The new rankings have arrived, and we've got some notable changes all over the sport, with plenty of big fights happening between the last update on September 5 and now. Check out the full rankings here, and below, some commentary on the new lists.
Floyd takes over at 154, stays No. 1 at 147
Seeing no reason to bother deciding what division Floyd Mayweather "belongs" in, myself and Ryan Bivins both ranked Floyd as the top fighter at both welterweight at junior middleweight for the time being. He basically skips between the divisions based on what fight is available. He fought Miguel Cotto at junior middleweight, Robert Guerrero at welterweight, and Canelo Alvarez at junior middleweight. It appears as though he'll go back to welterweight next to face Amir Khan. Whichever division he's in, he's the obvious best fighter in the sport today. There's just no doubt about that, and he might as well be ranked No. 1 in both weight classes. He completely smoked Alvarez on September 14 -- the fight wasn't even competitive.
The junior middleweight rankings don't really move otherwise, despite an active month. Canelo Alvarez remains at No. 2, followed by Austin Trout and the seemingly reborn Miguel Cotto. For my part, this order did require at least a little thought. Here's the five-point thought pattern for how I broke it down:
- Miguel Cotto looked great last Saturday night;
- Miguel Cotto was definitely more effective against Floyd Mayweather than Canelo Alvarez was;
- Austin Trout beat Miguel Cotto;
- Canelo Alvarez beat Austin Trout;
- it was just Delvin Rodriguez.
Now, if Cotto goes out and smashes a top 154 pound fighter next time out, then maybe he takes the jump back up, even with the loss to Trout. To me, boxing rankings are snapshots more than lengthy observations. Otherwise, Roy Jones would still be ranked somewhere, because he's done a lot more than most guys have.
Down at 147, the list is the same as it was last month, but Saturday's fight between Juan Manuel Marquez (2) and Timothy Bradley (4) should shake it up for November, and Manny Pacquiao (3) will face Brandon Rios at the end of that month, so by the end of the year, things could look very different at the top. Or not. They could stay literally exactly the same.
Bow down to the king: Danny Garcia leaves no doubt at 140
Last month, Lucas Matthysse was No. 1 and Danny Garcia was No. 2, and the two were scheduled to meet on September 14. They did. Garcia won clean and clear, beating up Matthysse and outboxing him over the 12 rounds to firmly and without question establish himself as the top dog at 140 pounds, as well as one of the top fighters in the sport, period. Garcia has no more to prove; he is a legit elite fighter.
That means that Garcia is No. 1, but Matthysse goes down only to No. 2. He's still a force at 140, and his three-round wipeout of Lamont Peterson earlier this year can't just be ignored. Garcia is better than Matthysse, but Matthysse is still better than the rest at 140, or at least that's the thought right now. That just means Garcia's win is all the more impressive.
Wladimir laps the field, Arreola returns at heavyweight
Wladimir Klitschko won ugly this past weekend against Alexander Povetkin, keeping himself clearly in the driver's seat in the division, at least with brother Vitali Klitschko still on the sidelines and maybe or maybe not planning to fight again. Though I didn't think much of the way that Wladimir won, even though he swept the cards, it's obvious that he's as close to unbeatable as it gets in the sport right now, less dominant than only Floyd Mayweather. Klitschko will do whatever he feels he has to do to win, and he will win. The only possible challenge left for him is Kubrat Pulev, who remains No. 2 in our rankings. Povetkin slips from No. 4 to No. 5, with Tyson Fury moving up a spot.
Back in the rankings this month is Chris Arreola, the lovable brawler who smashed the hell out of Seth Mitchell very predictably on September 7 on Showtime. Arreola remains dangerous in the division, but really, his inclusion speaks more to the lack of depth than anything else. Mike Perez falls out, but he could be back next month if he beats Magomed Abdusalamov on November 2, which is entirely possible. Actually, the winner of that fight might just deserve to take the No. 10 spot in a month's time.
Who's No. 1 at 175?
One of the more interesting debates to be had right now is in the light heavyweight division, I think, where you have titleholders Bernard Hopkins (IBF), Adonis Stevenson (WBC), and Sergey Kovalev (WBO) all with at least some argument to be called the best in the world at the moment.
Hopkins, who turns 49 in January and faces Karo Murat later this month, hangs on to the No. 1 spot for now, but even an iffy performance in that fight could push him down one or even two spots. Stevenson demolished Tavoris Cloud on September 28, and in more impressive fashion than Hopkins did earlier this year, and he moves back up to No. 2, switching places with Kovalev, who destroyed Nathan Cleverly in August.
The argument for Hopkins is that, you know, he's Bernard Hopkins. Would you really bet against him if he faced Stevenson or Kovalev? You could, but at your own peril. He's been bet against a dozen times at least at this point, with everyone sure he'd lose, then he didn't. Stevenson and Kovalev, a pair of aggressive, hard-punching fighters, could be tough for the naturally smaller, old Hopkins, but he's taken apart more aggressive guys in recent years, like Kelly Pavlik and Jean Pascal.
The argument for Stevenson is that he has ripped apart both Cloud and Chad Dawson this year, and with Dawson, he beat the man who beat the man (Hopkins). The argument for Kovalev is that he's terrifying.
As for Tavoris Cloud, he's gone from the rankings. He was ranked sixth last month, but he looked so miserable and indifferent in losses to Hopkins and especially Stevenson that I think it's really hard to say he's still a legit contender at 175. Taking his place is former champion Jean Pascal.
Mateusz Masternak is out at cruiserweight following a loss to Grigory Drozd ... Badou Jack makes his debut in the rankings, coming in eighth at super middleweight ... Hassan N'dam is out at middleweight following a year of inactivity. Two fighters replace him, as Ryan and I voted for different guys as the new No. 10. Ryan went with Bryan Vera, choosing to give Vera (a middleweight) credit for getting robbed against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr in a light heavyweight fight, while I went with Curtis Stevens, perhaps feeling as though I wanted to be nice before Gennady Golovkin knocks him out in a few weeks ... Both Ryan and I chose to basically ignore the obviously bad decision in the Burns-Beltran fight, and ranked Raymundo Beltran ahead of Ricky Burns at 135. Beltran is now up to No. 3, with Richar Abril going up to No. 2, and Burns falling to fourth place. Andrey Klimov is now out at lightweight, with Omar Figueroa replacing him.