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Mid Year: Mexican Fighters Dominate

Matchroom Boxing

New York- Six months and half the year has provided boxing fans with upsets, thrills, and a defeat for Canelo Alvarez who decided to test the light heavyweight division and lost a bid to become a five time division champion, failing to dethrone WBA champion Dmitri Bivol.

The first half of the boxing season is complete, though with mega fights on ESPN. streaming networks, Showtime, and FOX Sports. There are still fights on the calendar, but not in that mega category. Part II of the boxing season will resume in September as promoters and the networks once again pick up the pace that is in the planning stages.

Since February, some of the premiere fights have included Alvarez and another win for David Benavidez and his quest to dethrone Alvarez of his unified titles. And there was the continued rise of “The Towering Inferno” Sebastian Fundora, now ranked and in line for a title opportunity at 154 (Super Welterweight).

Yordenis Ugas, the first Cuban welterweight champion lost his WBA title to Errol Spence Jr. in May, denied a quest to unify the titles in the four-belt title era.

Latinos are not dominating the championship titles held, then again, a second half of the boxing calendar can once again change the complexion of champions, also rankings with the WBC, WBA, IBF, WBO, and other alphabet sanctioning organizations.

Note, though, Mexico fighters are dominating the rankings and bringing back memories of those glory years of the 1980’s when many dominated the sport.

Alvarez, considered the top pound-for-pound fighter in the sport, lost a unanimous decision to Bivol in early May, and that dropped him from the number 1 spot, despite jumping up in weight in attempts to solidify his legacy.

Up next for Alvarez, a long awaited trilogy with Gennaidy Golovkin, a bitter rivalry that will culminate at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Saturday September 17 and televised on DAZN Pay-Per-View.

Oh, boxing fans had their share of PPV televised fights, eight in a span of four months which saturated the market and a little too much for the sport with the average and casual boxing fan.

My rankings among Latino champions and in line for title contention follows. Of course this is always subject to debate and opinion is welcome:

Andy Ruiz Jr- Mexico
Luis Ortiz – Cuba
Ortiz and Ruiz Jr. will highlight a FOX Sports PPV, September 4 in a heavyweight title eliminator. Both are former heavyweight champions.

Light Heavyweight:
Gilberto Ramirez- Mexico
Eleider Alvarez- Colombia
Alvarez, a former WBA title holder, has not been in the ring Since August 2020, then losing to champion Joe Smith Jr.
Ramirez won via KO in the 4th round, May 14 Vs. Dominic Boesel

Super Middleweight:
Canelo Alvarez – Mexico
David Benavidez- United States/ Mexico
As said, Alvarez drops his spot as top pound-for-pound. Benavidez moves up a notch and in line for a title opportunity. Though the Benavidez camp said after his latest win that a long and anticipated clash with Alvarez was not on the table and won’t take place. Leave that to boxing politics.

Jaime Munguia- Mexico
Carlos Adamas- Dominican Republic
Erislanda Lara- Cuban American
This could be the most competitive division in boxing. Munguia (40-0) is in line to contend for the titles held by Jermall Charlo or the middleweight title that Golovkin holds. Golovkin is moving up in weight to oppose Alvarez. Munguia is coming off a 5th round KO (Jimmy Kelly) June 11.
Adamas (21-1) defeated Sergiy Derevyanchenk, last December with a majority 10-round decision. A veteran, Lara (29-3-3) won via 8th round TKO over Gady Sullivan on May 28th.

Junior Middleweight:
Sebastian Fundora- See above. The 24-year Mexican-American is title bound. Hrd to stop a fighter with his outstanding reach and height (6ft -6/5 inches)

Brian Castano- Argentina- Despite losing via 10th round TKO to Jermell Charlo, May 14, he remains in the Top-10 of all sanctioning organizations

Still a top division in the sport, though Erroll Spence Jr. continues to hold all the titles in the 4-belt era. Waiting for Spence is a potential showtime with Terence Crawford:
Vergil Ortiz Jr. Mexican-American
(18-0) The Oscar De La Hoya Golden Boy Promotions fighter is waiting in the wings for an opportunity. He could get the winner of a potential Crawford-Spence fight or wait it out with another of the top five in the division.

Danny Garcia- Puerto Rico- No longer fighting at 147 and moves to 154 July 30 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn opposing Jose Benavidez (Showtime Boxing PPV) and could decide to move back to 147. But feels more comfortable fighting for the first time at 154.

Yordenis Ugas: despite loss to Spence he remains among the elite in the division and looking at options with probable comeback fight at the end of year or early next.

Junior Welterweight:
Another of the elite divisions in the sport. Josh Taylor (19-0) won a controversial split decision over Jack Catterall back in February and vacated the titles leaving this wide open.

Jose Ramirez- Mexico
Former champion (27-1) who lost to Taylor and now in position to regain the vacant titles pending purse bids. Defeated Jose Pedraza March 4 via 12-round unanimous decision.

Devin Haney propelled himself as the dominant lightweight and in the pound-for-pound rankings after dominating and dethroning George Kambosos Jr. in Australia. This was a disappointing fight of the year but showed that Haney is a young superstar and headed for more. Will determine where former champion Teofimo Lopez ranks after his comeback fight August 13 televised on ESPN.

Ryan Garcia- Mexican-American:
The young superstar is in line to fight Haney if Kambosos is denied a rematch with Haney. Garcia (22-0) will be watched opposing a crafty veteran, Javier Fortuna televised July 16, DAZN

Joseph Diaz Jr.- Mexican-American:
Lost to Haney December 4 via 12-round unanimous decision. Next opponent fr Diaz (32-2-1) to be announced.

Isaac Cruz- Mexico:
Cruz (23-2-1) moves up in the rankings after a April 16 5th round TKO over Yuriorkis Gamboa. Next up is September 4th opposing Eduardo Ramirez.

Javier Fortuna- See above and standing after fight with Ryan Garcia

Junior Lightweight: A division dominated with Shakur Stevenson and possibly Gervontay Davis (headed to a possible clash) there are many Latinos in line for title opportunities.

Oscar Valdez- Mexico
Only loss (30-1) to Stevenson on ESPN via 12-round unanimous decision April 30, though developed respect fighting inside and outside. His jab was effective and despite the loss is headed to more title fights and a possible rematch with Stevenson if sanctioning organizations and promoters are on the same page for a fight that could be in demand.

Roger Gutierrez- Venezuela
Stromgv and a must win for the 26-3-1 power puncher after disposing of Rene Alvarado last August. Issue is inactivity with next opponent and fight to be announced.

In The Mix:
Leo Santa Cruz: Mexico. The veteran champion with multiple championships in four weight classes can retire and await his turn to the International Boxing Hall of Fame but has vowed to continue after a 10-round unanimous decision win over Keenan Carbajal in February.

Hector Luis Garcia- Dominican Republic (15-0) 12-round unanimous decision over Chris Colbert in February.

Emanuel Navarrete- México
Won a 12-round unanimous decision over Joet Gonzalez October 15. At 35-1, the two-weight world champion is waiting and has experience fighting top 10 fighters in the division. He can jab, punch to the body, and has a great knockout ratio.

Maurico Lara- Mexico
Third round KO over Emilio Sanchez, March 5. At 24-2-1 very underrated and the next fight to be announced.

Other Ranked:
Junior Featherweight:
Daniel Figueroa
Daniel Roman
Ronny Rios

Junior Bantamweight:
Juan Francisco Estrada
Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez
Fernando Martinez

Julio Cesar Martinez (lost To Roman Gonzalez March 5

Rich Mancuso is a senior writer with Twitter@Ring786 Watch “Sports with Rich” live on Tuesday Nights at 10pm EST on The SLG Network/Youtube with Robert Rizzo Available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify under The SLG Network.

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