Arthur Abraham's brutal knockout of Jermain Taylor moves him up one spot at 168 pounds in the Bad Left Hook divisional rankings. (MICHAEL GOTTSCHALK/AFP/Getty Images)
Now that everything's in one place, it'll be easier to do quick and dirty updates to the BLH boxing rankings, and I figure after most weekends we'll have something to change here or there. This could become a bit of a Sunday tradition.
Divisions Affected: Cruiserweight, Super Middleweight, Featherweight, Flyweight
Cruiserweight: Yoan Pablo Hernandez (20-1, 11 KO) moves in to the No. 10 spot, where Enad Licina had been. Hernandez beat Licina by a pretty wide decision in Berlin on the Abraham-Taylor undercard, and only has the one loss on his sheet, a stoppage against powerful Wayne Braithwaite in 2008. At 6'4", the Cuban Hernandez could wreak havoc on the division if he kicks his career into a new gear.
Super Middleweight: The two big fights obviously change some things at 168. With the Froch-Dirrell fight a heated debate for the foreseeable future, this is as good a time as any to explain how something like this can affect the rankings. Going in, I had Froch at No. 3 and Dirrell at No. 7. I, personally, feel Dirrell won the fight convincingly. The ringside judges, who matter, did not. Unless it's a case like Casamayor-Santa Cruz or Lewis-Holyfield I, though, I don't see a reason to "punish" the winner. Froch does drop to No. 4, but that's a combination of his skin of the teeth win and Arthur Abraham's beatdown of Jermain Taylor just pushing him up from 4 to 3.
Instead of "punishing" Froch, I simply don't punish Dirrell, who proved to be at least as good as I already thought he was, if not a bit better. Despite the first L on his record as a professional, Dirrell actually moves up from 7 to 6.
And then there's Jermain Taylor. He's out of the top ten, slipping from No. 6 to around No. 13 or so if I went that far. This division is loaded with good, competitive fighters, most of which I think have the power to knock him out. His punch resistance is going, I believe, and his natural gifts just aren't enough to carry him. In moves Allan Green to the No. 10 spot; and yes, I would pick Green over Taylor every day and twice on Sunday at this point. Karoly Balzsay and Denis Inkin are also ahead of Taylor in my mind.
Featherweight: Mario Santiago drops a spot for an eight-round SD in Texas over journeyman Morris Chule (11-8-2, 8 KO). What's most odd about that fight is that Chule had never fought in America before. The Kenyan has fought in his home country, and in the Philippines, Uganda, Hungary, Russia, and Kazakhstan, but never in America. Apparently the handlers for Santiago felt this is the sort of talent you can only fly in -- surely there's nobody as qualified knocking around in Texas, right? Anyway, the one spot drop isn't a big deal; I think there's plenty of good reasons to re-evaluate guys from fight to fight and not just leave them in one spot in a rankings chart because that's where they were before, and it's getting further and further removed from Santiago's spirited draw with Steven Luevano. Santiago did just sign a three-year deal with Top Rank, though, so hopefully his career actually starts moving again. He's stagnating badly.
Flyweight: Raul Martinez stays in the rankings and nobody moves, but it's worth noting that Martinez fought this weekend at just under the bantamweight limit. It was more or less a stay busy/rebound fight, so we'll see what his intentions are. For now, he stays here.