USA TODAY Sports
There's a new No. 1 fighter at featherweight, a shake-up in the jumbled middleweight divison, and a climbing force to be reckoned with at light heavyweight in the February 2013 Bad Left Hook boxing rankings.
There hasn't been a ton of action since we last updated the rankings, but there are a handful of significant moves thanks to what we have seen, including a new No. 1 man at featherweight, a rising puncher at light heavyweight, and a middleweight shake-up.
The BLH boxing rankings are compiled by Scott Christ and Ryan Bivins, except for the female pound-for-pound top ten, and the men's junior flyweight and strawweight divisions, which are sole credit to Ryan Bivins. Click here for the full February rankings.
Mikey Garcia is the new top dog in the division, beating out stalwart Chris John, who remains in the runner-up position. Garcia's clinical beatdown of Orlando Salido, the former No. 1-ranked fighter, was impressive enough to vault him up from the No. 4 slot, even though the ending was a bit unsatisfactory.
Also out is Juan Manuel Lopez, who fought at a 128-pound catchweight in his February 2 return, an expected easy victory, and has stated his intentions to campaign at super featherweight.
Just a minor note here, but neither Ryan nor myself saw any glaring need to drop Gabriel Rosado from his No. 10 spot, despite his loss at middleweight go Gennady Golovkin on January 19. Rosado has still proven his worth at 154, and speaking for myself, it's not as if I'd expect Golovkin to do any less to any of the fighters I might have put into Rosado's spot.
Felix Sturm's loss to Sam Soliman creates some mild chaos in the middle ranks of this division. Ranked fourth last month, Sturm plummets to No. 8 due to a competitive loss to Soliman, the major problem for Felix being he was a rather large favorite in the fight, and few if any expected the cagey veteran Soliman to actually beat him.
Soliman, the 39-year-old Aussie battler, debuts in the rankings at No. 6 as he awaits his shot at IBF titlist and second-ranked Daniel Geale, who beat Anthony Mundine in late January. After the top three, or maybe top four including Peter Quillin, it's a logjam at 160 right now. A lot of these guys are on about the same level at the moment. Personally, I enjoy a jumbled division with arguments like these. I enjoy them even more when those guys start fighting each other.
Sergey Kovalev has arrived. The Russian powerhouse's demolition of Gabriel Campillo shoots him from unranked into the No. 4 slot, behind Chad Dawson, Bernard Hopkins, and Tavoris Cloud. You can make the argument that Kovalev did a lot more than Cloud did with Campillo, and it's quite true, but the rest of Cloud's record is better than Kovalev's, too. For me, that No. 3/4 position is a pick'em. We've gone with Cloud -- for now.
As for Campillo, he drops from No. 3 to No. 8. He's still a quality fighter until proven otherwise, and has earned recognition. That was no junk win for Kovalev; he destroyed a good fighter.