Adrien Broner is making his move up the 130-pound rankings. (Photo by Jeff Curry/US PRESSWIRE)
This week's rankings are the 52nd for the Bad Left Hook divisional rankings, or in other words, the one-year mark. I'd like to thank everyone who has debated my rankings, argued them, and just made it fun to do weekly for the last year. I don't keep these rankings because I think the world needs another list of ranked boxers; it's mostly so that we can all talk about them and talk about all of the divisions. The opinions of others have, believe it or not, been very valuable to me while doing this. I like to learn from others and get different viewpoints, which often helps me see things I missed before. So thank you.
Now let's get on with the changes this week.
Adrien Broner (23-0, 19 KO) makes the climb from No. 6 to No. 3 this week, now trailing only Japanese standouts Takashi Uchiyama and Takahiro Ao, and I'd give Broner a very good shot to beat either one of them, but those fights aren't going to happen for various reasons, one of which is that Japan doesn't recognize the WBO so Broner's belt would mean nothing to either of them. Also, he's not going to go fight in Japan, because he doesn't have to. Also, they aren't going to come here to fight him, because they don't have to.
Broner's win over Eloy Perez was higher regarded by others. I never really understood why Perez was ranked in anyone's top ten, and without meaning to sound dismissive of others, I think he proved this past weekend that he's not really a top ten super featherweight. That's nothing against Broner, who did his job impressively and smoked a decent fighter, and his pure ability would make him a strong favorite over guys like Juan Carlos Salgado or Argenis Mendez or Rocky Martinez, I believe.
I guess you could make a case that Broner is the best fighter in the division, but I still have my doubts until he proves himself against better fighters. That may require a move up in weight soon. I've been cautious about him so far, but like Canelo Alvarez, he's good enough that he's near the top of his division anyway, and that's with reservations. They both also fight in a division where the best guys aren't really fighting each other.
I dropped Juan Carlos Burgos from No. 7 down to No. 9 following his Friday Night Fights win over Cristobal Cruz. That was a debatable decision, in my view, and Burgos just didn't look great in there with an awkward, odd fighter. He had all the physical advantages and too often didn't take advantage of them. Maybe he overlooked Cruz, I don't know. There's still a lot of time for Burgos, and he remains a solid fighter on the bridge between prospect and true contender.
Devon Alexander (23-1, 13 KO) made his mark on Saturday against Marcos Maidana, dominating the fight in his welterweight debut and impressing most who watched the fight. There are still questions about Devon when he's in against a legit top welterweight, though. He comes in at No. 8 for now. Shane Mosley drops out, because he's going back up to 154 anyway on May 5 to face Canelo Alvarez.
I also switched out Alfonso Gomez at No. 10 for Carson Jones (33-8-2, 23 KO). I just think Jones is a better fighter at this point. His record is deceptive, and eventually he might get that IBF title shot once Mike Jones and Randall Bailey settle their business.
Alexander Povetkin (24-0, 16 KO) drops one spot to No. 5, switching places with Chris Arreola, following his close and disputed win over Marco Huck on Saturday. They've pretty much beaten the same level of opposition overall -- mostly journeymen and gatekeepers. It's not a big deal, but Povetkin is, I believe, firmly established in the second tier of heavyweights and he'll never get out of there. The first tier is just the Klitschkos.
I've left Marco Huck (34-2, 25 KO) here, and he stays at No. 1. He won't be getting an immediate rematch with Povetkin, as Sasha is lined up to fight Hasim Rahman next in a terrible title defense. If Huck makes clear that he's staying at heavyweight, he'll move into the heavyweight rankings. But for now he stays here.
I'd have liked to find a reason to drop Nathan Cleverly from No. 6, but it's not that that overrates him, it's just this is a shallow division. He really is the sixth or seventh-best fighter in the division at worst, even with terrible mismatches like Saturday's farce against Tommy Karpency. Cleverly will be back on April 28 at Royal Albert Hall. Hopefully he fights someone whose greatest strength isn't having sparred with shot Roy Jones.
I switched another 4/5 here, with Marcos Maidana (31-3, 28 KO) dropping following his loss to Devon Alexander at 147, trading places with Argentine countryman Lucas Matthysse (30-2, 28 KO), who faces Humberto Soto on May 19 in Vegas.
There was also an empty spot to be filled this week with Alexander moving up. That goes to British champ Ashley Theophane (31-4-1, 9 KO), who has been in the same spot before but lost it without losing any fights or anything. He and Thomas Oosthuizen at 168 are, I think, the only guys who have been ranked multiple times in the same division without losing any fights. Both have been victims of comebacking ranked fighters, impressive performances from other fighters who took their spots, etc. And if Soto were to beat Matthysse on May 19, obviously Theophane would lose his spot yet again, but then there is the whole Erik Morales vs Danny Garcia (8 vs 7) thing to be settled on 3/24, too.
Just as a note, since I was asked by email and thought it was worth sharing the thought, because what the hell else are either of us doing here? Hassan N'Dam N'Jikam has to sign a fight by April 2 or he's out of the rankings. If that happens, as it seems it will, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr will be coming in. So everyone can calm down about my irrational hate for the great Junior Chavez and his momentous wins over Peter Manfredo and John Duddy. (Joking, joking, joking.)
This Week's Ranked Fighters in Action
Heavyweight: No. 1 Wladimir Klitschko (56-3, 49 KO) vs Jean Marc Mormeck (36-4, 22 KO)
Cruiserweight: No. 8 Ola Afolabi (18-3-2, 8 KO) vs Valery Brudov (39-3 28 KO)
Super Bantamweight: No. 8 Fernando Montiel (46-4-2, 36 KO) vs Angky Angkotta (25-6, 14 KO)
Bantamweight: No. 8 Malcolm Tunacao (29-2-3, 18 KO) vs Yuki Takemoto (11-15-2, 5 KO)
Flyweight: No. 1 Pongsaklek Wonjongkam (83-3-2, 45 KO) vs Sonny Boy Jaro (33-10-5, 23 KO)
Other Notable Fights
Super Middleweight: Thomas Oosthuizen (17-0-1, 12 KO) vs Serge Yannick (14-1, 7 KO)
Junior Welterweight: Joan Guzman (31-0-1, 18 KO) vs Jesus Pabon (17-2, 11 KO)
Super Featherweight: Vicente Escobedo (24-3, 14 KO) vs Lonnie Smith (14-2-2, 10 KO)
Bantamweight: Jamie McDonnell (18-2-1, 7 KO) vs Ivan Pozo (32-6-1, 20 KO)