Ring Ratings Update: O’Shaquie Foster advances, Tyson Fury’s ranking is debated
The attention of the casual fans (and just plain curious observers) around the world focused on Riyadh, Saudi Arabia last Saturday to witness what would happen when unbeaten WBC heavyweight titleholder Tyson Fury took on MMA standout Francis Ngannou, who was making his pro boxing debut.
On the same day, a much, much smaller group of hardcore fans tuned into a live DAZN stream from Cancun, Mexico where 130-pound titleholder O’Shaquie Foster defended his WBC belt against hard-charing challenger Eduardo “Rocky” Hernandez.
The junior lightweights delivered in a big way. The Ring’s No. 1-rated heavyweight, not so much. Fury (34-0-1, 24 KOs), who had to pick himself off the canvas in Round 3 before struggling to the 10-round finish line against Ngannou, was fortunate to get by with a close split-decision victory. Although Ngannou (0-1) was a better boxer than most expected, it was not a good fight (nor was it a good look for the sport).
Foster-Hernandez, on the other hand, was as good as boxing gets. Foster (21-2, 12 KOs), The Ring’s No. 5-rated junior lightweight, was forced to dig deep during the championship rounds of a bout he was losing on two of the official scorecards – producing a very strong Round of the Year candidate in the 11th before stopping Hernandez in the 12th.
Adam Abramowitz suggested that Foster advance at least two spots.
“Foster going into hostile territory and KO’ing the puncher is special stuff,” Abramowitz said. “I’d move him up to No. 3. And I could see arguments that he could place higher.”
Anson Wainwright suggested a move to No. 4 – for now.
“I think he can go up from No. 5, above [Oscar] Valdez,” said Wainwright, “and I guess there’s an argument [that he can go] above [Joe] Cordina, who will have his right to reply this weekend. I think [Foster should move] up one place.”
Abraham Gonzalez agreed with the one-spot move.
“I would move O’Shaquie Foster to No. 4,” Gonzalez said. “He knew that he had to do something special to get out of Mexico with his title and he did just that. The 11th round was a classic and stopping Hernandez in the last round is reason enough to have him move up at least one spot. I could also see him move up more if you all think Hector Luis Garcia should move back a little.”
Your favorite Editor-In-Chief chimed in with his two cents on Foster and Fury.
“I think Foster should move to No. 3. I also think we should consider dropping Tyson Fury a notch or two for looking like s__t against Ngannou and almost losing to an MMA veteran making his boxing pro debut. The No. 1-rated heavyweight should dominate a guy like Ngannou.
“I know Fury’s got two stoppage victories over our No. 2-rated heavyweight [Deontay Wilder], but this is a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately sport. Also, if Wilder doesn’t get a fight scheduled soon, he’s not going to be in the rankings.”
Diego Morilla suggested a drastic drop for the former two-time Ring Magazine heavyweight champ.
“I don’t know why we won’t even have a discussion about dropping Fury at least to No. 10 for that performance against a debutant,” said Morilla, who also voted for Foster to move to No. 3. “If not, we should rate Ngannou at No. 10 and let all hell break loose. There have to be consequences after this debacle.”
Gonzalez suggested dropping Fury, Wilder and Anthony Joshua a spot and moving Zhilei Zhang up to the No. 1 spot.
Abramowitz wasn’t feeling that.
“Respectfully, Zhang has only two notable wins at heavyweight, both against [Joe] Joyce. I think he’s as high as he can go for now.”
Added Wainwright: “I’d keep things as they are. I know Fury looked awful but with his resume I don’t see who we can drop him below that would look right.”
Daisuke Sugiura shared his thoughts on Foster and Fury.
“I think we can make a case for Foster being No. 2,” said Sugiura. “Garcia’s last win was 14 months ago, and, as Doug says, this is a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately sport. That said, I’m OK with No. 3 too.
“I’d keep Fury as he is. He looked bad, but it’s still hard for me to put Zhang over Fury. For now.”
Tom Gray provided the final thoughts on Fury and Foster:
“As much as Fury-Ngannou just about left me in a state of depression, my take is that it was a publicity stunt that backfired. Ngannou was much better than anyone expected in terms of ring generalship and Fury was completely unprepared. I think he expected the fella to just roll over, that didn’t happen, and then things went from bad to worse. If Fury prepares properly, he starts favourite against just about anyone at heavyweight.
“The WBC’s decision to rate Ngannou is a top-level move by Mauricio. Ngannou’s next fight will be a hot ticket, the WBC will put some sort of title on the line, and then collect.
“Foster was PURE fire, but Cordina edges him on opposition at 130 (Kenichi Ogawa/ Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov). Rocky Hernandez is a quality fighter, but he was taken out in a round by [Roger] Gutierrez, so I won’t be painting him up as the second coming of Chavez.”
RING RATINGS UPDATE (as of Oct. 28):
HEAVYWEIGHT – Tyson Fury remains at No. 1. Joseph Parker remains at No. 5 following a third-round KO of Simon Kean.
“Arslanbek Makhmudov stopped Junior Anthony Wright in the opening round,” noted Wainwright. “He’s in the 11-15 range. Martin Bakole shrugged off a back injury to score a nice stoppage win over Carlos Takam in four rounds. I prefer Otto Wallin at No. 10 after his recent win over Murat Gassiev, but Bakole is our next guy in though.”
CRUISERWEIGHT – Aleksei Papin exits after dropping a 10-round unanimous decision to Soslan Asbarov (5-0, 1 KO), who enters at No. 10.
JUNIOR LIGHTWEIGHT – O’Shaquie Foster advances to No. 3.
JUNIOR BANTAMWEIGHT – Srisaket Sor Rungvisai remains at No. 5 after stopping Sukpraserd Ponpitak in five rounds.
“Srisaket looks to have seen better days,” noted Wainwright.