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Zab Judah Returns at 140, Kirkland-Molina Dilemma, New Top Dog at 115: Boxing Rankings For March 27

Zab Judah is back in the top 10 at 140 pounds following his dismantling of Vernon Paris. (Photo by Ed Mulholland-US PRESSWIRE)
Zab Judah is back in the top 10 at 140 pounds following his dismantling of Vernon Paris. (Photo by Ed Mulholland-US PRESSWIRE)
Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

Zab Judah is back in at junior welterweight, Erik Morales is out, and there's a new No. 1 at super flyweight following the results from this morning in Japan.

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Junior Welterweight

Zab Judah (42-7, 29 KO) is back in at No. 9 following his waxing of Vernon Paris on Saturday night. He takes Erik Morales' spot in the rankings, after Morales lost to Danny Garcia in Houston. You could probably argue Judah a spot or two higher, but he's in the mix again at any rate. The way he just completely blew Paris out of the water really was impressive. I still think it said more about Paris than about Judah, and Zab isn't "back" or any better than he has been, but the results are real. Zab kicked the crap out of what was supposed to be a quality, difficult opponent.

Morales (52-8, 36 KO) probably made his last significant stand against Garcia. It's hard to imagine him coming back into the rankings at 140 or anywhere, really. That he ever got back at all is kind of a miracle -- he was thought to be basically washed up over five years ago, then he took a three-year break and made his move. Morales had a great run on his second go-round, but it looks like it's over. And he sounds like he thinks it might be over, too.

As for Garcia (23-0, 14 KO), he's got the WBC belt now and moves up to No. 6, switching spots with Ajose Olusegun, who is in line to face him in his first title defense. I think that's a really dangerous fight for Garcia if the WBC actually enforces the mandatory.

This is a division in transition. Tim Bradley will be officially out after his June 9 fight with Manny Pacquiao, unless he makes a statement that he's going back to 140, which doesn't seem likely, but could happen if he loses and doesn't like the weight. There would be fights for him at the weight still. Juan Manuel Marquez will join the ranks after April 14, providing he doesn't lose to Serhiy Fedchenko. And by mid-summer, it would seem, Brandon Rios will be up here too. What recently felt like a division that was losing something is actually gaining quality fighters.

Junior Middleweight

This is an issue. James Kirkland's DQ win over Carlos Molina has been debated, and most everyone sane had Kirkland losing the fight, although he appeared possibly on the way to a stoppage win if the fight had continued. Our rankings are not based on win-loss records. To quote the lovely Gloria Clemente:

Sometimes when you win, you really lose, and sometimes when you lose, you really win, and sometimes when you win or lose, you actually tie, and sometimes when you tie, you actually win or lose.

But this is a case where I decided to, in some way, respect the result. Kirkland (31-1, 27 KO) moves from No. 6 to No. 4, with Molina (19-5-2, 6 KO) dropping to No. 5, and Erislandy Lara then dropping to No. 6. These guys are all separated by basically nothing. If the result does get changed to a no-contest -- it won't, since it's Texas, but I guess it could possibly happen -- then I'll return the rankings to what they were before the fight, which was Molina, Lara, and Kirkland, in order.


Minor changes: Jan Zaveck falls to No. 7 from No. 5 after looking fairly rusty in a win over Bethuel Uushona, and Kell Brook and Mike Jones both move up a spot ahead of him.

Super Bantamweight

Jeffrey Mathebula won his rematch against Takalani Ndlovu, and enters the rankings at No. 9, taking Ndlovu's spot.

Super Flyweight

Big shift here, as previous No. 1 Suriyvan Sor Rungvisai lost to Yota Sato this morning in Japan. Hopefully Sidney Boquiren will have more on that fight soon.

Suriyan falls to No. 5, with Sato moving from No. 7 up to No. 2. The new No. 1 is Tepparith Kokietgym. This is a tight race through the entire top 10, really. It's a very competitive, very good division.

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