Superb little fighting machine Roman Gonzalez, a warrior who sat atop of Ring Magazine’s respected pound-for-pound list since September of 2015, has been demoted. The result of his thrilling but losing battle with Thai southpaw Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (a tough name to pronounce, but one we should all get used to as the new WBC super-flyweight king promises to stick around the big fight orbit for some time), the Nicaraguan has slipped to No.4 in the mythical rankings.
But who has replaced “Chocolatito?” Fans, plenty of them anyway, might not like it, but The Bible of Boxing has replaced Gonzalez with Andre Ward. Has The Bible committed an unforgivable sin, or does Ward, last seen getting off the canvas to scrape a hugely controversial decision win over Sergey Kovalev to take the light-heavyweight titles, deserve the distinction?
To be fair, the publication’s staff did not come to their decision lightly; as Michael Rosenthal explains in his piece that accompanies the magazine’s new top-10. “In effect, Ward ended up No. 1 by elimination,” Rosenthal writes. Ward, a former super-middleweight ruler who has never (officially) lost a fight, was ranked at No.2 prior to Gonzalez’ loss, and with Kovalev losing his last fight, and with Gennady Golovkin looking distinctly average in his own close call with Danny Jacobs, neither of these fighters deserved the top spot, the Ring staff agreed.
And with Terence Crawford and Vasyl Lomachenko deemed to have not quite accomplished enough to be rated at No.1, it was decided Ward was the only logical choice. But of course, not everyone is going to like it; something Rosenthal is well aware of.
Here is Ring’s brand new P-4-P Top-10:
1: Andre Ward
2: Sergey Kovalev
3: Gennady Golovkin
4: Roman Gonzalez
5: Terence Crawford
6: Vasyl Lomachenko
7: Guillermo Rigondeaux
8: Canelo Alvarez
9: Shinsuke Yamanaka
10: Naoya Inoue
As Rosenthal writes: let the debate begin!
Has Gonzalez been dropped too far in being placed at No.4? If he wins the planned return fight with Rungvisai, will Gonzalez regain the top slot? Is GGG too high at No.3? If Ward lost a return to Kovalev, say by close decision, where would he then be ranked? And the questions go on.