As boxing starts really getting some traction in 2011, I thought it was time to update the Bad Left Hook rankings fully, and then I just decided to totally overhaul the layout and all that. From this day forward, every Monday will bring an update to the rankings page.
A few things to note, in case you're new:
I'm always up to debate the rankings, and that's what we can do every Monday with a fresh post. What I'm not up for is the boxing internet-standard "how can you have X ahead of Y? your a idiot" crap. Save it for someone else, because I'll probably just get rid of you here. That said, if you believe I'm truly an idiot regarding a particular ranking, I'm sure you can find a creative way to question my sanity. I don't see my rankings, or any set of rankings, as gospel, and the debate and seeing what everyone else is thinking is most of the fun of maintaining rankings. That and I'm a dork who likes lists.
I don't place any stock whatsoever in alphabet soup titles. I do place stock in the Ring Magazine championships, but it does not guarantee a top ranking in a division. For instance, Jean Pascal is not my No. 1 light heavyweight despite the fact that he owns the Ring championship.
Compared to the rankings of other web sites and publications, I am far, far quicker to insert prospects and young fighters into the top 10 of a division, particularly weaker divisions. Junior middleweight is a good example of this right now. I am simply much more likely to rank the likes of Saul Alvarez and Erislandy Lara than, say, Cornelius Bundrage, and that's not meant to be a knock on Bundrage. It's just an example. You may see this as a flaw in my thinking, but it's just the way I lean.
Nothing has to happen for me to change a fighter's standing. For instance, starting here, I have switched Andre Ward and Lucian Bute in the 168-pound rankings. This came about largely through discussion here, and my continued comparison of the two fighters. In this case, I just feel that Ward has the far better resume right now, and that he deserves the top spot. Previously, I felt Bute was a better overall fighter and deserved the top spot. As they have kept fighting, I have been more and more impressed with Ward, so that combined with his "strength of schedule" has caused the shift. I don't think anyone should be set in stone at a particular spot. This is not a science, in my view, but a bunch of statements largely based on opinion and analysis. We all know fighters can look bad in a win and good in a loss. Stocks can rise even through losing, and not just when a fighter is robbed. And stocks can fall with a win, too. And sometimes, like with a Ward-Bute discussion, we're really just in the middle of the comparison, or maybe even just at the beginning. Things can change.
Some fighters move around weight classes. Paul Williams, for example, is ranked as a middleweight right now, as is Kelly Pavlik. Pavlik will be fighting on May 7, and above the middleweight limit. If the plan appears to be to stay above 160, he would be out of the rankings at 160. Likewise, if Williams makes an official move, he would be moved out. Daniel Ponce de Leon and Celestino Caballero have both recently fought at 130 pounds, but are more likely to stay at 126, or at least that would seem to be the case for the time being, so they remain in the rankings at 126. And despite the fact that Manny Pacquiao's last fight was over the welterweight limit, it was just a one-off, and he remains ranked at welterweight. In the absolute rarest of cases, a fighter could be ranked in more than one division, but in today's boxing landscape that's highly unlikely to be relevant, in my opinion, and will probably not happen any time soon.
I'm not going to do pound-for-pound, though if we can get our big ol' staff coordinated one of these days, I've been considering doing a full staff P4P feature once a month, where we all submit a list and tally up the points and work out the rankings. We've got enough folks on staff now that it would be interesting. But I don't want to do one just by myself.
Enjoy! Discuss! Have a pleasant day!