Tuesday, December 05, 2023  |


Ring Ratings Update: Giovani Santillan crashes welterweight rankings

Giovani Santillan. Photo by Cris Esqueda / Golden Boy
Fighters Network

Giovani Santillan lingered just outside of The Ring’s welterweight top 10 for years. The San Diego native sported a sparkling unbeaten record and exhibited a solid all-around skillset, but close decisions over notable veterans Antonio DeMarco and Erick Bone was not enough to convince The Ring’s Ratings Panel to elevate him from fringe contender status. 

However, Santillan (32-0, 18 KOs) made the statement of his 11-year pro career this past Saturday with an emphatic sixth-round stoppage of streaking power-hitter Alexis Rocha. With all due respect to junior welterweight standout Jack Catterall, who outclassed decorated former lightweight champ Jorge Linares on the same day, the performance of the week belonged to the 31-year-old “Gallo de Oro.”

And that brutally efficient performance, which included three knockdowns of the odds favorite, merited a top-10 ranking. The only question was where.

“Rocha was bludgeoned into defeat by Santillan,” stated Anson Wainwright. “We had Rocha at No. 5. I could see Santillan coming in around No. 5 or No. 6 and Rocha dropping to No. 10. No argument if we drop Rocha [from the rankings] and keep Roiman Villa [at No. 10].”

Adam Abramowitz was in favor of a No. 6 ranking for Santillan and Rocha exiting the rankings.

I’d bring Santillan in behind [Cody] Crowley,” he said.

Abraham Gonzalez was in favor of ranking Santillan at No. 5, dropping Rocha to No. 10, and eliminating Vergil Ortiz Jr. (who is due to debut at junior middleweight in early January).

The welterweight division is light with names but last night, Santillan shook it up a bit,” said Gonzalez. “This is my top ten for consideration:

  1. Spence Jr.
  2. Jaron Ennis
  3. Stanionis
  4. Crowley
  5. Santillan
  6. Avanesyan
  7. Giyasov
  8. Barrios
  9. Villa
  10. Rocha

While removing Vergil Ortiz Jr.”

Replied your favorite Editor-In-Chief: “We normally don’t remove a fighter from the rankings until he debuts in the new weight class.

“I’m fine with Santillan entering at No. 5 or 6. 

“Last week we discussed ‘cleaning house’ and removing some inactive fighters, as well as Joshua Franco, who announced his retirement months ago and appears to be sticking to it. The consensus was that we keep all of the inactive guys, except for Gennadiy Golovkin, who was removed, but only Anson commented about Franco (who he was in favor of dropping).

“I’m also in favor of Franco exiting the junior bantamweight rankings. If he does, I suggest that John Ramirez, who scored a fourth-round KO of former flyweight title challenger Ronal Batista on the Rocha-Santillan undercard, enter at No. 10.

John “Scrappy” Ramirez. Photo: Golden Boy / Cris Esqueda

“Also, IBF bantamweight Emmanuel Rodriguez, our No. 2 contender at 118, recently announced his retirement via his social media. I’m fine with giving him the same ‘cooling off’ period we granted Franco, but the Puerto Rican veteran had some time (two months after regaining the belt) to think about his announcement. It’s not like he did it in the ring while in an emotional state. 

Stated Wainwright: “I think we give Rodriguez a little more time. The key is if the IBF announces the title is vacant and who will fight for their title. When the WBO did it, it brought Teofimo Lopez back to earth. 

“I am also good with Ramirez coming in for Franco.”

Added Abramowitz: “I agree regarding Franco and Ramirez.”

Stated Diego Morilla: “I agree with Doug on all counts, and I like Rocha at No. 10.”


RING RATINGS UPDATE (as of Oct. 21):

WELTERWEIGHTGiovani Santillan enters at No. 5. Alexis Rocha drops to No. 10. 

JUNIOR WELTERWEIGHTJack Catterall remains at No. 6.

JUNIOR BANTAMWEIGHT Joshua Franco exits. John Ramirez enters at No. 10.

FLYWEIGHTRicardo Sandoval remains at No. 7 following a hard-fought 10-round decision over Victor Sandoval.