by Cliff Rold
Things don’t stand still.
In a year full of movement, thrilling fights, and big knockouts, the last couple weeks have been chock full of some of 2013’s best stuff. Jhonny Gonzalez might be the feel good story of the year after his upset of Abner Mares while Mares found a new way to color himself in glory, losing with class.
Two new titlists reign at 122 lbs., a new terror is realized at Light Heavyweight, and Wladimir Klitschko may have his post-Povetkin dance card ready to go. Assuming of course that he beats Alexander Povetkin in October, Kubrat Pulev is a looming challenge.
Lumping two weeks into one update, this is the BoxingScene divisional ratings update.
Heavyweight: It was far from pretty but Kubrat Pulev solved and defeated Tony Thompson to move himself into serious contention and up the ranks here. Thompson, still only weeks from a second win over David Price, slips only slightly.
Light Heavyweight: His third win over a former titlist is his last four starts may have been his most impressive. Andrzej Fonfara struggled against a determined Gabriel Campillo but ultimately came out on top. The next day, the last man to defeat Campillo had his say. Regular readers will indulge this opportunity for a brief, overdue post-fight report card for Sergey Kovalev-Nathan Cleverly:
Pre-Fight: Speed – Cleverly B+; Kovalev B/Post: Same
Pre-Fight: Power – Cleverly B-; Kovalev A/Post: Same
Pre-Fight: Defense – Cleverly B; Kovalev B/Post: C-; B+
Pre-Fight: Intangibles – Cleverly B+; Kovalev B+/Post: C; A
Kovalev lived up to the force projected in his win over Campillo while Cleverly was shown as a fighter without an answer. Kovalev is an awesome thing to watch when he cranks up the offense. He has a crafty up and down jab and sneaky whip to the body reminiscent of Heavyweight great Larry Holmes. The difference is Kovalev is a born puncher. He moves up the ratings here and it says in this corner Kovalev should be favored to topple lineal champion Adonis Stevenson if he ever gets the fight.
Super Middleweight: Despite a win on the bill with Pulev-Thompson, Arthur Abraham looked like a man on the slide and drops a couple to men who appear headed in the opposite direction.
Middleweight: Darren Barker makes a strong move into the top ten. Sam Soliman gets an overdue removal after a positive drug test following his debated win over Felix Sturm.
Featherweight: Jhonny Gonzalez gets a surge up the ratings but Mares, still only one fight removed from a solid win over Daniel Ponce De Leon, only a drops a little. A rematch clause has been invoked.
Jr. Featherweight: Two big title changes at 122 lbs. mean a welcome to the ratings for Kiko Martinez and a significant rise for Leo Santa Cruz. Victor Terrazas, who was awarded a highly debatable decision to win his belt before the Santa Cruz fight, slips a few slots.
Report Card Picks 2013: 34-20
The full results of note and the total impact on the ratings are a click away.
Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene, a founding member of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, and a member the Yahoo Pound for Pound voting panel, and the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be reached at [email protected]