following a sixth-round stoppage of No. 9-rated Javier Fortuna, who exits the rankings. Frank Martin enters at No. 10. Teofimo Lopez exits after making his junior welterweight debut against unrated Pedro Campa (TKO 7). Michel Rivera enters at No. 10 (pushing Martin to No. 9).

Bantamweight – Alejandro Santiago remains at No. 10 after winning a 10-round unanimous decision over unrated David Carmona.

Junior bantamweight – Kazuto Ioka remains at No. 2 following a rematch unanimous decision over fellow four-division titleholder Donnie Nietes, who exits the rankings. Three-division titleholder Kosei Tanaka replaces Nietes at No. 9.

Flyweight – Moruti Mthalane exits due to more than one year of inactivity without having a fight scheduled. Angel Lardizabal advances to No. 5 following a first-round blowout over unrated Miguel Angel Herrera. David Jimenez enters at No. 7 after scoring a majority decision over Ricardo Sandoval, who drops to No. 8. Jackson Chauke remains at No. 9 after stopping unrated Mustafa K. Mkupasi in three rounds.

“Angel Lardizabal gets another destructive win,” said panelist Martin Mulcahey, “not against an elite foe but I would put him above McWilliams Arroyo on current form.”

Wainwright agreed: “(Lardizabal) seems to be on a roll and nobody had previously stopped Herrera. Unfortunate for Arroyo because he’s been stuck waiting on Martinez. Interesting side note: Although Ayala Lardizabal is the WBC’s No. 1 flyweight, he weighed 109. I wonder if he may drop to 108.”

Junior flyweight – Daniel Matellon remains at No. 6 following a third-round KO of unrated Ivan Garcia Carrillo.

Strawweight – Knockout CP Freshmart remains No. 1 after scoring a dominant 12-round decision over fellow veteran and countryman Wanheng Menayothin, who drops to No. 4.

“Wanheng could drop more but I don’t think (No. 5-rated) Wilfredo Mendez should be above him,” said Wainwright. “It wouldn’t surprise me if Wanheng retires soon. I’m not sure what options he has open to him. Keep him in until he officially retires.”