I should probably just move this to officially a Tuesday weekly update, since it seems to work out better that way coming out of busy weekends. Anyway there are some changes at 140 and 112 due to big results this past weekend, and I did some house-cleaning at 160, too.
Lamont Peterson, of course, makes the jump from No. 5 up to No. 2 following his Saturday night upset of Amir Khan in Washington, DC. I did score the fight for Khan, personally, but by one point -- it's not exactly tough to see Peterson winning the fight legitimately, I don't think the scoring deserves any great debate whatsoever, and the point deductions which ultimately cost Khan the fight are, in the end, his own fault, particularly the second deduction, without which he would have had a majority draw.
So Peterson jumps up, trailing only Timothy Bradley, whose grip on the No. 1 spot in the division is now 100% firm. There are no more questions for the time being: Tim Bradley is the man at 140.
Brian Viloria jumps up three spots to No. 3, behind only Pongsaklek Wonjongkam (the lineal champ) and Hernan "Tyson" Marquez, and it's easily arguable that he should be No. 2, but Marquez had a terrific year himself, with three good wins, two over the man widely considered No. 2 in the division at the start of the year.
Giovani Segura slips from No. 4 down to No. 5. Though he clearly lost to Viloria, he didn't lose in shame or anything like that, and I'd still pick him over the guys below him, though there would be a lot of good fights in there. A guy like Segura is always going to be vulnerable, but he remains a quality contender at flyweight.
This isn't really due to anything, but again, if you've followed these rankings, you know that once in a while I like to re-evaluate, and move things around if I feel it's warranted. I felt it was warranted at middleweight right now.
The top two don't change. Lineal champ Sergio Martinez is No. 1 by a country mile. That's not even a race. Felix Sturm, with two straight very close fights, stays at No. 2, but he's far, far closer to the rest of the field than he is to Martinez.
I've bumped Matthew Macklin up to No. 3, followed by titleholders Daniel Geale, Dmitry Pirog, and Gennady Golovkin, in that order. Hassan N'Dam N'Jikam remains at No. 7, and then there are two new entrants. Poland's Grzegorz Proksa, who holds the European title, is in at No. 8, followed by Martin Murray, also new to the rankings. Andy Lee remains at No. 10.
Dropping out are Marco Antonio Rubio (8) and Darren Barker (9). Neither of them have established themselves as any better than those last three, but again, it's a judgment call, and one that could change easily with further evidence.
Boxing rankings should always be in motion, I believe, and not stay frozen if someone happened to do something impressive that later doesn't seem so impressive.
In the case of Rubio, that win over David Lemieux earlier this year doesn't look so great now that Lemieux has come back and lost to Joachim Alcine, who was considered washed up by most who had seen him recently. Add in the fact that Rubio has spent the time since that win farting about with entirely overmatched opponents, including Matt Vanda coming up on Friday, and I think his stock has dropped.
Proksa comes in sort of along the lines of Pirog, Golovkin and N'Jikam: He's really talented, and the upside is real, and he's had some decent wins if nothing amazing. What Murray did against Sturm was simply more impressive, in my view, than what Barker or Rubio have done this year.
As for Barker, I know he was moderately impressive in that he didn't get blown out of the ring by Martinez in October, but did he really challenge Martinez, or just make him take his time? Martinez knocked him out after largely controlling the fight, and Barker's recent fights besides that haven't exactly been impressive.
Counting Barker and Rubio, there are three more guys who are right there with the field at the moment in Julio Cesar Chavez Jr, Sebastian Zbik and Peter Quillin.
I feel like the top seven here are the top seven here, period. I wish some of them would fight more, I wish some of them would fight better competition, and I wish like hell that they'd fight each other, which Martinez and Macklin appear headed to do in March. But those last three spots are wild cards. I think Proksa has the serious upside potential along with results that stack up to Rubio or Barker in recent outings, and I believe that Murray earned his way to his spot.
Minor tweak here, as I jumped Kevin Mitchell to No. 7 over Urbano Antillon. This is a division that likely will get a reassessment next week.