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Roman Gonzalez still #1 p-4-p, Andre Ward #2

Andre Ward Roman Gonzalez Sergey Kovalev

By Dan Ambrose: WBC super flyweight champion Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez (46-0, 38 KOs) has officially retained his No.1 pound-for-pound spot despite a heavy push by the promoters of last Saturday’s fight between Sergey Kovalev vs. Andre Ward. Ring Magazine reports that Gonzalez, 28, has kept his No.1 pound-for-pound spot with Ward moving up from No.4 to No.2.

Apparently, Ward’s 12 round unanimous decision win over Kovalev wasn’t “conclusive enough,” according to RingTV for Ward to be given the No.1 spot in the pound for pound ratings. It’s not surprising though. There are clearly too many boing fans out there who think that Kovalev deserved the win for Ward to be given the No.1 spot just yet.

That doesn’t mean that Ward can’t take the No.1 spot with a good win his next fight against Kovalev. It just means that Ward is going to need to do a much better job in beating Kovalev in the rematch. Ward is going to need to not only prove that he’s the better fighter, but he’s also going to need to show the aesthetics side of the game by looking good, avoiding his holding/mauling, and avoiding low blows, head-butts and punches to the back.

Beating Kovalev without holding is very important, because Ward was doing a great deal of holding last Saturday. It looked like Ward wanted to slow the fight down to nullify Kovalev’s offense by grappling with him. Ward was fortunate to have a permissive referee working the fight in Robert Byrd, who did little to address his grappling/holding on the inside.

Michael Rosenthal of said this about Ward’s pound-for-pound ratings climb:
“Ward, rated No. 4 pound-for-pound going into the fight, emerged with a tight and controversial decision over No. 2 Kovalev on Nov. 19 in Las Vegas,” said Rosenthal. “The result wasn’t conclusive enough for Ward to become No. 1, which leaves Gonzalez as the pound-for-pound king.”

Even if Ward did beat Kovalev a little more conclusive, it would look arguably bad if Ring Magazine replaced Roman Gonzalez for him. If you saw how sensational Gonzalez looked in recently beating previously unbeaten WBC super flyweight champion Carlos Cuadras (35-1-1, 27 KOs) on September 10 on HBO Championship Boxing, you would know what I’m talking about.

Gonzalez wasn’t clinching or mauling Cuasdras on the inside in turning the fight into an MMA-like fight the way that Ward was against Kovalev. Gonzalez was throwing nonstop punches, and using his boxing skills to avoid some of Cuadras’ best shots. Gonzalez still ended up getting hit a lot by the bigger, stronger Cuadras, but he was hit him a lot and outclass him in the fight.

It would be difficult to replace Gonzalez with Ward with the way the two guys fought their last respective opponents. I think Ward deserved to be pushed downwards in the pound for pound ratings rather than moved upwards. Gonzalez beat Cuadras by the scores 115-113, 116-112 and 117-111. There was nothing controversial about Gonzalez’s win over Cuadras. He clearly beat him.

If Ring Magazine is going to push Gonzalez from the No.1 spot in their ratings in the near future, then they need to make sure that he’s replaced by someone that is not only winning without controversy, but also looking very good in doing so. There’s nothing wrong with Ward using every trick in his arsenal to edge an opponent to get the ‘W’, but if he’s not looking as sharp as the guy he’s trying to replace in the pound for pound ratings, then I do see Ward as deserving to take the No.1 spot.

Here are the Ring’s pound for pound top 5 ratings before the Kovalev-Ward fight:

1. Roman Gonzalez

2. Sergey Kovalev

3. Gennady “GGG” Golovkin

4. Andre Ward

5. Terence Crawford

Here is Ring Magazine’s new top 5 pound for pound ratings:

1. Roman Gonzalez

2. Andre Ward

3. Sergey Kovalev

4. Gennady “GGG” Golovkin

5. Terence Crawford

Let’s look at the pound for pound ratings in a realistic manner. Did Ward really fight well enough to take the No.2 spot in the ratings or was this merely a political move on Ring Magazine’s part in putting Ward in the No.2 position. When a fighter is involved in a controversial fight like Ward was against Kovalev, I don’t see them as being worthy of being pushed to the No.2 spot in the pound for pound ratings. That’s me though.

I feel that fighters should earn the No.2 spot by fighting and winning without controversy. I also think the fighters should show good form by avoiding things like clinching, holding and slowing the fight down by stalling It with smothering.

If anyone should have been moved up in the pound for pound ratings, I think Golovkin is the one. He’s looked good in all of his recent fights and has knocked out 23 straight opponents.
If Ward wins another controversial decision over Kovalev in the rematch in early 2017, then I don’t think he should be pushed to the No1 pound for pound spot unless Roman Gonzalez loses his next fight. Even then, I think Golovkin should take the No.2 spot if he looks good in his next fight against Danny Jacobs in the first quarter of 2017. Golovkin likely won’t be looking to clinch the entire fight like we saw with Ward.

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