New York: A year ago lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez was in that top category of a Top-5 Latino fighter but his takeover was stopped when George Kambosos Jr. dethroned him of the unified titles. Since then, Lopez has had difficulty getting back in the ring and there is a question about returning at 135 or beginning a quest to rejuvenate a plan for a takeover and test Josh Taylor the champion at 140.
Canelo Alvarez, the face of boxing and unified champion at 168, decided to move up a notch and continue a legacy at becoming a two-time light heavyweight champion. Alvarez, though, came up short two weeks ago and failed in his quest to overtake Demitry Bivol for the WBA light heavyweight title.
Of the two, Alvarez is more active. The Mexican boxing icon has stated a rematch with Bivol is his next preference, though those titles at 168 have to be defended and there will be mandates with various alphabet soup organizations that command the title belts.
But when you are the face of boxing and the richest free agent in the sport, as Alvarez is, he will get to choose. Promoters, the streaming network DAZN and Showtime Championship Boxing pay attention because they always view Alvarez as a ratings bonanza who draws in a mainstream boxing fan which is all good.
And Alvarez will fight three or four times in a calendar year that is also a rarity for the modern day fighter.
But there has also been a swing with boxing champions and ratings when it pertains to the Latino fighter. The champions and ratings have seen a cultural shift and that occurs every few years. In other words, fewer Latinos hold titles as we reach the culmination of the first half of the boxing or if you call it the fight season.
The shift has gone from latino to fighters from Europe, across the pond in the UK, and America. Boxing has always been a sport of diversity and every few years a different enthic group pretty much takes over.
Then again those sanctioning organizations always have a say in the matter, that being the big four WBC, WBA, IBF, and WBO. There will no doubt be another change in a year or so because the complexion of boxing is set to be this way.
And with female boxing now on the map after a historic Katie Taylor lightweight title win in New York, I have to drop Amanda Serrano out of that possible Top 5 discussion after her controversial loss at Madison Square Garden to Taylor.
And Vergil Ortiz Jr. the undefeated 14-0 welterweight and a young superstar has been inactive since last August which puts him also out of the Top 5.
After evaluating the past year, and this is always subject to debate, I have determined the following to not be currently classified in that Top 5 group due to inactivity or a major loss that saw their decline in the rankings.
Teofimo Lopez (Lightweight)
Danny Garcia- (Welterweight)
Oscar Valdez- (Lightweight-Jr.Welterweight) based on loss to Shakur Stevenson.
Ryan Garcia- (Lightweight, though comeback win few weeks ago needs that major fight to be a Top 5
Yordenis Ugas- (The Cuban lost WBA title to Errol Spence Jr,
My Top and current 5: (Again subject to debate)
Canelo Alvarez (Still Number 1 despite his loss. He remained unified champion at 168 and stepped out of his division.)
Gilberto Ramirez ( Coming off light heavyweight 4th round KO over Dominic Boesel. Remains undefeated, 44-0)
Emanuel Navarrete (Featherweight – 35-1 coming off impressive October unanimous 12-round decision over Joet Gonzalez)
David Benavidez (In that 168 division with Canelo Alvarez, Undefeated, 25-0 and coming off a 7th round TKO over Kyrone Davis in November. Saturday Showtime televised title eliminator versus David Lemieux and a possible meeting next with Canelo Alvarez.
Sebastian Fundora ( “The Towering Inferno” now in the discussion. Junior Middleweight coming off 9th round TKO over Erickson Lubin April 9th.
Rich Mancuso is a senior writer with Latinosports.com. Twitter@Ring786 Facebook,com/Rich Mancuso Watch Rich and Robert “The Wiz” Rizzo live Tuesday evening 10pmET ParrotTV.com YouTube Live “Sports With Rich” Like, Comment, Subscribe.
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