It's Monday, so it's rankings day. Really just a few back-end rankings changes after the fun, upset-filled weekend, but change is change.
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Obviously, David Lemieux, who was ranked 10th previously, is out. Replacing him in the rankings is the man who beat him on Friday night, Marco Antonio Rubio. Rubio slides in at the No. 9 spot, bumping Matthew Macklin down to 10th place. I get the feeling Lemieux will be back; not sure when (probably not this year), but if he can mentally handle the fact that he lost a fight, then he'll be the type of guy who understands adjustments need to be made, and I think that turns him into a long-term contender in the division. But you never really know.
Actually, there's no change here. As admirable and exciting as Erik Morales' one-eyed performance was on Saturday, I still don't think he's top ten in the division. Let's look at 8-9-10: Zab Judah, Lucas Matthysse, Paul McCloskey. Do I favor Morales against any of those guys? No, I don't. I might consider McCloskey a pick'em situation, but this really is classic styles make fights material. Maidana isn't a boxer, and on Saturday he was gunning for the knockout. He didn't get it because Morales used his experience and boxing knowledge, dipped into his bag of tricks, and boxed. Maidana doesn't box. But while Morales might beat McCloskey, I don't think McCloskey struggles so much with Morales' style. And I think Matthysse is sort of a Maidana with less blunt force power and a little more patience, while Judah I think would beat Morales fairly wide on the cards being a southpaw who himself knows a thing or two about a thing or two in the ring. Actually, I'd like to see Judah-Morales if I'm going to see more Morales fights.
And Maidana doesn't move from No. 3. My stance on 140 now is that we've seen it, in large part, "shake out," and you've got No. 1 (Timothy Bradley) and No. 2 (Amir Khan) and all that's left is a fight between them. Maidana, Alexander, Peterson, Kotelnik, etc., have all had their shots and have come up short. We've got a fight that needs to be made. But what a fun division this has been for a while now, with top guys actually fighting each other.
Michael Katsidis drops from No. 7 to No. 9, which allows one-spot rises for Jorge Linares and Urbano Antillon. Katsidis was not competitive against Robert Guerrero on Saturday, and while I also said that I thought it was Guerrero's best-ever performance, and I believe it still, I think you have to pump the brakes just a bit and remember that he put in that performance against a guy who doesn't defend himself, and is frankly getting worse every time he fights a legit top guy in the division. I don't really know how much longer Katsidis has as a top ten guy -- for one thing, he doesn't take many fights where he's, like, "guaranteed" to look good or inspire confidence in what he's got in the tank. He looks for challenges on purpose. Of course Katsidis could well move back up a spot if/when Antillon loses on May 7 to Humberto Soto.
As for Guerrero, he holds tight at No. 3. I would probably pick him to beat Soto, but that fight isn't going to happen so we'll never know anyway, and Soto beating Antillon is just as good as Guerrero beating Katsidis, with their resumés pretty similar otherwise. In other words, Guerrero hasn't done something that makes me bump him past Soto. Not yet. But the top three is pretty tight here. Marquez is and has to be No. 1, but I would not be shocked if he were to lose to either Soto or Guerrero should he fight either one of them. Miguel Vazquez (5) could be tricky enough to beat anyone in the division right now, too, and I hate to put it like this, but Brandon Rios (4) might really be more "Gatti" than Katsidis ever was, making him a potential threat to anyone, too. There are so many good fights that can be made in this division, but many that won't or can't be made. Guerrero might even just move up in weight from here. Tied to Golden Boy, there's more money for him at 140 than at 135, probably.
Humberto Gutierrez drops from his No. 10 ranking, replaced by Adrien Broner. I wasn't crazy about putting Broner in because I'm just not crazy about Broner, but he'll get a chance to cement it better with the June fight against Jason Litzau (7).
Out goes Hozumi Hasegawa (9). His conqueror from the weekend, Jhonny Gonzalez, stays put at No. 7. It's the sort of win where I wish I could move someone up, but who do I dump for Gonzalez? I'd pick him to beat Caballero, but I hate Caballero so much that I try to remind myself to relax on him and take the opinions of others with more weight than usual. Gonzalez is an interesting case. He's a fighter I really like, who can really fight. But I never get overly excited about what he does because if I were to look at a matchup with, say, Daniel Ponce de Leon (ranked one spot up at No. 6), it becomes a reluctant game of admitting Gonzalez's limitations. Do I think he's better than DPDL? Yes. Would he beat him? He should, but he probably wouldn't, because eventually Gonzalez is going to get hit and then it's all shot to hell against someone with that power.
Mikey Garcia moves up from No. 10 to No. 9, while the incoming is Argentina's Jonathan Victor Barros. It came down to Barros, Satoshi Hosono and keeping Hasegawa in, and I went with Barros. I also gave strong consideration to Billy Dib. I'm lying. I gave no consideration to Billy Dib.