Ring Rankings Replace & Flashback: Alimkhanuly and Buatsi advance, 1997 rankings

Janibek Alimkhanuly celebrates after stopping Danny Dignum for the WBO interim middleweight title at Resorts World Las Vegas on Might 21, 2022 in Las Vegas. Picture by Mikey Williams/High Rank Inc by way of Getty Pictures

The previous weekend was a comparatively quiet one by way of Ring-rated fighters, so I figured we may take one other stroll down reminiscence lane – 25 years in the past to the 1997 rankings – however first let’s go over the rankings updates for the week of Might 15-21.

The one notable advances have been small steps ahead by California-based middleweight contender Zhanibek Alimkhanuly and budding British gentle heavyweight star Joshua Buatsi.

Alimkhanuly destroyed the overmatched Dignum. Picture by Mikey Williams/High Rank Inc by way of Getty Pictures

Alimkhanuly (12-0, 8 KOs) brutally dismissed overmatched Danny Dignum, scoring an attention-grabbing KO within the second spherical of their scheduled 12-round bout for the WBO’s “interim” title. The 29-year-old Kazakhstani, who scored stoppages of former contender Rob Brant and pale former titleholder Hassan Ndam in 2021, moved from No. 6 to No. 5, supplanting Chris Eubank Jr.

Buatsi (16-0, 13 KOs) obtained significantly extra resistance from his opponent, former WBA title challenger Craig Richards, who gave Dmitry Bivol a stern problem final Might and was capable of prolong the 2016 Olympic bronze medalist 12 aggressive rounds. The 29-year-old Buatsi moved from No. 9 to No. 8, supplanting countryman Anthony Yarde.

A few veterans have been faraway from lofty positions they’ve held of their respective weight courses for years (though one among them resurfaced in a heavier division). Jamel Herring exited the junior light-weight rankings following a 10-round choice loss to unbeaten light-weight prospect Jermaine Ortiz, after which the 2012 U.S. Olympian and former WBO 130-pound titleholder introduced his retirement.

Jamaine Ortiz (left) vs. Jamel Herring. Photo courtesy of ESPNESPN

Jamaine Ortiz (left) vs. Jamel Herring. Picture courtesy of ESPNESPN

And former junior flyweight titleholder Felix Alvarado exited the 108-pound rankings after abdicating his IBF belt and making a profitable debut at flyweight, stopping unrated Luis Cerrito Hernandez in 4 rounds. Alvarado entered the 112-pound rankings at No. 10.

The Panel’s predominant discourse was centered on whether or not to re-rank Jean Pascal after the veteran’s 12-round choice over unbeaten-but-unrated Fanlong Meng. You might recall that Pascal had been dropped from The Ring’s 175-pound rankings after testing optimistic for a wide range of banned performance-enhancing medication final Might, only a week earlier than a scuttled rematch with Badou Jack.

Panelist Anson Wainwright instructed re-entering the battle-worn former champ at No. 10, however fellow panelist Michael Montero took situation with that opinion given Pascal’s current PED historical past.

“I agreed with all of your (different) recommendations Anson, aside from one: I simply can’t price Pascal after being such an egregious doper,” stated Montero. “It’s not like he popped for one factor, it was a cocktail, type of like Jarrell Miller.”

Panelist Martin Mulcahey added his two cents: “Jean Pascal is simply not going away. I can’t deny his file of late, and general it’s a lot better than our present No. 10, Mathieu Bauderlique. Nonetheless, it’s not been a yr since Pascal was busted, so I say we proceed to maintain him out till at the least after June.”

Replied Wainwright: “No points if Pascal doesn’t re-enter. This was a strong win and he was stringently examined for this battle. I most popular (this win) over something Mathieu Bauderlique has.”

Jean Pascal (right) takes it to Badou Jack during the middle rounds of their closely contested light heavyweight bout. Photo courtesy of Showtime

Jean Pascal (proper) takes it to Badou Jack throughout the center rounds of their carefully contested gentle heavyweight bout. Picture courtesy of Showtime

Managing Editor Tom Grey reminded the Panel of The Ring’s coverage on re-entering fighters faraway from the rankings for optimistic PED assessments.

“If our coverage is to reinstate fighters who’ve beforehand failed PED assessments, then Pascal ought to be no totally different,” stated Grey. “The quantity/number of PEDs makes no distinction. It’s straight up dishonest. However until we’re taking the stance to ban all fighters who’ve beforehand popped soiled, then we’ve to deal with Pascal the identical as each different fighter.

“Pascal’s actions have been disgraceful and his lengthy standing punishment can be that nobody will ever overlook it.”

Added Yours Actually: “I agree, Tom. Both Pascal’s win over Meng is sufficient to get him again within the rankings, or it isn’t. I by no means thought a lot of Meng, so I don’t actually thoughts if Pascal stays exterior of our gentle heavyweight high 10.”

Replied Wainwright: “No robust push this finish, I simply felt that Pascal’s win over Meng was higher than something Bauderlique has on his resume.”

Since no one on the Panel had a robust need to push for Pascal’s top-10 re-inclusion, the veteran remained out.


RING RATINGS UPDATE (as of Might 21):

Gentle heavyweight – Buatsi advances to No. 8.

Tremendous middleweight – David Benavidez stays at No. 1 after a three-round smashing of brave-but-overwhelmed veteran David Lemieux, who exits the rankings. NABF titleholder Erik Bazinyan (27-0, 21 KOs) enters at No. 10.

David Benavidez clips David Lemieux with a proper cross. Picture by Danielle Cortez for The Ring

“David Benavidez did precisely, perhaps a bit extra, than anticipated with the sport however a lot smaller David Lemieux,” stated Mulcahey. “Simply destroyed him, and confirmed what he can do when correctly motivated and educated. Fairly weak 168(-pound rankings) on the backside, so we kinda should go along with potential over confirmed capacity. I like Erik Bazinyan as effectively, however I feel Vladimir Shishkin says he can nonetheless make 168… if he can, I’d go along with him. And even Carlos Gongora who gave our present No. 10 a very powerful battle, and has a greater win than Bazinyan.”

Answered Wainwright: “Shishkin was somebody who I thought of however his profession has stalled over the previous few years and so I went with Bazinyan, who was newbie, seems to be actually good, and is lively.”

Middleweight – Alimkhanuly advances to No. 5.

“Alimkhanuly walked by means of overmatched Danny Dignum in two straightforward rounds,” stated Wainwright. “Alimkhanuly appeared scary good. Unsure the opponent deserves a transfer up however given the way wherein Alimkhanuly received, I consider it does.”

Junior light-weight – Herring exits. Albert Bell (21-0, 6 KOs) enters at No. 10.

“I ought to vote in opposition to Albert Bell due to that vast beard they permit him to enter the ring with,” joked Mulcahey. “Nevertheless, I’ve advocated for him prior to now for consideration so I’m all in for him at No. 10. Additionally, Anson has most likely seen extra of him than me however is Zelfa Barrett a consideration right here? I favored what I noticed in opposition to Kiko Martinez and his final outing.”

Answered Wainwright: “Barrett doesn’t overly impress me. That stated, I’m wanting ahead to seeing him battle for the European title in a couple of weeks. It’s not a robust division exterior Shakur Stevenson, who’s head and shoulders after which some over everybody, so perhaps Barrett will attain a degree to get ranked sooner or later.”

Flyweight – Felix Alvarado (38-2, 33 KOs) enters at No. 10.

Junior flyweight – Alvarado exits. Carlos Canizales (24-1-1, 18 KOs) enters at No. 10.


RING RATINGS FLASHBACK (as of Might 1997):

Twenty-five years in the past, in Might of 1997, Oscar De La Hoya was No. 1 at welterweight and within the pound-for-pound rankings. Simply 24 years previous and with solely 24 professional bouts, The Golden Boy was already a three-division world titleholder. His third and most up-to-date championship (acquired one month prior) was the WBC welterweight title by way of unanimous (albeit disputed) choice over Pernell Whitaker, a victory that earned him the highest spots at 147 kilos and within the legendary rankings, in line with The Ring’s Editorial Board on the time.

Nevertheless, the boxing world was cut up (because it typically is) on who deserved to sit down atop the pound-for-pound throne. The talk was the topic of the duvet story for the September 1997 situation of The Ring, which went to press a couple of month after De La Hoya beat Whitaker and supplanted Roy Jones Jr. because the P4P King. On the time, De La Hoya, Jones and Whitaker have been Nos. 1, 2 and three within the pound-for-pound rankings, however many followers and boxing insiders continued to price Jones (who was coming off a controversial DQ loss to Montell Griffin) or Whitaker as No. 1. The quilt story consisted of a ballot of “specialists” – journalists, promoters, managers, matchmakers, broadcasters, and boxers – compiled by Editor-In-Chief Steve Farhood.

Right here’s what the whole P4P high 10 appeared like on the time:


1. Oscar De La Hoya


2. Roy Jones 

Gentle Heavyweight

3. Pernell Whitaker


4. Felix Trinidad


5. Ricardo Lopez


6. Junior Jones

Junior Featherweight

7. Kostya Tszyu

Junior Welterweight

8. Terry Norris

Junior Middleweight

9. Evander Holyfield


10. Mark Johnson



Most of those that favored De La Hoya at No. 1 did so due to the standard of his opposition and the world class-to-elite degree of his potential opposition, which they equated to his “potential greatness.”

They’d a degree. The 1992 Olympic gold medalist ended 1995 because the Fighter of the Yr and the the star of the light-weight division by beating John-John Molina (No. 9 at light-weight, see the rankings beneath), Genaro Gernandez (No. 1 at junior light-weight), Rafael Ruelas (No. 7 at junior welterweight) and Jesse James Leija (who had been rated at light-weight in ‘95). De La Hoya beat the good Julio Cesar Chavez and Miguel Angel Gonzalez (Nos. 3 and 4 at junior welterweight) in 1996 and the beginning of 1997.

Whitaker, the person he most just lately defeated, was nonetheless at No. 2 at welterweight, a division that was house to a number of future opponents: No. 3 Felix Trinidad (31-0, IBF titleholder), No. 4 Ike Quartey (34-0, WBA titleholder), No. 6 Oba Carr, No. 7 the much-maligned Patrick Charpentier, and No. 8 Wilfredo Rivera. De La Hoya confronted all of them by September 1999.

A couple of months after the September 1997 situation was printed, light-weight up-and-comer Shane Mosley would advance into the highest three of the 135-pound rankings by dethroning No. 1-rated Phillip Vacation for the IBF title. The blast from Oscar’s previous would finally problem De La Hoya for the WBC welterweight title (and the No. 1 spot within the pound-for-pound rankings) in the summertime of 2000.



1. Phillip Vacation

South Africa 30-0 (IBF Champ)

2. Orzubek Nazarov

Japan 24-0 (WBA Champ)

3. Steve Johnston

Denver, CO 21-0 (WBC Champ)

  1. George Scott

Pembroke Pines, FL 31-1

5. Shane Mosley

Pomona, CA 23-0

6. Ivan Robinson

Delran, NJ 23-1

7. Azumah Nelson

Ghana 39-4-2

8. Jean-Baptiste Mendy

France 49-6-2

9. John-John Molina

Puerto Rico 41-4

10. Artur Grigorjan

Uzbekistan 22-0


E-mail Fischer at [email protected] Comply with him on Twitter and IG at @dougiefischer, and be part of him, Tom Loeffler, Coach Schwartz and buddies by way of Tom’s or Doug’s IG Dwell each Sunday.


fbq(‘init’, ‘161022561146884’);
fbq(‘monitor’, ‘PageView’);
(operate(d, s, id) {
var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];
if (d.getElementById(id)) return;
js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id;
js.src = “//join.fb.internet/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&model=v2.10&appId=128026463954740”;
fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);
}(doc, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’));

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *