Rankings (July 23, 2019): Pacquiao confirms status as top contender at 147
Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images
At 40, Pac Man is still going strong.
Rankings will be posted Tuesdays at Noon ET. (Late this week, I know.)
This week’s ranked fights:
Junior Welterweight: (3) Maurice Hooker vs (4) Jose Ramirez, July 27
Super Featherweight: (2) Tevin Farmer vs Guillaume Frenois, July 27
Super Featherweight: (3) Gervonta Davis vs Ricardo Nunez, July 27
Notes: Dillian Whyte picked up a solid win over Oscar Rivas this past weekend, coming off the canvas to take a deserved decision. Rivas was No. 9 last week and while his loss wasn’t a bad one or anything, he was kinda at No. 9 by a thread already, so I think he’s gotta drop a couple spots, and those couple spots knock him just barely outside the top 10 for me. In his place is Kownacki, who returns Aug. 3 against Chris Arreola. As for Whyte, his status as the No. 5 guy in the division is, to me, only really challenged by Ortiz — they’ve both only lost to top four guys and have solid if unspectacular résumés otherwise, and can both clearly fight.
Upcoming Fights: (10) Adam Kownacki vs Chris Arreola, Aug. 3 … (2) Deontay Wilder vs (6) Luis Ortiz, TBA … (3) Andy Ruiz Jr vs (4) Anthony Joshua, TBA
Notes: First Usyk’s move up to heavyweight was postponed by injury, now Gassiev’s. Every week I consider just taking them out ahead of when I normally would, because these are just delays, but I haven’t done it. I could any week, I guess, but the itch to do it is simply because it was supposed to be done by now, or by this coming weekend, anyway.
Upcoming Fights: (2) Mairis Briedis vs (4) Yuniel Dorticos, TBA
Notes: The good news is it sounds like we’re going to get a unification fight between Gvozdyk and Beterbiev, which is a fantastic matchup that could go either way, I think. Now if we can just get Dmitry Bivol a fight.
Upcoming Fights: (5) Marcus Browne vs Jean Pascal, August 3 … (2) Sergey Kovalev vs Anthony Yarde, Aug. 24 … (1) Oleksandr Gvozdyk vs (4) Artur Beterbiev, Oct. 18
Notes: Caleb Plant’s title defense against Mike Lee was the absurd mismatch expected by anyone who’d ever seen Lee fight. Mike Lee is not an unskilled goon or anything, and he came looking in great shape and all that, he’s just nowhere near a world-level fighter, and Plant is a world-level fighter. In the two-and-a-half rounds it took for Plant to drop Lee three times and stop him, Lee landed a grand total of eight punches according to CompuBox. He was hopelessly out of his depth, but at no point did he look like he wanted to give it up, which would have frankly been understandable. As I’ve said, it’s not that I have anything in the world against Mike Lee the person, that guy went out there and gave it his best, but it was ridiculous of the IBF to sanction that fight. On the other hand, it served as a major showcase sort of fight for Plant on a big night in boxing, airing for the FOX audience, and that was probably the real purpose. For an audience comprised largely of people who didn’t know much about the matchup and saw Mike Lee as some guy with an undefeated record, Plant probably looked about as impressive as someone can.
Upcoming Fights: (8) Caleb Truax vs Peter Quillin, Aug. 31 … (2) David Benavidez vs (4) Anthony Dirrell, Sept. 28
Notes: Nothing happened in the division this week, but we do have the news now that while Canelo won’t fight Sept. 14, it does look like he’ll make his IBF mandatory defense against Sergiy Derevyanchenko, which isn’t necessarily the fight anyone wants, but isn’t a bad fight at all. And it looks like we’ll get a rubber match between Ryota Murata and Rob Brant, too.
Upcoming Fights: (1) Canelo Alvarez vs (5) Sergiy Derevyanchenko, TBA … (7) Ryota Murata vs (8) Rob Brant, TBA
Notes: Michel Soro won this past weekend, beating late replacement opponent Anderson Prestot. The wins he’s picked up since losing to Castano in July 2017 haven’t exactly been over star opponents, but he’s winning, and he’s a quality fighter.
Upcoming Fights: (3) Erislandy Lara vs Ramon Alvarez, Aug. 31
Notes: Manny Pacquiao’s decision win over Keith Thurman confirmed that Pacquiao, at 40, is indeed still a top 147-pound fighter. I wouldn’t pick him over Bud or Errol, and I don’t think I could be convinced to do so, but in my view he’s the best of the next group of fighters in the division. For me, Crawford and Spence are up at their own tier, and Manny is the best of the rest still, which is quite a thing to be at this stage of his career. I dropped Thurman behind Porter; I know Thurman has a win over Porter and that Shawn wasn’t exactly great last time out, and I didn’t even think Thurman necessarily fought poorly against Pacquiao, but I think Porter right now has the better case. I thought about putting Danny Garcia over Thurman, too, and even Ugas — thought about dropping Keith to No. 7, which I think would be fair enough, really. But I settled in the middle here. From Porter to Ugas, I don’t think there’s a ton separating anyone, you could order that any way and make a decent case, I suspect. Ugas and Lipinets both won handily on Saturday, too, of course.
Upcoming Fights: (2) Errol Spence Jr vs (4) Shawn Porter, Sept. 28
Upcoming Fights: (3) Maurice Hooker vs (4) Jose Ramirez, July 27 … (1) Regis Prograis vs (2) Josh Taylor, TBA
Notes: I haven’t made the move on Usyk/Gassiev at cruiserweight, but I’ve decided to make the move and take Mikey Garcia out of the 135-pound rankings. It’s another one I thought about weekly. My reasoning here is that Garcia last fought at 147, and every indication is that when he returns, it will be at 147 again. He vacated a belt in this division. He has said he has no plans to fight at 135. So I had him ranked out of, I dunno, some compulsion to have Garcia — a very good fighter at worst — ranked somewhere, and his last fight before the Spence loss was at 135. If Mikey decides to fight at 140 next, I’ll probably rank him at 140 ahead of whatever fight that would be. If he throws a huge curveball and returns at 135, then I’ll throw him back in here. I’ll deal with it then. Also, Teofimo Lopez fought this past weekend, and beat Masayoshi Nakatani, going a full 12 rounds. I think there was good and bad in that performance, and I sincerely worry about elements of his post-fight interview, but he stays firm here otherwise. Zaur Abdullaev takes the final spot in the top 10 for now, and has a fight with Haney lined up, which is a sneaky good matchup and should be a real step up for Haney.
Upcoming Fights: (1) Vasiliy Lomachenko vs (4) Luke Campbell, Aug. 31 … (9) Devin Haney vs (10) Zaur Abdullaev, Sept. 13
Upcoming Fights: (2) Tevin Farmer vs Guillaume Frenois, July 27 … (3) Gervonta Davis vs Ricardo Nunez, July 27
Upcoming Fights: (5) Carl Frampton vs Emmanuel Dominguez, Aug. 10 … (10) Jessie Magdaleno vs Rafael Rivera, Aug. 10
Upcoming Fights: (3) Emanuel Navarrete vs Francisco De Vaca, Aug. 17 … (9) Brandon Figueroa vs Javier Nicolas Chacon, Aug. 24 … (2) Daniel Roman vs Murodjon Akhmadaliev, TBA
Notes: Nery won again, as was expected, beating Payano. But Payano fought a good fight — I had it even after eight, with Nery having seized momentum and finding the KO shot in the ninth — and I don’t see a compelling reason to drop Payano for fighting pretty well against a heavily favored opponent. There’s not exactly anyone breaking down the door for that 10th spot otherwise. A lot of pretty good fighters (John Riel Casimero, Rau’shee Warren, Carlos Cuadras, Sho Ishida, some others), but nobody that’s making some incredible case at the moment.
Upcoming Fights: (1) Naoya Inoue vs (3) Nonito Donaire, TBA … (6) Nordine Oubaali vs (9) Takuma Inoue, TBA
Upcoming Fights: (1) Juan Francisco Estrada vs Dewayne Beamon, Aug. 24
Upcoming Fights: (1) Kosei Tanaka vs Jonathan Gonzalez, Aug. 24 … (4) Charlie Edwards vs (5) Julio Cesar Martinez, TBA
Upcoming Fights: None
Upcoming Fights: (3) Vic Saludar vs Wilfredo Mendez, Aug. 24 … (9) Sammy Salva vs Pedro Taduran, Sept. 7