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On the Move: SecondsOut World Rankings

By Derek Bonnett

Aside from the ring action which transpired inside of the squared circles around the world, there was a small buzz on-line concerning professional leather throwing on the international scene in a historical frame of reference. That’s right, the list of candidates for induction into the International Boxing Hall of Fame was released and, thus, generated some mild conversation as far as who was or was not deserving from the modern era. To my surprise, fans were rather harsh in their assessments of many popular champions and their respective careers. The list of modern fighters on the docket are as follows: Paulie Ayala, Nigel Benn, Riddick Bowe, Chris Eubank, Leo Gamez, Genaro Hernandez, Julian Jackson, Rocky Lockridge, Buddy McGirt, Ray Mancini, Michael Moorer, Sung-Kil Moon, Orzubek Nazarov, Vinny Pazienza, Lupe Pintor, Gilberto Roman, Gianfranco Rosi, Meldrick Taylor, Fernando Vargas, and Ratanapol Sor Vorapin.

I was surprised to find some of the difference of opinion regarding fighters’ merit for entry. For example, Paulie Ayala received support from certain fans even though his career was replete with controversial scoring during his title reign and, most particularly, is most significant bouts with Johnny Tapia I&II and Clarence Adams I. Yet, Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini was widely regarded as undeserving in spite of defeating Jose Luis Ramirez, Arturo Frias, Ernesto Espana, and Bobby Chacon. Now, Mancini far from sports the most impressive dossier in the history of the boxing, but are record and win-loss statistics the only attributes through which a Hall of Fame fighter should be measured?


Winning world championships and defending them against world class opposition are certainly key factors, but what about the intangibles? For example, take Julian Jackson, who was both a champion and one who held onto his belt. In addition, Jackson is considered one of the hardest, if not the hardest puncher, Pound for Pound in boxing history. His knockouts were manufactured in stunning fashion throughout his time as a middleweight titlist. His bouts with Buster Drayton, Terry Norris, Herol Graham, and Dennis Milton are just a few which fans still love to visit on YouTube. Jackson didn’t always win, but he faced contemporaries like Mike McCallum and Gerald McClellan in meaningful showdowns which captured the full attention of the boxing world for their entertainment value. Yet, most opinions stated that The Hawk soared too low to make it into the Hall. Conversely, Nigel Benn, who had a very similar career as Jackson was widely favored to be inducted. Oddly, not as many felt the same for Chris Eubank.


For other fighters, it’s a numbers game. Leo Gamez is a four-division world champion, a credential not easily boasted. Yet, most experts won’t marvel over Gamez’ opposition or the fact that he was 7-7-1 in world title fights and only 6-12 against former world champions. That first distinction keeps Gamez in the conversation though. Others like Gianfranco Rosi or Ratanapol Sor Vorapin developed into longstanding champions with copious title defenses under their belt. Similarly to Gamez, their dossiers were not built against a murderer’s row of contenders.


Then, when you look at a guy like Sung-Kil Moon, you get what some might call the full package. You have a champion with a sizable reign against a truly top-notch caliber of opposition. Yet, Moon only had twenty-two bouts! He split a pair with Khaokor Galaxy, twice beat Nana Konadu, outscored Gilberto Roman (also in consideration for induction), Greg Richardson, Hilario Zapata, and Carlos Gabriel Salazar. I would be remiss if I neglected to mention that Moon is arguably the greatest fighter in his division’s history.


Of the entire list, if I had a vote, I would personally place Sung-Kil Moon as my top choice, but there are very few of this year’s candidates that I would say are undeserving. Now, they can’t all be voted in as part of the Class of 2015, but each man surely made his mark in the sport of boxing one way or the other. As experts or fans, we must know it is okay to examine each fighter and hold him under close scrutiny, but it is also imperative to remember we have multiple lenses through which we should conduct our observation.


SecondsOut ranked fighters in action:


On Wednesday, October 1, at I-Mobile Football Stadium, Buriram, Thailand, Carlos Buitrago lost a controversial unanimous decision to Knockout CP Freshmart in a twelve round interim WBA minimumweight title bout. The hometown scores favored Freshmart 115-113 thrice. The new interim titlist, or number one contender, raised his ledger to 9-0 (5). Buitrago dipped to 27-1-1 (16).


Freshmart debuted in the SecondsOut minimumweight rankings at number six. Buitrago fell from fifth to seventh. Oswaldo Novoa climbed from sixth to fifth.


Also on this date, at Barker Hangar, Santa Monica, California, USA, Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam won a lopsided unanimous decision over Curtis Stevens in a twelve round middleweight bout. The scores favored the France-based fighter 119-108 and 116-111 twice. N’Jikam dropped Stevens in round eight and upped his dossier to 31-1 (18). Stevens fell to 27-5 (20).


N’Jikam reclaimed the number ten position among SecondsOut’s top-performing middleweights.


On Saturday, October 4, at Cancha de Usos Multiples Praderas de Villa, Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico, Jhonny Gonzalez scored an eleventh round TKO of Jorge Arce in a WBC featherweight title bout. The end came at the 2:43 mark. Gonzalez dropped Arce in the third, fifth, and ninth rounds. Gonzalez notched the second defense of his title and lifted his ledger to 57-8 (48). Arce crashed to 64-8-2 (49) and once again announced his retirement.

Gonzalez remained SecondsOut’s top-rated featherweight in the world today.


Also on this date, at Foxwoods Resort, Mashantucket, Connecticut, USA, Rances Barthelemy won a three judge shutout of Fernando David Saucedo in a twelve round IBF super featherweight title bout. The unanimous scores were 120-108 thrice. Barthelemy made the first defense of his title and raised his numbers to 21-0 (12) 1 NC. Saucedo fell to 52-6-3 (8).


Barthelemy retained his number three rating among SecondsOut’s highest regarded super featherweights.


Also on the card, Chad Dawson was upset by Tommy Karpency in a ten round light heavyweight bout. Karpency won the split decision by scores of 96-94 twice and 94-96. Karpency raised his record to 24-4-1 (14). Dawson fell to 32-4 (18).


Karpency claimed the ever so shaky number ten position amid SecondsOut’s highest rated light heavyweights.


SecondsOut ranked fighters in action through Sunday, October 12, 2014:

On Wednesday, October 8:


At Beau Rivage Resort & Casino, Biloxi, Mississippi, USA, Sam Soliman versus Jermain Taylor in a twelve round IBF middleweight title bout


On Saturday, October 11:

At Oasis Hotel Complex, Cancun, Quintana Roo, Mexico, Carlos Molina versus Cornelius Bundrage in a twelve round IBF light middleweight title bout


At Davao City Recreation Center, Davao City, Davao del Sur, Philippines, Rey Loreto versus Heri Amol in a ten round light flyweight bout


At O2 Arena, Greenwich, London, United Kingdom, Lee Selby versus Joel Brunker in a twelve round featherweight bout


To check out Derek’s SecondsOut rankings click on the link below

For further boxing discussion, contact Derek DBO Bonnett on Facebook. Be sure to "LIKE" SecondsOut on Facebook!

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