In the past few months, Ring Magazine underwent some changes and tweaked a few things in regards to rating the fighters and the criteria used to do so. Some readers have voiced their displeasure with the new rating system as there seems to be some problems with the rankings of certain fighters spread across the many weight divisions in boxing. Most notably, the Pound for Pound ratings and the Top 10 Welterweight ratings raise a few questions.
But first, let’s go over the criteria The Ring uses to rank
“1. Results: This is the most objective criterion and takes precedence
above all others.
2. Performance: How a fighter performs in a victory or defeat can be a
factor to determine his place in the ratings.
3. Track record: A fighter’s accomplishment’s in the recent past can
be a factor to determine his place in the ratings. That includes
quality of opposition.”
Lets start with the P4P rankings. As of September 2012, the No. 1
spot is vacant, while Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather occupy
positions 2a. and 2b. Mayweather and Pacquiao have alternated between
one and two over the past six years or so, with Mayweather being rated
No. 2 or even off the list altogether because of his extended
periods of retirement here and there.
The two have shared ring partners over the past couple of years and
the ratings of their performances is up for interpretation. Many will
argue Pacquiao displayed the more impressive or at the very least more
exciting showings against these common opponents, while Mayweather
fought better versions of these same opponents. It all really depends
on who you ask.
We’ve established Mayweather and Pacquiao as the best fighters
regardless of division in the sport. But I am perplexed on how
Pacquiao and Mayweather are still rated the same, despite the fact
that Pacquiao lost his most recent fight, while Mayweather won his
most recent fight. I am positive most people are well aware of the
controversial decision between Timothy Bradley and Manny Pacquiao.
Although the judges scored the fight in favor of Bradley, many fans
and members of the media think Pacquiao won the fight.
Whether a decision is controversial or not, at the end of the day a
win is a win and a loss is a loss. Many people believe Roy Jones was
robbed of a gold medal in the 1988 Olympics when he lost to Park
Si-Hun despite dominating the Korean fighter every round. Many believe
Pernell Whitaker defeated Julio Cesar Chavez in their 1993 bout, in
what turned out to be a controversial draw. Most recently, many
believe Erislandy Lara beat Paul Williams and it certainly looked as
if Gabriel Campillo defeated Tavoris Cloud in their fight that took
place earlier this year. The same logic should be applied in regards
to the Timothy Bradley and Manny Pacquiao fight.
In the eyes of many, Pacquiao appeared to be the victor, but the
judges saw it the other way. The problem is that the voters on The Ring
panel did not act accordingly to the actual results of the fight. Why
is Manny Pacquiao rank tied for No. 2 in the P4P ratings and
rated as the No. 1 Welterweight despite losing? This is absurd
and goes beyond all reasons of logic. Pacquiao lost his last fight.
Whether there be controversy or not, at the end of the day, the fight
will go down in the history books as a defeat for Pacquiao.
The panel at this magazine feels like Manny won, but you still have to
acknowledge the defeat. Many people feel like Juan Manuel Marquez
defeated Manny Pacquiao in their last fight, many people think he won
at least two, if not all of their fights, but Marquez wasn’t awarded
any kind of consolidation prize for his inside-the-ring brilliance.
Obviously, the panel at Ring Magazine did not use "Results" as part
of their criteria for their recent fighter ratings. Apparently, they
did not use “Performance” as part as their criteria to rate the
If we are going by a fighter’s performance in the ring, in this
instance with Pacquiao, he shouldn’t be ranked as the first or second
fighter in the P4P ratings. In Pacquiao’s last official win against
Marquez, which took place late last year, he looked bad and many people
thought he lost against Marquez. As a matter of fact, Pacquiao has not
had a good performance in years. Even before he fought Marquez for a
third time last year, he fought a washed up 40-year-old Shane Mosley,
in a bout where both fighters looked terrible. And even before that
horrendous exhibition that I wouldn’t even force my worst enemy to
witness, he fought Antonio Margarito. Heading into the fight against
Pacquiao, Margarito was coming off a year-long suspension from his
illegal hand wrap scandal, a tune up against a bum, and before all of
that, Margarito suffered a knock-out defeat against Mosley, prior to
his one-year suspension from the sport.
Compare that to Floyd Mayweather’s last two or three bouts. A dominant
victory over Mosley, who was coming off the knock-out of Margarito and
a knock-out victory over the newly crowned WBC Welterweight Champion
Victor Ortiz, who is a young and powerful fighter. The mental
toughness and ring awareness of Ortiz can certainly be questioned, but
he is a strong fighter nonetheless. Mayweather emerged victorious over
Juan Manuel Marquez and boasts a victory over Miguel Cotto as well.
Cotto was riding a four-fight win streak and Mayweather moved up to
Cotto’s weight class of junior middleweight, instead of insisting on
some ridiculous catch weight.
Mayweather dominated Marquez coming off an 18-month layoff. Granted
Marquez moved up two divisions, which is a tough task in itself, but
Marquez also did the same in his most recent bout against Pacquiao and,
in the eyes of many, won their last fight. Take it for what it’s worth.
Marquez was the No. 1 lightweight in the world, Mosley was the
No. 1 welterweight in the world and Cotto was the No. 1 junior
middleweight in the world when they all met defeat at the hands of
Mayweather. You can make a strong argument for Mayweather’s body of
work being more impressive than Pacquiao’s body of work in recent
You can also make cases for Andre Ward, Carl Froch and recent Pacquiao-conqueror Timothy Bradley, among others. Speaking of which, Bradley is
ranked No. 8 in the P4P rankings and No. 6 in the Welterweight
rankings. So, after he moved up in weight and defeated one of the best
fighters in the sport, he can’t even crack the Top Five, not only on
the P4P list, but in his division as well? Why is he ranked so low? We
can use the third criterion “Track Record.”
Bradley has defeated the likes of Manny Pacquiao, Lamont Peterson,
Devon Alexander, Kendall Holt, Joel Casamayor and Nate Campbell.
Albeit Casamayor and Campbell were past their primes, Bradley has
amassed a solid resume over the past couple of years.
He was the No. 1 Junior Welterweight in the world, moved up in
weight class and defeated one of the top-two Welterweight and P4P
fighters in the world and he’s not in the Top Five ratings for his
division and P4P? Meanwhile, Pacquiao is ranked No. 1 at
Welterweight, rated 2a. P4P wise despite losing his last fight to a
guy who moved up in weight, and add to that he has not had an
impressive performance in over two years?
I don’t question the parameters of the criteria used to rate fighters
amongst divisions. It’s a fairly simple criteria to use, but it may
depend on each person’s opinion. I do, however, question the legitimacy of
each person on the panel who rates these fighters. The Ring is
losing credibility, period. Bible of boxing seems more like blasphemy.