With his win over Robert Stieglitz, Arthur Abraham got back in the title mix at 168 pounds. (Photo by Boris Streubel/Bongarts/Getty Images)
Hi there! We haven't had one of these rankings updates in a few weeks, because F-all has happened in professional boxing in those last few weeks, but something semi-substantial happened this past weekend, and finally, we have a weekend with some actual substance coming up.
I know I said yesterday that you could make a case for Arthur Abraham as high as No. 3 in the division, but I did not mean I was going to do that. I don't feel that way. Abraham, who defeated Robert Stieglitz to win the WBO title on Saturday in Germany, moves up from No. 7 to No. 6 for me, and that's all. It was a solid win, but this division is nowhere near as jam-packed with great fighters as it has sometimes been made out to be.
It's strong, but strong is where it ends. There are a lot of guys on the middle shelf -- you've got a lot of Maker's Marks here, but not so many Pappy Van Winkles, and the Super Six sold us a bill of goods based on the Pappy standard, and, well, we came out with a couple of Pappys (Ward and Froch) and a division full of your run of the mill Maker's Mark otherwise.
Stieglitz keeps his spot in the top ten, dropping from No. 6 down to No. 9. He's a solid, competent fighter, same as a lot of these guys. He could easily lose that spot without doing anything wrong if more of the talented young fighters start making serious waves. It feels like James DeGale really should be here, but he's sort of treading water at the moment. I'd pick him over Stieglitz if they fought, but I would do so with some caution at the moment.
Jean Pascal is out, as it's official that he will not be fighting Tavoris Cloud. If we did a hard one-year rule on inactivity and dropped guys for that, he'd have been out three months ago, but he had a fight lined up, and we make an exception for that. Now he does not. There's talk he'll fight in December. I'll believe it when I see it. He can fight his way back in.
Replacing Pascal, and in at No. 10, is European champion Eduard Gutknecht. This is an exciting development.
Ranked Fighters in Action This Week
YES! YES! YES! LOOK! FIGHTS!
Middleweight: No. 2 Felix Sturm (37-2-2, 16 KO) vs No. 3 Daniel Geale (27-1, 15 KO)
Middleweight: No. 7 Gennady Golovkin (23-0, 20 KO) vs Grzegorz Proksa (28-1, 21 KO)
Featherweight: No. 7 Mikey Garcia (28-0, 24 KO) vs Mauricio Pastrana (35-16-2, 23 KO)
Super Flyweight: No. 1 Tepparith Kokietgym (20-2, 13 KO) vs Nobuo Nashiro (18-4-1, 12 KO)
Flyweight: No. 3 Moruti Mthalane (28-2, 19 KO) vs Ricardo Nunez (24-2, 20 KO)
Flyweight: No. 6 Pongsaklek Wonjongkam (85-4-2, 45 KO) vs Hyobu Nakagama (15-9-3, 11 KO)
Flyweight: No. 10 Luis Concepcion (25-3, 20 KO) vs Pablo Carrillo (9-0-1, 4 KO)
Strawweight: No. 1 Nkosinathi Joyi (22-0, 15 KO) vs No. 10 Mario Rodriguez (14-6-4, 10 KO)
The junior middleweight fight between Serhiy Dzinziruk (37-1, 24 KO) and Jonathan Gonzalez (15-0, 13 KO) on Saturday is also notable. If Dzinziruk wins, he probably will be back in the top ten at 154 pounds, as there was a time he was the best in the world at the weight, and he's still never lost as a 154-pound fighter. If Gonzalez wins, he's not as likely to come into the top ten, but it's possible, depending on how he looks, how Dzinziruk looks, etc.