Wednesday, October 04, 2023  |


The Ring Ratings Reviewed 2023: Flyweight

Sunny Edwards after beating Marcel Braithwaite at the Copper Box Arena on December 21, 2019. (Photo by James Chance/Getty Images)
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The Ring first introduced its divisional ratings in 1925. Almost a century later, it’s no exaggeration to claim that these independent rankings are the most respected and talked-about in world boxing.

The Ring Ratings Panel is made up of a dozen experts from around the world. Opinions are shared, debate takes place, and the final decision on who should be ranked where is decided democratically every week. It sounds easy, but this can be an arduous and time-consuming process.

During the pandemic, we reviewed and broke down each division in full. In a two-pronged approach, we looked back at the respective achievements of the finest fighters in the world and analyzed what lay ahead.

Last year, we looked back on how each division was doing and have decided after a busy first half of 2023 to compile another divisional breakdown.

Next up is flyweight, which is for the taking and will see the No. 1 and No. 4 ranked fighters facing each other in a rare unification. As always, please enjoy the debate and respect other people’s opinions.



RECORD: 20-0 (4 KOs)

THE PAST: Edwards was a good amateur, winning titles domestically before turning professional in 2016. The quick-footed speedster made his way through the professional ranks collecting various regional belts from the sanctioning bodies. He followed his older brother, Charlie, who won a flyweight world title, when he used his expert footwork and fast hands to shock IBF titlist Moruti Mthalane (UD 12). Edwards has since made four title defenses, notably besting Felix Alvarado (UD 12).

THE FUTURE: Will face WBO counterpart Jesse Rodriguez at the Desert Diamond Arena, Glendale, Arizona on December 16.



RECORD: 20-2 (15 KOs)

THE PAST: Martinez was highly-touted in Mexican circles, however, it was his fifth-round stoppage of Andrew Selby that saw him gain exposure outside his homeland. His first title attempt was declared a no-contest when he struck WBC beltholder Charlie Edwards when he was down, but it was merely a stay of absence. The hard-hitting 28-year-old stopped former world titleholder Cristofer Rosales (TKO 9) and has made six successful title defenses. In the midst of his title reign “El Rey” stepped up to junior bantamweight and was given a boxing lesson by living legend Roman Gonzalez (UD 12). He has since dropped back to 112 and looked decidedly average against Samuel Carmona (MD 12) and Ronal Batista (TKO 11).

THE FUTURE: Like Edwards and Rodriguez, he is promoted by Matchroom, so a fight with the winner could be possible in 2024. However, first may have to rematch McWilliams Arroyo in a fight that has been tabbed to happen several times but fallen through.



RECORD: 22-0 (15 KOs)

THE PAST: Dalakian quietly went about his business in the Ukraine before coming to the U.S. and impressively beating Brian Viloria (UD 12) for the vacant WBA title in February 2018. The 36-year-old has since made six defenses, all but one taking place in the Ukraine, mostly against mid-level opposition. His activity has been badly hit by Covid and more recently the war in his homeland. Returned to action in England earlier this year and beat Ring-rated David Jimenez (UD 12).

THE FUTURE: In negotiations to face his mandatory Seigo Yuri Akui. The two sides have until September 3 to broker a deal otherwise the fight will go to purse bid.



RECORD: 18-0 (11 KOs)

THE PAST: Decorated amateur at junior level before turning professional at 17. “Bam” worked his way through the junior flyweight rankings and was a highly touted prospect when he appeared on ESPN during the pandemic. Was given the opportunity to jump two weight classes and face savvy former titleholder Carlos Cuadras for the vacant WBC title. Made the most of his big chance, dropping Cuadras en route to claiming a 12-round unanimous decision. Made two defenses, notably stopping Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (TKO 8). Decided to drop down in weight and picked up the vacant WBO title but suffered a broken jaw in the process against Cristian Gonzalez (UD 12).

THE FUTURE: Meets IBF titlist Edwards in a unification on December 16.

Jesse Rodriguez (right) put the "Bam" on former champ Srisaket Sor Rungvisai during their fight at Tech Port Arena in San Antonio, Texas. Photo by Ed Mulholland/Matchroom

Jesse Rodriguez (right) put the “Bam” on former champ Srisaket Sor Rungvisai during their fight at Tech Port Arena in San Antonio, Texas. Photo by Ed Mulholland/Matchroom


RECORD: 16-0 (7 KOs)

THE PAST: The 23-year-old Mexican burst onto the world scene when he scored a hugely impressive win over former titleholder Cristofer Rosales (UD 12). The still largely unknown fighter has since become the first man to stop 32-fight veteran Miguel Angel Herrera (TKO 1), has since stayed busy while waiting for a bigger opportunity to come his way.

THE FUTURE: Highly ranked by three of the four sanctioning bodies and is the WBC mandatory challenger.



RECORD: 13-1 (10 KOs)

THE PAST: Jimenez fought internationally for Costa Rica as an amateur before turning professional in early 2019. The 31-year-old has been able to move relatively quickly. However, it his win over Ricardo Sandoval (MD 12) in a WBA title eliminator, in which he scored an 11th round knockdown that made the difference, that he drew acclaim for. Lost to Dalakian (UD 12) but has since returned to winning ways against the usually sturdy Rosendo Hugo Guarneros (RTD 7).

THE FUTURE: He will fight for a WBA regional title in his homeland on November 10, while looking to work his way toward a second world title shot.



RECORD: 22-2 (16 KOs)

THE PAST: The 24-year-old Californian turned professional across the border in Mexico in 2016. He bounced back from an early defeat and scored wins over once-beaten Oscar Vasquez (UD 8) and stopped experienced Raymond Tabugon (KO 7). He traveled to the UK and beat former world title challenger Jay Harris (KO 8) in an IBF eliminator. Took a gamble that didn’t pay off when he faced unheralded David Jimenez (MD 12). Has since returned with two wins.

THE FUTURE: Will fight on a Golden Boy show in October against an as yet unknown opponent and hopes to face the winner of Edwards-Rodriguez.



RECORD: 39-3 (34 KOs)

THE PAST: Alvarado lost world title attempts to Kazuto Ioka (UD 12) and Juan Carlos Raveco (UD 12) early in his career. “El Gemelo” rebounded with 15 wins to secure a shot at the vacant IBF 108-pound belt. He stopped Randy Petalcorin (TKO 7) in October 2018 and made two successful title defenses. The aggressive 34-year-old vacated his title to move up in weight, he lost an IBF title fight against Edwards (UD 12) but has since returned to the win column.

THE FUTURE: Tabbed to return on September 16 and hopes to face an IBF eliminator.

Cristofer Rosales dominated most of the infighting against Daigo Higa. (Photo by Naoki Fukuda)


RECORD: 35-6 (21 KOs)

THE PAST: The Nicaraguan warhorse earned his stripes fighting at home and gaining international experience in losing efforts to future world titleholder Kal Yafai (PTS 8) and once-touted Andrew Selby (UD 12). Bounced back in style to stun the highly regarded but weight drained Haigo Higa (TKO 9) to become the WBC titleholder. He made one defense before dropping the title to Charlie Edwards (UD 12). He was stopped by Martinez (TKO 9) when the two contested the vacant WBC title. Subsequently lost to Ayala (UD 12) in a WBC title eliminator but is on a three-fight win streak, including taking Joselito Velazquez’s (UD 10) unbeaten record.

THE FUTURE: There was talk of facing compatriot Alvarado in an eliminator but that didn’t come to much. Likely looking for the best option.



RECORD: 18-2-1 (11 KOs)

THE PAST: The Japanese fighter started off his career with 11 wins from 12 fights, the blemish was a draw, before losing his unbeaten status to future two-weight titleholder Junto Nakatani (TKO 6). Bounced back impressively stopping future junior flyweight titlist Masamichi Yabuki (TKO 1). However, then suffered another reverse, this time against Jaysever Abcede (TKO 8). The 27-year-old has won his last six fights, claiming the national title and holds wins over Taku Kuwahara (TKO 10),  Takuya Kogawa (TKO 10) and, most recently, shut out Jayson Vayson (UD 10).

THE FUTURE: In talks to fight for the WBA title against Artem Dalakian.


On the Cusp: Dave Apolinario, Angelino Cordova, Yahir Frank, Taku Kuwahara and Hiroto Kyoguchi



The Ring Ratings Reviewed: Pound for Pound – The Ring (

The Ring Ratings Reviewed: Strawweight – The Ring (

The Ring Ratings Reviewed 2023: Junior flyweight – The Ring (


Questions and/or comments can be sent to Anson at [email protected].