Yuriorkis Gamboa could soon be the king of the featherweights. (AP Photo)
Another week, another update, and some healthy movement in a couple divisions.
Divisions Affected: Featherweight, Junior Featherweight, Junior Flyweight
Featherweight: Obviously, Juan Manuel Lopez moves up from 122 to the 126-pound ranks. He comes in at No. 3, having dominated and stopped previous No. 2 Steven Luevano. Luevano himself slips down to No. 7, which might seem quite a tumble given that he lost to a good opponent, but this is a good division. Like junior welterweight, it's very competitive and pretty deep. A fighter of Luevano's caliber would probably be in the top three at middleweight, for instance.
So who takes over the No. 2 spot? Yuriorkis Gamboa, who I had ranked higher than most do at No. 3 coming into last night. I don't see the need to do this "gotta make him get x amount of wins" stuff with rankings. It's hard for me to justify ranking Yuriorkis Gamboa below someone like Rocky Juarez, for instance, when I know Gamboa would destroy Juarez. It's not like he's some Johnny Come Lately prospect. This is a 28-year-old guy who holds a title (somewhat bunk as it may be) and has run over some good fighters. He also has the lengthy Cuban amateur background going for him. It occurs to me that nobody has ever been shy about heavyweight contender Alexander Povetkin, who is less accomplished, older and frankly just not as good.
With Lopez coming in, former No. 10 Roger Mtagwa drops out.
Junior Featherweight: Nothing really substantial, just former No. 1 Lopez moving up. Celestino Caballero of course inherits his spot, followed by Toshiaki Nishioka, Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym, Jeffrey Mathebula, Satoshi Hosono, Olivier Lontchi, Bernard Dunne, Ricardo Cordoba, Heriberto Ruiz, and Wilfredo Vazquez Jr., who makes his first appearance. Vazquez faces Marvin Sonsona in a very interesting fight on February 27 in Puerto Rico.
Junior Flyweight: There goes Viloria. Brian Viloria's upset loss to Carlos Tamara (who wasn't ranked in our top ten) means that the now former IBF titlist falls to No. 6, just ahead of Rodel Mayol. The top five is now Ivan Calderon, Ulises Solis, Edgar Sosa, Giovani Segura and Tamara. Ryo Miyazaki loses his spot with Tamara moving in.