Orlando Salido's second big win over Juan Manuel Lopez puts him firmly in the No. 2 spot at 126 pounds. (Photo by Amanda Kwok/Showtime)
One division gets a solid little shakeup, and a couple of new guys come in at 154 and 160, one due to inactivity, one due to reassessment.
Orlando Salido's great win over Juan Manuel Lopez bumps him up from No. 3 to No. 2 in the division, jumping Chris John, who's back to just being normal old Chris John, and it's pretty clear at this point that we may have given him a bit too much love for fighting Rocky Juarez back in 2009. Rocky Juarez. Salido (38-11-2, 25 KO) has the two Lopez wins, which are better than anything on John's record since 2006.
Lopez (31-2, 28 KO) falls from No. 4 to No. 8. His future is a little unclear right now -- it's impossible to tell how much that loss took out of him, and where his head's going to be from here on out. But I don't think he deserves to drop any more than that.
Coming in at No. 10 this week is Billy Dib (34-1, 21 KO), who won last Wednesday against Eduardo Escobedo and did so quite clearly. I have two reservations with considering Dib a top featherweight. One, I just don't think he's really as good as a lot of these guys, many of whom I'd pick to eat his lunch. Two, he's a really dirty fighter, and I just have a distaste for him personally. But the fact is, he's winning his fights and he deserves to be in the top ten right now. It's not like I kicked Luis Lazarte out for being a prick.
It has happened: Julio Cesar Chavez Jr has arrived in the BLH rankings. Some will argue far too late, because, y'know, they put him on HBO now and more people see him fight, so that means he's somehow vastly different than the Latin Fury PPV headliner. He's not, but I did come to two conclusions after an honest assessment of their records:
- Chavez's best wins, even if debatable to some degree, are better than Andy Lee's, and;
- It's not like Andy Lee is some super stud and obvious pick over Chavez in a head-to-head matchup.
Andy Lee is guilty of a lot of miserable fights, but he probably had his worst this past weekend against a fattened up, middle-aged welterweight journeyman who basically fell over as soon as he got the chance to. I'm not accusing Saul Duran of throwing the fight or anything, but look, he knew what he was in for. What was he going to do, beat Andy Lee, the legitimate middleweight who was actually in fighting shape? Emanuel Steward should be ashamed of some of these fights he puts Lee in, really. Lee's better than that and deserves better. I know this was a fight that happened because other, far better fights didn't, but it was ridiculous.
So Chavez is here. Everyone rejoice.
Serhiy Dzinziruk is out due to inactivity, and really may never return. He's 36 years old and when guys start going off the grid like this at that age, they rarely really return with anything significant.
This was the decision to make: Vanes Martirosyan, Zaurbek Baysangurov, or Lukas Konecny? I went with Konecny, but it's a placeholder pick. There are a handful of guys who can get into that spot with a good win. I've said this many times, but this is a tough, tough division to rank. Lots of talent spread out, not really fighting each other.
The upcoming March 24 fight between Carlos Molina (4) and James Kirkland (6) is a really big one for this division. The winner will be moving up to No. 3, over Austin Trout, unless it's something really goofy like an injury.
This Week's Ranked Fighters in Action
Middleweight: No. 1 Sergio Martinez (48-2-2, 27 KO) vs No. 3 Matthew Macklin (28-3, 19 KO)
Middleweight: No. 8 Grzegorz Proksa (26-0, 19 KO) vs Kerry Hope (16-3, 1 KO)
Welterweight: No. 6 Kell Brook (26-0, 18 KO) vs Matthew Hatton (42-5-2, 16 KO)
Lightweight: No. 4 Antonio DeMarco (26-2-1, 19 KO) vs Miguel Roman (37-9, 28 KO)
Flyweight: No. 10 Luis Concepcion (23-3, 18 KO) vs Oscar Gallardo (12-3-1, 5 KO)
Junior Flyweight: No. 1 Roman Gonzalez (30-0, 25 KO) vs Manuel Jimenez (11-2-1, 5 KO)