By Derek Bonnett: One of the biggest knocks on a long reigning champion once they have cleaned up their respective division is their unwillingness to move up in weight and ply their trade among naturally bigger challenges. Even while Bernard Hopkins and Ricardo Lopez were establishing title reigns topping any previous divisional records historically, fight aficionados called for bigger challenges to take place. Eventually, both men complied and added belts to their trophy cases. However, today we are seeing a lot more division hopping and belt collecting, but this generation is forgetting one key page from the books of Hopkins and Lopez: they exhausted the supply of worthy challengers and cleaned out their divisions. In recent weeks, two top-performing champions in Abner Mares and Leo Santa Cruz have vacated their titles to move up in weight. However, behind them they left myriad world class fighters in their respective divisions. Fighters who would have made for electric showdowns and super fight caliber bouts. In a sport where legacy means a great deal, fighters like Mares and Santa Cruz have potentially missed out on some career defining bouts win or lose. It remains to be seen which path either man will choose at the higher weight classes. Neither man has a reputation for avoiding a tough fight, particularly Mares, but the belt collecting trend, also being pursued by Adrien Broner and Nonito Donaire, can prove to be a costly career plan. In boxing, more is always more, but greater dominance against the best surely outweighs a greater number of alphabet trinkets in one’s trophy case. The way of Hopkins and Lopez has not been forgotten though. Andre Ward has done a fine job of clearly the super middleweight ranks to establish a strong legacy in the division. In his case, it may actually be time to move on.
Now, these SecondsOut ranked fighters saw action this week and remained On the Move.
On Wednesday, February 13, at Pratunampra-in, Wangnoi, Ayutthaya, Thailand, Oleydong Sithsamerchai, won a unanimous six round decision over Falazona Fidal. The super flyweight contender improved his record to 46-1-1 (16) with the tune-up win. Fidal dropped to 19-34-1 (7).
Sithsamerchai fought for the second time within a two month span and held onto his number six super flyweight ranking at SecondsOut.
On Saturday, February 16, at Auditorio Municipal, Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico, Alejandro Lopez dropped a split decision to Jonathon Romero in a twelve round vacant IBF super bantamweight title bout. Romero prevailed by scores of 116-111 and 115-112 with one dissenting score of 112-115. Romero remained unbeaten at 23-0 (12). Lopez dipped to 24-3 (7).
Romero entered the SecondsOut super bantamweight rankings at number nine. Lopez fell from eighth to tenth. Jeffrey Mathebula exited for the time being.
Also on this date, at Emperor’s Palace, Kempton Park, Gautang, South Africa, Hekkie Budler decisioned Renan Trongco in a twelve round minimumweight bout. Budler received winning scores of 118-110 and 117-111 twice. Budler’s resume improved to 22-1 (6). Trongco fell to 12-4 (8).
Budler remained ranked number eight among SecondsOut’s top minimumweights.
Also on this date, at Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA, Adrien Broner stopped Gavin Rees in the fifth round of a WBC lightweight title bout. Rees’ corner surrendered at the 2:59 mark after the Welshman was dropped in the fourth and fifth rounds. Broner retained his WBC lightweight title for the first time and moved his ledger to 26-0 (22). Rees gamely fell to 37-2-1 (18).
Broner claimed the number one SecondsOut lightweight spot from Ricky Burns. Burns was pushed to number two. Rees held onto his number eight ranking due to his game showing.
Also on the card, Sakio Bika outpointed Nikola Sjekloca in a twelve round super middleweight bout. Bika won by scores of 120-108, 119-109, and 118-112. He raised his professional numbers to 31-5-2 (21). Sjekloca dipped to 25-1 (7).
Bika held onto his number six ranking among SecondsOut’s top super middleweights.
Also on the move, Leo Santa Cruz has vacated his IBF bantamweight title to campaign at 122 pounds. He gave up his number three ranking at SecondsOut for a number five ranking at super bantamweight. Replacing him at bantamweight is Malcolm Tunacao, who came in at number ten. Cristian Mijares exited the super bantamweight rankings after just one week with the addition of Santa Cruz.
Also on the move, Kompayak Porpramook was removed from the junior flyweight rankings after making a full-time move to flyweight this week. Ulises Solis has also been removed from this division to campaign at flyweight. Neither has been ranked at 112-pounds at this time. Replacing them at junior flyweight are Alberto Rossel, who re-emerged at number nine. Luis Alberto Rios filled the ten spot.
Also on the move, both Tavoris Cloud and Chris Arreola have been dropped to the ten spot in their respective divisions for one year of inactivity. Neither were fully dropped from the SecondsOut rankings due to having scheduled bouts in the coming weeks.
SecondsOut ranked fighters in action through Sunday, February 24:
On Saturday, February, 23:
At Centro de Convenciones de Ixtapa, Ixtapa Zihuantanejo, Mexico: Jhonny Gonzalez versus Eusebio Osejo in a twelve round featherweight bout
At Masonic Temple, Detroit Michigan, USA: Cornelius Bundrage versus Ishe Smith in a twelve round IBF junior middleweight title bout
To check out Derek’s SecondsOut rankings click on the link www.digenie.net/sorankings/p_so_world.asp
For further boxing discussion, contact Derek DBO Bonnett on Facebook or at email@example.com