Women’s Ratings Update: Guzman upsets Ali, lightweight reshuffle, more
A lot of activity took place last week in the realm of women’s boxing. And while we took a hard, deep look at all the activity, we also looked at the level of inactivity in some divisions, and made some necessary changes.
One of the best fighters who saw action on this past week was Carolina Dubois, who scored a solid decision win over Yanina Lescano and thus found her way into the lightweight ratings.
“Dubois is a superior boxer with lots of technique and variety of tools, and managed to prove it against Lescano, who during some passages was able to put her in trouble,” said Fox Sports commentator and author Yesica Palmetta, while her compatriot and co-author of Argentine women’s history book “Abran paso” Irene Deserti agreed by saying that “I think (Dubois) had a solid performance and that it won’t be long before she gets the title shot she deserves.”
Dubois was thus found worthy of replacing our current No. 5 Elhem Mehkaled. However, the level of inactivity of some of the fighters at the top of the division surpassed the one-year mark, and they had to be taken off our lightweight ratings. Amanda Serrano did not fight again at 135 after narrowing losing to Katie Taylor more than a year ago and has her career goals set at her more natural featherweight division, while Delfine Persoon also decided to stay mostly within the vicinity of the junior lightweight division.
Therefore, they were both eliminated. Mossely and Mayer were promoted to a higher rating, which caused Dubois to make her entrance at No. 3 since there was suddenly room for Mekhaled to return to the ratings. Uruguay’s Maira Moneo, who occupied the No. 5 position for a few weeks, returns to that place as well.
A couple of divisions below, a true shocker took place when highly touted prospect Ramla Ali was stopped by Julissa Guzman. Ali has a very special personal background that earned her a lot of attention outside the ring, and was good enough inside of it to be considered one of boxing’s top prospects, but she was practically run over by an inspired Guzman.
“A boxer who was coming off an injury, two years of inactivity, just one low-risk fight and now, her chance of a lifetime with a boxer on the rise and a big favorite to be a future champion!” That’s how Deserti described Guzman’s journey towards this career defining fight. “Bravo for her!”
Columnist Mark Jones summarized his analysis in one line: “Guzman, in her knockout win over Ramla Ali proved once again that speed is fine, but timing is finer.”
Guzman’s new placement in the junior featherweight division was made easier by the realization that Maureen Shea has been out of action for over a year (probably while shooting a major motion picture movie featuring Melissa Leo among other great actors). And there was also a late proposal to bring in Mayerlin Rivas, who suffered numerous cuts that prevented her to finish the job in Argentina against Nazarena Romero in a fight that was called a draw two weeks ago.
Therefore, Shea and Cherneka Johnson were dropped from the ratings, with Guzman and Rivas coming in at No. 4 and 5 respectively.
Finally, Mizuki Hiruta took very little time to stop an overmatched Casey Morton in Japan to defend her WBO junior bantamweight belt, and she was then promoted to No. 5 in our ratings in that division, an opening that was made easier by Diana Fernandez’s now official move to bantamweight.
As discussed in previous installments of this Update, a periodic review of inactive fighters (who may or may not have had reasons to be inactive during the last few months of COVID-related travel and training restrictions) is ongoing, and changes are made periodically based on the recent level of activity in each fighter’s division and also in their level of activity in general, as well.
Here are some of the changes we’ve made:
Christina Hammer has been inactive for more than a year and the same goes for Femke Hermans (at least in this division).
Suggestion: Hammer and Hermans drop out, Maricela Cornejo in at No. 4 and Olivia Curry at No. 5.
Marie Eve Dicaire is retired.
Suggestion: Bring in Cecilia Braekhus at No. 5. Everyone else moves up one spot.
Cecilia Braekhus has been inactive at the division for over a year.
Suggestion: Cecilia Braekhus drops out, Hedda Wolmarans comes in at No. 5. Everyone else moves up one spot.
Brenda Carabajal has been inactive for more than a year.
Suggestion: Carabajal drops out, Daniela Bermudez comes in at No. 5
Diana Fernandez is fighting at bantamweight. She leaves 155 and comes in at 118 at No. 5 replacing Mariana Juarez.
Suggestion: Juarez out, Fernandez in at No. 5 at bantamweight.
Diego M. Morilla writes for The Ring since 2013. He has also written for HBO.com, ESPN.com and many other magazines, websites, newspapers and outlets since 1993. He is a full member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and an elector for the International Boxing Hall of Fame. He has won two first-place awards in the BWAA’s annual writing contest, and he is the moderator of The Ring’s Women’s Ratings Panel. He served as copy editor for the second era of The Ring en Español (2018-2020) and is currently a writer and editor for RingTV.com.