February 26, 2014

Bantamweights & Below - Boxing's Other Five Weight Divisions Vol. 13

Fans continue to debate Finito's place in history
By Derek "DBO" Bonnett -- Boxing fans love lists. Whether they are divisional rankings, Pound-for-Pound standings, or a compilation of the best one-punch knockouts; true readers love to indulge themselves with myriad inventories of the best, most powerful, fastest, and bravest participants of legalized fisticuffs.

This insatiable pleasure is so greatly sought after primarily for the distinct privilege of dissecting the ensemble of names, re-organizing them, identifying those who don't belong, and of course, belittling the efforts of the person foolish enough to put their ideas out to the boxing world with even an iota of confidence. That's just the way it goes. In assembling last month's best 105-pound participants and this month's muddle of all-time best junior flyweights, some specific criteria was considered.

First, only retired pugilists were considered. Otherwise, fighters such as Roman Gonzalez and Jorge Arce (Yes, he's still lacing them up) would have found themselves represented on each list. Gonzalez, possibly, on both! Also, Muhammad Rachman decided to un-retire since last month's compilation of strawweight greats. Oh well. Secondly, fighters who competed in a division or held a title in the division were considered, even it is was only for a short time.

Jorge Arce retired only to come back
However, the brevity of one's tenure in a specific division certainly hurt their place among the best who spent an entire career or the bulk of their professional campaign there. For example, Ricardo Lopez was crowned the best all-time strawweight last month as he is typically recognized. In addition, Lopez had a short reign at junior flyweight to end his career. He did good work in three bouts. However, that can't really compete with the body of work that others ranked ahead of him at 108-pounds produced. Lopez certainly made the cut, but he does not top this list even if I personally believe Finito would have stopped every single one of his listed peers had they shared a ring. Similarly, I believe Michael Moorer could have been one of the all-time great light heavyweights, but he simply did not do the quality of work necessary to be considered before moving to heavyweight.

These rankings are based on body of work accomplished.

Lastly, magnitude of victory was carefully considered. The junior flyweight division has a multitude of long-reigning champions with copious title defenses; however, those reigns sometimes did not add up to the hill of beans created by a champion with a much shorter reign with the pelts of more significant opposition. When all is said and done, what I have compiled it just a list. There is plenty of room for argument, re-organization, replacement, and, of course, the dismissal of my personal credibility as a boxing authority on the subject matter unfolding at Bantamweight and Below.

World Class Boxing Results at Bantamweight and Below:

On Tuesday, January 21, at Wat Klang Klong 3 School, Pathum Thani, Thailand, Suriyan Sor Rungvisai defeated Fernando Ocun in a twelve round bantamweight bout. No scores for the bout were reported. Rungvisai extended his win-streak to twelve since his March 2012 loss to Yota Sato. His resume now stands at 32-5-1 (13). Ocun fell to 12-6 (4). Rungvisai was ranked fifth at among my world's best bantamweights, but his quality of opposition since losing has been very low. He has been dropped to the number ten spot even with his impressive activity. Also on the card, Srisaket Sor Rungvisai stopped an unknown opponent in the first round of a bantamweight bout. The time of the stoppage was unreported. Rungvisai lifted his ledger to 24-3-1 (22). Rungvisai remained ranked first among my best 115-pounders.

Loreto shows the joy of stopping Joyi
On Saturday, February 1, Nkosinathi Joyi suffered a stunning upset loss to Rey Loreto in a light flyweight bout. Loreto leveled Joyi with a left hook at :49 of round three. Loreto raised his record to 18-13 (10) to continue his run as a spoiler. Joyi crashed to 24-3 (17). Joyi tumbled out of my light flyweight rankings. The previously ranked number eight through ten contenders each climbed one ranking. Loreto debuted in the ten spot.

On Wednesday, February 5, at City Hall, Haikou, China, Xiong Zhao Zhong suffered an upset defeat at the hands of Oswaldo Novoa in a WBC minimumweight championship fight. Novoa won the title by TKO at the 2:36 mark of round five. Zhong was dropped early in the bout, but was on his feet at the time the referee intervened. "Cocky" Novoa captured his first world title and raised his unassuming record to 13-4-1 (8). Zhong, China's lone world champion no more, fell to 22-5-1 (12).

On February 8, in Mexico, Adrian Hernandez stopped Janiel Rivera in three rounds of a WBC light flyweight title bout. The bout was waved off at the 1:34 mark of round three. Hernandez notched his sixth title defense over two reigns as WBC champion. He elevated his dossier to 29-2-1 (18). Rivera crashed to 10-2-2 (6). Hernandez dropped from second to third in my 108-pound rankings after continued defenses against weak opposition. Johnreil Casimero claimed the number two spot up from three. Also on the card, Julio Ceja stopped Jesus Acosta in four rounds of a bantamweight bout. Ceja ended the fight at the 2:22 mark. The Mexican former world title challenger raised his ledger to 26-1 (24). Acosta fell to 14-3-2 (10). Ceja retained his number seven ranking among my top-rated bantamweight boxers.

Solis finished off Olea in one round
On Saturday, February 15, at Hotel El Panama, Panama City, Panama, Liborio Solis stopped Alex Olea after the first round in a bantamweight bout. The end was recorded at the 3:00 mark. Solis improved his record to 17-3-1 (8). Olea fell to 10-7 (5). Solis kept his number five ranking in my rankings at 115 pounds.

On February 20, at Centro de Convenciones Figali, Panama City, Panama, Luis Concepcion defeated Carlos Fontes by ninth round technical decision in a flyweight bout. Concepcion dropped Fontes in the fifth and seventh rounds. He prevailed by scores of 88-81 and 88-83 twice. Concepcion raised his record to 31-3 (22). Fontes dipped to 17-2 (14). Concepcion continues to be ranked eighth among my top-ten best flyweights.

Bantamweight and Below Featured Rankings -
All Time Best Retired Light Flyweights (108):

Rivals Carbajal and Gonzalez at the IBHOF
1.) Humberto Gonzalez (108) 43-3-0 (30) ~ Former IBF and three-time WBC Light Flyweight Champion ~ Best Wins at 108:
W12 Michael Carbajal I, W12 Michael Carbajal II, KO2 Napa Kiatwanchai

2.) Michael Carbajal (108) 49-4-0 (33) ~ Former WBC, two-time WBO, and two-time IBF Light Flyweight Champion ~ Best Wins at 108:
KO7 Humberto Gonzalez, TKO7 Muangchai Kittikasem, TKO11 Jorge Arce

3.) Myung Woo Yuh (108) 38-1-0 (8) ~ Former two-time WBA Light Flyweight Champion ~ Best Wins at 108: W12 Leo Gamez II, W12 Hiroki Ioka II, W12 Leo Gamez I

4.) Jung-Koo Chang (108) 38-4-0 (17) ~ Former WBC Light Flyweight Champion ~ Best Wins at 108: TKO3 Hilario Zapata, W12 German Torres II, W12 Sot Chitalada

5.) Hilario Zapata (108, 112) 43-10-1 (14) ~ Former two-time WBC Light Flyweight Champion and WBA Flyweight Champion ~
Best Wins at 108: W15 Jung-Koo Chang, W15 German Torres, TKO13 Joey Olivo

Best but not the most accomplished at 108
6.) Ricardo Lopez (105, 108) 51-0-1 (38) ~ Former WBC/WBA/WBO, Minimumweight and IBF Light Flyweight Champion ~ Best Wins at 108: W12 Will Grigsby, TKO3 Ratanapol Sor Vorapin, KO8 Zolani Petelo

7.) Saman Sorjaturong (108) 46-8-1 (34) ~ Former WBC/IBF Light Flyweight Champion ~ Best Wins at 108: TKO7 Humberto Gonzalez, TKO7 Joma Gamboa, KO4 Yuichi Hosono

8.) Yo-Sam Choi (108) 32-5-0 (19) ~ Former WBC Light Flyweight Champion ~ Best Wins at 108: KO7 Saman Sorjaturong, W12 Saman Sorjaturong, TKO10 Shingo Yamaguchi

9.) Yoko Gushiken (108) 23-1-0 (15) ~ Former WBA Light Flyweight Champion ~ Best Wins at 108: KO8 Martin Vargas, KO7 Juan Antonio Guzman, KO7 Alfonso Lopez

10.) Melchor Cob Castro (108) 71-12-4 (34) ~ Former WBC and WBO Light Flyweight Champion ~ Best Wins at 108: TKO10 Rolando Pascua, W12 Jesus Chong, W12 Osvaldo Guerrero

Bantamweight and Below: Give That Man a Title Shot!

Ray Loreto hopes to add a major title soon
Although Rey Loreto of the Philippines answers to the moniker of Hitman, another fitting title for him these days is Cinderella Man. There are a few in boxing right now and guys like Loreto, Robinson Castellanos, and Rey Migreno just might end up in title fights sooner rather than later. Loreto started his career in 2008 with a four fight slide! He toiled for a couple of years before hitting another four fight tumble in 2011. However, he was matched tough and, steadily, he's improved; so much so that in his last two fight he's topped two former world champions. Pornsawan Porpramook was rebuilding for what might have been his final title run after a close defeat for the vacant WBA 105-five pound crown, a belt he once held. However, the journeyman Loreto jumped ahead of the former titlist on the cards and when an accidental head clash ended matters in the tenth round, he found himself the winner by majority technical decision.

In his immediate return bout, Loreto met another former 105-pound champion trying to re-establish himself three pounds higher. This time, Loreto scored the most emphatic win of 2014, thus far, and the leader for both Upset and KO of the Year honors. A single left hook level the once mighty strawweight champion early in the third round leaving Loreto with a hot two fight win-streak. Loreto picked up the lightly regarded IBO junior flyweight strap with the win and jumped into the ten spot in the WBA rankings. The other organizations have not released updates to their rankings since Loreto's February 1st victory, but he may be better served focusing on rankings rather than the IBO trinket.

Bantamweight and Below — On the Horizon:

On March 1, at Emperors Palace, Kempton Park, Gauteng, South Africa, Hekkie Budler versus Karluis Diaz in a twelve round minimumweight bout. On Saturday, March 8, at Coliseo Dibos Dammert, Lima Peru, Alberto Rossel versus Gabriel Mendoza in a twelve round interim WBA junior flyweight title bout.

Chemito Moreno is back in action on March 22
On Saturday, March 15, at Villa La √Ďata Sporting Club, Benav√≠dez, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Juan Carlos Reveco versus Manuel Vides in a twelve round WBA flyweight title bout. On Saturday, March 22, at Arena Roberto Duran, Panama City, Panama, Anselmo Moreno versus Javier Nicholas Chacon in a twelve round WBA bantamweight title bout.

On Wednesday, March 26, at Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan, Denkaosan Kaovichit versus Kohei Kono in a twelve round vacant WBA super flyweight title bout. On Saturday, March 29, at Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle, Tyne and Wear, United Kingdom, Stuart Hall versus Martin Ward in a twelve round IBF bantamweight title bout.

On Saturday, March 29, at Texas Station Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, Brian Viloria versus TBA in a ten round super flyweight bout. On Sunday, March 30, at FujisanMesse, Shizouka, Japan, Ryuji Hara versus Donny Mabao in a twelve round strawweight bout.

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

You can find more of Derek's writings & ratings at www.SecondsOut.com

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