May 28, 2013

Bantamweights & Below - Boxing's Other Five Weight Divisions Vol. 5

Rungvisai upsets and dethrones Sato
By Derek "DBO" Bonnett ~ Organizing the top fighters of a particular weight class into unassailable divisional rankings is a skill I would love to learn. As a would-be ambassador to the lightest divisions in the sport, I am often pressed by fellow boxing addicts to share my thoughts about certain lighter weight fighters prior to fight time or once a significant bout is scheduled. I was recently engaged in a discussion about some of the top fighters from Japan. At the time, I said Yota Sato, but that Shinsuke Yamanaka was right on his tail. Well, just this month Sato was dethroned by Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, a boxer, who had not actually cracked my top ten! Additionally, another upset artist who crashed my rankings recently, Kohei Kono, was dethroned by yet another contender who was only on the cusp of my top ten.

The ranking of fighters is an imperfect science which balances unequal parts of resume, ability, and performance. I am not sure the math is always the same or when one indicator supersedes the other. It takes a bit of analysis and a whole lot of judgment. Again, I am not sure which is more valid or when! Rankings, the way I see them, are a living thing since they are constantly changing. I struggle with the formula for the perfect rankings system because I do not believe it actually exists. However, I never tire of trying to find the magic elixir. Now that I have given complete Bantamweight and Below divisional rankings over the last five volumes, next month readers can look forward to rankings specific to certain nations' prominent boxers from Bantamweight and Below.

World Class Boxing Results at Bantamweight & Below:

On Friday, May 3, at Plaza del Farrocarril, Grenada, Nicaragua, Carlos Buitrago scored a first round TKO over Yader Escobar in a light flyweight bout. Buitrago dropped Escobar three times in the opening frame to force a stoppage at the 1:24 mark. Buitrago elevated his record to 26-0 (16). Escobar fell to 25-5-1 (13). Buitrago moved from seventh to sixth in my minimumweight rankings. Although he has contested in multiple above the weight bouts, he is still ranked by all major sanctioning bodies at 105 pounds including a number two spot in the WBO standings. Hekkie Budler was moved from sixth to seventh in my divisional ranking. 

Team Rungvisai celebrates a surprise win over Sato
Also on Friday, May 3, in Khonmunagsri Stadium, Si Sa Ket , Thailand, Yato Sato suffered an upset eighth round TKO loss to Srisaket Sor Rungvisai in a WBC super flyweight title bout. The bout was waved off at the 1:23 mark of the round. Rungvisai improved his record to 19-3-1 (18). Sato fell to 26-3-1 (12). Yato Sato fell from first to fourth among my top super flyweights. Rungvisai debuted at number three. Omar Andres Narvaez reclaimed the top spot. Juan Carlos Sanchez Jr. moved from third to second. Denkaosan Kaovichit exited to make room.

Also on the card, Suriyan Sor Rungvisai defeated Jilo Merlin by unanimous decision in a ten round super bantamweight bout. Rungvisai improved to 26-5-1 (10). Merlin fell to 13-16-2 (2). Rungvisai remained busy to hold his number six ranking among my bantamweight bunch.

On Monday, May 6, Kohei Kono dropped a majority decision to Liborio Solis in a twelve round WBA super flyweight title bout. Solis hit the canvas in the second round. Kono hit the deck in the eighth. The judges favored the challenger by margins of 115-111, 114-112, and 113-113. Solis improved his record to 15-3-1 (7). Kono, who was trying to make his first defense, fell to 28-8 (11). Solis, who had been on the cusp of the top ten, crashed my rankings at number five. Kono fell from fifth to sixth. Ryo Akaho exited once again to make room. The six through nine contenders each fell one ranking.

Ioka drops Kokietgym in the 9th round
On Wednesday, May 8, at Bodymaker Colosseum, Osaka, Osaka, Japan, Kazuto Ioka stopped Wisanu Kokietgym in nine rounds of WBA junior flyweight title bout. Wisanu hit the canvas in the ninth before the bout was stopped at the 2:51 mark. Ioka raised his ledger to 12-0 (8). Wisanu fell to 43-9-2 (13). Ioka retained his number three ranking in my light flyweight rankings.

Also on the card, Ryo Miyazaki stopped Carlos Velarde in five rounds of a WBA minimumweight title bout. Velarde hit the canvas in the fifth. Miyazaki made the first defense of his title and raised his record to 19-0-3 (11). Velarde fell to 23-3-1 (13). Miyazaki jumped to ninth from tenth among my performing 105-pounders, but looks as though he may be quickly on the rise. Merlito Sabillo fell from ninth to tenth.

On Friday, May 10, at Wat Punoi, Ban Mi, Thailand, Tepparith Kokietgym won a unanimous decision over Jecker Buhawe in a twelve round super flyweight bout. All three judges scored the bout 119-109. Kokietgym won for the second time this year since losing his title to Kohei Kono. He raised his record to 23-3 (13). Buhawe dropped to 14-8-1 (9). In spite of the win, Kokietgym fell from sixth to seventh due to greater activity in the my divisional standings at super flyweight.

Also on this date, at Nahkon Sawan, Thailand, Pungluang Sor Singyu stopped late sub Juma Fundi in two rounds of a bantamweight bout. The bout ended at the 1:22 mark. The win marked Singyu's first since losing his WBO belt in March. Singyu lifted his dossier to 44-2 (29). Fundi fell to 19-9-1 (9). Singyu remained number nine among my top rated bantamweights.

On Saturday, May 11, in Toluca, Mexico, Mexico, Adrian Hernandez won a unanimous decision over Yader Cardoza in a twelve round WBC junior flyweight title bout. The scores favored the champion 118-110 and 116-112 twice. The win marked the second defense of Hernandez' second reign. Hernandez raised his record to 27-2-1 (16). Cardoza fell to 15-5 (5). Hernandez kept his second place ranking among my top-ranked light flyweights.

Also on this date, at Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster, Yorkshire, United Kingdom, Jamie McDonnell outpointed Julio Ceja by majority decision in a twelve round vacant IBF bantamweight title bout. The judges favored McDonnell 118-110, 115-113, and 114-114. The new champion moved his record to 21-2-1 (9). Ceja fell to 24-1 (22). McDonnell jumped from nine to seven in my bantamweight rankings. Ceja fell from seventh to tenth.

Sosa outpoints Segura in Mexico
On Saturday, May 18, at Plaza del Toros Eloy Cavazos, Zitacuaro, Michoacán de Ocampo, Mexico, Edgar Sosa won a unanimous decision over Giovanni Segura in a twelve round flyweight bout. Sosa prevailed by scores of 116-112, 115-112, and 114-113. Segura was penalized for a low blow in round nine. Sosa raised his record to 49-7 (29). Segura dropped to 29-3-1 (25). Sosa climbed from sixth to fourth among my top flyweight contenders. Segura dropped from ninth to tenth. Milan Melindo was pushed from fourth to fifth. Hernandez Marquez fell from fifth to sixth. Toshiyuki Igarashi was bumped from tenth to ninth.

On Saturday, May 25, at Estadio Luna Park, Buenos Aires, Distrito Federal, Argentina, Omar Andres Narvaez labored to a split decision victory over Felipe Orucuta in a twelve round WBO super flyweight bout. One judges favored the challenger 118-110 while the others had it 115-113 twice for the champion. Narvaez made his seventh title defense and raised his ledger to 39-1-2 (20). Orucuta dipped to 27-2 (23). Narvaez fell back down to number two in my divisional rankings after the shaky showing. Juan Carlos Sanchez moved into the top spot. Orucuta remains just on the outside of a very unstable super flyweight top ten.

On Saturday, May 25, at Polideportivo Espana, Managua, Nicaragua, Roman Gonzalez forced a fifth round TKO of Ronald Barrera in a flyweight non-title bout. Barrera was put to the canvas in the fifth round before the referee stepped in to call a halt. Gonzalez raised his dossier to 35-0 (29). Barrera fell to 31-12-2 (19). Gonzalez has a lock on my number one 108-pound ranking with a showdown against Kazuto Ioka on the horizon.

Bantamweight & Below Featured Rankings: Bantamweights (118 lbs.)

Yamanaka #1 at 118
1. Shinsuke Yamanaka ~ Japan 18-0-2 (13) ~ WBC
2. Anselmo Moreno ~ Panama 33-2-1 (12) ~ WBA
3. Koki Kameda ~ Japan 30-1-0 (17)
4. Hugo Ruiz ~ Mexico 31-2-0 (28)
5. Joseph Agbeko ~ Ghana 29-4-0 (22)
6. Suriyan Sor Rungvisai ~ Thailand 26-5-1 (10)
7. Jamie McDonnell ~ UK 21-2-1 (9) IBF
8. Paulus Ambunda ~ Namibia 20-0-0 (10) ~ WBO
9. Pungluang Sor Singyu ~ Thailand 43-2-0 (28)
10. Julio Ceja ~ Mexico 24-1-0 (22) 

Bantamweight & Below: Give That Man a Title Shot! 

Cuadras makes his case for a title shot
Carlos "Principe" Cuadras, 28-0 (23), is a super flyweight fast on the rise. In a division which has had a major overhaul in the last few weeks, Cuadras figures to play a big part in the shaping of a more stabilized 115-pound weight class. In March, Cuadras, yet another world class product of Mexico's Distrito Federal, pounded durable crowd pleaser Victor Zaleta into a seventh round TKO. To round out 2012, Cuadras posted a unanimous decision over Fernando Lumacad and a seventh round TKO of three time world title challenger Ronald Barrera.

The Zaleta victory earned Cuadras distinction as the number one contender for the WBC title which just changed hands this month. Cuadras also holds a number five ranking by the WBO.

Without a bout scheduled as of right now, the immediate future for Cuadras is not yet set in stone. However, a match-up with newly crowned WBC champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai is likely later in the year. Given Cuadras', let's say "Mexican-ness", we can expect the WBC will support that route for him. However, former Give That Man a Title Shot! recipient, Oleydong Sithsamerchai is ranked number two and hails from the same homeland as the champion.

Bantamweights & Below On the Horizon: 

On Saturday, June 1, Estadio Sonora, Hermosilla, Sonora, Mexico: Hernan Marquez versus Carlos Tamara in a twelve round flyweight bout. On Saturday, June 8, at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada: Juan Carlos Sanchez Jr. versus Roberto Domingo Sosa in a twelve round IBF super flyweight title bout.

Zhong vs Cuello
On Saturday, June 15, at Emperor's Palace, Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa: Hekkie Budler versus Nkosinathi Joyi in a twelve round minimumweight bout. On Friday, June 28, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates: Xiong Zhao Zhong versus Denver "The Excitement" Cuello in a WBC minimumweight title bout featuring China's first world champion taking on boxing's most deserving title challenger.

Written by Derek "DBO" Bonnett - exclusively for KO Digest

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