The big debate now is whether or not Timothy Bradley should remain the No. 1 fighter at 140 pounds, after Amir Khan blew through Zab Judah on Saturday. The RING has bumped Khan to No. 1. I have not. I'll explain how I came to the decision to keep Bradley in his top spot.
- Bradley's record is still quite strong. Wins over Kendall Holt, Devon Alexander, Lamont Peterson and Junior Witter are all very good. Two of those guys (Alexander and Witter) were widely ranked No. 2 in the division at the time. Peterson and Holt are both quality wins. This stacks up well to Khan's slate of wins at 140, where his best wins are Marcos Maidana and Andriy Kotelnik. Both good wins, and solid wins over Paul Malignaggi and Judah, too, and a fine enough win over Paul McCloskey. But I don't see any great advantage for Khan in resume, and I'm not going to pretend beating Judah (even easily) was some great task. It's right about equal to beating Kendall Holt, in my view.
- Bradley was never iced in 54 seconds by Breidis Prescott. I don't think a ton of the Prescott fluke (and yes, it was a fluke), but it happened.
- I still think a Bradley vs Khan fight is even money. With all the hoopla surrounding his lack of courage or whatever, it's easy to forget Bradley is a really good fighter.
I just didn't see beating a 33-year-old Judah who has never been as good as his hype as a reason to vault Khan up in the rankings. Judah stays in the top ten, but just barely, and I really mean just barely. He's at No. 10. That could easily be a bunch of other guys. I've got Kendall Holt in at No. 8 now, and I've dropped Paul McCloskey out. That was simply a re-evaluation; there's no way I'd pick McCloskey to beat Holt unless word got out in the final days before the fight that Holt was mentally absent or out of shape.
I've also shot Lucas Matthysse up to No. 4, because that's where I feel he belongs. I thought he beat Judah last year, and think he clearly beat Devon Alexander. I think he gives everyone in the division a pretty tough night.
Old man Antonio Tarver is in at No. 7, replacing Danny Green, who falls from No. 5 to all the way out. I've mentioned this about many divisions, and it's true again: In a division this tight, where there isn't massive distance between any of the fighters, bad losses will tend to drop you out. Kermit Cintron dropped from No. 2 to out at 154 when he lost bad to Carlos Molina. Green was not competitive against Tarver, and has really only ever won one true cruiserweight fight (against BJ Flores), so I just didn't see keeping him in right now.