It felt like more happened this past weekend, but in terms of the boxing rankings here at BLH, there's really just the one major move, as Carl Froch established himself at No. 2 at super middleweight with his destructive win over Lucian Bute. A busy, busy weekend is coming, though, followed by a whole lot more over the next two months.
Froch (29-2, 21 KO) is up to No. 2 from No. 3, and Bute (30-1, 24 KO) is down to No. 4 from No. 2. I actually debated myself about whether to drop Bute two spots or just one -- the guys behind him haven't proven a whole lot, either, and in my view his resume is every bit as good as Andre Dirrell's. I also refuse to compare the two and their performances against Froch, as while I did score Froch-Dirrell for Dirrell back in 2009, that was a long time ago, really, and I really have a harder time describing what Dirrell did as a "performance" compared to what Bute did (and didn't do). It's not that Bute had any notable success, but neither did Dirrell. It's just someone had to win the rounds. You couldn't score them all 10-10, or what they really deserved, which was, like, 6-6.
I'm also not certain Dirrell's actually an active fighter. He fought in December, but that was the first time in just under two years, and following that, when rumor of a possible Dirrell vs Bute fight came around, he fired his promoter and manager and decided to "take control of his own career." That sounds nice, but really, who fires Al Haymon and Gary Shaw when there's basically no demand for their career? Those guys can get anyone on TV, really. Dirrell and his current team (which is his family) think he's some star fighter, in demand. But he's not.
There honestly may have been no one happier, that I saw, about Bute losing to Froch than Dirrell was on Saturday. He talked a lot of trash after it was over. It seems Dirrell thought Bute losing to Froch was as good as Dirrell beating a real opponent himself.
But I put Dirrell over Bute because I think if the best Dirrell showed up to a fantasy fight between the two, he'd win. Dirrell is very, very talented. Talented enough to beat anyone out there, including Andre Ward. The problems are in other areas.
The unfortunate end to Paul Williams' boxing career isn't something I want to get into with a stupid rankings list, but Zaurbek Baysangurov is now ranked No. 10 at junior middleweight.
This Week's Ranked Fighters in Action
Cruiserweight: No. 7 Antonio Tarver (29-6, 20 KO) vs No. 9 Lateef Kayode (18-0, 14 KO)
Light Heavyweight: No. 8 Beibut Shumenov (12-1, 8 KO) vs Enrique Ornelas (33-7, 21 KO)
Light Heavyweight: No. 9 Karo Murat (24-1-1, 14 KO) vs Sandro Siproshvili (25-12, 12 KO)
Super Middleweight: No. 5 Sakio Bika (29-5-2, 20 KO) vs Dyah Davis (21-2-1, 9 KO)
Junior Middleweight: No. 3 Austin Trout (24-0, 14 KO) vs No. 7 Delvin Rodriguez (26-5-3, 14 KO)
Bantamweight: No. 8 Leo Santa Cruz (19-0-1, 11 KO) vs Vusi Malinga (20-3-1, 12 KO)
Junior Flyweight: No. 4 Donnie Nietes (29-1-3, 16 KO) vs Felipe Salguero (16-2-1, 11 KO)
Strawweight: No. 3 Moises Fuentes (14-1, 6 KO) vs Julio Cesar Felix (17-3, 7 KO)
Other Notable Fighters in Action This Weekend
Junior Middleweight: Gabriel Rosado (19-5, 11 KO) vs Sechew Powell (26-4, 15 KO)
Junior Middleweight: Brian Rose (19-1-1, 5 KO) vs Kris Carslaw (15-1, 3 KO)
Junior Welterweight: Denis Shafikov (28-0-1, 17 KO) vs Brunet Zamora (22-0-2, 10 KO)
Lightweight: Sharif Bogere (22-0, 14 KO) vs Manuel Leyva (21-6, 12 KO)
Lightweight: Leonardo Zappavigna (26-2, 18 KO) vs Joel Dela Cruz (17-13-2, 7 KO)
Featherweight: Chonlatarn Piriyapinyo (43-0, 26 KO) vs Richard Olisa (23-17-2, 12 KO)
Super Flyweight: Juan Jose Montes (22-2, 14 KO) vs Victor Zaleta (20-2, 10 KO)
Flyweight: Milan Melindo (26-0, 10 KO) vs Jesus Geles (13-2-1, 5 KO)