Ring Ratings Update: Jesse Rodriguez goes to No. 1 at flyweight, cracks the P4P rankings

Ring Ratings Update: Jesse Rodriguez goes to No. 1 at flyweight, cracks the P4P rankings


Jesse Rodriguez put on the performance of the week with his stoppage of Sunny Edwards.

As impressive as Jesse Rodriguez was in 2022 – a year that witnessed him take down junior bantamweight veterans Carlos Cuadras and Srisaket Sor Rungvisai – the 23-year-old boxer-puncher saved his career-best performance for The Ring’s No. 1-rated flyweight Sunny Edwards, who he wore down to stoppage victory after nine entertaining rounds on Saturday in Glendale, Arizona.

It was tit-for-tat over the first four rounds of the bout as Rodriguez proved to have the speed, footwork and skills to match and catch Edwards (20-1, 4 KOs), who surprised many with his willingness to exchange, but the San Antonio southpaw began to impose his superior strength and power on the previously unbeaten Englishman in the middle rounds. Edwards’ face took considerable damage (especially around his eyes) but he bravely fought on until a beautifully timed straight left dropped him near the end of Round 9. Edwards’ corner did the right thing by informing the referee that their fighter had had enough a few seconds after the bell.

Anson Wainwright thought Rodriguez (19-0, 12 KOs) looked sharp enough to be included in the pound-for-pound rankings, although he didn’t cast his vote for “Bam.”

“Jesse Rodriguez is worth a shout to enter at No. 10,” said Wainwright. “However, I still side with [Vasiliy] Lomachenko, similar to how we had a choice to make with David Benavidez.”

Tom Gray disagreed with Wainwright’s choice.

“I would move Bam into the No. 10 position over Loma,” said Gray. “He’s on the ascent with a trio of excellent wins over 22 months in two weight classes. I don’t want to start going all nostalgic with Loma like we did with Pacquiao some time back. Loma is still class, but he’s dropping through attrition.”

Abraham Gonzalez agreed Rodriguez should crack the P4P rankings, with a shout out to Ring/WBC/WBA junior flyweight champ Kenshiro Teraji.

Bam definitely deserves to get in but I also thought Kenshiro did after his last win,” Gonzalez said. “Bam at No. 10 but we need to revisit Kenshiro if he wins his next fight.” 

Replied Wainwright: “The problem at pound-for-pound and it’s a good problem is we have 15 fighters who have a fair shout at cracking the top 10. Benavidez, Bam, Teraji etc.”

Replied Gray: “Benavidez is being deprived of a P4P opportunity because Canelo is running for the hills. You don’t go P4P by beating Andrade, who’s hopelessly inactive and small by comparison.

“Teraji is in the 10-15 range also IMO. Again, though, Budler was on the downside.

“The difference with Bam is that he toppled The Ring’s No. 1 fighter at 112. And over the last 22 months, his form and accomplishments across two divisions speak for themselves.”

Added your favorite Editor-In-Chief: “I agree with Rodriguez cracking the P4P rankings. I think he’s special enough to enter at No. 8 or 9 to be honest, but I’m OK with No. 10 for now.”

So be it. If Rodriguez gets the showdown he wants with Ring/WBC junior bantamweight champ Juan Francisco Estrada next year, the Panel could be debating a much higher placement for the Texas technician. 

RING RATINGS UPDATE (as of December 16):

POUND FOR POUND – Jesse Rodriguez enters at No. 10. 

SUPER MIDDLEWEIGHTDavid Morrell remains at No. 4 after blasting out Sena Agbeko in two rounds. 

Wainwright suggested a move to No. 3, but it was not supported.

I would not move Morrell up one spot after that performance,” said Adam Abramowitz. “Agbeko was supposed to be a walkover as an opponent and that’s what he was. [No. 3-rated Caleb] Plant has done much more in the division.”

Gray, Gonzalez and Yours Truly agreed with Abramowitz.

I think Morrell could be the best 168 pounder on the planet RIGHT NOW, but he’s still gotta fight the fights,” noted the EIC. “Plant’s got a couple of losses but I favor his body of work over Morrell’s impressive ‘eye-test’ skills and athleticism for the time being.”  

David Morrell celebrates his victory over Sena Agbeko. (Photo by Amanda Westcott-SHOWTIME)

JUNIOR WELTERWEIGHTSandor Martin remains at No. 10 following a fourth-round stoppage of Mohamed El Marouchi.

JUNIOR FEATHERWEIGHTMurodjon Akhmadaliev remains at No. 4 after stopping Kevin Gonzalez in eight rounds. Sam Goodman advances to No. 5 following a 12-round decision over Zhong Liu.

Wainwright suggested Akhmadaliev move up one spot and Goodman remain at No. 6, but the Panel thought otherwise.

“[Stephen] Fulton has a better resume than MJ,” noted Abramowitz. “I would not move up MJ one spot. 

“I would move Sam Goodman up one place over [Luis] Nery. Goodman has the best single victory between the two fighters this year PLUS he’s has three more wins this year, including beating an undefeated guy this weekend. His activity should be rewarded.”

Your favorite EIC concurred: “I also agree with Goodman moving up one place. As Adam stated, we should reward activity and Sam has not only fought four times this year, he’s faced QUALITY opposition. Nery was arguably in the fight of the year vs. Hovhannisyan, but that was one of two bouts this year and the only fight vs. a legit contender.”

Gray and Gonzalez agreed with Akhmadaliev remaining at No. 4 and Goodman advancing to No. 5.

FLYWEIGHT – Jesse Rodriguez advances to No. 1. Sunny Edwards drops to No. 2. 

“Rodriguez forced Edwards’ corner to retire him at the end of nine rounds to add the IBF title to his WBO belt,” noted Wainwright. “Excellent performance and Edwards showed real heart. Rodriguez to No. 1 and Edwards No. 2…Galal Yafai won a 10-round unanimous decision over Rocco Santomauro. He’s on the fringes of the top 10.”

Nobody disagreed with Edwards landing on the No. 2 spot previously held by WBC beltholder Julio Cesar Martinez.

 

Email Fischer at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter and IG at @dougiefischer, and join him, Tom Loeffler, Coach Schwartz and friends via Tom’s or Doug’s IG Live most Sundays.

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