Ola Afolabi made a slight move at cruiserweight, but the story of the week is new flyweight champ Sonny Boy Jaro. (Photo by Christof Koepsel/Bongarts/Getty Images)
One big change and one small one this week, as the new flyweight champion moves into the rankings and a cruiserweight contender takes a step up the ladder.
Sonny Boy Jaro is the new legit champ of the division after his stunning upset of Pongsaklek Wonjongkam on Friday, but while we recognize the RING champions, I don't recognize them as outside the top ten (as in, champion + ten contenders - we just do a flat top ten), and I don't automatically rank RING champions No. 1. Yoan Pablo Hernandez would be No. 1 at cruiserweight if Marco Huck fully commits to a move to heavyweight, but for now Huck is still No. 1 at cruiserweight.
But a more glaring example of a time that the champ isn't No. 1 is this one. Jaro (34-10-5, 24 KO) is not the best flyweight in the world. He just isn't, even with this win over Pongsaklek. Here's the new top five at 112 pounds:
- Hernan "Tyson" Marquez
- Brian Viloria
- Moruti Mthalane
- Sonny Boy Jaro
- Pongsaklek Wonjongkam
Unless we were talking a monumental upset of truly unbelievable proportions, I doubt a RING champ would ever drop below No. 5, but it could happen. For example, if Wladimir Klitschko had broken his ankle in the second round or something on Saturday in Germany, and Jean Marc Mormeck had been declared the winner and the new world heavyweight champion, I'd struggle to put Mormeck into the top ten, let alone top five, and No. 1 would be absurd. I choose to recognize the RING champs; I'm not tied to them. But something like that happening is incredibly unlikely, probably 100 times less likely than something like Jaro upsetting Pongsaklek, or Baldomir upsetting Judah.
Being the champ, even as close as boxing gets to a "real" champ, does not make you the best. These rankings are about trying to find the best. It's a constant work in progress, never truly settled, and always a discussion.
Would you rank Jaro No. 1 simply because he beat "The Man"?
Ola Afolabi (19-2-3, 8 KO) moves up from No. 8 to No. 7 this week, switching spots with Antonio Tarver, following his stoppage of Valery Brudov. Afolabi is a good fighter, could be more than a handful for anyone in the division. The cruiserweights are very tightly packed together -- I could see Afolabi as high as No. 4 at this point. The more time passes, the less impressive Tarver's win over Danny Green becomes, compared to some of the other fighters in the division who have been toiling here for a while and racking up wins, many of which are just as good.
Other than that, nothing changed this week. A few ranked fighters won (Wladimir, Raul Garcia, Fernando Montiel, Malcolm Tunacao) but none were notable enough to switch up the rankings. Montiel could have dropped, I guess. He knocked out Angky Angkota, but while the KO was nice, the rest of the fight was iffy for the Mexican veteran.
Ranked Fighters in Action This Week
Middleweight: No. 4 Daniel Geale (26-1, 15 KO) vs Osumanu Adama (20-2, 15 KO)
Middleweight: No. 10 Andy Lee (27-1, 19 KO) vs Alexis Camacho (17-3, 16 KO)
This was supposed to be Lee vs Alexis Hloros (16-4-2, 12 KO), but even though Camacho is a welterweight, it's no worse of a fight. Of course it couldn't really have been worse of a fight...
Lightweight: No. 6 Ricky Burns (33-2, 9 KO) vs Paulus Moses (28-1, 19 KO)
Featherweight: No. 3 Orlando Salido (37-11-2, 25 KO) vs No. 4 Juan Manuel Lopez (31-1, 28 KO)
Featherweight: No. 8 Mikey Garcia (27-0, 23 KO) vs Bernabe Concepcion (29-5-1, 15 KO)
Junior Flyweight: No. 8 Masayuki Kuroda (21-3, 13 KO) vs No. 9 Ryoichi Taguchi (16-1, 7 KO)
Strawweight: No. 5 Denver Cuello (29-4-6, 19 KO) vs Kid Suryana (7-1, 4 KO)
Other Notable Fights
Featherweight: Billy Dib (33-1, 20 KO) vs Eduardo Escobedo (32-3, 23 KO)
A really impressive showing from the winner here probably vaults him into the top ten at 126.